Despite yesterday’s hair-pulling affair, the Yanks have a shot to once again take a series and keep their winning percentage at .667. They’ll have to fend off the White Sox, against whom they’ve trailed the majority of the innings played this weekend. It comes against the lefty Mark Buehrle.
Buehrle has been the White Sox nominal ace for a few seasons now, though he certainly doesn’t fit the mold of the power-stuff ace. He’s more of a finesse guy, hitting corners and inducing weak contact. Yet he’s struggled a bit this season. He threw a gem against Cleveland on Opening day, but since then has allowed 17 runs in 25.2 innings, including six in six innings against those very Indians.
Last year Buehrle turned in a fine season, highlighted by his perfect game against the Rays on July 23. That brought his ERA down to 3.28, and it wouldn’t get to that point again. He surrendered five runs to Minnesota in his next game, and then allowed seven runs in just 4.1 innings against the Yanks the start after that. It seemed the team had a plan against him, shooting the ball into the hole between third and short and racking up 12 base hits before Buehrle left. They got him later that month, and despite eight hits and two walks in six innings, they scored only on two solo home runs.
Phil Hughes has looked every bit the young phenom through his first three starts. Even though he didn’t have his best stuff in his last appearance, he still managed to hold down the O’s, allowing just one run over 5.2 innings. The bullpen promptly blew it, something we’ve seen from them more than once lately. He still needs to cut down on the walks, but other than that Hughes has been nothing short of marvelous so far. His next assignment will come against the Red Sox.
And on the mound, number 65, Phil Hughes, number 65.