Hughes, Tex lead the way in rain shortened win

Montero homers in Banuelos' SWB debut
A rotation question still without an answer

The night started with the tarp but no rain, and ended with the tarp and a lot of rain. The Yankees and White Sox managed to squeeze six and a half innings of baseball in between rain delays, enough for New York to score six runs and put themselves in position for what was ultimately a rain shortened win.

Not getting to that one, Alex, but nice try.

An Early Lead

CC Sabathia had a two-run lead before he even took the mound on Monday, and the Yankees’ offense gave Phil Hughes similar support in this game. Derek Jeter opened the game with a single through the left side, moving to second when Curtis Granderson drew a seven-pitch walk. Mark Teixeira tried to kill the rally by grounding into a double play, but Robinson Cano picked Tex up with a two-out RBI double. It wasn’t the two runs Sabathia got, but one run is better than none and it’s always nice to take the lead before your starter throws the pitch.

No, You Can’t Have My Rotation Spot

(AP)

Hughes had a lot at stake in this game. A subpar performance and he was almost certainly headed back to the bullpen, doomed to (a temporary?) fate of long-relief and spot starts based on how Joe Girardi was talking before the game. Given his recent performances against the wimpy Athletics and Mariners offenses, it seemed almost like a foregone conclusion that Hughes would pitch his way out of the rotation in this game. Phil wasn’t having any of that.

He came out of the game challenging hitters, throwing ten fastballs in a ten-pitch first inning, the final three at 95 and just one below 93. More fastballs followed in a nine-pitch second inning, though he did mix in one changeup and few cutters. The 17-pitch third inning was his longest, a four-batter frame that featured a ground ball single by Juan Pierre. The fourth inning required just 11 pitches, the fifth just eight pitches, and the sixth just ten pitches. Hughes was on a complete game pace until the skies opened up.

All told, Phil threw just 65 pitches in those six innings, broken down into 45 fastballs, ten curves, six changeups, and four curveballs. Yes, six changeups. I’d like to see more of that, please. ChiSox batters swung and missed at five of his offerings (three fastballs and two cutters), a 7.7% whiff rate that is still below average but worlds better than the 5.1% he had coming into the game. The White Sox didn’t get a single baserunner as far as second base in the game, he didn’t walk anyone, he struck out four, and got the same number of outs on the ground as he did in the air (six). Yeah, his velocity did drop off as his pitch count increased, but it declined to 92, not from it. That’s something that’s been getting better each time out, and frankly after this game, I’m not sure how the Yankees could pull him from the rotation. No, the ChiSox aren’t a great offense, but don’t they have to see if he takes another step forward? There’s no harm given their huge lead on a playoff spot.

Overage Charges (get it? too many Tex messages? hahaha … oh shutup, jerks)

Remember when Teixeira was struggling? When he couldn’t do anything but pop the ball up or strike out or ground into the shift? That sucked, but he’s been ever so quietly tearing the cover off the ball since the start of the homestand. He went 13-for-39 (.333) with four homers, five walks, and just six strikeouts during those ten games in the Bronx, then on Monday he opened this series with two hits. Although that first inning GIDP took the air out of what could have been a multi-run inning, Tex made up for it with a pair of homers later on.

The first came in the third inning and was a monster at-bat, a ten-pitch encounter that featured five foul balls (including two on changeups down, usually the pitch that eats Tex alive). John Danks eventually made a mistake and grooved a cutter, which Teixeira yanked deep into the left field seats for a two-run shot. He chipped in a solo shot in the seventh inning, coming in a much less dramatic at-bat. It was the 12th time in his career he’d hit a homerun from both sides of the plate in the same game, the most in history. It’s his second two-homer effort in the last four games and his fourth straight multi-hit game. The two dingers push his season total to 31, one behind Jose Bautista for the MLB lead. Tex is a streaky dude, but he’s definitely feelin’ it right now.

