Hughes dominates as Yanks win championship

AAA Game Thread: A week of walk-offs
So much baseball

Admit it, you know that title has a nice ring to it.

Triple-A Scranton (20-2 win over Durham) they pounded a guy who’s arguably the best RHP prospect in the game … they win the Governor’s Cup with a 3-1 series win over Durham … it’s the first time the Yanks’ AAA affiliate has won the league title since the Columbus Clippers back in 1992
Justin Christian: 2 for 7, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Bernie Casatro: 3 for 3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Juan Miranda: 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 K – hit a homer late and did a little Manny pose
Shelley Duncan & Ben Broussard: both 1 for 4, 1 R – Shelley walked twice … Broussard doubled, drove in a run, walked & K’ed
Matt Carson: 2 for 6, 1 R, 2 K – threw a runner out at the plate to end the 1st
Eric Duncan: 1 for 6, 1 R, 3 K
Chris Stewart: 1 for 3, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K
Chris Basak: 4 for 4, 4 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB – Chris Basak, really?
Philthy Hughes: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K, 0-2 GB/FB – 58 of 97 pitches were strikes (59.8%) … okay, where to start with this one … he struck out at least 2 batters in every inning, as well as the side in the 3rd & 4th … he loaded the bases on a single-single-walk in the 4th, then walked in a run before striking out the next 3 batters to get out of the jam … his 23 K sets new franchise single-postseason & career strikeout records … his career line in the postseason is 24.2 IP, 16H, 1ER, 5 BB, 42 K … we’ve been saying this all season: don’t write the kid off, he had 6 bad starts in April (something anyone can do), that’s it … he’s too talented to write-off this soon
Jon Albaladejo: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 5-2 GB/FB – 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60.0%)
Zack Kroenke: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-0 GB/FB

Scranton will now head to Oklahoma to take on the Pacific Coast League Champion in the Bricktown Showdown next Tuesday. The Sacramento River Cats (A’s) and Oklahoma Red Hawks (Rangers) were tied at one in their-best-of-five series heading into tonight. Victor Zambrano will likely get the start; the game is usually broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

Double-A Trenton was rained out. The best-of-five Eastern League Championship series with the Akron Aeros (Indians) is tied at 1. George Kontos gets the ball in Game 3 tomorrow, this game will be made up Monday if necessary.

High-A Tampa’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Daytona Cubs won the league championship.

Low-A Charleston’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Augusta Green Jackets (Giants) won the league championship.

Short Season Staten Island’s season is over; they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The Batavia Muckdogs (Cards) lead the Jamestown Jammers (Marlins) 1-0 in the best-of-three NY-Penn League Championship series.

The Rookie GCL Yanks’ season is over. The GCL Phils won the league championship.

AAA Game Thread: A week of walk-offs
So much baseball
  • D.B.

    hughes is daddy

    • Marty Puccio

      hughes is your daddy?

  • Kelvin

    Phil is philty.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Ok I’ve seen this comment in a couple different threads now, and I just have to say… Why wouldn’t you just say “Phil is Philthy” instead? Just add that extra H and your little catch-phrase makes a lot more sense, right?

  • Brian

    Any news on whether his changeup is getting better? I know he’s developed a cutter (not sure how effective it is), but the key for him is to develop the change to keep hitters off of his fastball. His curveball is a nasty pitch, but it’s a lot easier to pick up out of the hand. To succeed at the show, he needs a change up.

    It’s way to early to give up on this kid, he has the stuff and the makeup to be the ace of the staff for years to come.

  • Ivan

    Phil hughes was Hughes tonight. I wanted to say that.

    Anyway Hughes was nasty tonight. Commanding the fastball with solid velocity, not to mention from watching the game had terrific movement low in the K Zone with very good sink and late life at the end.

    Threw some Cutters that were nasty as well, and his Knuckle-Curve was just filthy. He was throwing one of them Mussina lite Knuckle-curves at those hitters and they had no chance. Of course you don’t like the 4BB’s but overall his control was solid and his stuff was fantastic.

    Congradulation on the SWB for winning the Governor’s cup as well.

  • Manimal

    whos stats were worse in april, Moose or CC.

  • J-Gao

    Hughes is some kind of big game pitcher!
    Phenomenal in this year’s AAA postseason, as mentioned above.
    Last year, against the Indians, he pitched 3+ innings of shutout ball relieving Clemens.
    Hmm… Interesting.

  • Old Ranger

    Not everyone can be like Herb Score (early ’50s) 1st two years star. Some (Sandy Koufax) take longer to develope. Phil has what it takes to be a major league pitcher, will it be ’09 or ……? Unless he is injured, there is no reason to think he can’t make it. Command and control is the center of every pitch one throws, no matter what the break or speed of said pitch. Good for Phil, he had things (mostly) working to-night.
    I wonder where all the people are that wanted to dump Phil? Sometimes, the group mentality is very funny to watch.
    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

  • Accent Shallow

    I’d think that you’d like to see more length from Hughes, but it’s hard to complain about recording 80% of your outs via strikeout.

