May
10

Pitching fails Yanks again in 12-5 loss.

By

Phil Hughes faced 11 batters in the second inning last night. He got ahead of six of them and got two-strike counts on five. He retired just one of them, and on that play a run scored. It was clear from the first inning that Hughes was having some issues, but I never thought it would be that bad. So instead of putting the Yanks in a position to assemble a win streak, he basically precluded it himself. He left the game with the score 7-0 Orioles, and one batter later Edwar Ramirez had let an inherited runner score.

Edwar’s damage was considerable. He did retire 10 of the 14 batters he faced, but three of them came around to score — including a home run by a guy who was hitting .167/.235/.267 coming into the day. Not that it made a difference in the outcome. Hughes’s runs were all the Orioles needed, even though they trotted out one of the worst starters in the game, who was backed up by one of the worst bullpens.

While the pitching was pretty horrible, the offense still managed to screw up in every way imaginable — except, of course, for Johnny Damon, who apparently isn’t in on the game fixing deal. Adam Eaton, who has never recorded an ERA below 4.08 in his major league career, and who hasn’t gotten his ERA below 5.12 since 2005, held the Yankees in check early on. Through three innings he had to face just 11 batters. How in the world can an offense which makes a collective $111 million (and that doesn’t even count Jorge) go down so easily against one of the worst pitchers in the AL? It makes no sense, yet it seems to happen regularly against the absolute worst pitchers the Yankees face.

(Remember, too, that the Phillies are paying Eaton to pitch for the Orioles. The same Phillies who have no starters with an ERA under 5.00. Just sayin’.)

There’s no reason for a lengthy recap tonight. It was a painful, horrible game right from the beginning, and even the Yankees mini rallies didn’t do much to alleviate the pain. In fact, the one in the fourth inning only added to the pain. Again, one of the worst starters in baseball walks the bases loaded with no outs, and the manager leaves him in there. So what do the Yakees do? Sac fly and a double play. That’s seriously all they could muster. I’d say it doesn’t get more frustrating than that, but this whole game made me bash my hat against the bar.

The goodnot so bad news is that the Yankees aren’t taking this one as hard as the fans. Girardi was downright Torre-esque in his postgame talk, answering questions pretty directly and remaining as calm as a manager can be after a blowout. He joked a little, was serious for most of it, and in the end said that it’s one bad game and you can’t let it affect you too much. Hughes was just as composed in talking about his arm slot and how it affected his performance. The results sucked, obviously, but Hughes took all the blame. Watch him the next time he wins; he’ll give the credit to everyone else on the team. You can learn all that and more at the Crash Davis School of Baseball Public Relations.

They’ll have a chance to pick up the series win tomorrow heading into an off-day. Either Joba Chamberlain or Al Aceves against Koji Uehara. We can only pray that the offense strings together some hits…though that hasn’t happened for quite a while now.

Categories : Game Stories

107 Comments»

  1. Sean Serritella says:

    Hey, Joba most likely won’t pitch tomorrow. He broke a blood vessel in his hand.

    • Sean Serritella says:

      Never mind, I see that you know that already.

    • Drew says:

      It seems like he will give it a go.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. The Yanks would have him pitch from an incubator if it was possible.

        • Drew says:

          Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if they held him back either. However, this isn’t an “injury” per say. I’d say that if he can throw the ball in warmups, he’ll go. If it affects his throwing during the game they’ll bring in the MG. I’d equate a burst blood vessel with a stubbed left toe, it’s very possible that it won’t hinder his performance.

        • A.D. says:

          They want to skip some of his starts anyways for the innings limit, its a perfect opportunity.

          • Drew says:

            I don’t disagree, but this isn’t the time for worrying about Septembers cumulative innings total. If he can go, he’ll go.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            Yeah, but they had a similar idea last year with starting him in the bullpen, and then he got hurt and screwed up the plan to get him innings. Being too cautious early isn’t always a good idea.

        • Mike HC says:

          hahaha … that was funny, I seriously laughed at that one

  2. Sean Serritella says:

    Want to hear something crazy? I got the news from you guys, walked away from my computer for a wile, came back and told you news that you gave to me in the first place.

  3. A.D. says:

    What did Hughes say about his armslot?

