Panic! at the Disco

Game Thread Continued
Harlan Chamberlain in critical condition

It doesn’t take much digging to find out why development plans and Yankee fans don’t mesh. Take a look through the comments on our Game Thread Overflow post, and you will be greeted with a lot of Yankee fans who are ready to throw in the towel on the 2008 season.

Of course, we’re only 13 games into the season, and the bats haven’t come alive yet. There’s really no need to panic, but such are Yankee fans. The FAN — while not bemoaning the Mets’ crappy start tomorrow — will be a-twitter with Yankee fans ready to throw themselves off of the Willis Ave. Bridge. While some people are already calling for one of Darrell Rasner, Steven White, Jeffrey Marquez, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens, Whitey Ford, Ed Figueroa or Dick Tidrow to replace Phil Hughes in the rotation, in reality, the Yanks are better off with their 21-year-old stud pitching in the bigs. You can take that to the bank.

Tonight’s problem for Phil was of course location. His stuff was as electric as it’s been, but he couldn’t buy a strike. A 40-pitch first inning was a harbinger of things to come, and he couldn’t make it off the third inning. Maybe it was the cold; Daisuke Matsuzaka couldn’t locate many of his 116 pitches tonight either. In fact, he barely managed to throw more than half for strikes. So we’ll see how Hughes fares in five days. In the meantime, we can’t expect a 21-year-old with great stuff to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders.

If we’re going to nitpick this game, it’s the same old, same old for the Yankees. It’s watching Joe Girardi, a Joe Torre disciple, making the same mistakes that his mentor used to make. The idea that Joba Chamberlain can’t pitch while the Yankees are losing a close game is one that should be thrown out the window along with Kyle Farnsworth. The idea that Johnny Damon shouldn’t be bunting with two on and no out late in the game should go out the window too.

At some point, the bats will come alive; the Yanks would pound out 10 runs; and everyone will calm down. For now, it’s just 13 games. They’re 6-7, a whopping two games out of first place. Nothing is ruined.

Nothing, that is, except for Jose Molina’s hamstring. This is in fact worse news than anything we saw on the field tonight. Molina’s been a God-send so far this year. He’s hitting .364 with seven doubles and has more than adequately filled in for Jorge Posada behind the plate. But now he’s out for a few weeks, and the Yanks’ catching situation just grew dire.

As we saw tonight, Jorge cannot throw yet, and his eventual replacement tomorrow night — Chad Moeller — has a careeer OPS+ of 60. He was filling a roster spot in Scranton; now he has to catch at the Big League level and fill in a lineup spot, something for which he is ill-equipped.

The beginning of the season is a tough time for Yankee fans. We tend to find the cloud in every silver lining, but at 6-7, two games out, the Yanks may be down, but they’re far from out. Give them a chance. We’re all fans after all; let’s cheer for our team instead of killing ourselves over them. Save that for August and September.

Game Thread Continued
Harlan Chamberlain in critical condition
  • zack

    Yeah, the irony of today’s game is that Hughes’s “stuff” was the most electric he’s had, perhaps in his the whole time in the majors. Sitting 93-94 with a FB with lots of late jump and movement, and a nasty curve, But of course he couldn’t place either consistently at all. The curve is a feel pitch, so its logical that cold weather (and not one of Hughes’s three starts has been above 48 degrees, which is ridiculously cold) would affect his control of that pitch. The FB is another matter, and its slightly concerning, but only slightly.

    What tonight once again reinforces is that Hughes, where he is in his development, NEEDS his control more than anything. he can throw 94 MPH but if he can’t locate the FB, it don’t matter. He can throw 89, but with his control, he can be very effective. He’s still putting the two together, and I don’t doubt that within two more starts, he will. But for all those panicked fans freaking out about his supposed lack of velocity, let this game prove what we’ve been saying: worry about the control, not the velocity. The kid has great stuff, but he’s young…

  • CB

    Phil Hughes was not good tonight but there’s no reason to somehow doubt his talent or to think he should be replaced in the rotation.

    He did not have consistent command of his fastball. But in the times when he did the quality of his pitches was very good.

    Go back and take a look at the at bat Manny had off of him in the first inning. Manny is one of the great fastball hitters in the history of the game.

