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CHICAGO, IL - JULY 05: on July 5, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Jekyll and Hyde: Yankees vs White Sox recap

No fireworks on this 4th

In what was one of the more unwatchable games of the 2016 season, the Yankees did just about everything wrong on this Independence Day from kicking the ball around defensively to next to no offense to C.C. Sabathia‘s worst start of the season.  That’s a lot to pack into one game.  But, the Yankees succeeded.

Maybe that is a little harsh on Sabathia.  While he struck out nine in his six innings of work, he did allow five runs on eight hits.  Two of the hits were two-run home runs.   After a brilliant start to 2016, he has started to head the opposite direction with a pair of off starts.  Maybe the All-Star break will be a good thing for him and allow him to catch his breath and regroup.

Things started out decent offensively for the Yankees as Chase Headley hit his sixth home run in the second inning to give the team a 2-0 lead.  Unfortunately, that would amount to all of the scoring for the Yankees.  0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and 11 runners left on base.  Oh my.  Those are pretty ugly numbers even for this club.

Didi Gregorius had about as bad of a day as could be possible.  The Yankee shortstop went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and committed three errors in the field.  Quite a lack of concentration, especially for a guy who came into the game having only committed 8 errors all season.  Starlin Castro led the way going 4-for-4 and Headley was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.

In the end, an ugly 8-2 loss to James Shields, who has been very hittable this year.  Sigh.  The Yankees will try to get things back on track with Masahiro Tanaka heading to the mound on Tuesday.

Quite a rebound

The Yankees would get a bounceback on Tuesday offensively and Tanaka was spot on as well.  The offense would click from top to bottom as every starting position player would have at least one hit and the team would tally 20 hits for the game.

Brett Gardner would lead the way at the top of the order with 4 hits.  Carlos Beltran and Headley would add 3 apiece, and Austin Romine, Rob Refsnyder, Mark Teixeira, and Castro would have 2 each.  The Yankees would score in four of the first five innings in taking a 6-0 lead against Carlos Rodon.

Tanaka was superb in this one, pitching 7.2 innings of six hit shutout baseball and adding six strikeouts.  He would give way to the newly recalled Chasen Shreve, who would get the last four outs.  The Yankees would three runs against the White Sox mop up crew to set the final score at 9-0.

A total team win on a day after pretty much a total team loss.  Such is the life in .500 land.  The Yankees will try to get back to that point and win the series on Wednesday as Michael Pineda will try to continue his recent run of quality performances.

Can’t gain traction

The Yankees came into the series finale trying not only to pull off the series win, but were playing for yet another chance to get to .500 on the season.  Pineda’s bugaboo for 2016 would catch up to him as he could not pitch to his recent level of performance.  He would give up 5 runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings of work, walking 3 and striking out 5.  The White Sox would score four runs in the second inning, all after two were out.  Early game runs and runs scored when there were two outs have plagued him all season.  Pineda has allowed 34 runs in the first two innings on the season as well as 37 runs with two outs.  Putting yourself in an early hole and allowing the opposition to wiggle off the hook that often are definitely not a recipe for consistent success.

The offense couldn’t come to Pineda’s aid on Wednesday, either.  The Yankees managed 8 hits on the day, six of which came off the bats of Ellsbury and Didi.  0-for-8 with runners in scoring position with 8 runners left on base.  Where have we heard that broken record before?  Miguel Gonzalez, an old friend from his days as a Baltimore Oriole, would pitch seven innings of shutout baseball.  One interesting note to come from the game, Nathan Eovaldi would make his first bullpen appearance as a Yankee, pitching 2 shutout innings with a pair of walks and a strikeout.  More gas out of the pen, I suppose.

The Yankees will head to Cleveland to face the red hot Indians in a four game set before the All-Star break next week.  At this point in the season, it is hard to envision this team being anything more than a .500 club.  They have talent, but are more a collection of mismatched parts that is capable of great things one day, but not much the next.