    • A.D.

      strikeouts suck up pitches

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        So do 4 walks in 5 innings. Nothing wrong with saying you’d like to see more length from Hughes.

  • Jay in Raleigh

    The home plate umpire was really shrinking the strike zone tonight. Hughes and Davis were both visibly shaken by some of the called balls in the first inning. It’s amazing that both guys got out of the first without giving up runs. The wheels fell off for Davis in the second, that 5-spot seemed to give Hughes just enough cushion to be a little more aggressive in the zone beginning in the second. It was all over after that. He was sitting 89-91 all night, hitting 93 occasionally.

    To be honest, the first three innings were difficult to watch with all of the called balls. There was no reason for anyone to swing the bat because the ump wasn’t calling anything a strike, it was ridiculous. I don’t know what Phil’s pitch count was, but it had to be around 100 through 5. Davis probably threw close to 60 in his 2+.

    • Steve

      I’m glad someone brought this up. He had a strike zone the size of a postage stamp most of the game. Hughes was able to make adjustments, Davis (who is a good prospect) wasn’t. Certain pitchers are more equipped to deal with that than others, and a game like this shows why Hughes was a #1 prospect and someone like Davis never will be.

      I write off the high walks in this game (on both sides) as being influenced by the home plate umpire. The dominance that Hughes showed after making adjustments was very impressive.

  • Eric SanInocencio

    I guess he’ll be in a good mood tomorrow.

  • steve

    Hughes didn’t have 6 bad starts, he had 4.

  • Mike Pop

    I cant wait to see him in the Bigs again.. He was what made me the most excited about the 08 season but that didnt turn out like i hoped

  • Ivan

    Eric SanInocencio will do a interview with Phil Hughes at 12:00 saturday.

  • Old Ranger

    2009 may be the year we see Phil in the rotation, if so good. I would like to see him pitch myself, one can get caught up in all the stats and radar gun etc., and not see the Forrest for the trees. He looked stellar to-night against AAA but will he be sharp enough for the show? With Joba, CMW, CC(maybe) and Moose/Andy starting he only has to be better then Pounds/Raz to help the team…don’t forget IPK, Aceves and others.

    • Steve

      Someone with Phil’s upside as a 5th starter is what you like to see out of the Yankee organization. Sounds great to me. You can live with him learning the league in that spot, and if he becomes what everyone thinks he will be then you have a devastating rotation that can compete with anyone. Something the Yanks haven’t had for years.

      I think Cash will be the first to admit they overdid it having TWO rookies in the rotation to start the year. I would have preferred they show more patience with IPK, but given the injuries and state of their rotation I understand.

  • Nickel

    I sincerely believe that a couple of years from now, once Johan Santana hits the back side of his career peak, we’re all going to be really happy we never dealt Phil.

  • Scott from 3 Kids Tickets

    I was at the rainout tonight, so bear with me as I’m catching up. Why did he only go 5 if he was that nasty? Pitch count?


    • Ben K.

      I’m guessing pitch count and the rather sizable lead. With four walks and 12 K’s under his belt, he was nearing 100 pitches, and the Yanks didn’t need to keep him in to secure the win in such a lopsided game.

      • Steve

        It was pitch count. The home plate umpire had a ridiculously small strike zone, and Hughes had trouble with it in the 1st and 4th. I dismiss the BBs for both pitchers as being a product of the umpire. He was blowing people away otherwise. A normal strike zone and Phil would have been even more dominating.

        For Hughes to rack up 12 SO’s in circumstances like that playing a good team is even more impressive. Think about it, hitters had every reason to take pitches and he was still striking them out left and right. Very impressive. Phil was great, but you had to watch the game to understand what was going on.

    • paul albany

      from what i understanhd the ump had a postage stamp strike zone and that caused 4 walks witch elevated his pitch count by quite a bit 97 at 5 inns.

  • Chris

    I was at the Yankees and Bulls game tonight and I have never seen so many hard hit balls in my life by one team. Nearly every ball Miranda hit was perfectly squared up. His HR was an absolute tank. Bring him up. Hughes didn’t have his best stuff but he still dominated. He did throw a lot of pitches and his walk total was a bit high. Tough game for Wade Davis as his team botched 2 double plays in the second that ultimately led to 5 runs.

    Lot of Yankee fans there tonight, which really isn’t very surprising. It was great to see the team pile up on the mound. Congrats to Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Go get em tomorrow.

  • Reggie C.

    12Ks in 5 IP is a no-joke performance. But walking the bases loaded in the majors would’ve ended different. I doubt Hughes Ks 3 straight major leaguers. That’s just a matter of those minor league hitters getting waaaayy over anxious to strike a death blow.

