Yankees-White Sox Preview

The New York Yankees are still searching for their first win
since Alex Rodriguez’s return.

It’s been a month since they managed to get one with CC Sabathia
on the mound.

Sabathia attempts to begin shaking out of his worst stretch with
the Yankees and help them avoid being swept in this three-game set
with the last-place Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

New York (57-55) has lost both games since Rodriguez made his
season debut hours after being hit with a 211-game suspension for
violating baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract. The Players
Association has formally appealed his suspension, and Rodriguez is
allowed to keep playing until his grievance is heard by arbitrator
Fredric Horowitz, who isn’t expected to rule until November or
December at the earliest.

The three-time AL MVP has managed a hit in each his two
contests, and he reached base three times in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at
Chicago. He continued to be booed by the fans at U.S. Cellular
Field, except for when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning –
which drew a large roar from the crowd.

“There’s something wrong with that,” manager Joe Girardi
said.

The same could be said of Sabathia (9-10, 4.78 ERA), who is one
defeat short of matching his career high set in 2002 and matched in
2006 with Cleveland.

The left-hander hasn’t made it through six innings in his last
four starts, going 0-3 with a 10.07 ERA. Opponents are hitting .398
against him in that span, which most recently featured Sabathia
allowing a season high-tying 11 hits and five runs in Friday’s 7-2
loss at San Diego.

“I feel like it’s going to turn,” he said. “It just hasn’t yet.
It’s baseball. It has to. And I want it to.”

The Yankees are 10 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston and
six out of the second wild-card spot, and Sabathia is aware of his
importance to the race.

“I’m not saying that I’m better than anybody else, but I feel
like I need to be strong,” he said. “We’re battling, and I’m not
helping us. I’ve expressed that. We’ve been through a lot this
year. And me not being able to help is killing us.”

Perhaps a meeting with the White Sox (42-69) can help him turn
the corner. He’s 10-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 16 career meetings on the
South Side, though the most recent came in August 2011.

Chicago, though, finally is showing some signs of life at the
plate with 11 runs and 24 hits in this series. The team hit .213
and totaled 18 runs during its 10-game skid prior to the Yankees’
arrival.

Gordon Beckham has four hits in this series, giving him a .382
career average in 15 home meetings with New York. He’s also 7 for
17 versus Sabathia.

Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.28) would certainly love some help from
the offense since he’s been backed by a total of seven runs over
his last six starts. He’s 0-2 in that stretch despite a 2.75 ERA,
going at least six innings in five of those outings.

The offense let the left-hander down again Friday, when he
yielded two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 2-1
loss at Detroit.

“That was one of Hector’s best games all year,” manager Robin
Ventura said. “He usually has an inning or two in the middle where
he gets out of sync, walks a few guys and gives up some runs. That
didn’t happen, and that’s an important step forward for him.”

Santiago has given up four runs and two homers in four innings
over two relief outings versus the Yankees.

He struck out Rodriguez in their only meeting.