    Phil threw Manny six fastballs in a row and Manny could not square any of them up.

    There just aren’t many pitchers who can throw Ramirez 6 consecutive fastballs without Manny catching up and destroying one of them.

    Manny ultimately hit a good curve ball – he’s beaten a lot of pitchers that way.

    But even in a game as bad as last night’s Phil showed how talented he is.

    He is not overmatched. And as long as he isn’t overmatched he needs to be in this rotation. He’s having trouble with his mechanics. They will iron that out.

    The team is going to hit. This is the absolutely toughest stretch of their entire season between playing so many games in a row and playing them on the road vs. the AL east.

    They’ll be fine. It’s way to early in the season to worry, particularly about Phil.

  • Travis G.

    i cant believe how quick people are to jump ship after two weeks.

  • Anthony

    Hughes did show flashes of brilliance during the game, but he was maddeningly inconsistent throughout the three innings. I was at the game and the radar had him at 88-91 throughout. Did ESPN/Gameday have him sitting at 93-94?
    As for the rest of the team, they are just not having too many good at bats. Granted, there are some players taking good at bats, Alberto comes to mind, but with Cano, Damon, and especially Arod, becoming automatic outs, we aren’t going to win too many games. Again, its early and the weather they have been playing in feels more like late January than mid April. When the weather comes around, I think you will see what we have come to expect from the Phil, Ian, and the rest of the Yankees.

    • zack

      Anthony, what did the radar have Dice-k at? According to ESPN, he was consistently 1-2 MPH SLOWER than Hughes…And on TV, it looked even more than that

      • Anthony

        they had him around 89-91, maybe 92 once.
        So what did ESPN have Hughes at? At the stadium, I could hear Hughes popping the mitt,but then I looked up and they had him clocked at 91 max.

        • zack

          First inning he was at 93, even 94 sometimes. I lost track during the rest of the game, but he was solidly above 90 all game…Morgan even actually commented on Hughes’ FB as being better than Dice-ks b/c of its late life etc…

          • Yankee Fan in Chicago

            Yeah ESPN had Hughes consistently 2-3 mph faster than Dice. Methinks the Sawx were effing with Yankee fans.

            And in last week’s matchup, the gameday gun, which was much much faster than the kc gun, had Phil 5mph faster than Bannister.

  • Yankee Clipper

    Could Cashman PLEASE do something about Farnsworth! He is aweful. I don’t care what needs to be done B-Cash needs to pull the trigger.

    Damon the Turncoat should just stay in the dugout during the first inning and the Yanks should start the game with 1 out to save time. He will never hit .300 this year or ever again. You heard it hear first.

    • Guiseppe Franco

      Not sure if you saw the game, but Damon led of the game with a walk and stole 2B.

      It was A-Rod who helped out Dice-K and swung at the first pitch and GIDP.

  • matt K

    The worst thing right now is our two worst guys in the pen are the only two we cant send down. Hawkins did a nice job today and its still early of course but Iam pretty sure patterson could be doing as good or better then farns.

    And wat if melancon or cox make a push towards the end of the season. Cant wait for that dead weight to be gone at the end of the season. we could be getting a look at patterson in the majors soon but cant because he is stuck behind an imovable and terrible pitcher that is kyle farnsworth.

  • Rich M.

    It gets worse. Not only do the Yanks lose Molina, Joba left the team to go back to Nebraska because his father fell and is in critical condition.

  • Anthony

    we maybe can use that bereavement rule and get Patterson up here and give him a shot.

  • Rich M.

    A-Rod will most likely miss a game or two this week as well, as is wife is due to give birth to his second child.

  • Batty

    Can’t Duncan catch – he wouldn’t need any padding and we’d get an actual bat in the lineup.

    • http://deleted Seven Costanza

      joe g. should dust off his old gear…

      • Batty

        That idea gets bounced around – but man that would be badass! First managaer-player in a long time.

  • Chip

    For those of you condeming Damon, you should really start paying attention. He had 3 walks! That’s exactly what we need form him! It’s really not on him so much grounding into the double play, I’d have him bunting there. Get at least one run in with A-Rod coming up sometime in the either or ninth and no Papelbon there to greet him.

