The Pale Hose came into their series and season finale with the Yankees on Wednesday looking to do something they hadn’t accomplished since the new park opened back in 1991: Sweep the Yankees at home. With Chris Sale on the mound and a hot offense, I would almost say I expected it.
It was a very well played baseball game, a pitchers duel of sorts, as only 3 runs were scored between the two power-stacked offenses, with the defense on both sides of the field executing at a very high level. The scoring began in the third, after a leadoff double by Gordon Beckham and a Dewayne Wise bunt single moving Bacon to third, Kevin Youkilis stepped up with a job to do. Youk didn’t disappoint as he lifted a sac fly to deep right, plating Beckham and giving the Sox a 1-0 advantage early.
The Yankees would eventually answer in the 6th when the most overrated player in baseball: Derek Jeter, drilled a solo shot to left center, tying the ball game at one. That would be the offensive highlight of the night for New York, as their bats were silenced by an outstanding performance by young Chris Sale.
Sale went 7.2 innings only giving up 3 hits and surrendering only the one homerun to Jeter. He struck out a whopping 13 batters while only walking 1. Chris looked strong throughout this one as his fastball stayed in the mid 90′s all night. The key for Sale was and always has been his ability to get ahead of the hitter by starting each at bat off with a majority of strikes. That and that alone puts him in position to knock guys out with his phenomenal off speed stuff. Tonight he showcased his great change-up and buckled one of the leagues top offenses with his filthy slider.
Back to the offense, the tie was broken in the bottom of the 6th as Alex Rios answered the Bronx Bombers right back with a solo shot to left center off Hughes. I think Hawk said it best after that Rios homerun when he said, a sign of a resilient team is the ability to answer back after their opposition has put runs on the board in a close game (well maybe Hawk didn’t put it as eloquently as that, but you get the drift). The Rios solo job would cap off the offense for the night.
Brett Myers came in and relieved Sale with 2 outs in the 8th, getting Derek Jeter to ground out to second and ending the inning. Cue Addison Reed in the 9th, he came in and looked solid, strong-handing 3 of the 4 Yankees he faced, ending the game with a ground out to short and securing the first White Sox sweep of the Yankees at the Cell since its inaugural year.
This was a big bounce back series for the Sox after getting swept in Kansas City. The Sox kept 2 games between them and the Tigers as they have been just as hot as the Sox this month. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling with the Seattle Mariners coming to town this weekend. The Sox have an off day tomorrow, when you lay in bed tonight, pray for a Detroit loss tomorrow. See ya Friday.