Hughes shows improvement in return to the Bigs

Game 152: Return of the Phranchise
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Chicks dig the specs. (Photo via Getty Images)

I’m not going to blindly praise Phil Hughes for his start tonight. Everyone watching the game saw flashes of Phil’s potential, and they saw him struggle a bit with two strikes. But I’m not going to irrationally slam a 22-year-old who has dominated the minors and can get Major League hitters out. Right now, Phil Hughes is living somewhere in that not-so-happy medium between the two extremes.

After missing most of the season, at the big league level at least, with a rib injury, Hughes made a start on Wednesday in place of Darrell Rasner or Sidney Ponson or whatever crappy fill-in the Yanks would have had penciled in tonight. He threw 89 pitches in four innings, 57 of them (64 percent) for strikes. He allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks and struck out four. Clearly, the K/9 IP is good. Clearly, the walks are a bit too high.

Hughes’ problem tonight was one that a lot of young pitchers have as they break into the Majors: He couldn’t put hitters away with two strikes. This time, instead of falling behind and walking his opponents, as he had been doing in April, he didn’t get too fancy. He kept pounding the zone with his cut fastball but couldn’t drop in the curveball often enough for a strike. He threw too many pitches early on, but after a 33-pitch first inning, he needed just 56 to get through the next three frames.

I’m not going to gloss over Hughes’ outing and proclaim him the best thing since sliced bread. But right now, he had the stuff to get outs, and he’s still one of the youngest starting pitchers in the Majors. If he slots in to the back end of the rotation next season and produces, the Yanks, with Wang, Joba and some other pitcher in front of him, will have no complaints. That is, of course, a big “if,” but no one will ever convince me to give up on a 22-year-old with this much promise.

Meanwhile, the Yanks won again, and I get the distinct feeling that the team is pulling off a “too little, too late” run here at the end of the season. Since returning home from the West Coast, they’ve won four of six against October-bound teams, but in the end, they’ll miss the playoffs anyway.

As the Stadium’s run draws to a close, one night after Derek Jeter broke the record for hits at Yankee Stadium, A-Rod became the second player to hit 35 home runs in 12 seasons, tying some guy named Babe Ruth. While the home run didn’t really count because A-Rod hit it and the Yanks were already up by three runs, the ghosts of Yankee past were out in full force again tonight.

On the pitching side, as the Yanks’ bats didn’t wake up late, the bullpen was again fantastic. Brian Bruney, Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain and Edwar Ramirez combined for five innings of two-hit ball. Coke again looked stellar. He does a fantastic job hitting the target. Joba looked dominant, striking out one and throwing 10 pitches in an inning of work. With such a low pitch count, he should have thrown the ninth too, but such are the mysterious ways of Joe Girardi. All in all, this was a solid win for a team playing for third place.

Game 152: Return of the Phranchise
Want two tickets to tonight's game?
  • Chip

    Sabathia/Wang/Joba/Hughes/Burnett could be quite a formiddable rotation with Aceves, IPK and Coke getting ready down in AAA

    • Steve

      The latest thing being pushed by Kay (who is basically a mouthpiece for the Yankee brass) is that the Yanks may NOT go after CC, opting instead to sign BOTH Burnett AND Sheets for roughly the same total money and committing less years to both.

      CC-6 years at 23 per $138 mil

      Sheets+Burnett can be had for 4 years each at around 65 mil. (130 total)

      Makes sense. Given that all pitchers are injury risks, I guess you’d rather have 2 instead of one.

      • TurnTwo

        i was saying the same thing yesterday, getting two pitchers for the price of one Sabathia.

        but that was before Sheets left the game in the 2nd inning with forearm tightness.

        • Steve

          Yeah, I saw that. The ESPN story said he had an MRI previously and it showed “no structural damage” but I’m not sure I buy that. I heard similar things about Posada’s shoulder and Billly Wagner’s elbow.

          Hey, if Sheets is hurt (and when isn’t he) you go to Plan B, which is CC.

