The amazing, disappearing Phil Hughes


You remember Phil Hughes, right? That great young pitcher the Yankees have decided is more valuable out of the bullpen? Well, have you seen him lately? It seems that the team, or at least manager Joe Girardi, has decided that the best way to utilize the kid’s talent is by using him as infrequently as possible. People used to trash Joe Torre for overusing his Circle of Trust™ relievers, but now we have the exact opposite going on; they aren’t being used enough.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that even though he was going to work in relief the rest of the season, Hughes would be generally okay in terms of his innings count, but since that post 22 days ago, Hughes has thrown a grand total of 5.1 innings, or just one every four days or so. Just to put this underuse in even more perspective, let’s bullet point some more stats:

  • In the month of August (remember, today’s the 28th), Hughes has thrown exactly 8 IP.
  • Here are the American League relievers that have thrown fewer innings than Hughes this month: Randy Choate (LOOGY), Edgar Gonzalez (Oakland’s mop-up guy), Jess Todd (called up a week into August), and Jason Jennings (DFA’d). That’s it. There’s roughly 155 relief pitchers in the American League at any given moment, and just four have been used less this month.
  • Over the last 14 days Hughes has made two appearances, throwing 2.1 IP and a grand total of 37 pitches. Two appearances in the last two weeks. That would be fine if he were, you know, a starter.
  • Over the last 16 days, he’s  thrown 4.2 IP and 81 pitches.
  • Every other pitcher on the Yankees staff has thrown more innings this month, including Chad Gaudin, who didn’t join the team until August 9th.

I understand that relief pitchers have become more and more specialized (damn you, Tony LaRussa, damn you to hell) and that the 8th inning has somehow morphed into the most important inning in the history of New York baseball, but this is getting ridiculous. We’ve seen the last two times out that Hughes was battling rust, yet the solution seems to be use him … less.

Please, more Phil Hughes. You’ll be amazed by what you see.

Categories : Pitching, Rants


  1. Makavelli says:

    Do you think this has something to do with their “plan” for September and/or the Post Season??? Maybe they’re secretly planning something else for him??

    Then again…you’d think he’d be pitching more to be stretched out…but who knows.

    It doesn’t make sense. Trying to make sense out of it I guess lol

    • Here’s one…shutting down Joba for the postseason and putting Hughes in his place.

      • Nady Nation says:

        There’s pretty much no chance this happens.

        • Bo says:

          The dream still lives with these guys.

          It can work on a comp game. Not real life.

          • It can work on a comp game. Not real life.

            Bo: 1
            Ad hominem red herring: 0

            • jsbrendog says:

              you should start keeping real track.

              it should be somewhere around

              Bo: 467
              ad hominem red herring: 0


              Bo: 674
              Strawman: 0

              • I’ve got a nitpick… Shouldn’t it really be:

                Bo: 0
                ad hominem red herring: 467


                Bo: 0
                Strawman: 674

              • you should start keeping real track.

                Meh, if I was keeping real track of things, I’d have remembered how many Fantasy Football Bragging Rights Name Drops I’ve had so far.

                Speaking of Fantasy Football Bragging Rights Name Drops, did you hear that I won the Inaugural RAB Fantasy Football League Championship last year? It’s true. And I’m going to win it again this year.

                I’m glad you’ve decided to try to beat me again, JSB, because frankly, I felt a little guilty demolishing you last year. It’s not fair beating a guy relying on big performances from Tashard Choice, T.J. Duckett, Michael Jenkins, and Alex Smith. It feels kinda like playing basketball against a kid with physical disabilities, or competing for the affection of a pretty girl against ugly, ungroomed troll-like creatures with limp and short phalluses like Mike, Joe, Jamal, Rafi, Pablo Zevallos, SAMIAMSPORTS, and, well, you, jsb. You feel guilty because it’s not really a fair competition, more like fait accompli.

                I want to win this time feeling like I’ve earned it, not just because you losers are a bunch of losers. I guess I can only hope that you make it interesting this time. I like things that are interesting. And, I like winning as well.