    Speaking of A-rod, I don’t think he hit one ball hard today. It was just pathetic after watching his three pitch K in a huge spot last night to watch him look just ugly at the plate today. We need that to change right now. On the other hand, I’m loving the former Attorney General! What an at-bat before he singled up the middle!

  • RollignWave

    what? reasoning? objectivity? we don’t need any of that stuff!!!

    PUSH DA PANIC BUTTON NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • RR

    guys get down yet, the young pitching will come around

    there is even more hope for the future, check out this video of Dellin Betances racking up K’s in his start yesterday

    • Batty

      I will never understand why people think the whole Rick Roll thing is funny.

    • pete

      uhhh you might want to check that link

  • JimT

    Someone should call Cooperstown and tell them to hold off on the Phil Hughes HOF plaque. Right now this guy looks like a back end of the rotation 4 or 5 starter for the Royals or Pirates.

    • Ben K.

      I take it you didn’t read a word of what I wrote in this post, huh?

  • Manimal

    The red sox outmatched the yankees with the exception of CMW. Without him we were swept.

  • Manimal

    Plus it is pretty obvious Damon-cano-abreu-arod is NOT the way to go.

  • JeffG

    Just for the record Torre wouldn’t have been happy with Damond bunting in the 9th…

  • Steve

    Count Peter Abraham among those jumping ship. In his blog he posted that its “It’s highly unlikely all three of the kids will be quality starters. The Yankees would be fortunate if one is” and went on to say that Joba needs to be a starter at some point.

    When Hughes is on, he can be great. We saw that in the no-hitter last year and in September and during the playoffs. But day in and day out, I think he needs another pitch and always have. You can’t throw 80-85% fastballs and fool major league hitters, no matter how good your control is. Not unless your Joba and throw it 101 MPH.

    I also think his control is a little TOO good. He needs to work off the plate a bit more. If you look at many of the pitches they were hitting last night, they were beautiful pitches. Placed perfectly exactly where he wanted to put them. Yet they got crushed. That tells you hitters are just too comfortable against him.

    He needs another pitch. He has the slider that he never uses, and he’s working on a change. When he mixes one of those in about 10% of the time, especially late in counts, I think he’ll be terrific. He has 2 qualities most pitchers would kill for, outstanding control and outstanding command of plus stuff. He just needs another tool in his arsenal to finish hitters off with.

  • Mike P

    “In the meantime, we can’t expect a 21-year-old with great stuff to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders”. That’s what concerns me about the Yankees. They need Hughes to be above average and go 5-6 innings a start. Kennedy too. I like both but it has to be said all those guys saying the Yanks are cooked this year because of relying on young pitchers have a point.

    I think they’ll turn it round, but it will take pretty exceptional seasons from both for the Yankees to have a consistent rotation. See King Felix for what to expect from a young future ace. I’m worried.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    unless, in the next three starts or so, keeping Hughes in the bigs looks like it’s going to be detrimental to him, he needs to be back out there every five days. besides, the one guy we trust the most to figure him out is our current major league pitching coach.

    Phil Hughes isn’t going to kill our season. our $200 million lineup not hitting is.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    We had all, at least on this site said that “the big three” are our future. We clamored not to trade any of them ,not even for Santana -this is what we get .
    A period of growth, and it is good for IPK and Huges in the long run. Our lineup will hit enough to cover a bad outing or two but this shows them what they have to do to get big league hitters out.
    As for hughes ,I posted last night if his red sox affiliation had anything to do with his bad start. Im sure it did- not that he “threw” the game but he was soo pumped and geeked to be pitching against his former favorite team AND his first game in this rivalry. it is enough to unravel any young pitcher.

  • LBA Prequel

    My general observations:

    First, please, please, please don’t take Melky or Matsui out of the lineup. It’s clear they are, right now, the offensive sparkplugs of this team.

    Secondly, I know because of rules we can’t bring Duncan back until this Friday, but we need to do something about Giambi. Francona benched Ortiz, even if only for a game. I don’t see why we can’t do the same with Giambi, and slide Duncan in at first base.

    Third, DFA Betemit. I was very impressed with A-Gonz, or Gonzo, or whatever name we’re going to give him. Keep him in the minors so he gets regular playing time, but I see no need to keep Betemit on this team since he’s an instant strikeout.