          • radnom

            I’m pretty sure plan A was CC. Burnett is not that good, and is going to be vastly overpaid by someone (hopefully not the Yankees) in year and money.

          • Ed

            It hurts to say it, but, Curt Schilling’s blog entry about his shoulder surgery was a great read.

            One key point he brought up – a lot of damage isn’t going to show up on an MRI. It’s really only going to catch the really severe damage. Curt had a bunch of things wrong with his shoulder, but the MRI didn’t pick any of it up.

            • radnom

              Shoulders are tough, especially diagnosing. Like you (and apparently Curt) said, a lot of times the MRI only gives a rough idea of the damage, and they don’t really know the extend of it until they cut it open and get in there. You would much rather see a pitcher get an arm injury than have something wrong with his shoulder.

              That being said, Burnett had forearm tightness. MRI’s are much more effective diagnosing elbow/arm injuries, no? Although “forearm tightness” many times leads to TJ surgery, I think Sheets is still a huge question mark right now.

              • Ed

                I think there’s a lot more pieces to the shoulder, all of which could potentially get damaged, hence the uncertainty there. In the elbow, it’s really just the flexor tendon and the ulnar collateral ligament that you have to worry about. A bone issue would be obvious and show in an x-ray, and a muscle issue in that area is usually a major tear, so that would show easily as well.

                The flexor tendon issues seem to be pretty clear, either it’s fine or its immediately obvious you need surgery. The ligament isn’t a clear. A really bad tear will be obvious, but every pitcher has at least a little damage to it. There’s a lot of cases in the middle where it’s not clear if you can rehab or need surgery. Those guys you’ll see try rehabbing for a few months before finally deciding they can’t handle the pain.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  You’ve got the uvulus muscle, which connects to the upper dorsimus… it’s boring… but, it’s a part of my life–I’m just gonna grab a shirt if you don’t mind.

                  Just watch out for the guns… They’ll getcha!

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Not only is Sheets a much larger injury risk than Sabathia, but all this talk of Sheets being a less risky option financially/contractually I don’t buy either.

        I keep hearing people say that rather than give 6 years to CC, we should give 4 years to Sheets. When have Ben Sheets or his agent ever said that all they want is a 4 year deal? Why wouldn’t Sheets ask for a 6 year deal, just like CC and Burnett will likely ask for?

        Here’s the teams who will probably be looking to add a frontline starter in free agency this winter, and will be willing to spend big enough money to put in a bid on one of the big three of CC, Sheets, and Burnett:

        Red Sox

        With seven other teams as realistic competitors for “Sheets on the cheap”, you honestly don’t think that if we offered 4yr/65M to Sheets that the Mets or Astros wouldn’t trump that offer with 5yrs/80M in a heartbeat?

        My prediction: We are the high bid on CC, the Astros win the Sheets auction, and the Orioles get Burnett (who’s from the DC area). I’m willing to spend money on a starter, but I’m only willing to go over the top for CC.

        CC’s the youngest, healthiest, and best of the three. I’m less worried about him continuing to be good through 2014 than I am about Sheets and Burnett continuing to be good through 2013.

        • eVizions

          Exactly, and chances are Sheets and Burnett are going to wait until CC signs that nice big 6 year deal and then follow up with all the teams that lost out. Any team that makes a real push for CC and doesn’t land him is going to be looking to soften the blow and a guy like Sheets will be able to do that (Burnett not so much). Someone will be willing to give him 5/$80M+ to land an ace which, despite his health concerns, Sheets definitely is.

  • IvanS

    The too little too late description if right on the mark. First, we have all these young pitchers finally up with the team that I would have loved to see help all along. Coke, Aceves, Hughes, Robertson have all shown they can pitch in the big leagues. I can understand the Yankees’ hesitation to rush someone up so I’m not going to fault them for that. But for once, I’d like to see young people contribute from the start, not after July.

    But my biggest too little too late complaint is Arod. NOW he figures out to go the other way? NOW he’s starting to take advantage of right field? Every other season until now he’s gone the other way to snap out of a slump and it’s worked brilliantly. Supposedly Pete Rose talks to him to give him advice and he’s mentioned going the other way more but Arod’s been pull happy the entire year, grounding into 6-4-3’s and swinging and missing far too often.

