Yanks offense explodes in 11-4 rout

Garcia finally makes his season debut
About last night's RAB outage

When you’re rolling, you’re rolling. The Yanks right now? They’re rolling. They got the bats going early last night, scoring in each of the first three innings en route to an 11-4 victory over the Orioles.

For a certain Phil Hughes, it was a redemption of sorts. Last time he faced the Orioles he was on the ass end of an 12-5 beating. That outing is now removed from the Yanks’ last 10, in which they are now 9-1, having taken the past eight contests. In its stead is an outing which is tough to describe. The nine strikeouts point to dominance, but the three earned runs do not. The 64 percent strike rate signals relative efficiency, but that he lasted only five innings does not. As in most cases, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t bad, wasn’t great. Serviceable is probably the most appropriate term.

The problem with the strikeout, as Hughes learned tonight, is that it can take a while to set up. It took him 44 pitches to fan those nine Orioles, or roughly half of his total for the evening. That means it took him 45 pitches to record the remaining six outs. So while it was a relief that he threw a good percentage of his pitches for strikes, efficiency is still a problem for the youngster. It didn’t help that the Orioles capitalized on two of his worst pitches of the evening. The Wiggington homer was right down the pike, and Hughes left the cutter up and over the plate to Adam Jones. Again, this performance was difficult to define. Not as good as in Detroit, definitely better than in Baltimore and against Boston, better than against Minnesota.

The offense got working quickly to stake Hughes to a lead. Mark Teixeira crushed a pitch in to the wall in the first, scoring Johnny Damon from first. Then in the second Nick Swisher caught a break in the form of an inside fastball that he turned on, depositing it in the right field seats. Robinson Cano followed with a moon shot that landed beyond the fence. Finally, Melky Cabrera absolutely unloaded on a hanging curveball, sending it to the second deck in right. That sequence doesn’t bode well for the we can’t call it a bandbox yet argument. It does seem, though, like almost everything is going out to right. Everything to center and left looks relatively normal.

The Yanks put on a clinic again in the eighth, putting the hurt on Danys Baez and Jamie Walker. They plated six runs on zero homers. Even better, they plated every single man in scoring position that inning. If there was any bad in the frame at all, it’s that Teixeira bookended it with outs. Cano more than made up for that with a bases loaded single, and Jeter iced it with a double that I thought was going to clear the short porch once again. It still cleared both men on the bases and gave the Yanks more than enough cushion. Never mind that they had Mariano Rivera already in the game — and strangely enough, he still finished it.

At the end of April, things didn’t look so hot for the Yankees. The patient among us kept repeating that the team we saw at the end of April wold not be the same team we would see in June, which would not be the same as the team we would see during the sweltering days of August. Without a doubt this is not the same team that finished April 12-10 and that sat at 13-15 on May 7th. They’re getting better pitching all around, and the hitters are more than making up for an iffy start. Mark Teixeira has his average up to .241. Alex Rodriguez is back and mashing. Melky continues to hit well. Johnny Damon is as hot as it gets. This team is in a great spot right now.

They’ll try to make it nine straight tomorrow night, as Joba Chamberlain faces Adam Eaton. As Rebecca pointed out, the last time the Yanks won eight straight they trotted out Sidney Ponson in Boston on the ninth day. This time around they’ve got Joba taking the hill in their own park. If that doesn’t illustrate the difference between last year and this year, I don’t know what does.

Garcia finally makes his season debut
About last night's RAB outage
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    It’s just a different feel, this year vs. last year.

    Last year not only was Ponson on the mound but the winning streak could be singularly attributed to the sudden emergence of Robinson Canó.

    Yet at the time, Posada and Matsui were gone and I’m not sure any of us didn’t know at that point it wasn’t for the season. Rasner and Ponson were in the rotation and though Joba had won the duel of doom vs Beckett, he was still just starting as a starter.

    This year, the games we have won have been every type, walk offs and laughers, and they’ve come with everyone contributing, from the starter to Francisco Cervelli to Alex Rodriguez to Ramiro Peña to Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves.

    This year we’re still injury-riddled, but we’re beginning to get the injured players back.