                I’ve gotten used to it. Because I’m a champion.

                [ Fantasy Football Championship Bragging Rights Name Drop #39 of 1000 ]

            • Tank Foster says:

              It wasn’t a direct ad hominem, I don’t think. It was the dreaded straw man, because I don’t think any of the posts intimated anything about sabermetrics or computers or whatever.

              • It was an ad hom attack because he’s attempting to discredit the argument of the people who want Hughes moved to the rotation by smearing them as some derivative of computer nerds or video game players, people who don’t have the requisite knowledge base to understand baseball in “real life” and who, thus, must be wrong on this matter due to whom they are.

                All the appropriate buzzwords are there. Emphasis mine:

                The dream still lives with these guys.

                It can work on a comp game. Not real life.

                Classic Bo ad hominem.

      • Here’s one…shutting down Joba for the postseason and putting Hughes in his place. (safe, even though it includes seamen)

  2. E-ROC says:

    2010 can’t get here sooner for Phil Hughes. He rots in the bullpen while Coke gets used too often. Maybe there is a plan in place for September to turn him into a starter, but no one knows.

  3. NYYROC says:

    All very good points Mike! More Hughes!!!

  4. Ross says:

    I saw Phil Hughes last night at Roosevelt field and he is definitely a little bigger in person than i thought. The sad thing is he probably spent more time signing autographs yesterday than he has on the mound in the last two months. Maybe they were keeping his arm loose to sign some autographs?

  5. Chris says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that he has some injury (tired shoulder?) that is causing them to use him less. He pitched 7 times in the first 14 days of August, so it’s not like this has been an issue for the whole month.

    Also, there really isn’t any benefit to pitching him more from an innings perspective. He won’t throw enough innings the rest of the year (even if he moves to the rotation) to increase his innings limit for next year.

  6. Doug says:

    like you said, mike, girardi is only willing to use him in highly leveraged situations late in the game. and mainly only against righties as otherwise, coke is in.

    and next year, when’s he’s starting and on an innings count because of his handling this year, that’s when we’ll feel it the most.

    just don’t get it.

  7. chriskeo says:

    I think the way Hughes was pitching last we saw him (like forever ago) he was better against lefties and righties than any reliever in the yankee pen (besides Mo). So he could just pitch against anyone.
    Remember mid last year when edwar was the lefty specialist? I am not suggesting that thought, just saying he can get lefties out.

  8. kunaldo says:

    this is unacceptable…unless hughes was battling an injury(in which case they would be smart enough to not pitch him at all), hughes should at least be getting work in on occasion…yeah, he’s the “8th inning guy”(ugh), but even the Great Mo gets his work in on non save situations…it’s one thing to retard his development for the sake of some short term rewards(reasonable to an extent since we ARE a win now team), but now they’re completely messing everything up…if this continues through september(who’s to think it wont when there will surely be bullpen callups to give guys a rest), then hughes is going to be wayyy off his innings cap

    granted, it’s based on career high, but still, that was a while ago…

    • Doug says:

      what was his innings high? when? think it’s like 2006 but just want to confirm

      • Ed says:

        146 IP in 2006. No idea if he pitched in the minor league playoffs that year though.

        • Doug says:

          as i said earlier, imo a 4-yr old high water mark is a dangerous one to use. especially when you’ve come nowhere close to that since.

          • DreDog says:

            Is he gonna pitch in Latin America winterball?

          • Chris says:

            Have you done a thorough evaluation of the injury risks to young pitchers as you increase their innings each year to understand how valid a high set 4 years prior is? I am pretty sure the Yankees have done this analysis, so I would tend to trust their judgment in deciding whether those innings are relevant.

            • Doug says:

              nope, but have you or ANYONE done an evaluation of injury risks to young pitchers using a high-water mark from 4 years ago, and your innings have decreased since.

