Douglas Benton. 2nd May, 2011 - 6:17 am
The Chicago White Sox came into their series at the New York Yankees reeling from losing nine of their last 10 games and facing turmoil in the back end of the bullpen. In the end, it was a good start to the series for the White Sox behind some strong starting pitching while the Yankees may have found some pitching depth of their own.
Game 1: Chicago beats New York 2-0
Game 2: Chicago beats New York 3-2
Game 3: New York beats Chicago 3-1
Game 4: New York beats Chicago 12-3
New York Yankees
Bartolo Colon, a 37-year-old right-hander, has been one of the biggest surprises for the Yankees through the first month of the season. After posting the win in game three of the series, Colon now sits with a 2-1 record and a 2.77 ERA. Against the White Sox, he gave up seven hits and a walk in eight innings of one run ball which also included six strikeouts. A pitcher with an overpowering fastball in his younger days, Colon had just six swings and misses, but his contributions to a thin Yankees rotation is key the rest of the year.
Brought in this year to be the bridge to Mariano Rivera, right-hander Rafael Soriano hasnâ€™t had a stretch more than 2.2 innings of scoreless relief and it continued with struggles against Chicago. He gave up three runs in two innings, including an eighth inning home run to Paul Konerko in taking the loss in Game 2. One area of concern this year has been his control with eight walks to seven strikeouts in 10 innings.
While there are many stars on the Yankees, one player who is starting to push himself to the top of the list is second baseman Robinson Cano. In the four game series, he went 4-for-15 with a pair of home runs and five RBI. His batting average is over .300 and the slugging percentage over .500 as a middle of the order hitter from the middle infield. He already has two Silver Slugger awards and is on his way to a third this summer and fall.
Chicago White Sox
Gavin Floyd has been a pitcher who has shown progress at points in logging 38 wins over the past three seasons. He showed his talents again in Game 2 versus New York with eight innings of two run ball with 10 strikeouts. He gave up four hits and a walk and got the first pitch strike on 64 percent of the batters he faced. He will need to put these types of performances together more consistently to take his game to the next level though.
With manager Ozzie Guillen searching for closing options, Sergio Santos made his case with two saves against the Yankees. He threw a combined two innings of two hit ball and has now not allowed an earned run in 11.2 innings this season. He was fairly efficient with his pitch count in pitching to contact. Can he provide stability in the ninth inning for the White Sox?
Brought in during the off-season as another power bat for the White Sox, designated hitter Adam Dunn is off to a slow start in hitting .172 with an OPS of .617. Against the Yankees, he showed some improvement with a 3-for-13 performance with three walks and four strikeouts. With Dunn, you know the high strikeouts are going to be there as well as a threat to walk, but the lack of extra base hits is worrisome. He has two doubles and two home runs in 18 games for his new team in switching leagues.