    I would love to see this team get off the blocks in April with a clue…

    • Steve

      You have to like how pitching heavy were getting as an organization. Thats been the main problem the Yanks have had in recent years. I know the runs scoring was down this year, but the hitting in recent years only masked the lack of pitching we had for the past 5 years. They would bludgeon their way to the playoffs, and do nothing once they got there.

      The last time they were in the top 3 in ERA was 2003, the last time they went to the World Series.

  • Accent Shallow

    I suppose this is a good a place as any to ask about Hughes’ start, since I was at work and could only get it via Gamecast/Gameday.

    – Any idea why he threw nearly as many cutters as fastballs? How does the cutter look, anyway?
    – Did he lose velocity as the game went on?
    – Any idea why he had problems putting hitters away?
    – How were his offspeed pitches?
    – Any other thoughts?

    • Joey

      The cutter looked okay, it seemed it was the only pitch he could spot regularly while his fastball and curve seemed to miss the mark (albeit slightly) most of the time

      He was challenging the hitters, but for example, the first AB Cabrera just kept fouling everything off, it happens sometimes

      His curveball seemed to get sharper, have more bite, and located a little better as he went on, but he still needs to work with it (obviously), but the change he threw a few times, as Jamal mentioned in the comments, did have some nice downward sink to it, which was nice to see

      All in all it was nice having him back, hopefully next start he can be more efficient, but like I said, shit happens. Can’t wait until the full season next year

    • Mike A.

      1. It seemed like the cutter was the only pitch he could locate consistenly. It looked good, Mo-esque. Okay not THAT good, but good.
      2. Nope, stayed 90-92 with a few higher ones throughout.
      3. No.
      4. He couldn’t throw the curve for a strike to save his life, and his change was moving too much for his own good. Fading off big time.
      5. I like pie.

      • TurnTwo

        pie stinks!

      • Ed

        I was at the game. Stadium scoreboard had the fastball mostly at 93, sometimes 92 in innings 1, 2, and 4. Oddly in the 3rd it was usually 89-90.

    • Accent Shallow

      Check the link under my name for the pitch data.

      I found it on the NoMaas boards.

  • Ricochet

    I thought he looked horrible, he wasn’t throwing freely at all.

  • Accent Shallow

    I’m a little surprised that he struggled with his command and wasn’t hit around.

    • Steve

      Thats because his stuff was excellent, his control was just a bit off. Mostly on the curve, he was spotting the fastball and cutter well. He has very good stuff, even though he doesn’t throw 98 MPH.

      He looked terrific, there weren’t many balls hit hard off him all night outside of the two doubles. When you see the high powered CHI lineup bunting a guy over from second, you know that Ozzie sees a guy on the mound he doesn’t expect to score much against.

      • Hitman

        Or maybe he was just very lucky.

  • Ivan

    I think you could get a better feel from Phil in his start.

  • Manimal

    anyone else think jeter can pull 24 hits in the next 10 games? He is at 176 on the season in Hits, ichiro already got 200.

    • steve (different one)

      i’ll take the under.

    • radnom

      ditto with steve

  • Steve

    I was at the game last night, first one I’ve been to since early August. Two things really jumped out at me.

    -The fans were getting on A-Rod every time he made out and a few times when he came up to the plate.

    -Melky got booed HEAVILY the first time he came up to the plate and every time he made out as well.

    More than anyone else, those two seem to bear the blame for the Yankees failures this year in the minds of most of the crowd. The Melky stuff really surprised me, but I guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed him smirking after making errors.

  • Steve

    “A-Rod became the second player to hit 35 home runs in 12 seasons, tying some guy named Babe Ruth. While the home run didn’t really count because A-Rod hit it and the Yanks were already up by three runs, the ghosts of Yankee past were out in full force again tonight.”

    Who cares.

