Jul
23

Bats back shaky Hughes, Yanks win big over A’s

By

Brandon Laird's Hall of Fame career began on Friday.

Trevor Cahill is a good young starter, but the poor kid just doesn’t seem to stand a chance against the Yankees. New York blew the doors off this one early, knocking Cahill from the game in the third inning. It’s Friday and it’s hot, so let’s quickly recap…

  • Everyone contributed offensively, even the guys off the bench. The Yankees scored five runs in the second with a barrage of singles plus a walk and a sacrifice fly. They didn’t bat around, but they came close. Most of the damage was done in the third inning, which featured both a three-run homer and a grand slam. You don’t see that happen in the same inning very often, not by one team anyway. Six straight batters reached to leadoff the inning, and one batter even had two hits in the frame. Add in some garbage time runs later, and you’ve got a season-high 17 runs and the most they’ve scored in one game since hanging 20 on the Red Sox in August of 2009.
  • Phil Hughes was pretty terrible, allowing seven runs in just 4.1 IP, walking four and striking out three. He also hit a batter. Blame the weather or the long layoffs between innings if you want, but the bottom line is that a starter has to get through at least five innings when staked to a 12 run lead. That’s the bare minimum. Hector Noesi was strong yet again in long relief, striking out three and walking nine in 3.2 scoreless innings. He needed 53 pitches to get 11 outs, Hughes 98 to get 13 outs. Phil has to be better next time out (against the Mariners), just has to be.
  • There’s a lot of offense to cover, so let’s run through it. Brett Gardner struck out three times but also had an infield hit in that second inning. Derek Jeter had two hits and a walk, Curtis Granderson two walks and a hit-by pitch, Mark Teixeira two walks and the grand slam, Robinson Cano two hits, Nick Swisher three hits (including the three-run homer) and a walk, Jorge Posada one hit, Eduardo Nunez two hits, and Frankie Cervelli was a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks. Granderson and Jeter each stole bases as well. Chris Dickerson came off the bench and singled.
  • If the Yankees have any trade interest in Oakland relievers, they sure got a good look at all of them in this game. Six different relievers appeared in the game for the A’s, none worse than Joey Devine. Check out his strike zone plot, and make sure you notice the pitches literally off the chart and in the margins. His first pitch of the night was the first pitch Brandon Laird saw as a big leaguer, a fastball behind his back. Laird drew a walk his first time up (his first since June 25th) then singled the next time, so he’s rocking a 1.000 AVG and 1.000 OBP at the moment. Congrats to him.
  • It’s been more than a dozen years since the Yankees played a home game in this kind of weather; July of 1999 was the last time the temperature exceeded triple digits at first pitch at Yankee Stadium. Yuck. Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, and here’s the standings.

Saturday’s going to be another scorcher, but if you want to brave the heat and head up to the Bronx for the game, RAB Tickets can get you in dirt cheap. Rich Harden will give it a go against A.J. Burnett in the matinee.

Categories : Game Stories

125 Comments»

  1. Thomas Cassidy says:

    After watching Noesi pitch this season, I don’t miss Aceves as much as I did the beginning of this season.

  2. Jack Merridew says:

    Hughes gets one more shot against another anemic offense at home before the move must be made to call Nova up and send Hughes down to AAA. Hughes can work on finishing off hitters down there. Otherwise it’s just going to be more of 0-2 – 90 mph fastball middle in, double. The offense may not bail him out the next time.

  3. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Play Laird over Nunez tomorrow? hmm..

  4. Mister D says:

    Though I hate to make excuses for Hughes, the weather here in NY is oppressive. It’s been hard enough to teach summer school (with no AC), I can’t imagine what its like engaging in physical activity in the middle of an open field.

    I certainly won’t ignore this outing for now, but a good start or two and I think we can put it in the dustbin.

    • first time lawng time says:

      Make all the excuses you want. You can bet your ass that if AJ shits the bed tomorrow you’ll hear me going on about the 110 degree weather effing him up. No way in hell does AJ pitch poorly on his own. He is a great pitcher and if he screws up, it’s not his fault.