            • Ed says:

              Actually, I kinda doubt there’s much analysis of the subject. Most young pitchers who go 4 years without even coming close to their previous innings peak are on their way out of baseball or have been permanently moved to the bullpen.

  9. Stryker says:

    i’ve said this every single time hughes gets brought up. since CMW went down, they’ve totally screwed him over. throwing a minimal amount of innings – high leverage or not. he’s SEVERELY underused and it’s kind of pathetic to think that my favorite team is so short sighted that they’ve screwed with his development THIS much. i know hughes has said no matter he didn’t want to go back to the minors, but you’ve gotta think that they would’ve used him more than they have.

  10. Bo says:

    But I thought Girardi was a certified genius in how he handled the pen????


    I’m shocked.

  11. CountryClub says:

    It appears that Girardi uses him as another closer (with the 8th replacing the 9th)…and it’s ridiculous.

    I mentioned in yesterday’s game thread that there’s no way you can make me believe he shouldnt have started off the 7th inning. He could have pitched the 7th and 8th and had Mo ready for the 9th. The odds that the Yanks wouldnt have scored a run to tie or two to win were pretty slim.

  12. Little Bill says:

    Hughes is definitely a waste of talent in the pen. Some of his under use in the past couple weeks though has come because of blowout games or CC/AJ going the distance- In the Oakland series, CC and AJ went very deep, Boston series had 2 blowouts, and Texas basically had two blowouts with the 1st one becoming close with a 9th inning rally.

    He should have been used yesterday though, definitely. And I agree that he definitely should be used more even if it’s in the 6th or 7th and even if the Yankees are trailing by a close margin.

  13. Yankee1010 says:

    But, but, but, the 8th inning with a 3 run lead or less. That’s what really matters. It’s the most important thing in baseball. It’s unfortunate that the situation hasn’t come up that often, but Hughes should only be used in those situations. It says so right here in the unwritten rules of baseball.

  14. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Has MSM asked Girardi about it? I suggest we flood the Joe Girardi show and YES with questions re Hughes via email and Twitter.

  15. DreDog says:

    Can someone send this post and thread to ESPN, MLB Network, and every other MSM outlet? This is a PERFECT example of how the 8th inning is so overrated. How many games has Hughes had a big influence on? Seriously, can everyone in the media drop the whole “critical” 8th inning role?

    It kills me. One side, the old school heads (Joe Morgan), wants every pitcher to pitch 300 innings at 21, and the other side wants a potential top of the rotation guy in the 8th inning. WTF????

    • Stryker says:

      the 8th inning mantra is all because of mariano rivera, believe it or not. for other organizations that don’t have an elite closer or even one as old as Mo, the 8th inning isn’t an issue like it is for the yankees.

      look at teams like tampa, boston, atlanta, philadelphia..all are competitive this season, yet they never have the “8th inning guy” problem. why? their closers (or lack thereof) a) really aren’t anything special so they use whoever’s hottest at the time for that situation or b) are younger in age and can pitch more than an inning at a time. here we’ve got arguably the greatest closer of all time who has put a lock down on the 9th inning. but alas, Mo is up there in age so he can’t (or girardi won’t let him) go more than 4 outs at a time. therefore, the 8th inning becomes critical.

      i never want to see Mo leave this team, but there will be a tiny bit of me that’s glad to see him go so we won’t have this problem anymore.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:




        • Stryker says:

          someone had to say it!!

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

            Mo’s not leaving. He’s going to play another 10 years as our centerfielder, stroking a mean .301 with 18-25 HR each year.

            Teams refuse to blow out the Yankees, out of fear that the Yanks will bring in a position player to pitch. We all know who that would be.

            In the third game of his first WS, Mo not only throw out a guy at the plate, his cutter is also counted as strike on on the next batter, who after the game, admits “yeah, i couldnt have hit it. good call blue.’