    Most Yankee fans care about the team winning more than individual achievements. That’s why Alex rubs many long time fans the wrong way. He tends to fatten up his stats on weak middle relief, which is why he has a rep for “tack on runs”. In tight games facing good pitchers he consistently lets you down, and in the playoffs he’s been useless.

    • TurnTwo

      there is a major difference between individual achievements and historical achievements.

      yes, we all wish ARod was doing this to help the Yankees in the pennant race.

      but you cant sit there and honestly say you, as an apparent baseball fan, cant appreciate the history behind what ARod is doing right now.

      • Steve

        Again, I don’t care and neither do most Yankee fans. He was booed heavily every time he came up to the plate last night, so I’m not exactly alone on this. I suspect you’re more a fan of Alex than you are of the Yankees, it certainly comes across that way. Maybe one day we’ll trade him and you can go root for him setting his personal records for another team.

        The 1998 team didn’t have a single starter on the All-star team that year and won more games than anyone ever did, plus the World Series. The 1939 team had a .702 winning pct, swept the World Series (their 4th straight) and was one of the most dominant to ever play the game. That’s the kind of history that impresses me.

        • TurnTwo

          it has nothing to do with being an alex fan or being a yankees fan.

          its being a baseball fan.

          “I suspect you’re more a fan of Alex than you are of the Yankees, it certainly comes across that way.”

          and the way you say this, it comes across like you’re trying to prove you’re the biggest most best yankees fan ever and everyone just fakes their yankees fandom but you dont because you really love the yankees and dont care if there is any all stars because the team and the uniform is all that really matters guy.

          get real.

          its called respect for the game of baseball. and i dont think most yankees fans would appreciate the fact you are lumping them into your assumptions.

        • Count Zero

          There is so much to pick on in this post I don’t even know where to start…

          Sure — you don’t care about the achievement. But when Jeter got that hit the night before that achievement you cheered for right? So that one (a far lesser achievement historically) was important, but A-Rod’s wasn’t? We shouldn’t applaud Jeter either according to your logic because he was pretty crappy when it mattered this year, and maybe if he tried to take a few more walks instead of hitting into DPs while trying to pad his career hits stat…sheesh.

          The 1998 team was an aberration. There has never been a team of non-all stars that good in all of MLB history. Look at the consensus best teams ever and you see a slew of teams loaded with first ballot HOFers — Murderer’s Row, the Big Red Machine. If you’re thinking that you’re going to see a team like the ’98 Yanks again anytime soon, you’re deluded. That was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

          I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — 20 years from now, you and all the other A-Rod bashers will be telling your grandkids how you saw the greatest player ever to play the game. Because that’s how it’s gonna’ go down regardless of what you think. And just like all the assholes who booed the crap out of Mickey when he was striking out and slumping, 20 years later you will pretend you appreciated his greatness all along and you’ll tell everyone how majestic his HRs were, and how you were there when he hit the walk-off slam into the black in the old stadium, blah, blah, blah.

          Guess what I don’t care about? Your thoughts on the matter. If you have no appreciation of the significance of twelve 35HR seasons or what it implies, then I would say it’s you who has no appreciation of the game of baseball. I would appreciate that achievement no matter who did it or what team they played for, the same way I can appreciate Greg Maddux or Ozzie Smith or any number of players who never did anything to win a game for the Yankees.

          • Doug

            oh man, ETHERED.

          • Steve

            “Guess what I don’t care about? Your thoughts on the matter”

            So much so, you just wasted three entire paragraphs not caring. What a loser.

    • RCK

      I’m going to keep on repeating this stat until I don’t have to hear about Alex’s tendency to hit “meaningless” home runs anymore. (So, forever.)

      He has hit 7 game-ending, 185 go ahead, and 45 game-tying home runs. Out of 553 lifetime home runs that’s 43%. Or, to look at it another way, 153 of his home runs have come when the game was tied, 124 when the team was either down one run or up one run, and 69 when they were either up two or down two. Out of 553 lifetime, that’s 63%.

