The four-game series in Chicago against the worst team in the American League, ended up being one to forget for the Yankees. Sure, they were able to split the series on the road, but there were heartbreaking losses and devastating injuries.
In the series opener, Jordan Montgomery had a fantastic outing, throwing seven innings of five hit, one run ball. The bullpen needed to hold off a White Sox rally in the ninth but the Yankees won the game 6-5. Tyler Austin knocked his first home run of the season in the win.
In game two, the Yankees received another gem from a starting pitcher. This time, it was Luis Severino going seven innings, giving up just one run of six hits while striking out 12 Chicago batter. The Yankees would score three in the top half of the eighth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The lead, and the game, however, were squandered as Dellin Betances blew the save and the Yankees fell 4-3.
The lineup woke up a bit in the third game of the series, led by homers from Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, as well as a monumental Major League debut from Miguel Andujar. The top prospect went 3-for-4 with a double and 4 RBI as the Yankees won the game 12-3. Masahiro Tanaka put together his second straight quality outing, going six innings and giving up just two runs on six hits.
New York entered the series finale Thursday night, hoping to continue that momentum. Any positive feeling quickly dissipated. First, the game did not start until almost 11pm EST after a rain delay of nearly three hours. Things got worse from there. Yankees top outfield prospect, Dustin Fowler, was making his Major League debut, starting in right field. In the bottom of the first inning, Fowler chased a fly ball that was hit down the right field line toward the stands. Running full speed, Fowler crashed into the wall in foul territory, and was immediately unable to put any pressure on his leg. Fowler went down to the ground and needed a cart to take him off the field. The youngster was set to lead off the top of the second inning for his first MLB at-bat. Just a heart-wrenching scene.
The result of the crash with the wall was a ruptured knee tendon. Fowler will undergo immediate season-ending surgery on Friday.
The game did go on and the Yankees luck never showed up. Rob Refsnyder replaced Fowler in right field and promptly dropped a fly ball that should have been caught on the run, leading to two unearned runs for Chicago in the second. They would add two more off Luis Cessa in the fourth. The Yankees bullpen kept the game tight, but the offense was unable to put much together against James Shields and the White Sox bullpen. Aaron Judge was robbed of a home run by former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera.
Since sweeping the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series which ended on June 11, the Yankees have now lost five straight series and 12 of their last 17 games. They head to Houston for a three-game set with the best team in baseball, the Astros. Michael Pineda is set to pitch the opener against Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers threw six scoreless innings against New York on May 12, striking out seven in the Houston win.
Top Pitching Performance of the Series
Luis Severino – Seven innings, six hits, one run, 12 strikeouts, no walks – no decision.
Top Offensive Performance of the Series
Miguel Andujar – MLB Debut. Two-run single in first career at-bat. 3-for-4, double, 4 RBI