    Fourth, A-Rod and Posada both look lost at the plate. I’ve asked this before, but where is Kevin Long with these slumping hitters? He’s got to get these guys going. We look really bad.

    I’m not jumping off any bridges, but I was seriously pissed to see my Melk Man out of the lineup. I know it might be for rest, but he ended up playing anyways. Give me Melky in the leadoff and sit Damon…or something.

  • Mac

    GAKIII in The Post today said Hughes was battling the flu last night, in addition to everything else. That make anybody else feel better?

  • Anthony M

    Until Hughes can locate his change-up he is going to have a lot of games like last night. You can’t throw major league hitters two good pitches and expect them to get outs. He needs that third pitch. I saw him throw one change-up last night and it was up.

    • zack

      Once again, that is, in fact, not true. The idea that Hughes can’t succeed with his two plus-plus pitches is simply wrong. What Hughes needs to do his not spot his change but spot his FB and curve. He’s had ZERO control the last two games, and that is 100% his problem. The change up, even located well, means jack crap if he can’t locate the FB. EVERYTHING works off the FB.

      There are plenty of pitchers who use their #1 and #2 pitches 95% of the time, around what Hughes is doing now, and do great. Worry about the location not anything else. If he can start locating the FB, the other things will fall in line…

      • Anthony M

        He started 4 of 7 batters he faced last night with strike one. That curveball he threw to Manny in the first was perfectly located outside and away.

        Major league hitters right now are picking their poison (either fastball or curve) and hacking away.

        Last year Wang struggled because people were either sitting on his fastball or sinker, and ignoring other pitches because he could not locate them for strikes.

        I’m not saying he’s not going to be good, but I’ll put money on the fact that when he turns the corner it’ll be because he is locating his change-up.

  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    One other point that I haven’t seen anyone else make:

    Yeah Hughes struggled with his command big time last night and in KC, but he was also opposed by 2 good pitchers in Bannister and Dice, and they BOTH also struggled with their command big-time as well.

    And . . . yet . . . I haven’t read any bitching and moaning from fans of those teams. None of them are jumping off bridges b/c 2 pitchers they probably need to succeed more than we need Hughes couldn’t grip their breaking pitch or locate a fastball in 40 degree weather — oh, and btw, it was raining in KC and gusting wind in Boston, where the wind chill was well below 40 when the game started.

    • LBA Prequel

      And . . . yet . . . I haven’t read any bitching and moaning from fans of those teams.

      Probably because those teams won…which makes it worse, because it means we’re the team with the offense that can’t capitalize on struggling pitchers. One team is getting it done, the other isn’t.

  • Bo

    There is really nothing worse than pessimistic Yankee fans and fans who jump off the bus and bad mouth the team at the first sign of trouble.

    Really embarrassing.

    • LBA Prequel

      I didn’t see anyone here jumping off a bridge (or a bus, as you’ve said). But that doesn’t mean we can’t be concerned about the anemic offense, which seems to have carried over since last year’s playoff loss to Cleveland. I’m actually fine with the pitching, from what I’ve seen, we could be a lot worse on that end. It’s the offense I’d like to see get rolling.

  • E-ROC

    Molina is hamstrung?? The thought of having Moeller in the big leagues hurts the heart. Hamstring can take forever to heal. So I think Cashman will make a trade for a back up catcher. Paulino?? Brayan Pena?? Fasano??

    Hughes had one bad inning which was the first inning, then pitched well from that point on. Then couldn’t locate his pitches again. He’ll be fine. LOL, at least people aren’t arguing about his velocity anymore.

  • Bo

    And please cut it out with thr Hughes velocity thing.

    Hes 90-94

    Thats it

    He will never be 100

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Here’s what we need to do:

    1) Don’t panic. The offense will hit. None of these guys are untested newbies (except for the Attorney General). 6 of our top 9 offensive producers (Damon, Cano, Giambi, ARod, Matsui, Abreu) are notoriously slow starters and don’t find their groove until May; two of the other three (Jeter and Posada) are banged up and probably won’t be 100% healthy until May. We always scuffle a bit in April and then pick it up offensively a month later. We’re like the Spurs… we’ll be fine come midseason. Look, WE ARE WHO WE THOUGHT WE WERE! OKAY?!?