    This year, more importantly, ever starting pitcher that takes the mound gives the team a chance to win.

    Most important, in my mind, is that the Yankees have gone from believing they can win every game to executing it. Sure there are whipped cream pies and kangaroo courts along the way, but the team is stronger for it.

    (This Optimist Prime ™ post brought to you by my hypothalamus, currently raging for reasons you can guess, but I need not utter here).

    • Bo

      When you send a great starter out every night it just has a better feel. You’re 100% right.

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

    Hughes looked so much better from the stretch tonight than I’ve seen from him before (I was at a Mets game for the Detroit start and missed it), I was really impressed. It was good to see him build on the decent Minnesota start.

    Would like to see more than just cutters/fastballs 99% of the time, but I don’t know who’s making the calls about that.

    • whozat

      Then watch the game again and see all the curveballs he threw.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

        I will, it’s not always possible to see the break from the Grandstand and the pitch recognition stuff was awful last night.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

    Another night of solid hitting with RISP. The Yanks are now 8 for 13 with RISP against the Orioles this week. That’ll win games.

  • Drew

    When Joba takes the mound, I always feel like we’ll walk away with a W.

    • AlexNYC


      • kunaldo

        3rd, 4th, and 5th-ed

  • Jake K

    I didn’t watch the game, but I can’t help but be psyched about those 9 Ks against just 1 BB. And while Hughes wasn’t efficient, he probably could’ve pitched another inning. I’ll take it.

  • JGS

    From the replay I saw (I was at the game tonight, so I had to crane my neck to see one of the TVs), the pitch before Adam Jones’ home run should have been strike three–the crowd certainly thought so and I think Hughes did too. After something that like happens pitchers tend to throw a meatball on the next pitch and Jones crushed it.

    Hughes looked very good tonight. not great, but very good. remember, he is still 22

  • gxpanos

    I don’t know, Joe, I’d give Philly a bit more credit. That nasty strikeout stuff was great to watch. He was getting weak swings on the breaking ball, and his fastball had a lot of life. He really threw two bad pitches. If those pitches had been fouled back, we’d all be creamin’ ourselves. Plus, Hughes threw strike three to Jones in the 5th, and it didn’t get called.

    The cutter’s still a tiny bit up in the air. It darts around, and he doesn’t seem to know which way it’s going to go. Natural I guess. We’re spoiled by Pettitte and God.

    Wish he’d be more economical, obviously. But young guys have that problem. I was very happy with the start tonight.

  • Chris

    Considering that the new Yankee Stadium is the most homer friendly mark ever built, I think it’s a testament to Hughes’ pitching that he only gave up 2 home runs.

  • 65hughes

    if hughes masters that change up no doubt he will become an ace just as everybody thought he would be

    • 65hughes

      f hughes masters that change up no doubt he will become an ace just as everybody thinks he will be

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        You know, I hear that if Hughes masters that change, he’ll become an ace just as everybody thinks he could be.

        • Drew

          You heard that too?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          We should get six pieces of legal sized oaktag, print out each letter of Hughes’s name on each page of the oaktag so it’s the whole damn name then stick them together. Or we could get one huge long piece of oaktag and put the his name on that one piece of oaktag and call it a day. Either way, we’re gonna need some oaktag.



        • Chris V.

          I’d just like to say that if this Hughes kid can master the change up, he’s got ace written all over him.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I’m pretty sure you just picked on a child. Just sayin’.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            It’s like international waters out here. You can do whatever you want, even picking on a child.

            RAB is where they held the Tyson-Secretariat fight.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              Yeah, I learned my lesson. Never bet against a colt.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Ah, international waters RAB — the land that law forgot.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    ESPN’s tease for the 1:00am SportsCenter: “The Yanks go back-to-back-to-back, and then the Red Sox do one better!”

    F$%k you, ESPN. Nothing that the Sox did today was “one better” than what the Yankees did. NO, ESPN, BIG SLOPPY’S ONE HOMER WAS NOT MORE IMPRESSIVE OR IN ANY WAY “ONE BETTER” THAN THE YANKEES THREE HOMERS.

    Go suck a lemon.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      ESPN can go fuck a duck/screw a kangaroo/69 a porcupine/orgy at the zoo.

