The game began well for the bombers, as Warren, making his Major League debut, battled through a tough first inning that included an unlucky walk and a good hit, by throwing pitches down and on the corners. Despite the walk and the hit, things didn’t look bad for Warren, as he was spotting his pitches well, and had flashed a pretty good looking curve.
Things only got better for the Yanks, as White Sox starter Jose Quintana quickly allowed a two-run bomb to Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the first. Andruw Jones followed with a long double to center that scored Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher, putting the bombers up by four after one. If Warren could manage to keep the White Sox in check, then the Yanks looked set to coast to an easy victory.
Warren, with his excited looking parents gazing in anticipation*, didn’t manage to keep a stronger-than-expected Sox lineup in check. He immediately gave up a towering home run to AJ Pierzynski to begin the second inning, and followed that up with three straight hits–two singles, and a two-run double by Gordon Beckham, who would come in to score on Kevin Youkilis’ RBI groundout. 4-4 after one and a half.
*It’s always really fun to see first inning cut-away shots of the newly called-up pitcher’s parents in the stands, and this game was no exception. But it was also terribly depressing that the YES Network chose to cut back to them various times as Warren melted down, showing, in gruesome detail, the pain on their faces. Ugh. It’s still bothering me just to think about it.
Just as Warren began to melt down, Quintana managed to calm himself, and threw six innings of six-run ball. I’m not saying it was a good outing. But sometimes, you can go six innings and give up six runs and still grab the win–but that’s only when your offense is really good, or the other team’s pitching is really bad. Luckily for Quintana, both seemed to be true tonight. After Jayson Nix’s two-run double in the bottom of the fourth, Quintana soldiered through another two and a half innings while the Yankee pitching staff crumbled.
Look, there were some positive things in Warren’s performance tonight. Not many, I admit. But let me try anyways: I thought his velocity was there (hitting around 93 on the fastball), and it looked like he could command the ball well at times. His curve looked nasty, a few times…and downright awful at others. I don’t think that this is the type of performance the Yanks will get from Warren on a normal basis…but I also wouldn’t expect him to come out throwing darts either. I’d bet he’s a replacement-level pitcher, and that tonight was a slight anomaly from what we’ll normally see–if he gets any more starts.
David Phelps looked marginally better, until he surrendered a couple of monster hits, including Pierzynski’s second bomb of the night. In a pinch, I’d rather have Phelps start than Warren, though I have mixed feelings about both of them.
In perhaps the third-funniest moment of the game–and you know it was a rough game when two of the three best moments include random snippets of commentary from Paul O’Neill and (gasp) Lou Piniella–O’Niell and Piniella spent about two and a half minutes straight discussing Alexei Ramirez’s weight (they guessed slightly over 180), only to watch the skinny guy blast a home run into the left field seats. Here’s a bit of a rant–and feel free to skip this part–about YES tonight: Paul O’Neill is a perfectly adequate color commentator when he’s paired with the right people. In fact, I even like listening to him from time to time. Lou Piniella, however, was utterly awful, bringing a John Madden-esque “well, ya gotta score runs to win the game” nonsensical drawl to a sport that can ill afford boring, idiotic commentary. And when they combined O’Neill and Piniella. Oof. Painful. Even the should-be-funny stories about Lou’s in-game meltdowns became painfully awkward reminders of a past that Piniella is clearly not comfortable discussing. /endrant
Ultimately, this was just one of those games. It became apparent, after about the sixth inning, that the Yankees were not only not going to win, but that Girardi wasn’t taking the game seriously–he was trying, as one of the announcers put it, to “win the war, not the battle” by letting some of his relievers get some rest.
Somehow, this is actually an easier loss to digest than yesterday. People didn’t show up (even though some of them did). Shake it off and go win tomorrow.
Dewayne Wise: Best Yankee pitcher on the night.
Chicago White Sox batters: Fourteen runs? Well done.
New York Yankee batters: Seven runs? Not so shabby.
YES Network: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Chicago White Sox pitchers: Seven runs? Pretty bad.
New York Yankee pitchers: Fourteen runs? 14?! REALLY?!