      I fail to see how a guy who hits home runs in close games 63% of the time isn’t helping his team win. But then, what do I know? Watching Alex’s amazing achievements is what got me excited about baseball after a lifetime of (totally misguidedly) finding the sport boring. Luckily, I’m not here to win any World’s Best Yankee Fan contests. I’m just here to talk about baseball.

      • radnom

        Shhh. Stop making sense. The Alex bashers don’t like that.

    • Larry

      Anyone have a stat that looks at rbi’s per home run? Compare A-Rod to Manny and see what you get.

      • steve (different one)

        OK, i’ll bite.

        A-Rod’s RBI’s per HR – 1.59
        Manny – 1.37

        Manny has hit a larger percentage of solo HRs than A-Rod. 49% vs. 47%.

        can anyone think of some more ways to try to make it seem unimpressive that A-Rod has hit 35 HRs in 12 striaght seasons?

        • steve (different one)

          edit: i guess it’s not 12 “straight” seasons. it’s just 12 seasons.

        • Larry

          Thanks for biting and thanks for doing the math. Is that total rbi’s divided by HR’s or rbi’s as a result of hitting HR’s? I had heard that Manny was second to the Babe in that category. And for the record, I am not an A-Rod basher.

      • Joop

        Yes, because both of those guys can control how many guys are on base when they hit homers.

        And that’s the only way people get RBI’s. Home Runs.

        Sound logic there.

        • radnom

          I think his “point” was that Arod generally only hits homeruns when there is no one on base (unclutch). Obviously the stats prove him wrong, but for the Arod bashers thats not going to change anything.

  • kenthadley

    Forget Sheets…..Sabathia will milk the Yanks to get a west coast contract……Burnett is iffy, since he will be pursued by Toronto, who has his guru as a pitching coach… light of this, who else is legitimately available…..push on Oliver Perez? makes some sense, since he’s a lefty, and a big game pitcher…..anyone else out there (please, not Lowe…we might as well resign Moose)……looking for your input…..

    • radnom

      Might as well resign Moose? Mussina >>>> Lowe for next year. Geeze I don’t even want to think about Lowe starting the season in the rotation next year. Oliver Perez, eh maybe, depends how many years he wants, and if we miss out on CC.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Here’s my input: You’re crazy.

      • kenthadley

        sure….you’ll give Sheets 5/80…..what’s next, Pavano?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Huh? To what are you referring? I was advocating AGAINST giving Sheets 5/80. You lost me with that one.

          • kenthadley

            do you think Sabathia will come east? I dont, unless there are no real bidders in California…..if we dont get him, then who? I’d go with Oliver, since he has a healthy history….not my first choice by far, but a better risk than AJ or Sheets…….who’s left?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              “do you think Sabathia will come east?”

              Yup, if the money’s there, and it should be.

              “I dont, unless there are no real bidders in California…”

              The Dodgers don’t spend big money like that, the A’s don’t spend at all, the Angels don’t need him/are prioritizing Tex, the Giants and Padres are disasters. Where else is CC going to get anything close to what we’ll offer? Mariners, maybe… I can’t see CC hitching his star to Seattle’s wagon.

              “I’d go with Oliver, since he has a healthy history,”

              …as well as a history of being a human game of russian roulette. His consistent inconsistency is downright Ponsonian.

              “not my first choice by far, but a better risk than AJ or Sheets…”

              …which brings me back to my original hypothesis: if you honestly think Oliver Perez is “less risky” than A.J. Burnett or Ben Sheets, you’re batshit crazy.

  • Steve

    Wasn’t Phil Coke supposed to be the one who has a bad shoulder according to the doctors in Pittsburgh?

    If he does, I hope all our pitchers have similar injuries.

    • Joseph P.

      I’m not sure that’s the real story. I know it was rumored, but I believe they were debunked.

      The story I find most believable, and which I heard at a few places, was that the Pirates were slammed for not getting enough back in the trade. So they upgraded Kontos/Coke to Karstens/McCutchen.

      • TurnTwo

        i know its just too early to say definitively one way or the other that not trading Coke was a blesing in disguise, but he’s looked great and its hard not to have high hopes for him the way he’s pitched his way thru the system this year.