            He gets elected to the Hall of Fame, Great, Good, Pretty Decent and One Dude From Boston That Was Irrationally Feared in his seventh year as a pitcher, and then again a few years after retirement as a CF. The Hall Of Fame…Feared says ‘yeah, we just can’t figure out the rules here. we’re going to have to admit him at least two more times.’

            so stop saying it. NOW KID!

  16. vin says:

    Part of me thinks Joe G is just trying to keep him nice and fresh for the playoffs. Hughes with the 96 mph fastball is much tougher to hit than when he’s in the low 90s. The mid-90s fb is a strikeout pitch, the low-90s fb just sets up the curveball.

    • Little Bill says:

      I don’t think that’s the reason. As I posted above, I think the main reason for the inactivity in the past couple weeks is that Hughes hasn’t had a chance to get in the game. If Girardi puts him into one of the blowouts in Boston, people here would get upset that he’s being wasted in such a low leverage situation.

      It’s just so happened recently that the Yankees are either ahead by a lot or behind by a lot. In a couple of the others games- CC and AJ have gone 8 or 9 innings.

      • If Girardi puts him into one of the blowouts in Boston, people here would get upset that he’s being wasted in such a low leverage situation.

        I’m not going to say you’re wrong (because I’m sure there are, in fact, some people who would bitch about just such a usage pattern), but I think most of us would just be happy that he’s actually pitching.

        • Doug says:

          what he said

        • Little Bill says:

          Yeah, that’s not the way I feel. I just know there’d be people who would complain that Girardi is putting Hughes into an 11-1 game. I agree with you though, if a pitcher isn’t getting enough innings and it just so happens that you’ve been playing a lot of blowouts lately then I say get him in there to stay fresh.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        Unless we’re talking about extreme overuse, like four straight days or two straight days with multiple innings, or four out of five days, something like that, I wouldn’t care.

        The old saying says a guy’s arm with rust out before it blows out.

      • vin says:

        I do mostly agree with you. The opportunities haven’t been there, and he Girardi would get skewered if he used him in the “wrong” situation (ala Torre).

        However, what is interesting, is that Phil hasn’t been brough into a game in which the Yanks were trailing since July 17 vs. Detroit. On that occassion he hadn’t pitched in 5 days because of the ASB.

        In fact, since that turning-point series in Atlanta, Hughes has only been brought into losing games twice. The game I just mentioned, and a game against LAA (just before the ASB, and he hadn’t pitched in 3 days prior to that).

        Clearly Girardi is pretty much a slave to the notion of using his best relievers in winning situations only.

        Compare that to how Torre has been using his trustiest non-closers, Ramon Troncoso and Ronald Belisario. Both guys threw a ton of innings in the first half (brought in to the game in a variety of situations), and now they’re breaking down and the Dodgers are suffereing because of it. Luckily they picked up Sherrill though.

  17. Jake H says:

    They need to use him more often.

  18. OmgZombies! says:

    Just when we Yankee fans accepted Hughes being kept in the pen, now he is sparsely being used. The worst part to me it seems that there’s no valid reason for this.

  19. Dela G says:

    man i really wished he had appeared in the 7th inning yesterday, because the game would be different… ugh

  20. andrew33 says:

    It would of been a nice spot to use hughes yesterday instead of coke in the 7th, i’m not second guessing girardi there, i’m sure the yankees still would of lost as it didn’t seem to be there day, but that was a spot screaming for hughes who could of gone 2 innings.

    Now maybe, Girardi doesn’t like the pitching match-ups on Saturday/Sunday and is counting on using Hughes heavily ??? Time will tell

    Nice research again …

    • Bogart says:

      Sorry, I usually stick to reading, but I can’t do it – for some reason this really hurts my brain.

      would HAVE
      could HAVE

      Ok, I feel better now. I need some help…

      /slips back into the darkness

  21. Kered Retej says:

    I believe the reason is that Girardi’s calls to the bullpen are just to “get Phil up.” He doesn’t say which one, and the bullpen coach doesn’t want to seem like an idiot by asking “which one?” All those white dudes look the same anyway.