Leftovers

I’m not sure if this is how we all imagined Hughes getting his first career complete game shutout, but who cares, I’ll take it. Yes, they announced that all the stats do count even though they didn’t complete the seventh inning, so Tex does get credit for the solo homer in the top half of the inning (as does your fantasy team). Between CC Sabathia on Monday and the rain in this game, the bullpen is nice and rested for tomorrow. Rafael Soriano kinda needs some work, actually.

Despite the shortened game, every Yankee had at least one hit except for Brett Gardner. Jeter had a single and a double, Tex the two homers and a single, Robinson Cano a double, and both Andruw Jones and Eduardo Nunez singled. Granderson and Nick Swisher each singled and walked, and Russell Martin hit his first homerun since late-June and his second since May. He’s hitting .290/.353/.419 over the last week and a half, which I’ll happily take with his defense. Grandy, Tex, and Cano each stole a base, the first two together as part of a double steal.

Man, Michael Kay was in full blown mediot mode in this game. No, it didn’t rain during the rain delay, but the radar indicated that something was up. It’s not the end of the world that they had a delay with no rain, it’s not an embarrassment for the White Sox, it’s life. Weather reports are wrong all the time. You know if they had started the game on time and then had to pull the tarp for a delay after an inning or so, he’d complain about that too. Oh, and another thing: we don’t need to know exactly how many career hits Jeter has every single time he comes to the plate either, thanks. Sorry for the rant, but that gets on my nerves.

YES is really mailing in the trivia questions this series, eh? On Monday they asked which former Yankee was the last White Sox player to win the Cy Young (Jack McDowell), and on Tuesday they asked you the name the last player to win back-to-back AL MVP’s while showing you the newly erected statue of Frank Thomas. Not to sound like a total basement dweller, but those questions are as easy as it gets. I’m disappointed, you guys.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerdier stuff, and ESPN the up-to-date standings.

Up Next

They’re halfway there; game three of this four-game series will be played Wednesday night. A.J. Burnett and Gavin Floyd will square off in that one. If you’re in the Windy City and want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can get you there.

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Montero homers in Banuelos' SWB debut
A rotation question still without an answer
  • dela g

    Go for the series win tomorrow, feelin good

  • duzzi23

    This was the best I’ve seen Hughes since the first half of 2010. His fastball and curve looked good and he even mixed in some changeups. Maybe the fact he might of lost his rotation spot gave him a kick in the ass. Hopefully he can build off this and pitch well the rest of the season.

    • David, Jr.

      It was for real. His best fastball since the playoff game against the Twins. Much more life on it.

  • Ivan

    One thing I notice about Phil Hughes last night was that it seems his curveball was alot harder than in previous starts and sharper. His Curveball was around that 78-82 range and it had alot depth to it. I was impress with that.

    Overall, good win for the Yankees and most of all Hughes pitch well, and hopefully he can build on that.

    • Thomas Tu

      I remember reading that Hughes changed the grip on his curve to how he threw it in the minors.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    That was Hughes’s first scoreless start since May of 2010.

    And Kay has been insufferable this series. Yesterday it was Tim McClelland, today it was the weather. Can I haz David Cone or Al Leiter instead please?

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s right about McClelland. But yeah, Singleton is a much better play-by-play man. It was great when he and Cone were the announcing team a few weeks back. And is my memory off or has Leiter not been around for a while? I can’t seem to remember him doing any games recently.

  • Thomas Cassidy

    Great game. Even better game if you see the bullpen was not used so they have extra rest for tomorrow if needed.

  • Cuso

    So when did that rule change about counting statistics from the top of an inning of a rain-shortened game?

    Obviously, I’ll accept that the announcement that the statistics count is correct.

    But didn’t the rule used to be that the top of the inning gets wiped out and it should read Final/6?

    Some explanation by the league must be forthcoming. Because the White Sox/Yanks can’t make the decision about that. that’s a league decision.

    • sangreal

      I don’t know what the rule used to be, but in the 2011 rules it is clear that all stats count:

      (e) CALLED AND FORFEITED GAMES.
      (1) If a regulation game is called, the official scorer shall include the record of all individual and team actions up to the moment the game ends, as defined in Rules 4.10 and 4.11. If the game is a tie game, the official scorer shall not enter a winning or losing pitcher.