      • AndrewYF

        I can’t think of anyone who thinks that’s an upgrade.

        • Joseph P.

          How? Karstens is a guy with ML experience, and McCutchen had been rising through the system. Few outside of RAB readers had even heard of Kontos and Coke before the trade.

        • radnom

          Maybe not, but it was definitely a more ML ready duo than the original. But yeah, a lot of us were happy when they made the switch.

          • steve (different one)

            i was happy with the switch. i considered Karstens completely expendable. it was valuable just clearing his 40 man roster spot.

            • radnom

              Bingo about the 40 man. Coke this year has just been an added bonus surprise.

  • matt K

    hey Mike A. what are you gunna do with having to do the DOTF every night? We expect somthing. We arent gunna let you off the hook that easy.

    • radnom

      A social life, perhaps?

  • http://2009 Haggs

    Little strange to me that Girardi let Pudge catch Hughes.

    Wouldn’t you try to maximize Phil’s comfort level and let him pitch to someone he’s thrown to before and was around all spring?

    Hughes said after the game he regretted not throwing his curveball more. He’s the guy with the ball and he ultimately decides what pitches to throw, but he’s also 22 years old. It might have helped to have Molina back there. Pudge stinks.

    • Joseph P.

      Totally agreed. I’m not a big fan of Jorge’s game calling, but I’ll be happy once Pudge is gone. I mean, this is the guy who, after one start pitching to him, Andy Pettitte requested someone else.

      • Chris

        That’s worked out well for Pettitte, hasn’t it?

        • Bo

          Andy really can’t blame the catcher at this point.

        • Joseph P.

          If he’s not pitching well, he’s not pitching well. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a catcher’s ability to call a game.

          • steve (different one)

            right, but Andy requested the change after he got shelled. in other words, he thought Pudge was at least partly to blame.

            his next 10 starts or whatever has shown that it wasn’t Pudge. it was him.

            also, Pettitte pitched the night before and Moose pitches tonight. that would mean 3 straight starts for Molina.

            in the end, Hughes has to make the pitches. blaming the catcher seems like a stretch.

            • Joseph P.

              No, I understand that. In no way am I blaming Pudge. I’m just saying, there are better game callers out there.

              I’m not sure if Pettitte asked not to throw to Pudge because of his game calling or because of the results. So I suppose I should reserve comment.

              • steve (different one)

                i hear you.

                i just don’t think Girardi should be dinged for pairing Hughes with “the greatest defensive catcher of all time”.

                we both know Pudge isn’t a great game caller, and is no longer as good as his reputation, but this isn’t the same as pairing Hughes with Chris Stewart either and having 4 cross ups in one game.

                Pudge is perfectly capable of catching Phil Hughes.

                just seems like something not at all worth complaining about.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                “I’m just saying, there are better game callers out there.”

                Like Jason Varitek. Future HoF’er Jason Varitek, that is…

                • radnom

                  C C C C C C C C

  • JohnC

    How about Jon Garland? He is no lock to return to the Angels, and has always been a workhorse. I’d take him and Burnett and stay away from Sheets.

    • yankeemonkey

      Garland = workhorse.
      Burnett/Sheets/CC = ace.

      Completely different situations. Yankees need at least one of each type. Signing Garland does not preclude signing one of Burnett/Sheets/CC.

      • radnom

        Burnett is not an ace, only when he pitches against the Yankees.

        • Pete

          And the Red Sox. Isn’t he 7-0 against them lifetime or something…?

          You just know someone in the FO is pushing that stat in front of Hank’s nose.

      • JohnC

        I said Garland AND Burnett. Sheets left the game last night with forearm tightness. Red flag there. I’d stay away from him. I really don’t think CC is coming here unless the Yanks really overpay. He wants to stay in the NL and on the west coast.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          That made me laugh.

          “Dude, we should sign Garland.”
          “That’s a stupid plan.”
          “No, no, you didn’t let me finish… we should sign Jon Garland AND A.J Burnett. Don’t leave out Burnett. I said Garland AND Burnett.
          “Uh, okay, now that plan went from stupid to retarded.”

