The first inning was a trying one for both starting pitchers. Just as I predicted in last night's post Erik Johnson struggled against the Yankees. He did manage to go six innings in his Major League debut but allowed five runs to score in the process. Only three of them were earned but he still gave them up, so he is still responsible for them. Those two unearned runs would have made a huge difference in the White Sox favor in the eighth when they scored four runs off Sabathia and Robertson but this is why they are the 56-82 Chicago White Sox. Sabathia began the first inning by throwing a lot of pitches and gave up a run but nothing more to keep the Yankees in the game early. Johnson promptly gave back the run when Cano jumped on the first pitch of his at-bat and hit it for a home run to right field. The game would remain tied until the fourth inning when the Yankees put together a four run rally against the young pitcher which gave them a 5-1 lead that Sabathia and the bullpen would hold on to. Robinson Cano ended up going 3-4 in another hot offensive night with 2 RBI. Brett Gardner would have a big two-run triple in the fourth and the Yankees were on their way to a win. Alfonso Soriano's sac fly in the seventh inning would turn out to be the difference in the game as the White Sox had a four run inning of their own in the eighth, trying to give the Yankees a taste of their own medicine.
The eighth inning started off innocently enough with a single, a force out and another single by Paul Konerko and that was enough for Sabathia to exit the game in favor of David Robertson to try and get the remaining two outs in the inning. Robertson threw 20 pitches and was only able to get one out in the process. He allowed four runs to score having allowed three hits and a walk. Two of the runs were Sabathia's and two were Robertson's. CC Sabathia was close to not factoring into the decision and the Yankees would have lost a game which they should have won, without question. Nevertheless, Sabathia went deep into the game which allowed the Yankees to rest the majority of their bullpen. Mariano Rivera should not have pitched in this game but Robertson's ineffectiveness forced Girardi to go to Mo for a 4-out save. Rivera had not been used for a 4-out save since July 2011 against the Athletics. Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings in the win and saved Robertson's bacon.