Hughes not sharp as Yanks take a beating

Montero goes deep twice in SWB win
Straightening out Curtis Granderson

There will be no introduction tonight. This game was no fun after the first inning, none at all.

Biggest Hit: Swish gives ‘em the lead

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Despite the final score, this game actually felt good at the beginning. Phil Hughes retired the side in order in the top of the first, and the Yanks got right to work in the bottom half. Jeter saw a fastball he liked on the first pitch and hit it on the screws, but it went in Erick Aybar’s general direction and was caught four the first out. Apparently Nick Swisher was taking notes. He got a similarly fat fastball and he turned on it, sending it over the right field wall for a quick 1-0 lead.

The Yanks then loaded the bases with just one out, but could only manage one run, a chopper by Jorge Posada that was slow enough to preclude the double play. Which, considering Posada’s speed, is a pretty slow chopper. But Curtis Granderson couldn’t keep the rally going, as he swung and missed on a Sean O’Sullivan changeup. Still, the Yanks had to feel pretty good at that point. It wouldn’t last. The Yanks wouldn’t get a hit off O’Sullivan for the rest of the evening.

Biggest Pitch: Maicer Izturis clears the porch

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

By pushing across a run in the second and a run in the third, the Angels tied the game. They didn’t kill the ball off Hughes, so there didn’t seem reason for pessimism at that point. After all, the Yanks were facing a guy they clearly could hit. But the game took a turn for the worse in the fourth. Hughes got Mike Napoli to ground out, but then gave up a single to Juan Rivera, his second of three in the game. That brought up Maicer Izturis.

Hughes paid a bit too much attention to a runner as slow as Rivera, throwing over three times before throwing his third pitch. He missed with that third pitch, running the count 2-1. He then tried to sneak a fastball inside, but it wasn’t his best one, clocked at just 90 mph. In just the previous at-bat he was throwing 92-93 mph fastballs with similar movement. Izturis lined it to right, and it cleared at one of the shortest parts of the park. It gave the Angels a two-run lead, but I found it hard to complain. The Yanks benefit so much from homers like that. It wasn’t a crushed baseball. It just snuck over the short porch. It will happen, and again, the Yankees were facing a guy off of whom they should have scored more than two runs.

Alas, this is baseball.

Honorable mention: Napoli’s single

It won’t show up on a WPA chart, but the top of the second really got my goat. Torii Hunter led off the inning by pulling a 3-1 cutter for a base hit. Hughes then battled a bit with Hideki Matsui, and got a gift when Matsui popped one up with Hunter straying way off first base. Cano threw to Teixeira to complete the double play and empty the bases with two outs.

Hughes then got ahead of Napoli 0-2 with two good fastballs, but then threw three more. The last was high and caught plenty of the plate, and Napoli pulled it into left for a single. Rivera and Izturis followed with singles, cutting the lead in half. Hughes left it at that, thankfully.

Nothing bugs me more than runs after having a bases empty, two outs situation — especially with an 0-2 count on the hitter. It was just one of those nights, though. Hughes having no command didn’t help matters.

Miscellany

According to PitchFX data Hughes threw 12 changeups. That’s good. He also got a swinging strike. The bad news: he threw just three for strikes total. Hey, it’s not like the pitch will be there whenever he needs it. He’ll need to throw it, so I’ll take it as a positive, for now, that he’s actually using it. He didn’t get beat on it, and actually recorded two outs using it.

That said, he also threw only 15 curveballs. It seems like he’s not going to that pitch nearly enough.

Chan Ho Park allowed no home runs in 50 relief innings last year. He has allowed seven in 30.1 innings this year.

Speaking of Park, he and Gaudin are apparently in a heated battle for who gets DFA’d on Saturday when the Yanks activate Sergio Mitre. I say DFA ‘em both and bring up Romulo, too.

Graph and box

Let’s pretend this one never happened, shall we?

More at FanGraphs. If green lines aren’t your thing, you can check out the traditional box.

Up Next

The Yanks have one more against Anaheim, Javy Vazquez vs. Joel Piniero. It’s a day game, too.