      • sangreal

        Also, in case there was any question over what is considered the end of the game:

        (d) A called game ends at the moment the umpire terminates play, unless it becomes a suspended game pursuant to Rule 4.12(a)

        This was a regulation game and it was not suspended

    • CUYanks

      Yeah they changed that rule when they changed the rule about suspended games, I believe. It used to be if the team took the lead in the top (say a 2-run hr to go ahead 3-2), then the stats would be wiped to the last completed inning, even when it switched the winning team. Now, if something happens like that, they game is simply suspended. That being said, even under the earlier rules, I believe the stats would count if the inning wasn’t lead-changing anyway.

      • Cuso

        That sounds right. I think the rule was overhauled back in ’08 after the Phillies/Rays World Series debacle, actually.

        The quoting of the 2011 rule is meaningless as to when the rule changed. But this comment jogged my memory about the 08 series. Thanks.

        • sangreal

          The quoting of the 2011 rule is meaningless as to when the rule changed.

          Obviously, but you asked for an explanation on how the decision was made:

          “Some explanation by the league must be forthcoming. Because the White Sox/Yanks can’t make the decision about that. that’s a league decision.”

          • CUYanks

            I appreciate you putting that 2011 rule up because it’s always good to see how it is officially written. I wish I could find the earlier version of the rule. I know they reverted to the previous completed inning if the visiting team took the lead, but if the lead didn’t change I can’t remember for the life of me whether the stats counted in that half.

            It reminds me of an interesting trivia question. What are the ways that a players can play more than 162 games in a single season?

  • Rich in NJ

    Building arm strength, refining his mechanics with Rothschild’s help…yeah, I’m encouraged.

    “And Kay has been insufferable this series. Yesterday it was Tim McClelland”

    Sterling was continually complaining about McClelland’s slow motion ball/strike calls yesterday. I get that it can be frustrating, especially for a radio broadcaster, but I had the game on for like 20 minutes and he must have mentioned it six times.

    • BigBlueAL

      Not to mention that McClelland has been umpiring since the early 80’s at the least, I know he was the plate ump in the Pine Tar game.

      I mean he has done millions of Yankee games so you would think they would be used to it by now.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        I also remember him umping game 7 of the ’03 ALCS against Boston. Sure that wasn’t that long ago, but it further proves your theory that he umps a lot of Yankee games.

        • BigBlueAL

          Yup, he was the plate ump for Game 7 in the 2003 ALCS. Plus umped the 2009 ALCS as well making that horrible call at 3rd in Game 4.

          • Thomas Cassidy

            That was CB Bucknor.

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat
              • Pat D

                And despite it being on MLBN’s list of the most controversial calls ever, that play didn’t matter for shit, except to show how bad the overall umpiring was that postseason.

    • johnnybk

      He’s railed on it all game, every game that mclellend has called for at least 7 or 8 years. Sterling is a boob, but mclellend sucks too. Sometimes there are 10 million people listening, hanging on an important pitch and they gotta sweat it out because this f’in douchenozzle wants to be bigger than baseball?

  • 51cq24

    one objection: 5/65 is certainly not worlds better than 5.1%; it’s between one and two swings and misses better. hughes looked a lot better tonight than he has, but the contact rate against him is still very troubling.

  • http://none Favrest

    Hughes got his fastball up to 95, and he got all of his pitches over the plate. Well, all 3 of them. Hopefully, he’ll build on this, and take out a damaged Anaheim line up next week. Still, I wonder if it’s a mistake not throwing him in Fenway after seeing how poorly Garcia has faired against them.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Michael Kay tonight…

    “The White Sox’s ground crew is embarrassing.”

    “Very manageable game time of 1:59. But still, EMBARRASSING grounds crew!”

    “Did I mention that the White Sox’s grounds crew is embarrasing?”

    “The White Sox’s ground crew is embarrassing.”