  22. mryankee says:

    Someone tell me they are not picthing Mitre against Peavy on Saturday? That would be egregious cant CC pitch like 5 innings tonight and 5 innings saturday? and hopefully the good bullpen people will protect the lead? (I Know this wont happen) I dont know if I can stomach Mitre getting lit up again. I would say maybe we will have a big lead but that might not even be safe. I really think Cashman left us ne starter short with the way Joba sucks right now Anyone confirdent against detroit in the first round?

    • Nady Nation says:

      Is there any way we can get Verlander in the offseason? That guy’s awesome. I wish Joba was that good.

      • mryankee says:

        I have been saying that all year I dont see why Joba cant pitch the same way Verlander does. I do think detroit could be a problem because of their pitching how do the yankees matchup against them?

        • I laughed at that. Oh, and mryankee:

          Nady Nation’s joke


          your head

          • Nady Nation says:

            mryankee is to Verlander as hughes65 is to Peavy?

            • mryankee says:

              I just respect the guy as a great pitcher, I know he is not perfect as nobody is but anyone who can keep his stuff for an entire game and come back from a tough year you have to respect him. I say Joba should emulate his pitching style, aggressive not nibbling

        • Nady Nation says:

          I don’t see it either. Why doesn’t Joba just watch Verlander, then emulate his performance? Not sure what’s so hard about that.

        • Doug says:

          because joba’s just not as good?

          • mryankee says:

            well did Hank Steinbrenner not say that Joba was our Josh Beckett? whom is an ace and I would say Verlander is an ace. Now the one saving grace is he is three years younger than Verlander and 5 than Beckett so there is time but did that Rangers game not bother you?

            • Doug says:

              consider the source my friend

            • Observer283 says:

              Mr Yankee: Take a look at Verlander’s stats from last year, specifically the first half.

              The point is simple. Be patient with guys with plus-plus stuff. There is a very good chance the patience will pay off.

              Let’s give Joba some time before we decide he won’t reach his potential.

    • Doug says:

      peavy’s not going against us. one more minor league start i believe

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Peavy is not pitching Saturday

    • Anyone confirdent against detroit in the first round?


      I really think Cashman left us ne starter short with the way Joba sucks right now

      We’re not one starter short, and Joba doesn’t suck.

      Oh, and:

      • mryankee says:

        Are you an english teacher in real life? Tell me how we compare to Detroit in starting pitching matchups? I am not sure we have atremendous advantage and if teh serios goes 4 or 5 thats Verlander twice

        • Mike Axisa says:

          CC against the Tigers lineup >>> Verlander against the Yanks lineup

          As I said below, Jackson has close to a 4 ERA in the last two months. Washburn is their 3.

        • Are you an english teacher in real life?

          Irrelevant. In real life, if some guy always tried to carry on a conversation with you while he had 20 marbles in his mouth, would you enjoy talking with him or would you be all, “Dude, take those damn marbles out of your mouth and talk like a normal person so I can understand what the hell you’re saying without having to tape record your conversation and play it back so I can get it clearly!”

          Oh, and:

          mryankee: 1
          Ad hominem red herring: 0

          Tell me how we compare to Detroit in starting pitching matchups? I am not sure we have atremendous advantage and if teh serios goes 4 or 5 thats Verlander twice

          Game 1: CC v. Verlander – push, possibly slight advantage to CC
          Game 2: AJ v. Jackson – Burnett by a decent (but not huge) margin
          Game 3: Pettitte v. Washburn – Total crapshoot, no telling which pitcher shows up amongst these old fogeys. I’ll take Andy, though.

          If it goes 4 or 5, that’s still either CC and AJ v. Verlander and Jackson, or Joba and CC v. Verlander and Jackson. The starting pitching is pretty much a wash even if you’re very pessimistic on our pitchers.

          Bullpen and offense are HUGE wins for us. The Tigers series does not scare me at all.