    • Drew says:

      From what I heard on the postgame he basically said it wasn’t correct. His mechanics were out of whack tonight.

      • 65hughes says:

        i hope so

      • Mike HC says:

        I understand the sport it not easy, and that even some of the best pitchers in the game have had nights where their mechanics are off, but one would think that by the time a guy reaches the majors, he would be able to remember where his arm slot should be. I have seen Jorge demonstratively show Wang where his arm slot should be, and it seems little league to me. I mean, Wang has to be reminded how he should pitch the baseball in the middle of the game?? Hughes could not figure out that he was pitching from the wrong arm slot a little earlier, rather than after the game. You guys at RAB to a great job with showing the different arm slots of pitchers and it seems as little crazy that these guys cant figure it out. I know it happens, but it boggles my mind a little bit.

      • waswhining says:

        The Times said he was “pushing the ball.” Phil Fenom is not the power pitcher, young Roger Clemens I read about. It’s all about hitting his spots now it seems. And when he pushes it aims it — whatever they say — the results can be less than mesmerizing.

  4. Accent Shallow says:

    I still think Aceves is the Mexican Darrell Rasner, but hopefully he’ll prove me wrong tomorrow at some later date, because I’d like to see Joba pitch tomorrow.

  5. Troy says:

    Considering how much of a cynic I am, I must say I wasn’t surprised in the least that Adam Eaton pretty much shut down the Yankees through 4.

    Crappy pitchers own the Yankees, as sad as that is.

    • By the end of the night, he had thrown 5 innings, giving up 9 base runners and 4 earned runs. That’s not very good at all, and if the Yanks had gotten decent pitching, they could have pulled this one out.

      • A.D. says:

        Exactly just because they didn’t do much right away doesn’t mean the offense sucks, they got to him and knocked him out, they should have been able to get more run with bases loaded 0 out, but if they got a solid pitching performance it would have been a win.

  6. Rich says:

    At some point Eiland has to held accountable for the suboptimal development of their pitching prospects at the ML level. Even if it isn’t his fault, maybe it’s time to try another approach.

    • Drew says:

      Joba Chamberlain says “Hola.”

    • Giuseppe Franco says:

      Hughes missing six months of baseball during the 2007 and 2008 season due to various injuries have stunted his growth as a major league pitcher more than anything Eiland has or hasn’t done.

      • Drew says:

        Amen sister.

      • Rich says:

        I’m not sure that is accurate, or that it explains his inconsistency, but it’s not just Hughes. It’s Melancon and Robertson as well. Even Joba has been inconsistent, although granted the arrow appears to be pointing up.

        I think it’s almost time to try a fresh approach.

        • V says:

          I’m really beginning to believe that fans like you won’t be satisfied unless the Yankees fire their manager, pitching coach, and hitting coach, at least once a month.

          • Rich says:

            I guess if I had nothing valuable to contribute I would attack another person’s motives as well.

            In your world, you’re either a fanboy or you’re not a fan.

            • Drew says:

              I don’t think he was attacking your motives. You’re saying Eiland should be fired because the pitchers aren’t doing well. In a month, if Cano struggles and our RISP average is low should we fire Long? In 2 months, if our team is still .500, should we fire our manager?

              • Rich says:

                Re-read my first post. I used conditional language. I didn’t say that he should be fired today.

                When Eiland was made the ML pitching coach, Cash said that it was because Eiland was familiar with Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy from his mL experience, and he thought that gave him a unique ability to help develop them.

                That hasn’t happened yet. Again, is he ever held accountable?

                But merely because I proposed this idea, I’m the type of fan that wants everyone fired.

                That’s bullshit.

                • Drew says:

                  I understand what you’re saying, but Eiland wasn’t hired just because of his relationship with Generation Tre. He was hired up here because the org thinks he is a good pitching coach. Just give the season some time. We will have a lot less complaints when our starters do what they’re payed to do. We average about 5 runs/game. The wins will come. Don’t look to point the finger at the coaches just because the players aren’t performing up to our expectations and their capabilities. It’s frustrating, but we have to wait it out.

                • Rich says:

                  As I implied below, my concern is about developing young pitchers, not the veterans, who have a reduced need for a pitching coach who can teach.

                  I really don’t understand how accountability is tantamount to pointing fingers.