      • CMP says:

        If AJ shits the Bed it will be because he sucks. The weather could possibly contribute to him sucking more than he usually does but the primary reason will be his own innate sucking.

        • first time lawng time says:

          AJ is a good pitcher.

          Of his 20 starts this year, he has only kept his team out of the game in 4 of his starts.

          • CMP says:

            His ERA, FIP, ERA+ are all less than league average and he’s on pace for about 1.5 WAR. I’ll be the first to admit he’s my least favorite Yankee but every advanced metric shows him to be a below average major league starter.

            Below average =/= Good

            • first time lawng time says:

              I don’t care about ERA, FIP, WAR, below league average, etc. I care about him keeping the team in the game, which he’s done 80% of the time this year, which is more important than anything else.

              • FIPster Doofus says:

                Cool. He still isn’t a good pitcher.

                • first time lawng time says:

                  But he keeps his team in the game, which is the goal for the pitcher. He’s doing his job.

                  • FIPster Doofus says:

                    You’re kind of describing Freddy Garcia and other bargain-basement pitchers of his ilk. Burnett is paid to do a lot more than simply keep a team in a game.

                    • first time lawng time says:

                      I don’t really care about the contract. All he needs to do is help the team win games. To do that, he has to keep his team in the game, which he has done this year.

                  • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                    You could say that Hughes “kept his team in the game” by not giving up the 14-2 lead.

                    • first time lawng time says:

                      No I couldn’t. Hughes gave up 7 runs in 4 innings. AJ has never done that this year.

              • CMP says:

                Well there you have it. If you’re not bound by the rules of logic, there’s no way of having an intelligent dialogue with you.

                AJ must be a good pitcher just because you say so.

              • Mike says:

                The point is a lot of mediocre pitchers could “keep the team in the game” with the Yankees offense, for a lot less than what AJ makes. AJ gets paid like a number two and pitches like a back end starter.

          • FIPster Doofus says:

            He’s not good.

          • Will says:

            I think I might be the only person on this site who is a bigger AJ fan than you, so I feel like I have to correct you and say that AJ has actually kept the team WELL in the game in all but ONE start this year (against the Sox at home, natch. He blew a big lead against Price in Tampa, but it was still a 1-run game when he left.)

            A fun AJ fact: He has allowed more than 4 ER exactly ONCE this year. In contrast, CC has allowed more than 4 ER 5 times. Obviously CC is a better pitcher and clearly the ace, but AJ has been the team’s most consistent starter this year, almost matched by Garcia. Whether internet fans like it or not.

      • Phil says:

        AJ’s more a (gun)slinger than a pitcher. As he’s aged, his stuff has gotten somewhat tamer, and as a result, he’s naturally more hittable. The guy’s self-esteem is such that he’s always a pitch or two or three away from selling his own stuff out.

        The dude just doesn’t seem to have enough conviction in his stuff & seems to give in rather than to persevere when he encounters adversity. When the wheels begin to get shaky, people are getting on via BB’s or they’re hitting him, he usually gets even more slingy w/his pitches, kind of like throwing it up to the plate w/a hope & a prayer.

        He doesn’t really seem to relish the competition between himself & the hitter, but rather, tends to give in to it. When he gets in trouble, rather than digging deeper, he gets that AJ look of despair in his eyes & demeanor, that here we go again look, & you know he’s spit the bit as the Boss used to say.

        My old little league baseball coach would have characterized it as psyching himself out. I say, pitching wise, grow a pair, AJ; you should be a at least a quality pitcher in this league, not a less than league average bum. Pitch; don’t sling. Compete, probe, attack, change speeds, pull the string, bust him inside, change the plain, go after them, stay away from them, climb the ladder, make ‘em chase. Damn Sam, man, stop the nonsense & become the guy you should be already; eh!

    • Mister Delaware says:

      I still can’t believe there’s a “Mister D” here.