          • mryankee says:

            When you say bullpen your assuming that Phil coke can get out he Tiger’s lefty and Girardi will pitch hughes back to back days if needed? I agree on the lineup and I might give verlander a slight edge 1-he has pitched better than cc in the playoffs although not a huge sample 2: the game he pitched in Yankee stadium he cruised and CC labored but did well-again I nkow only one game. Again good AJ can beat Jackson and good Joba I am very confident in but as I said this teams inconsistencies is an issue.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

              how many tigers have over 20 homers? how many yankees (not including NICK SWISHER since we’ll be at home)?

              doesnt that scare a tiger fan?

              • mryankee says:

                Of course the Tigers should be concerned all I am saying is that even in a matchup against a team The Yankees should beat there are major concerns. I wont even start with the Angels. Why is it wrong to try to go over the matchups and be fair and point out possible shortcomings for the Yankees

                • Why is it wrong to try to go over the matchups and be fair and point out possible shortcomings for the Yankees[?]

                  There’s nothing wrong with doing that. You asked:

                  Anyone confirdent against detroit in the first round?

                  We answered.


                • “Of course the Tigers should be concerned all I am saying is that even in a matchup against a team The Yankees should beat there are major concerns.”

                  Well, yeah… Of course there are going to be concerns when you look at potential playoff matchups. I mean, the teams against whom the Yanks wouldn’t have “major concerns” aren’t good enough to make the playoffs, right? That’s kind of the point of the whole exercise.

                • mryankee says:

                  Your right but if we as Yankee fans all expect this team to win the world series and this team has the best record in the league, with some saying that are the best team. I just want to delve into the matchups and see where they might struggle and would anyone be satisfied if they went out in the first round again?

                • ,,:;;’() [space bar] [return]

                  You left those out.

                  (eyes burning)

                • No, of course a first-round loss would sting. But all we can ask of them is that they put together the best team they can and that that team then goes out and plays hard and performs as well as they can, and we’re pretty much getting that this year. I don’t completely buy the ‘postseason is a crapshoot’ thing, but really, there’s not much more they can do to put themselves in good position to win in the postseason than what they’ve done so far this year. I’m just not sure what you expect out of them. You just went over the potential matchup with Detroit, and I think everyone here agrees that the Yanks come out ahead, on paper (and I think most non-Yankees fans would agree with that assessment). I’m not sure what else you expect at this point than having a playoff bound team (first place, to boot) that looks good in potential playoff matchups. They can’t guarantee victory.

                • Jefferson says:

                  ,,:;;’() [space bar] [return]

                  You left those out.

                  (eyes burning)

                  You are a total loser for writing this…

              • mryankee says:

                If I were a tiger fan I would be very confident.
                1-we have one of the best pitchers in the leagus going maybe twice
                2-top of our lineup polanco-granderson-cabrera-mags though not as good as Yanks is pretty good.
                3-all we have to do is split in Yankee stadium and we have home field advantage
                4-nobody expects us to win so there is nothing to lose

                • 1) So do the Yankees. Against our inferior lineup.
                  2) After those 4, it’s nuclear winter.
                  3) Doesn’t matter, home field still doesn’t make our team better than the Yankees.
                  4) Irrelevant. Utterly irrelevant.

                • Chris says:

                  4-nobody expects us to win so there is nothing to lose

                  I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. No one expects them to win because they are a far inferior baseball team. Why should that give a fan confidence?

                • I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. No one expects them to win because they are a far inferior baseball team. Why should that give a fan confidence?

                  Exactly. Sex Panther by Odeon makes more sense then that does.

                • “3-all we have to do is split in Yankee stadium and we have home field advantage”

                  So… What you’re saying is… If the Yankees have home-field advantage, all the Tigers have to do is win in YS3 to take away home-field advantage… And this is an advantage for the Tigers? That’s retarded. That’s like saying ‘well we’re down 2-1, but if we hit a 2-run HR here we’ll be up 3-2, so advantage US!!!”

                • Nady Nation says:

                  It’s made with real bits of panther, so you know it’s good.