          • JohnC

            Yeah, very stupid. We should just bring back Ponson and Rasner cause they were lights out for us. Look in the mirror when you talk about retarded tommie!

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              Exactly, because obviously, since I think that there are enough flaws in Jon Garland and A.J. Burnett’s games that it would be a risky move to acquire them, the natural logical conclusion to that line of thought is that I’m endorsing bringing back Ponson and Rasner.

              ATTENTION PEOPLE! There are only two potential options for 2009: Either you’re for acquiring Burnett and Garland, or you’re for retaining Ponson and Rasner. There are no other options.

              I didn’t pick option A, so naturally, I’m a stupid fucktard. Thanks for clearing that up for me with your brilliant powers of deduction, JohnC.

              What’s the C stand for, btw? I’m gonna go with Smart. The C stands for Smart, doesn’t it?

              • JohnC

                So then who do you suggest they get? Wait! Let me guess!! UMMM Scott Kazmir, Josh Beckett, and Roy Halladay right? BRILLIANT!!! Piece of cake! We’re all set then! What’s your plan retard?

      • Jamal G.

        Oh my God, A.J. Burnett fucking sucks, stop advocating his signing.

        • JohnC

          Sorry Jamaal:

          I guess then you;d rather go through another season with the likes of Rasber and Ponson in the rotation. They’re better than Burnett right?

          • radnom

            If we have 5 pitchers get injured again next year (Wang, Hughes, Joba, IPK, Geise) then yes, we will have guys like that in our rotation weather we sign Burnett or not. But seriously, Burnett is no ace, and whoever gets him is going to have to overpay. I hope its not the Yankees.

  • radnom

    I was sure we were going to see Humberto tonight, with the bullpen being used quite a bit recently and a short start by Hughes, but no dice….Does this mean we might not see him at all? Or only in a blow out? I’d really like to see him pitch.

  • Bo

    Improvement? That’s some good spin there. i guess 4 innings and 1 run is considered good now in the Yankee world.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      There’s a difference between the words “improvement” and “good.”

    • Joseph P.

      9.00 ERA earlier this year. So one run in four innings is an objective improvement.

    • steve (different one)

      Improvement? That’s some good spin there. i guess 4 innings and 1 run is considered good now in the Yankee world.

      reading this, i would think you didn’t know what the word “improvement” meant.

      but that seems almost impossible as you seem to be able to turn on a computer and formulate sentences.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        lol you weren’t lying, “pompous know-it-all” IS your favorite style!

        • steve (different one)

          yes, but of all the posters, i’m the best at it.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Them’s fighting words, I think there may be a couple of people lurking around here that would like to give you a run for your money.

      • radnom

        “reading this, i would think you didn’t know what the word “improvement” meant.

        but that seems almost impossible as you seem to be able to turn on a computer and formulate sentences.”

        Not true. Have you ever read Youtube comments?? Being able to turn on a computer does not confer brain activity.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi


          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Both of you are soooooooooooooooooooooo gay.

            rolf lamo

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              lol whatever, F off.

              is “rolf lamo” some kind of new hilarious take on internet speak?

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                I don’t know, dude… you know I can’t understand these crazy teenagers with their internet slang and their rocket jetpacks and their Sony PCP’s…

        • steve (different one)

          very true. i apologize to Bo.

          i just found it puzzling that someone would feel the need to make this comment about Ben’s headline when Ben repeatedly went out of his way to say things like this:

          I’m not going to blindly praise Phil Hughes for his start tonight.

          Clearly, the walks are a bit too high.

          Hughes’ problem tonight was one that a lot of young pitchers have as they break into the Majors: He couldn’t put hitters away with two strikes.

          is it really too much to ask to have a balanced conversation about Phil Hughes?

  • radnom

    Technically, he exceeded his average innings per start, and lowered his ERA by over a run. lol

    Listen, if you watched the game objectively you saw he was a little too amped up but you had to be encouraged. But you will see what you expect to see.