  5. Will (the other one) says:

    My bold prediction: at the end of the year, we’ll all look back and applaud Hector Noesi for being a major contributor to the team’s second-half success.

  6. Phife Dawg says:

    Tomorrows game (Harden vs AJ) being played in 100 degree weather= a 4 hour game at least.

  7. Rich in NJ says:

    The more I see Noesi pitch, the more I like him. Six swinging strikes, four or five pitches, a four seamer that averages 93.34 mph, and a GB-FB that was 8-3. He could be one of their five best starters.

  8. forensic says:

    Coming from those of us in/near the southwest, it’s kind of funny how worked up you’re all getting over the heat. Oh well…

    • Pat D says:

      I didn’t think there was a lot of humidity in a lot of the southwest?

      Where I live, as soon as I opened the door to let my dogs outside at 9 AM this morning, I had that oppressive, suffocating heat feeling slamming me right in the face.

      • forensic says:

        No, not a lot of humidity, but that doesn’t make much difference when it’s routinely 110-115 degrees here. You open the door and it feels like you walked into a furnace. It’s 11pm here now (outside Vegas), and it’s still about 98 degrees.

        They showed the thermometer sitting out in the sun on the field today and it was 120. My thermometer on the side of my house is routinely in the 160-180 range sitting out in the sun.

        And we have it for several months in a row, not for a week-long heat wave. I lived in NY for a long time too (you guys have the worse winters obviously), and I get it, it’s hot, but it’s not like it’s the only hot area in the country. Sadly, that’s why they’ll never get an MLB team here, because the heat would require a dome for basically the whole season, and people don’t like that very much anymore (not to mention they’d never pay for it or have good enough attendance to thrive…).

        When we first moved here, our realtor made a good point. Here, you stay inside for 3-4 months in the summer, there you stay inside for 3-4 months in the winter. It sort of evens out…

  9. first time lawng time says:

    So hard to be a pitcher…you try your hardest to make pitches…it’s like 1000 degrees and your team is out there. You throw the ball and try to get it inside but it goes over the middle of the plate. And like the team wants to get back in the dugout. And then Cano is behind you, watching and he’s probably thinking in Spanish or broken English, “OMG this guy sucks. Throw a fucking strike. I am so hot right now. I need AC. Get a damn out, fatty.” And he’s probably standing there all pissed off and judging you.

    I would feel so embarassed.

    • Yankee Fan 1 says:

      You are so dumb it hurts :/

    • Pants Lendelton says:

      Too funny , I lol’d

      Seriously if anybody was thinking that it’s Jeter.

      • first time lawng time says:

        Too funny, I lol’d

        That was my intention.

        Seriously though, how embarassing must it be to be a pitcher and you’re up by 12 runs and you can’t get outs? I kinda feel bad for Hughes.

        • Will says:

          I don’t. Phil Hughes is an absolutely terrible major league pitcher, and it’s about time the Yankees realized that. Yes, they recently watched Mike Mussina absolutely dominate with diminished stuff, but the difference is that Moose had great command and plus offspeed pitches. Hughes has an average (if you’re being generous) fastball with NO command, and horrendous offspeed stuff. The fact that the Yankees apparently believe their investment in him as a prospect is more important than the team winning games is insulting to fans.

  10. first time lawng time says:

    These guys went from being New York Tankees to New York Unicrons this game.

    It was probably the heat, though. Old guys like warm weather.

  11. forensic says:

    So, by a quick count, Hughes is now just the 8th best starter in the organization that has established major league time.

    At least he keeps showing improvement as he goes along. Oh wait…

    • first time lawng time says:

      I want Nova back up. He’s been better than Hughes this year.

      • CP says:

        If only he weren’t injured…

        • first time lawng time says:

          He gets off the DL in a week. Call him up!

          • Will (the other one) says:

            Sounds like that’s the plan, for that doubleheader with Baltimore.

            • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

              I think it’ll be Warren. Why else would they line him up for Saturday?

