About Yesterday Afternoon: Yankees 5, White Sox 1
The Yankees rebounded from their disappointing Saturday night loss, by putting together a solid win thanks to another dominant outing from Nestor Cortes, Jr. and some well-timed offense.
Quick Stats - Nestor Cortes got the win and is now 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Chicago pitcher Michael Kopech took the loss despite a dominant performance in every inning he threw, except for a wild second inning.
Big Story - This was poised to be quite a pitcher's duel, with both Kopech and Cortes having fantastic 2022 seasons thus far, and despite the score, it was more or less as advertised. If you ignore Kopech's 41-pitch second inning, that is.
Kopech made short work of the first five Yankees he faced on Sunday, but after issuing a walk to Gallo, he temporarily lost track of the plate. A single by Isaiah Kiner-Falefa and three consecutive walks and a wild pitch gave the Yankees a comfortable 3-0 lead with Cortes on the mound.
In fact, IKF's single would be the only hit the Yankees would get until Gallo's homer in the ninth. Chicago pitching would retire 21 successive New York batters between the second and ninth innings, but the Yankees had just enough offense to win - and Nestor Cortes.
Player(s) of the Game - Nestor Cortes, Jr. threw eight dominant innings of baseball. He scattered three hits, did not give up a walk, and struck out seven Chicago hitters. The lone run came on a solo homer in the eighth.
Notable Performances - Joey Gallo started and ended the Yankees' two offensive bursts on the night. He drew the walk with two outs in the second, which led to three New York runs, and then homered in the ninth after a walk by Josh Donaldson broke their base runner drought. He was 1-3 with two runs scored, a walk, and two RBIs.
Josh Donaldson had some great defensive plays and drew a walk with two outs that set up Gallo's homer, which virtually sealed the victory.
Better to Forget - I'm going to let this one go for this game for the reasons explained below.
My Take - Typically, if the Yankees' offense only manages two hits, I'm not going to be very happy. With an offense this potent that should only be a rare occurrence. While they struggled to get hits on Sunday, the Yankees made their opportunities count against a pitcher who has yet to give up a home run this season. No one can be mad at scoring five runs when you only got two hits (just ask the Reds, who managed to get a loss despite a no-hitter on Sunday).
When Kopech seemingly lost his control in the second inning, the Yankees hitters were patient at the plate. Even Aaron Judge's at-bat that ended the Yankees' rally went to a full count and included a wild pitch that scored Jose Trevino. Those two runners left on base would be the only two that the Yankees stranded.
Even once the Yankees finally got another runner during their last out of the game, they made it count, as Gallo hit a 2-run homer. It was a great win all around against some really tough pitching. It is another win that shows the versatility and focus this team appears to have, which it felt like they were lacking in recent years.
Next Up - The Yankees return to the East Coast for a series in Baltimore. Luis Severino will make his seventh appearance of the season. He is 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA and 31 Ks in 28.2 innings. The Orioles will send out Kyle Bradish for his fourth start. He is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA. First pitch is at 7:05 pm.