In his last outing, Phil Hughes was nothing short of terrible. In 1.2 innings against the Orioles, the Yanks’ 22-year-old right-hander gave up 8 earned runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. He didn’t record a strike out and, in fact, induced just one swinging strike and five called strikes. It was an awful outing all around.
Today, Hughes is pitching with a purpose. With Chien-Ming Wang making rehab starts, Hughes could be destined for Scranton some time next week, and I’m sure Phil wants to go out with a strong start. When Joba Chamberlain reaches his innings limit or if some other pitcher gets injured, the Yanks will need an effective Phil Hughes to step in.
Facing Hughes with be Francisco Liriano and the 18-17 Twins. Since missing the entire 2007 season with surgery, Liriano hasn’t quite been the same pitcher he was in 2006. In 7 starts this year, he is 2-4 with a 5.75 ERA. He has struck out 33 in 40.2 innings while walking 16.
Tonight also marks the return of Alex Rodriguez to the Bronx. Will he be booed or cheered? Stay tuned for that and other stories as we join “As the A-Rod Turns” already in progress. Game time is at 7:05, and this one is on YES tonight.
Derek Sanderson Jeter SS
Johnny David Damon LF
Mark Charles Teixeira 1B
Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Nicolas Thompson Swisher RF
Robinson Jose Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Kevin Forrest Cash C
Philip J. Hughes P