              • forensic says:

                It’s pretty sad that if Warren pitches well against the O’s an argument could be made that he’s the 8th best in the org and Hughes the 9th.

                I’m kind of surprised they’re not out searching for Brian Gordan part II at this point like they normally do. Maybe they’ll just pick up Gaudin instead.

  12. first time lawng time says:

    I wonder what the commnts would be like if it were this same game, but the roles reversed.

    • Pat D says:

      Doom and gloom, duh.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      You mean if the Yankees gave up 17 runs to the A’s? People would be flipping out, and perhaps rightly so. We’re talking about the A’s offense, after all.

      • Xstar7 says:

        Like Mike said before the last series with the A’s, they’re basically a lineup of Derek Jeters.

        Think about that.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          The sad thing is I thought the A’s would have a good chance to win the West this year. But they just have no hitting whatsoever. Willingham, DeJesus and Matsui weren’t world-beaters upon coming to Oakland – merely decent hitters – but they have been total busts. It’s a shame, as I like Billy Beane.

          • Xstar7 says:

            Definitely a disappointing year for the A’s. I expected them to at least contend for that mockery of a division. Right now the AL West is the Rangers’ division to lose, even with the resurgent Angels.

  13. ItsATarp says:

    striking out three and walking nine

    I think you meant none…nine would be uhh quite bad lol.

    I think it’s time to lower our expectations of Hughes…I’d be happy if he was a league average starter at this point, but since the second half of last year he has been terrible…worse than league average. Is it sad that Javy this year has given more value than hughes?

  14. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    So should we trade for De los Santos? He was throwing gas.

  15. CMP says:

    As nice as the offensive explosion was tonight, Hughes dismal performance was alarming. I’m not buying the heat and the long inning excuses. 13 base runners and 7 runs in 4.1 innings was downright Burnettian.

    • first time lawng time says:

      13 base runners and 7 runs in 4.1 innings was downright Burnettian.

      Not this year!

      But yeah Hughes has sucked since June 2010.

      Nova, please.

      • CMP says:

        Oh no. His last start was 14 base runners and 4 runs in 5.1 innings. Still better than Hughes but not too far off either.

        • first time lawng time says:

          He gave up 4 runs (3 earned) and pitched into the 6th inning and his team went on to win the game. That’s not bad. Not great, but it doesn’t suck.

          • CMP says:

            You’re delusional. And don’t forget the unearned run was because of his error

            • first time lawng time says:

              I’m the delusional one? You people are always bitching about how much AJ sucks. He doesn’t.

              This year, AJ has never pitched fewer than 5 innings. He’s pitched into the 6th 8 times; 7th 8 times; 8th 3 times; he has failed to pitch into the 6th twice.

              He has given up more than 5 runs twice. He has given up 4 runs 4 times; he got the win in 2 of this games and he pitched into the 7th 3 times. He has given up 3 runs 4 times; he got the win twice (the team won all 4 games). He has given up 2 runs 7 times; his team won 4 of those games. He has given up 1 run 3 times, pitching 7, 7.2, & 8 innings; the team lost all 3 of those games.

              I don’t think I’m delusional. While AJ hasn’t been great, he hasn been as bad as everyone on this site makes him out to be.

              • Xstar7 says:

                He gets crappy run support relative to the other Yankee starters, I’ll give him that.

                • first time lawng time says:

                  My point is that people are failing to realize that AJ ha not blown up this year; he hasn’t given up that many runs per start.

                  He keeps his team in the game.

                  • Xstar7 says:

                    There’s really no excuse AJ. He hasn’t been as bad as he was last last season (yet), but that’s not saying much. Just “keeping your team in the game” is what you look for out of your 5th starter. Not the guy who’s getting paid 16.5 million dollars a year. He was the Yankees number 2 starter going into 2010. Look at where is is now. Unreliable, unstable, and overpaid.

                    • first time lawng time says:

                      The goal of every pitcher, regardless of contract, is to give up as few runs as possible to keep allow his offense to score. (the goal of any hitter is to score a run, whether that involves getting on base, hitting a HR, hitting a sac fly, etc). AJ has achieved that goal, just not giving as much length as we would like in the process.