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Montero goes deep twice in SWB win
Straightening out Curtis Granderson
  • Gonzo

    Ahhhh, CHoP….
    At least he gave us the diarrhea clip.

  • CNight_UP

    Was out to dinner, what did Girardi get run for?

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

      Arguing a bang-bang play at first. Replay showed Tex was out, but it was extremely close.

      Best part of the whole thing: Girardi was arguing with the 1B ump (obviously), and when the home plate ump came by to separate them, he told him to go back behind the plate.

      • CNight_UP

        Hahaha,

        ESPN will take that as Girardi channeling his inner Pinella, which obviously means he is going to Chicago….

  • Brooklyn Ed

    I say DFA ‘em both and bring up Romulo, too.

    Ivan Nova wants a chance too.

  • forensicnucchem

    7 innings in relief for Romulo, 3 hits and 6 K’s pretty good, but 5 walks is not good.

    I’d still prefer Melancon, yet again…

  • Dave M

    Nova could be a good choice to Phil in for Hughes when they need to shut him down. In fact, Hughes might need a break now. Seems like he may have hit the wall.

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

      He’s thrown 23.2 IP in the last 30 days.

    • CNight_UP

      I dont think he has hit the wall. He is a young pitcher in the AL East. Ebbs and Flows to a season….Ebbs and Flows.

    • All Star Carl

      Had a great start before the all-star break. He just needs his rhythm back.

      • forensicnucchem

        Had a great start, but against the hard-hitting Mariners.

        Even with that one and the good one against the O’s at the start of June, his ERA in June was 5.17 and July is now 6.00 (this after his April ERA of 2.00 already went up a little to 3.03 in May).

        • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

          To his credit, he hasn’t been pitching on a consistent basis of late. So it’s not necessarily that Hughes has hit a “wall.”

  • Plank

    I didn’t see it. How did Albaladejo look?

    I’m sure he’s not happy with CHoP.

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

      Good. He was gassed towards the end of the outing, for sure.

      • chriskeo

        What happened to the whole one inning thing? He relieved Phil then they wanted 2.0 innings out of him, after only going 1 inning in AAA.

  • Carlosologist

    The two good things that has come from this game are:
    1) Albaladejo may have reinvented himself into a servicable pen piece.
    2) Tampa didn’t gain a game on us.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      We did learn we’re not a championship/playoff team though. So that’s bad!!!

  • http://yesnetwork.com Jim

    Chan Home Run Park shouldn’t be DFA’d no matter how bad he is. I’m sure he could be traded back to the NL. The Phils, Dodgers, maybe even Mets could use him. It’s gotta’ be Gaudin.

    • Carlosologist

      Park has no trade value. DFAing him is the best option.

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      How low can CHoP’s value be right now? He hasn’t pitched well at all, so I doubt a team would give anything of value to the Yankees for him.

      Gaudin and Park have to go.

  • Kyle Litke

    Park hasn’t been good and he should probably go, but if only Mitre gets called up, then dump either Moseley or Gaudin. The Yankees don’t need two long men (well, usually…). Park would be decent if he quit giving up all those home runs, and while he’s not nearly as good as “0 home runs”, I don’t think he’s quite as bad as he’s been in terms of giving up the long ball. He should probably go and I’d be fine with them dumping him and Gaudin (or him and Moseley) and giving someone else a shot, but if only one guy is going, it should probably be one of the two long men.

  • ShuutoHeat (GGBG > Crawford)

    LOL, according to LoHud Jorge has thrown out 6 base runners this season and 4 of the 6 comes from our friend Bobby Abreu.

    • ARX

      Is there an easy way to look this up? Not the number of runners thrown out, but which specific runners? If there’s an obvious way to do so on b-ref or fangraphs, then I just suck at using those sites :/

  • STEVIS

    will the “real” Phil Hughes please come to the mound…..
    i hope last nights version isn’t!

  • ZZ

    I mentioned last night that I didn’t think Phil was finishing his delivery well. I didn’t think he was completely following through and was releasing the ball just a little too early.

    I investigated it a little further. Below are his release points.

    The first one is from last night:

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/....._type=.gif

    This one is from his Seattle start:

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/....._type=.gif

    Big difference.