    “Phil Hughes’ velocity has dropped to 93 mph. A disturbing trend…”

    “Tim Mclelland is a bad umpire.”

    “Did I mention that the White Sox have a TERRIBLE grounds crew?”

    “Ivan Nova is a better pitcher than Mariano Rivera because he has more wins”

    “Did I mention that the White Sox’s grounds crew is embarrasing?”

    I never really have anything against him but COME ON…seriously?

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      /overkill

    • Steamed Clams

      wait, did he really say the second to last quote?

    • Dino Velvet

      hahahahahahhahahahhahah

      that was funny.

      and then the whinny shit about how Jeter has never invited him to dinner: “I’ve known him since he was 18 and he’s never invited me to dinner”.

      • Rick in Boston

        I wish Cone had been in the booth last night.

        Kay: I’ve known him since he was 18 and he’s never invited me to dinner.”
        Cone: Have you ever met yourself?

      • steve (different one)

        Maybe jeter doesn’t want to eat chicken parm and bacon for dinner

    • Mike

      I am glad others are starting to find Kay annoying. I loved when he was on vacation and Cone/Singleton were in the booth. Michael Kay should go away more often as far as I’m concerned.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Phil Hughes has been using his change up the most since 2007. He’s used it 6.1% of the time, which is the most since using it 6.3% of the time in that ’07 season. Also, thank you Mike for pointing out how annoying Michael Kay is whenever Jeter gets a hit. He’s well past 3000 now, and we don’t need to know how many career hits he has whenever he gets a hit. I’ve been saying that for weeks now and I’m glad that you agree. Also, I find it very annoying that John Flaherty called Hughes’ change ups, cutters. Can’t he tell the difference?

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Harold Reynolds said on MLBN that the Yankees would MISS THE PLAYOFFS if Hughes was not good. Then he proceed to explain how the Yankees “ruined” Joba’s career, and gave up on Jeff Karstens and IPK who became “aces”.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Reynolds’ stupidity knows no bounds. He is easily the worst analyst on MLB Network, and that’s saying something when you take a look at some of his colleagues.

      • Pat D

        Yea, I mentioned something he said either Sunday or last night as the final nail in his coffin.

        I never remembered him being this stupid on ESPN, honestly.

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      Jeff Karstens is hardly an ace. Sure he’s 8-5 with a shiny ERA, but his 84.5 LOB % and .245 BABIP against are unsustainable. He’s gotten pretty lucky. And as for Ian Kennedy, AL East >>> NL West.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I honestly wouldn’t take Karstens over anyone in the Yankees’ current rotation. He’s doing it with smoke and mirrors and would get lit up in the AL East.

        Kennedy is really good, but as you said, switching leagues has helped him a lot. Plus, you can’t complain about what the Yankees got back for him: a superstar center fielder in his prime.

        • bklyn

          Lets be fair, kennedy is piching well. He is In the same division as ubaldo, lincecum, kershaw, cain, etc so if you want to discredit his stats, the same spplies to the other pitchers.

          • MikeD

            To be fair, he said that Kennedy is “really good.” I guess you missed that part.

          • FIPster Doofus

            I think it’d be reasonable to expect some sort of drop-off from any pitcher switching from the NL West to the AL East, regardless of who it is. Three of the worst offenses in baseball reside in the NL West from a runs standpoint. Compare that to the AL East, which has three elite offenses, one that’s middle of the road and one that’s below average.

            There are only two teams with good offenses in the NLW, and Kennedy happens to pitch for one of them. Nevertheless, the fact is that he’s having an excellent season and deserves a ton of praise for it. Good for him.

            • Ted Nelson

              Runs scored is also a function of pitching faced (as well as defense faced, parks played in… Petco…). I’m not trying to say that the NL West offenses are nearly as good as AL East (especially with DH), just that theoretically facing better pitching more often can have the same impact on offensive output that facing better offenses more often can have on a pitcher’s performance.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          Also regarding the Curtis Granderson trade, Austin Jackson has really fallen off a cliff this season. He never hit for power, but now he’s not hitting for average either, coupled with an even higher K% percentage than last year and his below average defense this season. Would keeping Kennedy really be worth it if it meant we’d have Jackson as our starting CF instead of Grandy? Probably not.