                    • Xstar7 says:

                      Boversimplification if I’ve ever seen it.

                    • forensic says:

                      How has Burnett achieved the goal of allowing as few runs as possible when he’s still below average in runs allowed? Unless his expectations are to be within 10% of league average, which is pretty pitiful, then he hasn’t achieved that goal. That’s not the kind of standards you want to set for saying he’s a good pitcher. Again, no back-to-back quality starts this year, and that’s not that difficult a standard to meet.

                      As I said, I like Burnett, but your support of him gets a bit overzealous much of the time.

              • forensic says:

                I actually like Burnett (never thought I’d say that when they signed him), but even in this non-hitting year he can’t even get his ERA+ to 100 and still hasn’t had back-to-back quality starts yet this year.

                The contract adds some exaggeration to some people’s reactions to him, but he really isn’t much more than a barely league average starter who sometimes fills innings for you at this point.

                • first time lawng time says:

                  The problem with AJ is not that he’s melting down and giving up a lot of runs and keeping his team out of the game; it’s that he has trouble pitching 6-7 innings consistently. That’s why his ERA is so poor.

                  I think we can all agree that he’s been serviceable this year and he’s certainly improved since last year.

                  • forensic says:

                    I don’t know about serviceable, that a tough choice on where to draw that line. Has he been better than last year? Obviously, it’s hard to be worse than possibly the worst season for a starting pitcher in Yankees history, but he hasn’t been good. The main difference is a BABIP that went from high (.319) last year to low (.252) this year, which is currently the lowest mark of any season in his career. I’m not one who attributes all that to luck, but some of it could be.

                • CMP says:

                  Every advanced metric shows him to be less than league average, not “barely more”. He’s one of the top 5 highest paid pitchers in baseball who’s giving you what you less than what they’ve gotten from Nova and Garcia.

                  • Will says:

                    But he’s blowing away what Hughes is giving them, and it’s not even close. Plus, as i pointed out above, AJ has been the Yankees most consistent starter this year. If he had even half of CC’s run support, he’d be the one with 14 wins (look up his game logs, you’ll be surprised). AJ’s average numbers this year are mostly the result of an insanely high and unsustainable HR/FB %, a penchant by his manager to pull him early in winnable games, and absurdly low run support for a team with the Yankees’ offense.

              • NEPA Yankee says:

                Very compelling argument. I think if Cashman’s smart, he’ll put you on the first plane to Seattle. With the numbers you’ve shown here, I think we can get King Felix, and possibly a PTBNL for A.J.

                If that doesn’t work out, you can try Philly, with the added argument of how well A.J. did in Toronto when he got to hide behind Halladay.

              • Dalelama says:

                I have always wondered why when a pitchers own error allows a run that run isn’t an earned run. The pitcher’s other mistakes like a hanging curveball that end up in the bleachers count but not a shitty throw to first.

              • Dalelama says:

                I have always wondered why when a pitchers own error allows a run that run isn’t an earned run. The pitcher’s other mistakes like a hanging curveball that end up in the bleachers count but not a crappy throw to first.

          • FIPster Doofus says:

            It sucks very much.

            • first time lawng time says:

              You know, if he pitched for any other team (except maybe Boston) that team’s fanbase would appreciate him.

              • Brian S. says:

                Actually I think they would hate him even more than we do because of his pricetag. The Yankees don’t give a fuck about his 16.5 million dollars a year because they print stacks to the ceiling, but that’s like a quarter of most team’s payroll.

                • first time lawng time says:

                  I’m talking about in terms of his pitching, not his price tag.

                  • Slugger27 says:

                    im actually starting to think you might be an imposter thats trolling. we need to check the IP address. we all know you like aj, but your going into monteroisdinero territory here with your irrationality.

                    • first time lawng time says:

                      I just get extremely annoyed when people refuse to ignore thebpositives in a given player.