                • Tank Foster says:

                  Edwin Jackson has had a very checkered career. The stuff is obviously there, but he is also prone to very poor pitching. He might have a great year, but I think you can look for him to choke in the playoffs.

                • Tank Foster – To be fair, you could replace “Edwin Jackson” with “AJ Burnett” in your comment and it would still work. I don’t think we can expect either guy to choke, but they are what they are – guys with good stuff who haven’t proven to be as consistent as typical number-1 type pitchers (which is why they aren’t number-1 type pitchers).

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  3-all we have to do is split in Yankee stadium and we have home field advantage

                  Go ahead and take a guess which team has lost more games on the road (39) than any other team in the AL. That’s right, it’s the Dee-troit Tigers.

                  Now guess which club has the best home record on the planet. Ready? It’s the Yankees.

                  Is your mind blown yet?

            • Little Bill says:

              I think Phil Coke has worked his way down Girardi’s trusted list. Marte could be the guy Girardi uses in those big spots now depending on how he does down the stretch. Girardi has said there will be no restrictions in the playoffs so Hughes will probably pitch back to back days if needed.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Edwin Jackson has a ~4 ERA over the last two months or so. Washburn is imminently beatable. I would have been fine with him as the Yanks’ #5 starter, but he’s Detroit’s #3.

      The lineup is nothing special, and neither is the bullpen since Zumaya got Teixeira’d.

      • mryankee says:

        To play devil’s advocate CC AND Verlander are a wash. AJ has been mediocre the last 4-5 starts and Pettite and washburn are a wash. Washburn is someone I would be concerned about in the playoffs. Thier lineup is not nearly as good nor the bullpen, but the one issue is our bullpen less hughes and mo and I will even say DROb is very inconsistent. Thats my issue with this team when they are good they are unbeatable whne they are not they get pummeled. NO middle hround

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          Andy and washburn is no ta wash.

          typing like that is tough as shit, but i think that’s he only way he’ll read it…

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Burnett’s last 4-5 starts have been very good. Sure, he got pounded in Boston, but otherwise he’s been excellent. He pitched more than well enough to win yesterday.

          Take out the Fenway game, and he has 2.93 in his last five starts with 9.76 K/9.

        • Little Bill says:

          I would be pretty confident in the Yanks vs. Detroit. The Yankees would have the advantage of Yankee Stadium and they have a huge advantage in lineups. The Tigers might have 2-3 guys with an OPS over .800 while the Yankees can field a squad with 8 or 9 everyday.

          The Tigers are obviously carried by their pitching and you never know in a short series like 5 games if the bats will go cold and Verlander/Jackson pitch lights out to win 3 games. The shorter series favors the underdog as we’ve seen the past few years with 1st round exits. I think the biggest difference this year though is better pitching at the top of our rotation. Nothing against Wang, but I feel much better with CC.

        • DreDog says:

          Wait, you are concerned about Washburn?

        • Jordan says:

          However, you need to evaluate each pitcher versus each team’s respective lineup to get the true picture.

          So if you personally feel that somehow the top 3 pitchers in each rotation are a wash and its clear the Yankees lineup is better than the Tigers, advantage Yankees.

        • Kiersten says:

          I think inconsistent should be a synonym for bullpen. Every bullpen is inconsistent. If they were consistent, they would be rotations.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Zumaya is an alumni of the Kyle Farnsworth School of Pitching

    • vin says:

      Let’s see how good they are this time without the benefit of Kenny Rogers’ pine tar.

  23. OmgZombies! says:

    Who else will pick up teh home run baseballs deposited in teh bullpen!!1!

  24. Tank Foster says:

    Maybe Hughes is hurting. Remember, Girardi is reeeeally stingy with information like this.

  25. Kiersten says:

    There is no reason that Phil Coke, who has come back down to Earth, should EVER be used over Phil Hughes. Yesterday’s game was ridiculous.

