For most of this game, it really seemed like this was going to be one certain kind of annoying loss.
Despite finishing the game with nine hits and four walks, the Yankees’ offense couldn’t push across a run for a while, getting held in check by old enemy Dallas Keuchel. It seemed like it was just going to be one of those days where they put runners on but can’t capitalize. However, in the eighth and ninth inning, they rallied coming back to tie the game. getting new life.
Then it turned into a different kind of frustrating loss.
While Aroldis Chapman’s numbers are mostly fine, he’s been living dangerously in several outings so far this year. This time, things finally came back to bite him. He didn’t have much control, throwing just eight of 16 pitches for strikes, and ended up allowing a walk and a couple hits. The last of them, a single by Luis Robert, ended up being enough, giving the White Sox a 3-2 walk-off win.
Through the first seven innings, it seemed like this was going to be another Jordan Montgomery start, in both the good and bad ways.
On the mound, Montgomery was far from his best. However, he still did enough to keep them in the game, allowing just two runs and managing to get out of a couple jams. But the Yankees’ offense was also doing what it does in Montgomery starts.
Even despite the excellent start to the season and the much improved Yankees’ offense, they simply cannot seem to get any run support for Montgomery so far this year. Despite coming into Saturday’s game with a 2.90 ERA, 126 ERA+, and a 3.23 FIP, Montgomery had a 0-1 win-loss record. In his six prior starts, the Yankees had managed just three, one, zero, five, three, and two runs, with the lone winning performances coming in late-inning rallies after Montgomery had exited the game.
From the beginning, it was clear that Montgomery was a little off. He got in a bit of trouble in the first inning and it ended up leading to a run. After Tim Anderson led off the game for Chicago with a single and then moved to second on a groundout, Robert then added another single, scoring a run. One more single threatened Montgomery further, but he eventually got out of it. Two innings later, the White Sox added to their lead when Yoán Moncada led off the frame with a home run.
Eventually, Montgomery exited with one on and one out in the fifth inning, having thrown 86 pitches. Clarke Schmidt came in and finished off the inning, keeping the inherited runner from scoring. Montgomery ended up with a final line of two runs allowed on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings, striking out four.
While the Yankees had a some decent chances to get on the board, their best one didn’t come until the eighth, when they finally capitalized. With one out in the inning, Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton hit three straight singles, with the third scoring Judge. Aaron Hicks was sent in as a pinch-runner for Stanton and eventually the Yankees ended up with him in scoring position, representing the go-ahead run. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks ended up escaping the jam and keeping Chicago in front.
Hendricks came back out for the ninth to try and get a five-out save, and the Yankees again had a chance when he walked Joey Gallo to start the inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed that with a single that moved Gallo to third. During the next at-bat, Kiner-Falefa got into scoring position himself, setting up the next fateful play.
Kyle Highashioka was at the plate with nobody out and hit a decently deep fly ball to the left. Gallo tagged up and scored and almost certainly would’ve been safe had there been a play at the plate. There would not be a play at the plate, as the throw was cut off, with Kiner-Falefa tagged out trying to go to third. While assuming the throw would make it all the way home was an understandable enough, it was still a mistake. Instead of having one out and the go-ahead run in scoring position, there were two outs and no one on, and Hendricks struck out DJ LeMahieu to end the inning.
With new life, Chapman came in for the bottom of the ninth. After getting one quick out, he allowed a single to Tim Anderson and then walked Moncada. He fell behind 3-1 to Robert before throwing one right down the middle. Robert squeezed it past a diving Rizzo for a single to end the game.
Tough losses happen to every team, even the very best ones. But, boy does that fact not make them any less annoying when they happen. The Yankees will try to regroup tomorrow behind Nestor Cortes, who will face Michael Kopech. First pitch is at 2:10pm ET.