      • Drew

        Dang girl.

        • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

          I’m from Jersey.

          • LiveFromNewYork

            even for joisey………


      • ranger11

        That’s some great poetry.

      • Linnea

        Dayum. Nice work.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      But this means Ortiz is gonna hit 3HR every week for the rest of the season now!

      • LiveFromNewYork

        He will do it in the 6,7,8 spot for the rest of the year. Every game he will bat 3 times and hit 3 homeruns in a row. It will be miraculous and magnificent. It will be one for the ages every single time he steps to the plate, 3 times in a row. He will be inducted into the HoF while still playing and there will be parades and unicorns to greet him upon his arrival everywhere. Not to mention fireworks.

    • jonathan

      Big Sloppy is back because he hit a homer off a ROOKIE that gave up two homers to Jason F-ing Varitek. How did he fair the rest of the night…0-3 2Ks. F U ESPN!!!

    • Jeremy

      Reading that gave me an uncomfortable Chase Wright flashback.

  • Tony

    Hughesus would be in ~25 MLB rotations right now. People just need to chill the eff out.

  • http://statspeak.net dan

    He only went 5 innings because Girardi took him out after 89 pitches. Let him throw the 6th and get to 100-105 or so and then nobody says anything about him being inefficient. 100 pitches isn’t dangerous territory or anything.

    Also, strikeouts don’t increase pitch counts. The increased amount of pitches it takes to strike people out is off-set by the hits a strikeout prevents. See here:


    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      I think they were just playing it safe and wanted him to come out on the rather high note of striking out Markakis (again). No complaints from me.

      • Bo

        Maybe they wanted Aceves to get some work.

  • Jill Santana

    I hope Baltimore does not walk A-Rod again. He walked three times!Nice for his OBP and to score runs, but not helpful in reaching Jackson’s record.

    • http://www.geeks2you.net Marc

      Jackson’s record?

      • carl

        Reggie Jackons hr total

        • kSturnz

          i was thinking getting his average up, but hr totals are good, too.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

            If he’s getting on base 40 percent of the time, I’m not nearly as concerned about his average as I would otherwise be.

  • dkidd

    this team is so much fun to watch right now. i hope posada is okay with all the smiling

  • JackISBACK

    The New Yankee Stadium has become a launching pad for the Yankees up the standings!!

    Hopefully, Joba gets to pump his fist in the 7th inning against Huff, after dominating.

    • AlexNYC

      I would love to see that. :-D

      • LiveFromNewYork

        I’d love to see all of Yankee Stadium stand up and do it with him.

  • goon

    I would love to see Huff get a heater to the head and drop unconscious.

    • ranger11

      Thats what I’m talking about!

    • NHYankee62

      Joba should do it Roger Clemens style (minus the roids of course):

      Pitch 7 dominant innings then bean that piece of shit Huff with the game in hand!

      Huff does need to be taught a lesson, just not with the game on the line.

      It’s pretty obvious that Joba’s fist-pump is out of pure excitement and not meant to show teams up. Huff went over the top and needs to be taught a lessson. He’s nothing more than a mediore player with a messed up attitude.

      Funny that no one care about KRod or Beckett’s antics, only Joba’s.

    • JGS

      The best way to show up Huff is by striking him out a few times en route to another crisp win. No need to drill him

      • hamburger helper

        Considering you have the additional factors from last night with A-Rod getting clipped and Teixeira being absolutely drilled, I’m sure Joba is thinking about it. I actually kinda agree with the idea of doing it conditionally (if the game is well in hand). Even though we’ve ripped off 8 in a row, there’s still a “we’re not going to take your shit” statement to be made at some point.

        • JGS

          Perhaps, but I think a stronger statement is “you are a cellar-dwelling team and no matter how you try to get into our heads, we can beat you easily. watch as we do so.”

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Agreed. Joba, and the Yanks, gain nothing by targeting Huff. The best revenge against Huff, for Huff being an @sshole, is for the Yankees to sweep the Orioles out of the Bronx tonight with Joba getting the W.

          • hamburger helper

            True. Maybe Joba should bean Youkilis instead.

