What it means: That on some nights, not even the heroics of Derek Jeter -- who collected four hits, moved up two spots on the all-time hit list and pulled even with a future Hall of Famer in runs scored -- can overcome a horrendous pitching performance, by both the starter and a parade of relief pitchers. Freddy Garcia blew a 3-0 lead and the bullpen did the rest in a miserable 9-6 loss to the AL Central-leading White Sox.
Jeter catches Nap, then Murray: Jeter singled on the first pitch of the game to pull even with Nap Lajoie for 12th on baseball's all-time hit list. Three innings later, he passed Lajoie with a hard smash off the glove of Kevin Youkilis at third base. And in the sixth, Jeter smacked a home run into the White Sox bullpen, his 11th, to cut the Chicago lead to 5-4.
In the seventh, Jeter doubled for career hit No. 3,255, tying Eddie Murray for 11th.
Mighty Casey: Pinch-hitting for the red-hot Eric Chavez against lefty reliever Donnie Veal, Casey McGehee delivered an RBI single that gave the Yankees back the lead, 6-5, in their three-run sixth inning.
Milestone night: Not only did Jeter catch Lajoie, his home run in the sixth tied Graig Nettles (251) for ninth-place on the all-time Yankees home run list, and the run was his 1,855th, passing Craig Biggio for 13th on baseball's all-time runs scored list.
Boom! Logan: Alexei Ramirez's two-run bomb, measured at 402 feet, off Boone Logan in the seventh, gave the ChiSox an 8-6 lead. Logan's ERA is now 4.07.
Ma, look what Adam Dunn! Baseball's leading HR hitter added to his total, smoking No. 36 off Derek Lowe in the eighth to make it 9-6. Remarkable turnaround for a guy who hit only 11 -- and batted .159 -- in 2011.
Brief encounter: The Yankees chased ChiSox starter Gavin Floyd after just 2 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, scoring three runs on five hits, including RBI singles by Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.
Four-inning phenom: Garcia pitched four excellent innings -- allowing three singles and striking out seven -- and one disastrous one, exiting in the fifth inning after allowing a two-run homer to former teammate Dewayne Wise and leaving a bases-loaded, one-out mess for the bullpen to clean up. Which, not surprisingly, it could not (see below). For Garcia, it was his first clinker after nine good starts.
No relief in sight: Handed a thankless task, Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada and Joba Chamberlain made the least of it. Eppley got a hard-hit grounder from Alex Rios, but the Yankees couldn't turn a DP and the tying run scored. Rapada faced one batter, A.J. Pierzynski, and allowed and RBI single that gave Chicago a 4-3 lead. Chamberlain's second pitch was smacked into center by Dayan Viciedo to make it 5-3. After the Yankees retook the lead, 6-5, Joba also surrendered a leadoff home run to Gordon Beckham to tie the game once again.
How Youk doin'? Chamberlain renewed acquaintances with his old buddy, Youkilis, by drilling him in the left shoulder right after Beckham's home run.
Circling the drain: Another disturbing outing by Chamberlain, who has now allowed 15 hits, two HRs and seven earned runs in 6 2/3 innings since coming back, for an ERA of 9.45. A trip to the minors to work out his problems in his future? Maybe.
Take that! Wise, released by the Yankees on July 30, exacted some revenge in the fifth inning, homering with a man on base off Garcia and cutting the Yankees lead to 3-2. Wise is hitting .286 with three HRs and eight RBIs in eight games since rejoining the White Sox on Aug. 12.
What's coming: Is it too soon to give up on Joba? I'll see what everyone downstairs has to say and write a column off it. Also, Jeter's reaction to his big night, which I suspect will be somewhat subdued.
What's next: Game 2 of this three-game series, Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.76) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-10, 5.22), first pitch at 8:05 p.m.