Now, this was the kind of game the Yankees were looking for all weekend. And yet, there were some moments where that felt threatened. Blame the weather again, maybe. The rain delayed the game 32 minutes at the start and occasionally revisited the Chicago Southside during the third game of this long weekend series.
Chad Green was tapped as the opener in tonight’s game against the White Sox, throwing 33 pitches in his 2 scoreless innings. But all 6 of his outs were great strikeouts. Green set the pace for the Yankees, and all the rest of them had to do was follow his lead. Nestor Cortes Jr came on for long-term relief and follow Green’s suit, throwing strong and scoreless through the 7th inning, including 7 strikeouts.
But he came back out in the 8th, gave up consecutive singles, and handed the ball to Jonathan Holder. After 2 quick outs, Holder gave up a single that scored the lead runner to put the White Sox on the board. The next batter smacked a big 3-run home run up the middle. Chapman was able to close out the game with a clean 9th inning.
That could be bad news for the visitors, but the Yankee bats were also following Green’s lead tonight. They started in the 4th. Voit and Hicks each singled and then both scored on Gary Sanchez’s double. Gleyber Torres then hit a 1-out 2-run home run to double the score and leap the Yankees ahead first.
In the 6th, with 1 out, Sanchez worked a walk, moved to 3rd on Gregorius’ single, and scored on Torres’ sacrifice fly. Cameron Maybin led-off the 7th with a 1st pitch solo home run. Brett Gardner then worked a walk, LeMahieu doubled, and Hicks walked to load up the bases. Gardner scored on Sanchez’s baby grounder.
After the White Sox came back and got on the board, the Yankees tried to take a few back in the 9th. Brett Gardner led-off with a walk and ended up at 3rd on LeMahieu’s single. After an out and a pitching change, LeMahieu moved into scoring position by stealing 2nd. But after another out, the White Sox intentionally walked Sanchez to load up the bases, only to walk Didi Gregorius to walk in the run by Gardner.
Final score: 8-4 Yankees
And in Yankee Universe news: The Yankees announced today that they traded prospect pitcher Juan Then (and cash considerations) to the Mariners for outfielder and power hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion spent most of his career with the Blue Jays (9 1/2 of his 15 professional seasons), was a 3-time All-Star, and has already hit 21 home runs this season (of his 401 career homers).
Fun trivia in this trade: The Yankees originally acquired Then as part of the trade that sent reliever Nick Rumbelow to Seattle in 2017. And the Mariners just released Rumbelow this week to allow him a form of free agency.
Now, what this means for the already overcrowded outfield is to be determined, especially as Judge and Stanton are due to come back shortly. Hicks, Gardner, Frazier, Maybin, and Tauchman are already considered outfielders. This means that some roster moves and some platooning of the positions (and the DH spot) are to come. Which could actually help with the prevention of injuries in the future. And anything that helps reduce the number on the IL is a good move in my book.