                  I don’t know what you do for a living, or if you’re still in school, but at some point, you have to show results in your job. You can’t merely placate your boss by saying that the job I’m doing would appear to be better if the people under me were doing their job.

                • Drew says:

                  Can’t we agree then, if Wang was Wang early, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation? Joba would be great as he’s been, CC would be his typical April self and the other guys would be fine. The fact that the bullpen is awful is a mystery, if you want to point to the coach that’s fine, I just disagree.

                • Rich says:

                  Why do you feel compelled to misstate my post? I never said that he should be fired today. I said that it is something that has to be looked at if better result aren’t achieved.

                  We can agree that if every contingency worked out in the Yankees’ favor then the discussion might not be relevant.

                  But I don’t view that as a particularly important consideration because it is when things go poorly that people are tested and are subject to more searching scrutiny.

                • Drew says:

                  Maybe I misunderstood the “fresh approach” idea. To me, that means a change needs to made. It’s not about every contingency, it’s about Chien Ming Wang. If he was himself, the pen would look better, the ERA would look better, the record would look better, the offense would even look better. Just let things work them self out, they usually do.

              • Mike HC says:

                Coaches do get fired when players don’t produce. Most of the time, it is the players fault and not the coaches, but that is just the nature of the beast. Unfortunetly, many times some of the fans are more patient than the management, as Yankee history can attest to.

                • Rich says:

                  Let’s use Jon Lester as an example.

                  His mL K/BB was 3.8. His lack of command was a major reason why a lot of people always thought that Hughes had a higher ceiling.

                  Last season with Boston, his K/BB was 2.30. Is it possible that the improvement was the result of working with a good pitching coach?

                • Mike HC says:

                  yes it is possible

                • Rich says:

                  Edit: The stat I intended to use is BB/9.

                  Lester’s BB/9 for his ml career was 3.8.

                  His BB/9 in 2008 was 2.8.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  wait, but Lester has sucked this year.

                  so….they should fire their pitching coach?

                  Lester was a better example of how erratic young pitching can be than a feather in the cap of the pitching coach.

                  soon we’ll be hearing how Lester was allowed to pitch too many innings last year. who’s decision was that?

                  Beckett has sucked too. and Penny. and Dice-K…

                  in fact, the only starter who has an ERA below 5.48 is the 100 year old knuckleballer.

                  the Red Sox muddy your argument, they don’t chrystalize it.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  also, Clay Buccholz says hi.

                  Masterson, Lester, and Buccholz have been every bit the mixed bag that the Yankee youngsters have.

                  but the grass is ALWAYS greener. don’t get me wrong, the Yankee grass is currently full of dogpoop. not sugar coating that.

        • Drew says:

          Melancon had what, 2 innings? Give it a rest dude.

          • Rich says:

            Then it made no sense to send him down. Try to use some logic, dude.

            • Drew says:

              lol. Did I say he should be sent down? Him being sent down has nothing to do with Eiland, does it?

              • Rich says:

                You have no idea whose input caused him to be sent down and neither do I. But at some point, it’s not unreasonable to expect success at the ML level for a lot more of their well regarded pitching prospects.

                But hey, maybe there is no accountability in your world.

                • Drew says:

                  Well, in “my world” I put accountability on the players. Are you blaming Dave for Mo? For Wang? For CC’s slow start? For Veras love of throwing balls? For Edwar’s love for the K? For Tomko being a journeymen? For Pineilla being horrible in Tampa? At some point, you have to look at the players.
                  But hey, maybe Joba and Phil and Wang and Melancon and Robertson do just suck because of Eiland.

                • Rich says:

                  You can’t distinguish the differential needs of a young pitcher that is still developing from the those of an established veteran? Seriously?

                  Extending your um, logic, there is no need for a pitching coach, so maybe they are just stealing money.

                • Drew says:

                  Bro, your saying Eiland can’t develop ML pitchers. He can, he has. Phil is a major leaguer, he’s had some issues thus far, it doesn’t make Eiland a bad pitching coach.
                  Stop attacking my “logic” just because I’m not as much of a pessimist as you are. I think the team is cold right now, we will get hot.

                • Rich says:

                  No, my point is that at some point, barring injuries, Phil, Joba, and several of the young relieving prospects have to become successful pitchers on the ML level.