  • rconn23

    Burnett does not suck. The Yanks need a starter. If you don’t get C.C., he is a nice fallback plan. Derek Lowe should be number three.

    • steve (different one)

      i kindof agree.

      i think Burnett could be on the verge of putting it together and breaking out.

      he’s past the age where injuries are as frequent, he has fantastic stuff, and he strikes out a shit-ton of batters.

      the problem is that he will be overpaid, but shouldn’t that be part of the Yankees’ financial model? overpaying sometimes?

      obviously, i am not advocating Burnett over Sabathia. that’s silly. but it’s hard to argue that Burnett would not improve the 2009 Yankees.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Please take this comment as respectful disagreement, feel like I’m responding to many people who advocate the signing of Lowe and for some reason I’m choosing your comment as the one to respond to… The Yankees should NOT sign Derek Lowe. 2009 will be Derek Lowe’s age 36 season. Over the last 2 seasons Lowe pitched in the AL East, he put up a 4.93 ERA. That was when he was 30-31 years old. In 2004, his last year with Boston, his ERA was a sparkling 5.42. He also doesn’t strike out many guys (even this year, in a good season, he’s around 6 K/9 in the NL West). I know these numbers aren’t the best stats to go by, and after what happened to the Yankees in 2008 we’re all interested in guys you can probably count on to go out and give you 200 IP/season, but seriously… Derek Lowe is the answer? No thanks.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I think many in the anti-Burnett camp, such as myself, don’t think that Burnett is a bad pitcher, just that he’s so inferior than CC or Sheets that he’s not going to be worth the salary and contract length that he’ll get.

      Like I said in my above post about Ben Sheets, if the when the Orioles and Mets offer 5yrs/80M to Burnett, are you going to advocate the Yankees matching that?

      Sure, he’s a fallback option… but it’s not a good option. We should use the full-court press on Santana rather than settling for the Burnett/Sheets scraps.

      I’d still rather give 6 years at 20-23 per to Sabathia than 5 years at 16-19 per to Burnett or Sheets. An extra year of risk and an extra 4-5M per year is worth it to have a much better pitcher and unquestioned #1 (who happens to be two years younger than Sheets and three younger than Burnett.)

      • steve (different one)

        i agree with everything here.

        and all signs point to one thing: the yankees WILL make Sabathia the largest offer this winter. i am 99% sure of this.

        what they can’t do is force him to accept that offer.

        should he go elsewhere for less money, the Yankees will probably HAVE to sign a starter.

        and Burnett should be on that short list of options.

        i think that is all anyone is saying.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Well put.

          Now say all that again, only this time, sound like you think you’re always right, you little pompous fucking know-it-all.

        • eVizions

          It sounds to me like CC and the Yankees are beginning to play some games. People “close to” CC say that he would prefer to stay on the west coast after the Yankees have openly made it clear he is their number 1 priority. Why? To drive the cost up. The Yankees now come back and say they might not be as interested in CC as originally implied. Why? Because negotiations with anyone else will suffer if the Yankees aren’t leading the charge for his services. It’s a cat and mouse game and will continue to go on for awhile.

          • Ben K.

            And this is when Hank Steinbrenner and his big mouth actually become a liability.

    • Ban Bud

      Shelling out big bucks for AJ Burnett seems like a risky proposition to me; forget the iffy results for all of your cash, he’s only made 30+ starts once since signing his big contract with Toronto, averaging a mere 169 IP per season over the course of the deal.

      Do we really want to give 60 million+ to a guy with that track record?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        80 million.


  • E

    call me when Hughes actually throws 7 innings in a start.

    • steve (different one)

      we will. please post your phone number.

      • radnom


        Yes. Please do.

    • Geno

      I’ll get right on that.

    • Chip

      Talk to ya next week E!

  • Pete

    So no one else thinks Aceves might be ready to be the #4 starter right *now*…? Every time I’ve watched him pitch so far, the more I’m convinced we should never see Rasner or Snacks in a Yankees uniform again.

    Hughes should park himself right next to this guy on the bench, and glean a few pointers about mixing pitches.