    I guess this means he’ll stay inactive till Arizona Fall League in October. Fine with me.

    • Ben K.

      You would, after his postseason performance, have Hughes be inactive until October over one bad inning? No wonder people think Yankee fans lack perspective.

    • Steve

      No, the SOs were a result of the vicious curve he had working all night. The walks were the result of having his control be slightly off in the 4th and an umpire who’s strike zone was ridiculously small all night. With a normal umpire Phil dominates and walks one or 2 guys.

  • Hitman

    Hughes has a very good curve but a 91 mph fastball just won’t hack it in the majors. Two pitch pitchers must have plus plus stuff.

    • Steve

      1-He’s not a 2 pitch pitcher. He throws a 2 seamer, 4 seamer, Curve, slider and cutter.
      2-For guys who can locate 91 MPH is plenty, and Hughes’ control is outstanding.
      3-His fastball was hitting 95 in last week’s outing, 92-93 last night

  • ortforshort

    Nice to see a scrappy Scranton team win the title. The club has lots of gamers and great pitching for AAA. You just wish you could see a big league future for these guys, especially Hughes. He’s a young guy, only 22, and dominates at this level, but unless he improves his velocity, which is unlikely, or develops a plus changeup and a hard, late breaking ball, which isn’t as unlikely, I don’t see him dominant at the big league level. Miranda looks like the best prospect among the position players, but I don’t see him as the Yankees answer as a future first baseman. He looks like a good future prospect for a team like the Pirates or Royals.

    • Infamous

      Lohud comment of the night

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “The beginning of thought is in disagreement.” – Eric Hoffer

        Don’t dismiss someone for disagreeing with the general consensus here. A little argument and disagreement is healthy and the conversation on this blog would be worse-off without it.

    • Geno

      Scrappy??? Dude, they dominated one of the best pitching prospects in the game. Hughes manhandled that lineup. You’re talking out of your ass, and you sound like a Red Sox fan.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        You could have made that comment minus the third sentence, and you wouldn’t have compromised the integrity of your argument nor come off like a moron. Congrats on choosing your words wisely.

        • Geno

          A moron is someone who, in the face of evidence to the contrary, continues to insist he’s correct. I’m tired of baseless, negative comments, such as “You just wish you could see a big league future for these guys”. If you’ve got a problem with me calling him out on his ridiculousness, that’s your problem, not mine.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I shouldn’t have responded so harshly, I apologize for that. That’s my bad. As far as the rest of it, I agree with those who are annoyed with fans/media who write off prospects too quickly, but I think it’s a little unfair to jump down ortforshort’s neck for saying a lot of the players in SWB don’t have very bright MLB futures. I mean, a lot of them don’t, right? I don’t think saying that takes anything away from their championship season. I’m just saying… Nick Green, Ben Broussard and Jason Lane all got a ton of ABs for SWB this season. I’m a Yankees fan and I enjoy following the minors as much as the next guy, and I believe and hope Shelly Duncan, Juan Miranda, Brett Gardner and Justin Christian can be nice pieces on a good MLB team, but I don’t think they are going to be leading the Yanks to #27. On the pitching side, I believe and hope that Hughes can be a front-end starter, Kennedy can be a nice middle of the rotation guy, and Melancon and others can do a good job in the back-end of the bullpen. But beyond them it’s not like there’s a ton of high-end talent in AAA.

            So… Again, sorry for the overreaction. I just didn’t think ortforshort’s comment was an indictment of the overall talent in the Yanks’ system, I thought he was referring to SWB and simply saying “awesome, nice job by these guys, but I don’t think there’s a lot of future impact MLBers playing at SWB.” And I don’t think ortforshort deserved to be told he/she was talking out of his ass and all that. He’s entitled to his opinion, and deserves to be ripped if he comes around saying “an 8th inning reliever is more important than a front-end starter” or some other such nonsense, but I don’t think he said anything so horrible. People shouldn’t be told their stupid and insulted just because they say something you don’t agree with.

            And as far as Hughes goes in particular… Look, I’m a huge Hughes fan and I’ll be surprised and really disappointed if things don’t work out for him… But I think it’s, unfortunately, relatively reasonable for people to question his future at this point. I don’t think it’s fair to write him off, and I’m in his corner and think he’s going to be great… but, right now, I just think it’s ok for those people to, at most, question his future. And I don’t like how people get absolutely decimated on these boards for asking those questions or having their doubts.

  • Kelvin

    Hughes called up according to Chad Jennings

    • Steve

      Oh Sidney, we hardly knew ye.

      . . . . but the little we knew was enough.

      • A.D.

        thank god the Ponson experiment is done

  • Mickey Rivers Rules

    Eric Duncan: 1 for 6 !

    Who is this Hughes guy everyone’s talking about anyway?

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