You could reduce the final score to a story of starting pitchers. Dallas Keuchel gave up a Yankee Stadium grand slam to DJ LeMahieu, and that was too deep a hole against Nestor Cortes, even if he wasn’t on his game.
But you could also present it as a story about plate discipline. White Sox pitchers issued six walks while striking out three, with Keuchel going 3-0 in those categories. White Sox hitters only drew one walk and a Josh Harrison HBP while striking out 14 times.
That one is a little more compelling, especially when looking at how their last best chance failed to come to fruition. The White Sox’s first two batters reached against Jonathan Loiasiga to start the seventh, with Luis Robert beating a flip to second on what should’ve been a fielder’s choice for José Abreu.
Nothing else happened because what little plate discipline the White Sox possessed eroded, and Loaisiga struck out the side.
Yasmani Grandal chased one:
AJ Pollock chased two:
And Leury García chased three … after getting ahead 2-0.
García probably shouldn’t have hit for himself, either, because Tony La Russa used late scratch Yoán Moncada and Gavin Sheets off the bench with nobody on base in the eighth. But García contributed one of three doubles off Michael King in the White Sox’s two-run sixth the inning before, so that’s probably why he got a chance to do it again.
Meanwhile, Keuchel and the White Sox pitching staff gave up walks that tended to hurt. In the second, Keuchel lost ninth-hitting Aaron Hicks to load the bases to LeMahieu, who unloaded a bases with a fly ball that would’ve been a long out in 29 of 30 parks.
Instead, the Yankees’ lead exploded to 5-0 through two. Then after José Abreu took Cortes deep to left for a three-run shot and a compelling answer in the top of the third, Keuchel walked Anthony Rizzo to start the third, and he came around to score.
José Ruiz dealt with the same issue in the sixth. He walked eight-hitting Kyle Higashioka to open the inning, and he came around to score four batters later for the game’s final run.
It wasn’t a bad game for the White Sox offense. They outhit the Yankees 11-8, and out extra-base-hit their counterparts 4-1. They also played some excellent defense, with Luis Robert making a long running catch in center, and Tim Anderson reversing course to flag down a grounder after initially moving to cover second with a runner in motion.
But they can swing themselves out of a rally, and that becomes especially pronounced when they play against a team that seldom gives away individual at-bats, much less entire innings.
*Josh Donaldson once again found himself at the center of White Sox disgust. After dropping a knee on Tim Anderson’s arm and shoving him off the bag last series, he exchanged words with Anderson after the third inning, and then had a heated dialogue at the plate with Yasmani Grandal, which caused benches to clear. The rest of the game was played without incident.
*Reynaldo López accounted for two of the White Sox’s three strikeouts in his inning of work, during which he threw the fastest pitch of his career (100.0 mph).
*Keuchel gave up six runs over four innings, so his ERA rose to 6.60.