Bronx, NY – Miguel Gonzalez was destined to throw that rare complete game at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night and the Chicago White Sox righthander was in that path.
Heading into the eighth inning he was under 80 pitches and three of four Yankees hits were all in the infield but manager Rick Renteria saw something after a four pitch walk to Brett Gardner in the ninth.
“You get a feel after that,” explained Renteria about his decision to lift his starter after 88 pitches. The Yankees would make a threat after as they loaded the bases off reliever David Robertson and failed to score. Gonzalez, in his third start improved to 2-0, Robertson got his fourth save and the Yankees eight-game winning streak was over with a 4-1 loss.
A loss that was about pitching and not about swinging the bats. Gonzalez was just about perfect and retired the first 12 Yankees before Starlin Castro led off the eighth with an infield single. The big blow for the White Sox, a three-run homer in the seventh off the bat of Avisail Garcia his third of the season off Yankees starter and loser Luis Severino.
“The location of his fastball and his slider have been the difference,” manager Joe Girardi said about Severino who did his part for the Yankees. The home run ball to Garcia was off a fastball and otherwise the Yankees got another good start from their righthander who Girardi said, “Made only one bad pitch.”
Severino set a career single game high in innings pitched, 7.0 and threw 107 pitches. With 11 strikeouts in his previous start against Tampa Bay and 10 Tuesday night, Severino established the two highest single game strikeout totals of his career.
“Was just trying to throw a slider for a strike and he got me with it,” Severino said about the home run ball thrown to Garcia. “They were chasing the slider a lot. I feel happy. I battled and gave my team a chance. My confidence, fastball command and slider are there. Last year I was missing a lot. I did not have command with the changeup.”
But Severino is a different pitcher from a year ago and the Yankees during this early season winning streak saw their starters give up less than three runs per game. That means wins, but on this night it was another pitcher on the mound that won the battle.
“This time around I made the pitches when I needed to,” said Gonzalez. ‘I totally understand he (Renteria) taking me out, I was getting a little tired at the end. We finished pretty strong and played a good ballgame all around for sure.”
The Yankees lone run scored in the ninth when Starlin Castro walked with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and all four hits allowed by Gonzalez and Robertson were infield singles