    • Pat D

      He can’t read the standings, evidently.

      8 game loss column lead in the Wild Card standings with 54 games to go. Not impossible, but hard to blow that, too, especially when they’re 2nd in the AL in runs scored and 2nd in runs allowed.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Harold Reynolds the guy who thinks every kid that throws hard should be a reliever lol.

    • David, Jr.

      The guy is full of crap, as usual. He has a better chance of turning smart than the Yankees do of missing the playoffs.

      I like what I see better than ever, and expect to increase my Confidence Rating next week. Hughes looked great. It was legitimate. His fastball was vastly improved. They have shown good depth, playing well without ARod. Lots of talk about Montero, but the good thing is that they are in a position where they can go either way. Winning without him, so no pressure, just do what is best for his development.

    • MannyGeee

      so Karstens is not even a #1 on his team, let alone an ‘ace’…

      so fck Harold Reynolds.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Is it just me, and I’ve been listening to Michael Kay for years now, but ha Michael Kay been more annoying now that he’s married?

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Is it just me, and I’ve been listening to Michael Kay for years now, but has Michael Kay been more annoying now that he’s married?

    • CUYanks

      I think he’s always been annoying, but I think recently he’s been a lot more cynical/indignant towards stupid minor things.

      • nick2slick

        Somehow, he has become a broadcasting version of Larry David’s character in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

        • johnnybk

          I highly doubt he would ever eat Palestinian chicken.

          • Monteroisdinero

            He would but without condiments. Michael Ebenezer Kay.

          • boogie down

            What is this, the raid on Entebbe?

            • dkidd

              awesome

    • Dino Velvet

      I think it’s because turned 50 and he’s starting his “get off my lawn” phase of life.

  • Ryan 407

    i would rather Kay than Hawk any day of the week. you guys should feel lucky you didn’t have to sit through the MLB Network feed.

    • MikeD

      Oh, well, on that I’m sure almost everyone would agree with, at least I hope. Hawk is painful. Kay is actually quite good compared to other broadcasters around the country, which is not to say he’s also not annoying.

      • mbonzo

        If you get over the fact that Hawk is a complete homer that will never attempt an unbiased remark, he’s not so bad. Sterling isn’t a homer to the extent of Harrelson, but he’s our annoying announcer which I could never see changing.

        • MannyGeee

          meet Jery Remy.

  • forensic

    What’s so bad about complaining about a radar delay? I looked at weather.com when it started and the futurecast had the rain missing Chicago. I understand saving starters, but there’s a point where you just need to play and let what happens, happen.

    As far as McClelland, how anyone can support him is beyond me. It’s supposed to be all about the fans, and when they have to wait a couple seconds to figure out what happened, then there’s something wrong. I know the players like him and CB Bucknor is terrible, but I’d almost prefer him to McClennand just because I actually know what’s going on. That should tell you how terrible McClelland is.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      In his heart of hearts, McClelland knows that a slow call is okay.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s not a matter of disagreeing with the content of Kay’s complaints, it’s a matter of disagreeing with how vociferously and incessantly he complains about marginal things.

      For example, saying that you thought they should have started the game and were annoyed the did not is worlds different from calling Chicago’s grounds crew “embarrassing.” He took it from disagreeing with the grounds crew to insulting the grounds crew. Unnecessary. Just as McClelland needs to consider the fans, so does Kay. He’s not in there announcing for his own good, he’s getting paid to inform and entertain people. Clearly a large number of people are more annoyed than informed or entertained.

  • yankee_lover

    i got a question 4 all of yall people who said do away with the 6 man rotation what do you do now???

    • Monteroisdinero

      If every guy is a good option, then split Bartolo and Freddy within one start. Their stuff is very different and I would think 4 innings of Bartolo, 4 of Freddy and one of Mo would make a nice cocktail of challenging pitching. It would also save the old arms a bit.

