Didi laments would-be homer
CHICAGO -- There was no reason for Didi Gregorius to rush to the video room for another look at the turning point of the Yankees' 8-2 loss to the White Sox on Saturday. Rewinding that pixelated evidence was not going to change the outcome.
Gregorius believed he launched a three-run homer when he connected with John Danks' third-inning offering, but Chicago right fielder Avisail Garcia scaled the wall and brought it back, forcing the Yankees to settle for a sacrifice fly.
"If I would have hit a home run, yeah, we probably would have taken the lead and go from there," Gregorius said.
It was not to be, but Gregorius' red-hot bat wasn't the only one held in check by Danks and three Chicago relievers -- the top five batters in the Yankees' batting order were held hitless, limited to four walks while striking out eight times.
"If Didi's ball goes," Jacoby Ellsbury said, "it's a totally different game at that point."
Instead, the Yankees fell to 5-4 on their three-city trip. Gregorius' deep drive wasn't the only close call they lamented; right-hander Bryan Mitchell, making a spot start in place of the injured Michael Pineda, wondered what might have been if he'd been able to get his glove on Adam Eaton's fifth-inning single up the middle.
That sparked a four-run White Sox rally, as a wild pitch and Tyler Saladino single chased the right-hander. Diego Moreno surrendered a three-run homer to Melky Cabrera that froze Mitchell's line at four runs and seven hits over four-plus innings.
"That completely changes [the game]," Mitchell said. "I went back and watched it; it looks like it goes an inch over my glove. I can't control that. I just have to make a better pitch before that and hopefully get him out."
Mitchell said he felt more comfortable after this outing than some of his efforts last year, hoping he did enough to state a case to stick in the rotation going forward. Girardi wasn't prepared to offer any assurances on Saturday.
"We'll have to make some decisions," Girardi said.
Despite the what-ifs tossed around their clubhouse on Saturday, the Yankees still protect a five-game lead in the American League East, so they do not necessarily have to spend much time second-guessing. A strong finish to the trip would wash a lot of that away in a hurry.