                      AJ gets ZERO credit on this site and it is infuriaing.

                    • first time lawng time says:

                      And I don’t think monteroisdinero is irrational at all. I don’t get why so many people here make fun of him. So he likes Golson, Nuñez, and Montero. Big deal.

                    • David, Jr. says:

                      Monteroisdinero isn’t one bit irrational. He likes Montero, Nuney and Golson. So what? Nuney has been a contributor. Golson could be a 4th outfielder, and Montero could at the least improve our DH dogs.

                • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                  The Sox have their own AJ contract with Lackey.

                  • Monteroisdinero says:

                    FTLT coming to my defense while I sleep/slept. How nice. It is very irrational to like Golson as a 4th Of’er, Nunez (with whom we have a darn good record the last 2 seasons) and Montero who would had have to hit .230 or better to improve on our catchers and DH’s. 1.2M a year for 3 players who would probably have us in the same spot as we are now. Same results-money saved to be used elsewhere.

    • Will says:

      Yeah, except Burnett has only been that bad for a one-month stretch of 6 starts last June, and even then, his stuff ran circles around what Hughes has shown for the bulk of his major league career. Hughes has been one of the most embarrassingly terrible pitchers on a major league roster for most of his career, and his stuff gives no indication that that will change. Frankly, I’d rather have Kyle Davies right now.

  16. Bartolo's Colon says:

    I was at the game and it was so hot it felt surreal. Didn’t seem to get at all better as the game went on. I’m sure it did affect Hughes, but it seemed like everything off of him was a rocket. Noesi is the MVP if you ask me, pen will be fully rested tomorrow in spite of Hughes sucking it up.

  17. Rick says:

    There goes Teixeira killing rallies again.

    • Brian S. says:

      Mark Teixeira has a track record of success so he’s not going to hit like Russel Martin like he has for the last seven weeks. He’ll probably end up with some pretty nice offensive numbers at the end of the season, but I’m still going to say he sucks until he improves his triple slash line from his Mark Reynolds esque .230/.340/.490.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        I really think the “Mark Teixeira SUCKS!!!” meme is overplayed. Yeah, his April slump last year lasted an extra month. Yeah, he’s an extreme pull hitter. Yeah, his BABIP sucks and at times he appears streaky. Yeah, a good change up pitcher will have him over a barrel. But I’ll give a guy that’s hit 300 HRs before his 32nd birthday more time than I will just a normal hitter. He’s still 2nd in the AL in HRs and given his new home ball park he SHOULD be an extreme pull hitter. His defense is top notch, better than UZR says IMO. The change ups thing is probably the only issue I really see, but then again, most hitters are neutralized by something. You know what you call hitters that don’t have weaknesses? Albert Pujols. …Well, before this year, anyways.

    • Rick says:

      Uh, guys? That was a “HR kill ralliez!1!” joke, combined with the Teix “sky is falling” crowd joke. It’s a sad day in commenting that there are enough folks who really make stupid posts that you would mistake me for one. Not your fault; I blame society.

  18. Uke says:

    Reading comments on WEEI makes me want to puke…

    “If the Sox deal him, I’d only do it for Jimenez… no way you use his value to trade for a bat… there’s no bat on the market worth Lavarnway’s seemingly limitless potential… catchers with his upside are rare…
    I’d keep him, and make catcher open competition in camp next spring… No dis to Salty, but this is about a once-in-a-blue-moon prospect… Unless we get Jimenez for him, no deal… And even then, I’d hesitate… I think this guy is the 2nd coming of Pudge, and I for one can see him in our system for years to come… ”

    SoxNation is full of jackwagons.

    • forensic says:

      Not that I know anything about him, but he has very good hitting numbers and is killing AAA this year (his first year seeing it) while Montero is underperforming (albeit at a younger age but also his second year at the level). People here say the same thing about Montero, except for maybe comparing him closer to Piazza instead of Pudge. Do you call those people here jackwagons too?

