Aaron Hicks derails potential Yankees rally with inexplicable base-running gaffe
The Chicago White Sox opted to let their play do the talking following Saturday’s fireworks between Josh Donaldson and Tim Anderson. While New York Yankees fans expected more theatrics, Jameson Taillon and Johnny Cueto were locked in a pitcher’s due in Game 1 of the make-up doubleheader.
The only blemish of Taillon’s afternoon came in the form of a Yasmani Grandal RBI single in the fourth inning. Cueto, on the other hand, one-upped the Yankees starter, throwing six scoreless innings despite allowing eight baserunners.
At 36 years old and pitching in scalding hot temperatures, Cueto leaked oil as he got deeper into the game. To start the seventh, Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa sparked a potential rally by ripping back-to-back singles.
The White Sox then turned to Joe Kelly and the promising inning went up in flames for the trailing Yankees, as Marwin Gonzalez struck out. Not to be outdone, though, Hicks — representing the tying run — was caught sleeping at at second at got picked off to stop the rally in its tracks.
Yankees OF Aaron Hicks’ woes continued when he got picked off to kill a rally against the White Sox on Sunday.
What the heck was that? A delayed steal? Was Hicks trying to induce a balk from Kelly? It’s anyone’s guess, but as soon as Kelly caught Hicks leaning towards third, the struggling Yankees outfielder was dead to rights. There’s just no explanation for being this reckless in a one-run game.
Unfortunately for Hicks, this is just one in a laundry list of lowlights he’s produced over the first quarter of the season. This gaffe was eerily reminiscent of his lackadaisical put-out against the Orioles that allowed Tyler Nevin to tag up (from first to second!), then score on a Rougned Odor single.
Yankees fans have been calling for Hicks’ starting job for weeks now and those calls will only get louder after his latest bone-headed mistake. To make matters worse, a Grandal passed ball allowed Kiner-Falefa to move up to second, so the Yanks would’ve had second and third with one out if Hicks simply did his job.
Fittingly, Jose Trevino struck out looking to end the inning.
Aaron Judge has since clubbed a towering home run to get the Yankees back even. That’ll take some attention away from Hicks’ gaffe, especially if they go on to win, but make no mistake: Hicks is playing losing baseball right now and has been for quite a while.