  26. Ian says:

    Yes, and get rid of Phil Coke, damnit! Girardi seemingly has a romantic relationship with him, with him on pace for 75 appearances and a 5.05 ERA.

  27. Stultus Magnus says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Girardi is letting him rest because of some minor injury.

    Otherwise, I don’t see it making any sense. There’s no reason for him to not be pitching more often.

    • Jordan says:

      His thinking here is probably along the same line of logic that had Swisher bunt with two on and none out down 1 in one hell of a rally.

      • Chris says:

        You mean that it increases the odds of winning the game?

        • No, it doesn’t.

          It may increase the odds of TYING the game. Decreases the odds of winning it.

          • Is that true? I don’t know the answer, I just think you might be overstating your case here. It may decrease the odds of scoring multiple runs in that one inning, but it doesn’t necessarily decrease the odds of winning the game. Different concepts, no?

          • Chris says:

            I haven’t seen anything that demonstrates that’s true. What I have seen is that the chances of scoring 1 run increases (slightly), and the average number of runs scored decreases (slightly). They key number that I haven’t seen is what the chances of scoring 2 runs are in both situations.

            • Tank Foster says:

              I think the relevant comparison, if the data are available, for the two situations (1st & 2nd, none out, and 2nd & 3rd, one out) would be:

              1. What is the probability of scoring exactly one run in those situations?
              2. What is the probability of scoring two or more runs in those situations?
              3. What is the probability of scoring zero runs in those situations.

              Those are the three possibilities that we’d be interested in. It gives you a total of 6 probabilities, and you can decide which strategy you think is best based on them.

          • Tank Foster says:

            Increases the odds of tying it, yup. Anybody know the frequency numbers for scoring >1 run with 2/3 1 out v. 1/2 none out?

        • Doug says:

          nope. expected runs actually goes down

        • Jordan says:

          Not when the guy who is bunting is Nick Swisher. Nyjer Morgan, Willy Taveras, etc, we’ll talk. Nick Swisher, no.

  28. Bob Michaels says:

    i Agree the great Tony Larussa started this mess. Girardi should have Hughes pitch 2 days in a row. We neeed him as a stsrter But the Cashman, Girardi duo will screw him up just as they did with Joba

  29. Tank Foster says:

    Here’s the answer, sort of, to the bunt question. The table takes into account the underlying probabilities, and then creates thresholds for when you should bunt, based on the batting average, on base average, and slugging percentage, of the batter. Scroll down to table 4-2-4. It’s from “Baseball Between the Numbers.”;f=false

    • Tank Foster says:

      This table leads one to believe it was the wrong decision to bunt Swisher, even if going for the tie. It gets a bit more interesting if you accept Swish’s home splits as relevant to the decision, but even there…his OBP and SLG at home are above the thresholds.

  30. [...] FREE PHIL HUGHES! FREE PHIL HUGHES! My friends at River Ave. Blues have a good post on the disappearance of Phil Hughes. [...]

  31. [...] FREE PHIL HUGHES! FREE PHIL HUGHES! My friends at River Ave. Blues have a good post on the disappearance of Phil Hughes. [...]

  32. [...] also points out a good post on River Ave. Blues. Good job, RAB. Put it this way, who’d you rather see, Phil Coke or Phil [...]

  33. [...] the Yanks would be wise to have Phil Hughes or Al Aceves shadow Joba. Using Hughes would give him the regular innings he needs, and using Aceves would allow Al to slot back into the routine of a starter he seems to be missing. [...]

  34. Cenzsal says:

    which is the REAL Phil Hughes? The one who couldn’t throw a pitch without it getting nailed, or the guy who was lights out? Only time will tell, but let’s not annoint him to sainthood just yet…

  35. [...] Great article on RAB titled The amazing, disappearing Phil Hughes. If only it wasn’t so true. [...]

  36. [...] FREE PHIL HUGHES! FREE PHIL HUGHES! My friends at River Ave. Blues have a good post on the disappearance of Phil Hughes. [...]

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