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah, Lavarnaway is pretty good. He’s 24 and at AAA, so it’s not like he’s the second coming or anything. He’s got lots of power but he’s big and is worse bet to catch than Montero, and it’s not like his bat is plus plus or anything. His bat is good, but remember it’s been like 31 games in AAA.

        • Uke says:

          Exactly, Lavarway is said by scouts to have virtually no shot at staying behind the plate, he’s 3 years older than Montero, and does not have nearly the tools Montero has, when scouts can say that Montero has a better chance than Lavarway to stick at catcher, it’s pretty obvious that Lavarway is a terrible catcher.

  19. forensic says:

    Joe Girardi said: “You’ve got to look at it as a blip. You’ve got to move on. He’ll be back out there Wednesday.”

    Yeah, I’m sure this game was the blip, not all the other starts this year, or on a slightly lesser scale, his whole performance back to last April/May.

    “I like it,” Teixeira said. “I think it makes our lineup deeper. … I love having (Gardner) as the leadoff hitter right now.”

    Uh oh, the Media are going to be all over him for Jeter-bashing now…

  20. Jimmy McNulty says:

    So just like the other night, when Bart being good again was more important than the loss…tonight Hughes being absolutely terrible is more important than the win. Jesus Christ, he’s just been fucking terrible. If you remove his stats from the first half of 2010 he’s slightly above replacement level as a starter. Which isn’t to say that’s what he is, that’s just what he’s been ever since he lost the curveball.

    Question for the board. Since there’s a reading comprehension issue with quite a few posters here, let me repeat, this is just a QUESTION, I am in no way suggesting this event is here or even close to here. Likewise, I’m not saying that this is scenario hasn’t happen, nor is it not close to happening.

    At what point do we call Phil Hughes a bust?

    Define bust however you will, if you don’t know how to define bust or are too big of an asshole to do this yourself, my definition of a “bust” is a fringy average starter.

    Me personally, I think it’s at the end of next season. If he hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy and put together a string of decent starts or put hitters away, I think it’s time to label him a bust. He’s 25, and it’s about time that the former top pitching prospect in all of baseball starts pitching at least like a three starter.

    • I think we need to make a distinction between “he was a bust” and “he didn’t meet expectations/projections.” By all means, Phil Hughes was projected as a top-line starting pitcher and he’s yet to meet that expectation, and may never do that (based on his current skill set, I’d say that “may” could be a “probably”). He could, though, not meet that goal and still not be considered a bust.

      I’d consider a bust a player who cannot, in any capacity, contribute to the Major League team. Hughes has shown he can do that and until he proves otherwise, I wouldn’t consider him a bust.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      He is in Jeterian territory of long leash love. They both have been lousy for a season. Phil is not injured and he is either “building arm strength, suffering from a dead arm, dealing with oppressive heat etc. Excuses have no end. His stuff is so average. He hasn’t hit 93/94 since who knows when. He has no changeup. I have very little faith in him and feel bad for him. What the hell happened?

  21. Bavarian Yankee says:

    too many (home)runs!! Unfortunately Hughes sucked, I wondered if they intentionally stretched out Noesi when he came in. Has Hughes options btw?
    Great day for Laird, let’s hope we’ll see some more of that.

  22. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Another question:

    I’m frustrated with Hughes, but Nova’s pretty terrible too. I mean, people at least used to think that Hughes could be an ace. Right now Hughes is at the low point in his career and Nova’s at his high point…how many scouts or industry folks prefer Nova to Hughes? If you think Nova’s currently an upgrade, but wish to send Hughes down to AAA so he can get his curve back or figure out how to put away hitters…fine. I disagree with the approach, but that’s still a reasonable take.

    • Will says:

      Personally, I’d be happier as a Yankee fan if I never have to see Phil Hughes in a Yankee uniform again. But unfortunately, no sane GM would accept him in a trade right now—Cashman could offer him to the Red Sox straight up for JD Drew and Theo Epstein would laugh him off the phone. Nova, on the other hand, throws 94 mph and has shown the ability to improve at the major league level. I’m not totally sold on him yet, but I’d be much happier with him in the rotation over Hughes.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      To be fair Nova was progressing as a starter.

