On an uncomfortably hot and sticky afternoon to start the Yankees and White Sox’s Sunday doubleheader in the Bronx, the home team played a suitably sluggish game.
Then Aaron Judge stepped up to the plate in the eighth inning and, with a wave of his mighty bat, turned things around briefly. Judge’s single home run tied the game, sparking MVP chants at Yankee Stadium, and helped his team walk off the mat, but AJ Pollock matched him with a single shot of his own in the next inning. Pollock’s Jack gave the White Sox a late lead that turned into a 3-1 win in Chicago and, with a game-cleaning shot from Eroldis Chapman, invited further questions about who should move closer to the Yankees.
In addition to delivering poorly timed home runs, Chapman also threw a pitch at the backstop, after throwing a pitch that had to be visited by training staff, and failed to get a single swing and once missed on the untouchable fastball. When Adam Engel left the game after putting down an RBI insurance run double in the left field corner, Chapman was spotted by the boos on his way to the dugout, where the judges waited for him on the top step with an encouraging pat on the butt. were.
“He hasn’t been okay with his command,” Boone said of the struggling southeast. “He’s not as fast as we’ve seen him. He was undergoing some treatment for the Achilles. He wasn’t moving very well when he was moving around. But he wanted the ball. Today, for me he Didn’t feel good on my feet, so I’m guessing that was probably an issue today.
The Yankees started their double dip vacated by Johnny Couto, a wonderful pitcher who has been removed from his prime for years. Cueto turned his way through six innings, five strikeouts and nearly a million different wind ups. The Yankees scored six hits against him—all of which were singles—and got zero runs.
The last two of those singles took Cueto out of the game in the seventh inning. After trailing by one run at a time, the Yankees were very much in the game. In place of Cueto, the furious Joe Kelly closed it out fairly quickly.
Kelly dismissed his first hitter Marvin Gonzalez on four pitches. During the next at-bat, he picked up Aaron Hicks from second base. Hicks tried to make a break for the third, while Kelly was not looking, likely the reliever to begin his delivery during the mad dash. Instead, Kelly simply stepped off the mound, realized Hicks was in no man’s land, and threw the ball to second base for an easy dismissal. Hicks was the second Yankee to be involved with Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, who was picked up by Kyuto for the first time in the second innings.
“His time was almost up,” Boone lamented after the game.
The missed opportunity in the seventh looked like it would be the Yankees’ best scoring opportunity of the day, but the judge’s ability to turn things around in a single swing made a huge difference before the White Sox’s counter punches landed.
Hicks’ rally-killing pickoff brings more ammunition to the people asking him to sell. Entering Sunday’s action, Hicks was hitting .200, with a base percentage much higher than his slugging percentage. His 20 hits included just a double and a home run, and in his last 15 appearances on Sunday, he was in a vicious 3-for-40 (.075) slump. In the first game of the doubleheader, he went for 2-for-4, but also popped up on the infield with the game tied in the eighth inning.
While he still has a lot going on, and is tied for team-lead in stolen bases, Hicks is a tough sell for many fans, especially the Joey Gallo-Aaron judge-Giancarlo Stanton outfield needing to be more regular. Advocate event.
The White Sox deployed Liam Hendrix for the final three outs, and facing the bottom half of the Yankees’ order, the All-Star’s close had no trouble.
The Yankees can’t relate.