            • JGS

              now that I am all for

  • NHYankee62

    *I meant to say bean him in the head…. but I’d settle for a simple message pitch in the back.

    It’s not like he’s Youkilis!

  • JP

    I’d say it was a very good performance. 9 ks is dominating. He has great stuff and is going to be a great pitcher. So many players can hit homers these days, you really pay for even small mistakes sometimes.

    I really hope something changes when they tear down old Yankee.

    We do NOT need a launching pad for a stadium. If it does prove to be a homer-causing park, they will have to make changes, somehow, to fix it. Maybe closing the open concourses or something.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Did I notice a mohawk on Swish? That’s so not the “Yankee Way”!!11!1!

    Oh and Brett Gardner STILL has more HRs than Big P(ED)api.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Swish had to be told to leave his hat on for the on-the-field interview. Apparently he has yet to read the employee manual.

      • Bo

        Ortiz is in a tough battle for that HR crown with Brett.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Gotcha. I honestly think being more relaxed on some these “Yankee Rules: would do the team good. I mean, I don’t want the Boston Idiots-stile clubhouse but allowing them to have some fun wouldn’t hurt.

  • Rob in CT

    I thought the Jones HR was off a curveball (and, if memory serves, a decent one). I saw a lot of fastballs, but I don’t recall him throwing his cutter. Saw 2-seamers, saw 4-seamers. Saw no changeups. The Wiggington HR aside, I liked his command.

  • Bo

    They are going to have to seriously consider leaving Hughes here and working out of the pen. He is clearly one of the 12 best pitchers in the system and its been shown you can work out of the pen while you learn the craft. He could be quite a weapon coming out of the pen that doesn’t have much right now.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      It’s amazing how much better the pen looks when it doesn’t have to pitch 3 or 4 innings every frickin’ night.

  • Matt S

    I thought Hughes stuff was ELECTRIC ast night. His first strikeout of the game, that 94mph 2-seamer had ridiculous late life on it. My jaw dropped on a few of his power-knucklecurve strikeouts.

    Clearly this is a guy who can dominate a lineup. He can be a potential ace. He just needs to learn to be more economical with his pitches by pitching to contact during certain points of the game. Fortunately this is the easy part and can be learned over time. Joba was the same way. You can’t expect a 23 year old to be a master of economical pitching. That comes with years of big league experience. Overall if he can keep his walks down and his pitch count low, he can be a legitimate #3 or #4 starter this year. And to think we have him slotted in at #6 when CMW comes back… Really shows how much depth we have at starters.

  • Nady Nation

    I’ve been quick to reserve judgment on whether or not the Stadium is a “bandbox”, and of course it still is too early to make that determination, but I agree with Joe’s point on the B2B2B HRs, especially the first two. Watching on TV, I thought Swisher was totally jammed, and after he swung, I was sure it was MAYBE gonna be a lineout to RF. I could not believe it left the park. Cano’s lazy fly ball seemed to just hang in the air and keep carrying. It’s getting a little crazy how many balls are sailing out to right.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Totally… Those 2 homers looked really bad. Melky’s was clearly a bomb, but neither Swisher nor Cano made great contact. Swisher looked shocked that his ball went out.

  • Axl

    I’ve brought up some great points before too! When is my name going to be in a post! Argghhh!

    Anyway, the Yankees are playing exactly like they should. They just look absolutely dominant right now. Tex is on fire with Arod now behind him…Arod is hitting the b’jesus out of the ball as well…Jeter, Damon smashing everything in sight…but that was expected…Melky, Cano, and Matsui weren’t really expected to be nearly as good as they have been…and we didn’t even expect Cervelli to be on the team at all…and he’s been doing wonders for us.

    The pitching is suspect for reasons unknown…but hopefully that will be the next thing to fall into place. Sabathia already seems to have nicely leveled himself out for the season finally. While Burnett seems to have gone in the opposite direction. Joba has great results but walks more batters than Cesar Milan does dogs. Hughes has been exactly what he has been. Flashes of brilliancy and flashes of horrendousness. Pettitte has been what we expected. And the bullpen has gone from extraordinarily bad to almost-mediocre.

    Hopefully more things start lining into place.

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