    2) Ride the rookies. Wang and Pettite will be fine. Hughes and Kennedy need to keep starting for two reasons: a) we don’t have any better options, and b) they need the experience. Look, Hughes, IPK, and Joba are our future, like it or not. Either they get good and become the cornerstones of our rotation, or they get good and become trade bait, but they have to pitch to have value for us, one way or the other. (Or, they flame out and they become nothing…) but 3 starts in April is not enough for any of those avenues to play out.

    3) Pay Jeff Gillooly to take out Kyle “Sandwich Pick” Farnsworth. Okay, it’s clear that Farnsworth won’t do the respectable thing, like Carl “60-Day” Pavano, and injure himself. Because as long as he’s on the roster, he’ll somehow find a way into a game or two, and he clearly can’t handle the pressure of the 7th inning, nor can he handle the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 9th, or extra innings. So, ultimately, he’s just as useful as a research intern in the Bush White House. But we can’t send him down and bring up Scott Patterson (even though that would be worth 8 victories a year, minimum), and if we DFA him, we lose our sandwich pick ( his only redeeming value). So, we need him to be somehow incapacitated, unconscious, and yet biologically alive and accruing ML service time so that when he departs in the offseason, we get something for our hardship. That’s why we need to bring Gillooly out of retirement to whack him in the knee and free up a roster spot for one of the 500 better options we currently have in the minors.

    P.S. I don’t have the time or wherewithal to do this, so if the creators of could do all of us a huge favor and start up a template for, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • wtolleson

    Off topic but I’m planning on going to the Orioles game next saturday. I’ll be alone, is there any section(s) which will be very Yankee friendly? Thanks

  • Back Bay Yankee

    I don’t think anyone can ever make me as angry as Farnsworth. Should Phil burst in to flame on the mound while giving up a grand slam to Julio Lugo, I’d still like him more than Kyle.

  • pete

    weird as it sounds, it seemed like for the most part hughes pitched well, despite the numbers. Not only was his stuff good, but in the beginning especially he was hitting the glove every time, just missing the strike zone by an inch or two. Also, he made a pretty much perfect 2 strike pitch to manny (nasty curve down and away) that manny somehow hit b/c he is just plain old good at hitting. The problem was, he turned bad luck into bad pitching, as as he was continually squeezed he seemed to become more and more flustered, walking guys and giving up all of his hits with runners on. And of those hits, Casey’s was the only one that was really hit hard. I actually thought that Dice pitched worse than Hughes, but got pretty lucky w/ bad hitting and/or balls hit hard right at guys. If Hughes can throw his fastball like he did in the first atbat to ellsbury (he got squeezed at least twice), and throw his curve like always does, and incorporate it more into different counts, then he’ll be fine. On the other bright size, how bout the a-gonz and molina duo making the most out of a chance?

  • Bruno

    With Texas also having Teagarden, what would it take for the Yanks to get Salty? I can see Posada moving to 1B sooner than expected. Molina/Salty would be a nice platoon, ala Girardi/Posada. We definately have the prospects to get it done without killing our system.

  • xkevinx

    I think that Phil may eventually be okay, but it may not be this year. I still think not trading him was for the best, but far too many people on this site are Phil apologists. He is a great talent and may well be a stud down the road. But he has simply been AWFUL this year. 16 hits and 8 walks in 11 innings? For perspective, only 2 players in all of baseball have a worse WHIP this season (10+ innings pitched). That he is both walking guys and getting hammered when he is in the strike zone doesn’t bode well for a quick fix.

    • Ben K.

      10 innings, man. 10 innings. That’s not enough to pass judgment on anyone quite yet.

      • xkevinx

        I concede the point of small sample size problems.
        I think that he will be okay, I was just giving context to how bad he has been – only 2 starters have been worse. Also, lets not forget that the only 11 inning thing is Phils fault. 11 innings after 3 starts doesn’t help the bullpen. He needs to at least average 5 innings per start.

