NEW YORK -- The Yankees' 7-1 loss to the White Sox on Friday night was a tough one, even for the guys who played well.
"Those are the tough ones to pitch in," reliever Chasen Shreve said. "They're just going in there hacking. They're trying to ambush fastballs. They're just trying to get their at-bats and get their hits. It's kind of hard to pitch in those situations. You've got to throw a lot more offspeed because they're going to be swinging at the first pitch. And just adrenaline is not there as much as when it's tied or you're up."
But even with circumstance stacked against them, the unheralded members of the Yankees' bullpen salvaged an otherwise unimpressive day, throwing 6 1/3 innings of two-hit, no-run baseball and preserving the arms of Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.
Nick Goody was the star of the day for the Yanks, entering the game in the third inning after starter Luis Severino allowed seven runs and promptly setting down the first seven White Sox he saw. In all, Goody tossed 3 1/3 innings, recorded two more outs than Severino did, and allowed just one hit while striking out three.
• Severino headed to DL with mild triceps strain
Goody, who is quietly putting together a really good season, dropped his ERA to 1.13 in eight innings of work this year with 11 strikeouts. And though the young right-hander said this is the longest relief appearance he's ever made, he said he didn't do anything Friday night he wouldn't have otherwise done.
"It's just being aggressive in the zone," Goody said. "That's all you do is go out there and try to throw strikes. Be aggressive in the zone and try to get them to swing at pitches you want. That's pitching. That's what you try to do every time. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't."
That balance that Goody hinted at is epitomized by Shreve. His 16 appearances this season are tied with Betances for a team high, but his output has been very up-and-down.
Shreve didn't allow a run in his first 4 1/3 innings of the season, but then allowed seven runs over his next 6 2/3, five off solo home runs. Since that mark, however, Shreve has turned in three scoreless innings, including two hitless gems Friday night.
Shreve was candid about the rough stretch, even admitting that he felt a few nerves about possibly being sent down to Triple-A for a tuneup. But the one thing he never doubted was his own ability.
"Honestly, I just think it was a weird streak," Shreve said. "I don't think I was throwing bad. Even if you're throwing bad, who gives up six home runs in six games? I think it's just a weird fluke. I think everything evens out."
Shreve breaking out of his funk is good for the Yankees, but perhaps even bigger is the way that Goody, Shreve and Kirby Yates preserved the big three, keeping them as a viable option to pitch Saturday and Sunday. As huge of a plus as that is, though, Goody said he kind of wishes they pitched Friday night.
"If they would've gotten in and pitched today, that would've meant we were winning," Goody said. "And that would've been awesome. Unfortunately it didn't go that way."