Jose Quintana was due to be humbled, and soon. And the combination of the Yankees’ offense and a ballpark particularly ill-suited to his reliance on fly balls not clearing fences figured to be the ideal situation for Quintana to fall.
Sure enough, after an inning, he was down 4-0 and had already suffered the pain of a New Yankee stadium home run off the bat of Curtis Granderson.
But after back-to-back eight-inning shutout efforts with no reward, Jose was also due a win that he hadn’t earned. The combination of emergency Yankees starter Adam Warren, a cozy ballpark, a stretched bullpen, and a fully firing White Sox offense was ready to accomodate that as well.
By the end of the top of the 2nd, the Yankee lead was erased, and Warren wouldn’t make it out of the 3rd thanks to an offensive onslaught that would total 19 hits, 14 runs, and eventually drive New York to make the ultimate concession–“Screw it, let’s have one of our outfielders pitch.”
A Jayson Nix double tied the game again at six in the 5th inning after the initial Sox offensive wave, but a stretched-out Yankees bullpen forced poor Corey Wade to wear it as Sox hitters rang him up for six runs.
By the end of the laugher, it was safe enough for Leyson Septimo to make his spotless major league debut.
White Sox 14, Yankees 7
Jose Quintana – 6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR, 101 pitches – Far from his sharpest effort, but the ability to pitch five quality innings after his trainwreck opening frame is one of those underrated Danks-style qualities.
A.J. Pierzynski – 3 for 5, 2 HR, 3 RBI – A.J. is not usually one for ‘just barely’ home runs, but he wore out the short right-center field porch.
Paul Konerko – 3 for 5, HR, BB – Nearly did a Sammy Sosa hop right after his home run.
Dayan Viciedo – 2 for 4, 2B, BB, 3 R – He scored a lot of runs.
Alexei Ramirez – 3 for 5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R – This is the first splash of any power during his entire ‘hot streak’, and there are still plenty of reasons to worry about him, but not tonight.
Gordon Beckham – 3 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, K – It’s hard to worry about his reduced opportunities in the #9 slot in a game like this.
Adam Warren & Corey Wade – 4.2 IP, 15 H, 12 ER, 3 BB, 4 ER, 3 HR, 135 pitches – It’s probably their fault
The aforementioned Jayson Nix double in the 5th inning tied the game at six, and set the stage for a hellish offensive shootout that might not yield any surviving pitching staffs. At that moment, A.J. Pierzynski–curiously up to the task all season long–belted his 14th home run of the season to right-center to break the tie, and give the White Sox a lead they would not relinquish.
A.J. already has the third-best home run total of his career.
Things Would Be Different If…
Obviously, CC Sabathia’s groin injury combined with the dire exhaustion of the Yankees bullpen is the elephant in the room of this victory where the beast of the AL East seemingly lacked the tools to stop the White Sox offense.
Sabathia’s absence is dumb luck, whereas bullpen issues were undoubtedly brought on by the Cleveland series. It should be mentioned that the Indians did not win any of the games while stretching out the Yankees bullpen.
Given the roll the Yankees were on coming in, a split could hardly be considered a bad result, and the White Sox have already achieved it with more in sight.
Furthermore, they took advantage of the clear pitching mismatch in their favor by jumping all over Adam Warren, and gained a game in the standings for their efforts.
Team Record: 42-35, 3.5 games up