  • mustang

    Well, I’m glad to see that some of us found our key boards because they were sure lost last night. LOL
    ” we can’t expect a 21-year-old with great stuff to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders.” Exactly thats why they should of traded for someone who can carry the weight. Cashman has put these two kids in the difficult position of carrying the load of this team. Its not fair to them or to us. I agree with the development of young talent. I spend to much time watching the Yankees of the 80’s trading the youth away. I just don’t agree that they should throw away the season to do so. There has to be balance between young and old. Having 2 rookies in the starting rotation is not that.

    • Ben K.

      That’s why they should be traded?? Are you kidding me? This comment is so full of contradictions.

      You write, “I spend to (sic) much time watching the Yankees of the 80’s trading the youth away. I just don’t agree that they should throw away the season to do so.”

      But that’s exactly what you’re proposing. By trading away these young players now when they are among the youngest and most promising pitchers in the league, you would be giving up years of success for a win-now attitude. Why is it more important to win in 2008 than it is to win three times in a row from 2010-2013?

      I can’t believe you’re writing that comment seriously while referencing the 1980s. What you’re proposing is exactly what the Yankees did to no success during the 1980s.

  • mustang

    Yes, its only 13 games, but what happens when it turns to 25,45, or 85 games.
    One thing you can bank on is that Cashman wouldn’t be around to make any changes.
    No matter what idle promises Hank has made to the media about Cashman’s job security. If these kids fail during there development and the Yanks don’t make the playoff, bye-bye Cashman. Leaving Hank to do what his father did in the 80’s. The New York Yankees are measure by wins not by potential.

  • mustang

    We are talking about one player Hughes for the most part. For one of the best pitchers in baseball. I never said give up the farm. You could of had both here youth and experinces. In the 1980’s everyone was trade.

  • mustang

    It’s like we can’t have both.
    Maybe some people are ok with blowing off 2008 and not even making the playoff. Maybe some people here have not even seen the Yanks go 2 season without being in the playoff. I waited 15 years for 1996 so excuse me if I’m not happy with just throwing 2008 away.

    • Ben K.

      If you can’t see that one year of perhaps not making the playoffs is worth a trade off of continued success, then I’m sorry you’re such an instant gratification fan. It doesn’t make sense to trade away young kids like you’re proposing.

      For your information, the Yanks were 7-6 last year, 6-7 in 2006 and 5-8 in 2005. Somehow they survived.

  • mustang

    By the way while “youngest and most promising pitchers” are developing and blowing the season away the core of this team the parts that actually won some champions gets one year older.
    I know people think that they can just reach down to farm and bring up another Jeter, Mo,Pettitte and Posada but it just doesn’t work that way.

  • mustang

    “you’re such an instant gratification fan.”
    My man I have been Yankees fan for 31 years. 15 of which they didn’t even smell the playoff.
    And yes I understand we are only 13 games into season. I also understand that my team just lost 2 in a row to Boston and I have a kid with 13.00 ERA to try and stop the bleeding. I also understand that things did not have to be like this.

    • Travis G.

      uh oh, two in a row to Boston. oh no!

      maybe we should’ve traded Wang after last year, i mean he sucked for two games right? Sabathia has a 11.5 era, he must suck too.

      you’re right that things dont HAVE to be like this. we could have traded two of Hughes, Kennedy and Wang to get Santana. then we’d have a great pitcher (who has declined each of the last 4 years), still have an open rotation spot (Igawa?), and have a $22 mil higher payroll.

      that great Santana that you want struggled mightily his first 2 years. have some friggin patience. btw, we’re all of 1.5 games out of first.

  • Mike NYY

    Never ever reference that band again. Ever.

  • mustang

    You know what I just don’t understand the obsession with Hughes. I mean I’m not a Mets fan, but Dwight Gooden was the best rookie pitcher I have ever seen come up. Hughes’ stuff on his best day not even close Gooden. An Gooden was what 3 years younger.

  • mustang

    It probably would not of taken Hughes, Kennedy and Wang.
    And Travis G. if your going to make a agruement please don’t bring up the Yankees” payroll. I just payed for plan and God only knows how much it will be next year. This team is made of moeny. Money should be last thing to stop the Yankees. from doing anything. BTW, Hughes has a over .300 BAA and 9.00 ERA

  • mustang

    And reports are already asking Girardi if he still in the rotation. I guess not everyone is as patient as you guys.
    Don’t worry the answer was yes.