All of the excitement that comes with one’s major league debut didn’t last very long for Yankees’ rookie Adam Warren on Friday night. The 24-year-old right-hander was rudely welcomed to the big leagues by a deep and potent Chicago White Sox lineup that pounded out a total of 19 hits in a 14-7 win.
“I left some fastballs up,” said Warren, who pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out one. “I didn’t quite have my fastball command tonight, and that’s not like me. It’s usually my strength, and I think maybe I might have been rushing a little bit.”
Warren got through the first inning unscathed after two walks with two outs, but the White Sox pounced in the second with four runs. They added two more in the third off of Warren, who was pulled before he recorded his second out of the inning.
“It’s his first start, you try not to form too much of an opinion,” Joe Girardi said. “It just didn’t look like he located as well as I’ve seen him locate. That can happen in your first start.”
• I know it’s only one start, but Warren looked very hittable tonight. Even some of the White Sox’ outs were hit hard, and he didn’t seem to fool them with any of his pitches. From the get-go, Warren was mixing in all four of his pitches (fastball, slider, curve, changeup), and Chicago seemed ready for them all. “Maybe a little bit,” Warren said when asked if nerves played a part in his performance. “But I think after the first inning, I felt a lot of that go away. I just never really got in a rhythm with my delivery.”
• Fellow rookie David Phelps was brought on in relief of Warren in the third, and he was much more effective. He did give up two runs in 3 1/3 innings, but he also showed the ability to put hitters away with five strikeouts. “He looked pretty good to me today,” Girardi said. “When we sent him down, he just hadn’t pitched a lot, and that’s not something that we wanted for him. We want to continue to pitch because we believe that he’s really in our future plans.”
• Prior to tonight’s game, Phelps said he had thrown 50 pitches in his most recent minor league outing. He got up to 64 pitches tonight, which would probably put him in the 80-pitch range if the Yankees wanted to use him on Wednesday. I’d be shocked if he didn’t get the start over Warren, but Girardi wouldn’t commit to anything. “Let me figure out what we’re going to do tomorrow,” he said.
• Speaking of tomorrow, expect to see some kind of a roster move to add a fresh arm. “I would think so,” Girardi said. “I have to talk to Brian (Cashman) and see what we can do for tomorrow.”
• The Yankees burned through five pitchers tonight, including outfielder Dewayne Wise. With Cory Wade struggling mightily (more on him in a minute), Girardi had Cody Eppley warming up. But rather than use him in a game that was pretty much out of reach, Girardi gave Wise his first MLB outing. Incredibly, Wise retired both batters that he faced. “Sometimes you can change speeds, you can change eye level, you can change in and out, and you can’t get anyone out,” Girardi said. “Then a guy comes in that’s just throwing BP and gets people out. It’s a strange game… They weren’t going to let me use (bullpen coach Mike) Harkey or (hitting coach) K-Long or anyone like that, so he was my last guy.”
• Getting back to Wade, he’s been downright awful in the past month. His ERA has ballooned to 5.79, and tonight he hit a rock bottom of sorts. In 2 1/3 innings, he allowed six runs on seven hits (58 pitches). In his final inning of work, Girardi was forced to go to Wise because the White Sox were knocking Wade all over the yard. He’s probably the Yankees last option in the bullpen at this point. “He’s just not locating as well, and he relies on location,” Girardi said. “He’s been up in the zone at times, and that’s not who he is. It’s been a struggle for him for about the last month.”
• As Girardi pointed out, this Chicago team can flat out rake. We were discussing in the press box how deep and versatile this lineup can be, and they showed it tonight. A.J. Pierzynski was the star with two home runs, but the White Sox can hurt you 1 through 9. “I wouldn’t make too much of it,” Girardi said. “It’s a bad night. Every team has them. They just had 21 hits the other night in Minnesota, so this is a club that can really hit. And they hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
• The Yankees also did some good things offensively tonight. Curtis Granderson hit his team-leading 22nd homer of the year in the first, Andruw Jones had two booming doubles and Derek Jeter passed Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th on the all-time hits list (3,185) with his double in the first inning.
• Another small positive for the Yankees is that Russell Martin ended up pinch-hitting in the eighth and catching in the ninth. “I’m trying to win a game,” Girardi said. “Today was the best that he’s felt, and I would expect that he’ll play tomorrow.”
Associated Press photos