                  That Phil has nominally become a MLer doesn’t mean that Eiland can develop ML pitchers. It merely means that Phil is on the 25 man roster.

                  I don’t know if Eiland can develop young pitchers to reach that level, but the returns to this point are not providing overwhelming support in favor of that proposition.

                  So at some point, there has to be accountability.

                  I didn’t introduce a condescending tone into this discussion. I merely responded in kind.

                • Drew says:

                  Ugh.. Alright man. I didn’t mean to imply any condescending tone, so if I did I apologize. I agree that eventually accountability must be had, just not in May. People earlier pointed out Greinke’s year last season, I believe it was a 6+ ERA. Phil will have his struggles until he learns how to get ML’ers out. Just give it some time, that’s all I’m saying. In the long run, if I’m wrong, I’m wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being hopeful.

                • Rich says:

                  OK, cool.

                • Drew says:

                  My Greinke stats are way off. It was in 05 that he had a 5.8 ERA. I must have misread that earlier in the game thread.

                • pounder says:

                  Clueless Joe is a college coach,period.And perhaps not a good one.

                • steve (different one) says:

                  look at Edwin Jackson.

                  Lester. Verlander. Greinke.

                  these guys are putting it together around 25-26….

                  i think the lesson is less about the pitching coach and more about the possibility that Yankee fans simply don’t have the patience to deal with the inevitable growing pains that come with developing ALMOST EVERY SINGLE YOUNG PITCHER IN HISTORY.

                  think about it. these guys are 22-23 years old, and you are demanding accountability from the pitching coach for not molding them into aces already. it’s just not that simple.

                  you want to blast Eiland b/c the bullpen isn’t throwing strikes? OK. fine with me.

                  but these example, Hughes, Melancon, Kennedy, Joba, Robertson…are kindof crazy.

                  this is what young pitchers do. they get knocked around a but until they figure it out.

                  i think this is a real problem with the yankees’ situation, and it really drives up the payroll and drives the decision making. this market simply cannot accept gradual progress (i’m not saying YOU can’t, just generalizing). it demands instant gratification always.

                • Thank you.

                  When David Cone and David Wells were Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain’s age, they weren’t even in the majors yet. Neither of them had a good big league season until age 25.

                  The overwhelming majority of big league pitchers struggle when they first make it to the show. These struggles often last multiple years before they find their groove.

  7. A.D. says:

    If only the Yankees could win all the games they score 5+ runs.

  8. Tom Zig says:

    Koji Uehara ftw.

  9. yankees=warriors says:

    Even if Wang is able to come back and pitch in his 19-win form, with this defense it’s not gonna work.

  10. Drew says:

    Okay, I’m a very reasonable person and this may not seem as so. Do we have a true 5th hitter? Okay, it’s a strange question. Just think about it. Okay, Godzilla is a good hitter with generally good discipline, he does strike out a lot though and his speed is an issue. He also loves to try and pull outside pitches. Again, I’m not crazy, if our lineup continues to produce in the way it has with risp, is Melky our 5th hitter? Great numbers with bases juiced and all around great numbers this year. Am I way off base here?

    • Melky the career .271/.334/.382 hitter with 27 home runs and an 87 OPS+? I certainly appreciate and respect what Melky has done this year and would love to see this as a sign that perhaps he’s turning the corner. That doesn’t mean I’m anointing him the next five-spot hitter in the lineup.

      • Drew says:

        Why not ride the wave while it’s there?
        Ben, if you know me from posting here you’ll know I’m the biggest Melky fan here. I do however try to look at this objectively. He hits .358 with the bases loaded in his career. This year hes hitting .342. Why not give it a shot?
        And there is something behind the fact that Melky is great with the bases loaded and Robbie is awful with the bases loaded. I just don’t know what it is.

        • Mike HC says:

          Swisher has a better track record than Melky, by far. So does Cano, by far. So does Matsui, by far. It would really be going out on a limb to say Melky is our fifth best hitter, or even close to our fifth best hitter. I’m happy he is hitting well right now, but just propelling him to the fifth spot because he is on a bit of a hot streak would be a stretch. There is something to be said about having stability in your job. Jerking guys around based on hot streaks is not going to get the job done.