  23. Mike says:

    I can see why people were comparing Hughes to Buchholz last year. Yes, he is just as good.

  24. Your mom says:

    “Hector Noesi was strong yet again in long relief, striking out three and walking nine in 3.2 scoreless innings.”

    That’s atrocious!!! Nine walks???

  25. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    Could we have traded away the best of the big 3 to the D-Backs. Maybe, but I won’t give up on Phil. He does need to throw his secondary pitches to make his fastball more effective. A consistent 92 is great with effective secondary pitches. How many times does he need to have the fastball rocketed into the caps to figure it out.

    • Frank says:

      I was just about to post the same thing. IPK has evolved into a quality starting pitcher with 3 quality pitches. And I don’t want to heat he’s pitching in the NL. He knows how to pitch. Hughes and his very straight FB is an average starter at best. Certainly not a front end starter as promoted by the Yanks. He’s actually better off in the BP.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Phil throws 2 pitches-both of which are poorer versions of AJ’s. Slower, straighter fb and curve with less movement. I could be wrong but Martin has had AJ throw his change more this year-but still not enough. Phil’s changeup is far below what it should be.

  26. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    The boys were hitting last night. It must have been the home cooking.

  27. David, Jr. says:

    Been rating “9″ for a while now. Losing confidence in pitching staff, so likely will drop it. Could be stuck with this staff for the year, as not much seems to be available. Can’t imagine getting through the playoffs with these starters.

  28. Joel Willstein says:

    Hughes was just horrible last night. It’s almost impossible to comprehend being pulled and not getting the win when you’re up by 12 runs.

    Hughes doesn’t look much better then when he went on the DL with his dead arm that’s still pretty dead. One more outing like this, and Nova will be up, while Hughes takes another trip out of the Bronx. Maybe this time it will be permanent. It’s hard to get excited about his 91 mph fast ball that’s basically straight down the middle. Although the A’s seemed to really like it.

  29. Bronx Byte says:

    Noesi looking like he belongs. The next start for Hughes will tell a lot of how far he’s progressed.

  30. David, Jr. says:

    Straight 90 MPH fastball wo quality changeup = batting practice.

  31. pete says:

    I read absolutely nothing into this start. Cahill is a solid starter and the yanks scored 10 runs off of him. Is that because the yankees offense is that good? No, it’s because Cahill had a shitty start. It happens. And it also happened to be in crazy heat.

    Hughes had the same thing to deal with, except he also had to sit for like half an hour after the 2nd and 45 minutes after the third. After that point, you might as well not even bother watching the pitcher, because how he pitches in that situation says absolutely nothing about how he will continue to pitch in more normal circumstances in the future. They’re not excuses, they are 100% legitimate reasons why we should not consider this start when evaluating Hughes’s spot in the rotation.

    I remember pitching in high school, there were a few times where the offense had a big inning and I’d come out and have zero control. It was the most obnoxious thing in the world when the coach would come out and say all you need to do is throw strikes! as if somehow that would be easy after sitting for half an hour.

    When it comes to pitching, routine and regularity are EVERYTHING.

    • Mike says:

      I agree. Hughes was dealt a bad hand when we scored all those runs for him. I bet he wishes his team didn’t score so many.

  32. Skip says:

    Re: this long AJ Burnett thread.

    I will say I don’t dislike anyone on the roster, much like people on this site tend to do for various reasons. I like watching CC because he dominates. I like watching Robbie because of his sweet swing. I like watching ARod because of his power.

    Of all the Yankees, the one I anticipate watching the most is AJ. It’s probably because I like to gamble. He’s like getting on a hot roll and hitting point after point and everyone gets excited about it. But you can walk in all excited that he’s going to do well and you end up losing your bankroll in 10 minutes.

    Still, it’s the potential for the thrill ride that keeps me coming back to AJ each and every time.

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