    • ZZ

      The strange thing I am noticing now that I look through his release points from some of his other starts though is that the Seattle one does not really line up with any of the other ones.

      • Jose the Satirist

        Seattle was an exception to his release point. Not last night.

        Look at this one: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/.....38;s_type=

        Almost the exact same release points, except he went 7 innings and struck out 8. While allowing 1 walk and 5 hits. I’m not convinced his release point was off last night.

        • ZZ

          Yeah, like I said I noticed that after.

          That is strange that his Seattle start was so different, especially since I think I remember them saying he was having a slight mechanical before that start and since he pitched so well I figured they had fixed it.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            That just might be a PitchFX calibration issue.

            • ZZ

              Gotcha. Do you know if it is usually pretty accurate with the release points or do they acknowledge a real margin for error?

            • Jose the Satirist

              Interesting. Can that lead to the strike zone being slightly off as well?

          • Jose the Satirist

            That start must have been in your head last night. It must have made you think that he was releasing too early last night because you remembered them talking about a mechanical issue the previous start. A start where he did have a different delivery.

          • Chris

            There are often significant park to park differences in release points. It can depend on the calibration of the Pitch f/x or it could simply be differences in the mound.

            • ZZ

              Thanks for the info. I did not know that.

  • Frank

    Disappointing night all around. The team seemed lifeless. Hughes, despite doing a better job with pitch selection, had terrible command. Except for the first inning, he struggled every inning. Some posters commented earlier Albaladejo looked good. Are you serious? His mechanics were awful. For the most part, he was flying open and elevating the ball. He was lucky he gave up only 1 run. He may be doing great in AAA but he looks like the same Albaladejo to me. The more you watch this BP, it’s hard to fathom how this team will win close games. Besides Mo and perhaps D-Rob, it’s just a crap shoot. And what is up with Granderson and his running back on fly balls which then drop in for hits? He had the same problem with Detroit last season and last night was at least the 4th time within the past month he’s misjudged fly balls. He’s looking more and more like major disappointment as each day passes. And Swisher- I love the guy but he’s another disaster when it comes to defense.

    • CNight_UP

      Easy chicken little, the sky is not falling….

    • Ross in Jersey

      You do realize the bullpen had to get 20 outs against the Rays all of 2 days ago and was solid in a winning effort… right?

      Also, the Rays lost to the Orioles last night and the Red Sox lost to Oakland. No harm, no foul. Magic number went down!

      • Rose

        Autobots, transform and roll out!

        -Optimist Prime

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

        Magic number went down!

        We should put up the Magic Number Countdown right now, as an act of supreme confidence.

        • Ross in Jersey

          It would piss off the doom and gloomers, that’s for sure.

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

          It’s at 68 right now, not sure if we can find any pictures of Yankee players wearing numbers that high.

          Also, 68 seems kinda low for mid-to-late July, no?

          • Rose

            Also, 68 seems kinda low for mid-to-late July, no?

            I was going to say that. Are you sure that isn’t the number for just a playoff spot (Wild Card)?

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

            It’s at 68 right now, not sure if we can find any pictures of Yankee players wearing numbers that high.

            Solution: use spring training pictures. I’m sure you can find every number from 1 to 99 if you include those.

  • Chris

    Phil Hughes 2010: 17GS, 106IP, 3.99ERA, 1.1HR/9, 2.7BB/9, 7.9K/9

    Joba 2009 through 7/24: 19GS, 102.2IP, 3.86ERA, 1.1HR/9, 4.2BB/9, 8.1K/9

    Other than walking a few more batters, it’s amazing how similar their stats are as starters.

    • Jose the Satirist

      Phil: 3.87 FIP (Fangraphs)
      Joba: 4.75 FIP (based on quick calculation)

    • ZZ

      The difference in innings pitch is pretty drastic. Hughes has started 2 less games yet has 4 more innings pitched.

      • Rose

        That’s because –

        Hughes’ Control > Joba’s Control

      • ZZ

        3.1 more innings pitched I mean.

