Rookies steal the showBy
After striking out Vernon Wells to open the game, Phil Hughes didn’t fan another Blue Jay. The result say it didn’t matter much, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs. Hey, you kinda hope for more from Hughes, but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we can’t be expecting the sun and the moon from a 21-year-old rookie who had two consecutive injuries to the same leg.
Overall, Hughes threw 67 of his 106 pitches for strikes, which would be a good sign if he didn’t use up those 106 pithes in six innings. He walked three and gave up three hits, all of which came in the first two innings. Hughes also used more than half of his pitches — 54 — in those innings. Half of his innings were of the 1-2-3 variety, and he would have retired the side in order from the third through the sixth had Alex not made an error behind him.
So all in all, he did a good job out there, really settling down after allowing two runs. Thankfully, the Yanks had scored three to that point, and would add six to that number, powered by homers from Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi. Alas, even the longball did not make them the stars of the show.
Hughes was followed by Edwar Ramirez, who was absolutely sick. In his two innings he struck out five Blue Jays, while giving up two hits and walking no one. He threw 31 pitches, 23 of which were strikes. This is the Edwar Ramirez we’ve all hoped to see. He has now allowed zero runs in eight of his 13 appearances. Yes, he’s a bit shaky, and if he’s not keeping that 90-91 mph fastball low in the zone, he’s prone to be pounded. But when he’s on, he’s as good as any reliever in the pen not named Mo.
My personal favorite last night was Ross Ohlendorf. I had turned the game off as the Yankees batted in the ninth, and just happened to flip back right as Ross was throwing his first pitch. Ignoring everyone else in the room — and their requests to change the channel, this was a blowout — I watched Ohlendorf throw 11 pitches, seven of which were strikes. His first major league out was a strikeout, and a beauty at that. He annihilated Lyle Overbay with what appeared to be a sharp sinker, though the scouting reports name no mention of such a pitch; a slider is supposedly in his repertoire, along with a changeup. Two groundouts later — one of which was a fine play by the Former Attorney General — and we were finished in Toronto.
I know it’s a long shot, but with Andy Phillips and Carl Pavano on the 60-day DL, the Yanks are afforded the opportunity to take two players to the postseason roster who weren’t on the 25-man on August 31st. If something clicks with Ohlendorf and he pitches well down the stretch, we could certainly see him and IPK pitching in October, should we make it that far. Exciting proposition, huh?