          • Drew says:

            True, but a “streak” isn’t generally 27 games. Maybe Melk not hitting higher in the lineup is as detrimental to our success as Teix hitting in the 3 hole is. I just threw it out there. With the way we’re are hitting w/risp, I’d like to see us try something.

            • Mike HC says:

              I see what you are saying. You are trying to come up with a slightly unconventional way to jump start the lineup, or shake the team up a little. It would not be the worst thing in the world, but it would really put whoever made that decision on an island. If it does not work out, it looks ridiculous and panicky. Of course, if it does, you are a genius.

            • “True, but a ‘streak’ isn’t generally 27 games.”

              Funny you should say that. Remember when Melky had a hot streak in April of 2008 and then turned in a terrible performance the rest of the season? He played in exactly 27 games through the end of April, 2008.

              http://www.baseball-reference......;t=b#month

  11. stuart says:

    they have th ehighest ERA in baseball people. worse then the nationals, worse then the orioles how can that be??????

    That is incomprehensible… Staggering….A total total joke…….

    • Drew says:

      Adding more punctuation marks does not add to your point. Come to think about it, you didn’t make a point. We all know the ERA is atrocious. See me in 3 months, the pitching staff will be fine and dandy.

    • waswhining says:

      What that team era shows is a group breakdown. Bullpens have rhythms. You can’t get it going when starters aren’t going deep or closers aren’t getting into games every other freaking week. Winning breeds success. AJ Burnett’s comment last week: “When this team clicks it’s going to be awesome.” is right on. They will go 18 and 4 the question is when.
      Look at those nitwit sawks. They score twelve runs in an inning with a group of double a players, nick green etc. They’re just clicking but do you think the emergence of david ortiz as the ghost of mo vaughn past is going to have a bigger effect on this season. You betcha (Thanks Sarah).
      The blessings are robbie cano with a great start, melky (who knows what’s going on there, I hold my breath), Posada is still a great hitter and the shoulder is good, johnny d still reliable, and franco c not embarrassing himself. Is Derek playing injured again? When does Tex get comfortable? Arod is going to take three weeks I don’t care about his first swing. All I want to be is four games behind the sox the end of May.

    • they have th ehighest ERA in baseball people. worse then the nationals, worse then the orioles how can that be?

      Actually, we have the WORST ERA now, not just the 8th worst. Our 5.88 ERA is the highest in baseball.

      However, our FIP is 5.19. While that’s also high, the E-F differential of .069 is the second highest in the league (behind only the Indians), and indicates that either we have some bad defense that is failing to turn enough potential outs into real outs, or that we’ve been victimized by some regular old bad luck again and our pitchers have been pitching slightly better than their results should indicate.

  12. stuart says:

    enough with the hughes excuses. he needs to get it done or send him down.

    he has been on the big club parts of 3 seasons, melting down is inexcusable…..

    worse team era in baseball, imagine that.. but hey let’s talk about the lineup which has been a dissapointment but nothing compoared to the pitching…

    • Drew says:

      Capitalization is great.
      He will be sent down when our # 3 starter comes back. I suppose that if Hughes has a great outing in 5 days you’ll think he’s great and Joba should go to teh pen?

    • Mike HC says:

      In reality, this years team is just about the same team as the past couple of years. Mussina was arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball last year. Giambi slugged over .500 last year, and Abreu also had an excellent season. While the Yanks did add CC, Teix, AJ, Swish, they also lost a lot of talent. Jorge was hurt last year, he is hurt this year. Wang got hurt last year, Wang is hurt this year (hopefully he comes back strong). Hughes struggled in the majors last year, he is struggling this year. It is like Murphy’s law the past couple of years, everything that can go wrong has. Hopefully the Yanks can catch a couple of breaks and turn this thing around.

      • Drew says:

        Howeva, we have CC and AJ this year! When Wanger comes back, we will have the best rotation in the game! Put it on the board.

        • Mike HC says:

          I’m with ya, I am just talking about thus far. I can’t predict the future, but I sure hope they turn it around.

          • Drew says:

            Amen brother.

            • Big Mike says:

              Drew

              Are you a homer or what?

              “When Wanger comes back, we will have the best rotation in the game!”

              It is unfortunate that baseball is not played on paper.