    • Ross in Jersey

      They’re kids. We didn’t really expect Hughes to go 22-4 this year did we? The guy is showing a lot of improvement, and that he really is the front-line starter the Yankees thought it was. He’s just not all the way there yet. Same for Joba, he’s still very young..

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

        Amen.

  • Carcillo

    Last night was by no means pleasing. Hughes looked bad again at the Stadium (look at his home/road splits), Yankees couldn’t touch an overweight spot starter after the 1st inning, and got wiped at home.

    But that’s what makes what Baltimore and Oakland did pleasing. Yankees pretty much get a mulligan for last night. So that’s nice.

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

      What does O’Sullivan being overweight have to do with anything?

      • The Infamous Irondequoit

        Well clearly being overweight makes you an awful starter automatically.

        **cough** Carsten Charles **cough**

  • Rose

    Speaking of Park, he and Gaudin are apparently in a heated battle for who gets DFA’d on Saturday when the Yanks activate Sergio Mitre. I say DFA ‘em both and bring up Romulo, too.

    I agree. What’s the point of keeping these guys? If two people in my office were being paid to do a job…and they display that they not only can’t do this job…but they will also be making things infinitely worse for the department as a whole…

    My department wouldn’t try to evaluate who’s been MORE of a thorn in the side. They would simply eliminate both of them because any short term plug in can (at the very least) mimic what they did.

    I’m aware baseball is somewhat different but if these guys have been given ample time to improve and have a pretty decent sample size of failing all season so far…there’s no point to have either one of them anymore and literally any alternative is a better one because at the very least they will just do the same thing – where as the probabilty of them doing as little as slightly better is significantly higher than waiting for the two, that have been given enough chances, to do the same.

    • Ross in Jersey

      I’d honestly keep one of them. You need that one guy in the bullpen who you can throw to the wolves for 4 innings. I don’t see the point to calling up a AAA arm to serve as the mop-up man, he might as well keep getting starts down on the farm. Though I guess Tim Redding couldn’t do any worse than these two.

      • Rose

        Yeah, I’m sure there are a few dopes we could insert in their place. At this point, I don’t see either of these guys ever improving. But I’m sure they will DFA one now…and then DFA the other immediately when and if a trade goes through for another reliever.

        Starters in the 2nd half so far have a combined 8.82 ERA and a 2.204 WHIP. That’s just awful. The relievers have a nearly as depressing 5.49 ERA and 1.475 WHIP. Yikes. I know we played the Rays for a series and one game against the Angels…but it’s bad however way you look at it.

        • Ross in Jersey

          Small sample size + 2 of the starters gave up runs then left early due to injury. It’s not like our pitching fell off a cliff. Just a bit of regression and a bit of bad luck. The offense, outside of having guy-we’ve-never-seen-before syndrome for 8 innings last night, has been doing pretty well.

  • KayGee

    “Hughes got Mike Napoli to ground out, but then gave up a single to Juan Rivera”

    While Hughes clearly wasn’t sharp overall, I think it should be noted that “single” by Rivera may have changed the inning. Granderson badly misjudged a harmless fly ball and turned it into a single. Instead of 2 out and nobody on, Hughes had to work from the stretch and served up the 2-run shot to Izturis. Not making an excuse for Phil, but Granderson has to make that play (especially if he’s going to continue to hover around a .300 OBP).

    • Ross in Jersey

      I am admittedly a Granderson defender. But I’m convinced that’s a single in front of almost every center fielder in the league. Rivera had a big swing, and it had the sound. I thought it was gone off the bat, but he actually hit it off the end of the barrel.

      • KayGee

        Agreed that it was a tough read off the bat, but I think hes got to make the adjustment sooner and make that play. The initial step back was a natural reaction, but he stood there an extra second too long before finally charging in and making a diving attempt. Overall, I think Granderson has played a good CF this year but he does take some curious routes to fly balls. My main point was considering his significant offensive troubles, he needs to be nearly flawless in CF to really contribute to this team.

  • mko

    And again, the strike zone was horrible. 8 pitches from Hughes were called balls but should have been strikes, according to Pitch F/X. I think the game would have turned out different if Hughes gets the right calls.

    Bah…just replace the home plate ump with a computer…