              • When Wanger comes back, we’ll likely have a rotation that consists of:

                1) CC, who is dealing now and who I’d put toe-to-toe with any ace in baseball
                2) Joba, who is also dealing and is also an ace
                3) A.J. Burnett, who has been inconsistent but is still better than the majority of baseball’s #3 best pitcher
                4) Andy Pettitte, who, like Burnett, is probably the best fourth best pitcher in all of baseball
                5) CMW, who would likely be the best 5th best pitcher in all of baseball.

                So yeah, I think it’s safe to say we would have the best rotation in the game. Who has a 5-man staff that’s better?

                • andrew says:

                  Nobdy, TSJC. Nobody.

                • Lanny says:

                  How can you say we have the best rotation when the numbers clearly tell you different?

                  It’s a lot of if’s to have the “best rotation” in baseball right now.

                • How can you say we have the best rotation when the numbers clearly tell you different?

                  Because there’s multiple ways to look at numbers.

                  The totality of CC’s numbers say he’s not been good. Drilling into CC’s numbers says he was bad in April and has been much better in May.

                  It’s all a matter of how much you drill down into the stats to gain a greater depth of information. The numbers tell us the Yankee pitching staff has sucked, but it also tells us some of the pitchers who have sucked are noticeably sucking much less.

    • steve (different one) says:

      he has been on the big club parts of 3 seasons, melting down is inexcusable…..

      this comment is silly

    • he has been on the big club parts of 3 seasons, melting down is inexcusable…..

      Felix Hernandez gave up 12 runs in his last two starts.

      Should they send him down immediately, because “melting down is inexcusable?”

      Should the Sox have sent down both Lester and Beckett for their multiple meltdowns so far this year?

      Ridiculous.

  13. stuart says:

    Drew from your lips to g-ds ears.

    worse in baseball you think just let things run it’s course? We are not talking middle of the road but worse they such stellars staffs as; cleveland, colorado, the nats., and the angels without 3 starters, that is astounding.. but hey look up some statistical mumbo jumbo, something is rotten here.

    • Drew says:

      Okay. We suck. Worst team ever in history.

    • worse in baseball you think just let things run it’s course?

      Here’s what we do:

      We get guys healthy and back onto the big league club, we continue to monitor the trade markets for available bullpen arms, we keep working with the slumping guys to try to get their heads straightened out, and we keep leaning on the guys who are performing well. And we don’t panic, because we’re not remotely out of the race at all yet, despite all our struggles and all our setbacks.

      All of those things we’re currently doing right now. Not panicking, staying calm, fighting through it, looking for help where its reasonably available, and having faith in the guys we have who are good.

      In other words, yeah, we just let things run it’s course.

  14. Pete c. says:

    There’s no cohesivness yet. The team picked up 4 new regulars, 2 of which are notorious slow starters (C.C. Tex.) one “injury prone” starter, and a journeyman ballplayer, who, of the three is the one providing the most consistant performance right now.

  15. LiveFromNY says:

    I am one of the most optimistic fans and a Girardi fan but at what point does Girardi recognize that it’s a helluva lot more than “one bad game”? If I wanted Torre-esque we should have kept Torre. I liked that he stuck up for Phil but the Zen thing has got to go when the team is not playing well.

    • I liked that he stuck up for Phil but the Zen thing has got to go when the team is not playing well.

      What should he have done? Said “I think Phil’s a piece of shit, he’s a crappy pitcher and there’s no way we can win with him. Cut his sorry ass, for all I care.”

      What would you have liked him to do differently?

      • steve (different one) says:

        what a silly complaint.

        how does ripping your 23 year old prospect do ANYTHING to help?

        • Lanny says:

          He’s not a prospect anymore. Hes a major leaguer. Treat him like one. But there are plenty more players to rip before the 5th starter.

        • LiveFromNewYork says:

          Again I said I LIKED that he stuck up for Phil but overall, as far as the TEAM is concerned, the “one bad game” thing has got to go because THE TEAM is having more than one bad game and if Phil is having one bad game the team should be able to help him, not contribute to it with horrible D and weak O.

      • LiveFromNewYork says:

        I believe I said that I LIKED that he stuck up for Phil. Does that have a different meaning in your world?

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