      • Ted Nelson

        That’s an interesting idea. I think I’d prefer a 6-man rotation, but that’s a thought.

    • Tom Bombadil

      As long as Phil is pitching well he’ll stay and I’d even favor him over AJ for #4 in the playoffs. Nova is the odd man out and will either go to the pen or down to AAA. Girardi already said they probably won’t stay with the 6 man rotation.

  • forensic

    Why would anyone sign with the White Sox as a FA if they have a choice is beyond me. Watching yesterday’s pregame, Ozzie said he ‘want’s to cry’ when Dunn goes to the plate. I get it, Dunn has been terrible this year, but geez why would you even want to show up to work when your Manager has already given up on you?

    • Monteroisdinero

      He needed a manager like Joe G: “Dunnzy’s still our guy” “Lord knows I went through bad slumps in my career”

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      That’s just Ozzie’s charm!!!!

      /wanking motion

  • JD

    keep it

  • jz

    So neither Kay nor Flash seemed to have any clue how Manny performed in AA before being called up. They were talking about the promotion and Flaherty asked if Banuelos had dominated AA and Kay had no clue. The top pitching prospect in the organization, who could be on a path for a call-up this year, and neither guy had bothered to check-in on how he had been doing. Not that hard to do. Kind of pathetic.

    • YanksFan

      Better that than just looking at his last 5 starts. The MSM puts out bad info so much that I prefer no info.

    • Ted Nelson

      I do often wonder how these people get and hang onto their jobs.

  • jsbrendog

    hester prynne:

    eat me.

    go hughes.

    • David, Jr.

      It is always good to raise the level of the board discourse.

      • YanksFan

        True but Hester does nothing to improve discourse. The comment was also small enough for Hester to read.

        • Jim S

          No comment is small enough for Hester to read.

          Hester will see the word Hughes, and post something like “So Hughes finally had a good outing. Let’s see him do it again or Nova’s going to take his place in our rotation and Hughes will be in the minors.”

          • jsbrendog

            you forgot because nova deserves it

        • jsbrendog

          exactly. haha

          can we pull a waiver trade of hester prynne for bo/sal/grant/lanny?

          yes, i went there

  • Tom Bombadil

    Phil was masterful last night and has earned his spot in the rotation. I’d hate to be Girardi if Nova matches him on Thursday. I think Phil will stay and they’ll end up sending Nova down again or putting Nova in the pen and sending Noesi down. This is a good problem to have and why I was glad Cashman didn’t sell the farm for an average arm.

  • MannyGeee

    speaking of insufferable, I had the ‘privilage(?)’ of watching the ChiSox feed on MLBN. Hawk Harrelson is insufferable. Tex’ first HR call was literally:

    ‘Get Foul…’ *10 seconds of angry silence* ‘Homerun Texieria…’

    they don’t call him the best color man in the game for nothing, folks…

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      Privilege.

      • MannyGeee

        that one too.

    • steve (different one)

      Did you know that Hawk Harrelson was once the GM of the White Sox? Think about that one if you ever need a better example of how things have changed over the l$ast decade or so…

      • Pat D

        His tenure included moving Carlton Fisk to LF and firing Tony LaRussa, who by the end of that year had taken over the A’s and they passed the White Sox in the standings.

        He also drafted poorly, as the best pick they had was Scott Radinsky. But that still wasn’t as bad as the year before when they passed up Barry Bonds to take a catcher who never got past AA. Sadly, that didn’t happen on Hawk’s watch.

  • YanksFan

    Great start for Phil. As Ted mentiioned yesterday, no matter how bad he’s pitched he is not allowing any runs. This is now 4 games where he gave up 2 runs or less out of 5. Yes, he gave up too many baserunners in the 3 of the first 4 but that is his starting point to improve on(I hope). And finding a few more MPHs on the heater, I feel real good for him going forward.

    • David, Jr.

      The others were illusory, a product of awful opposing lineups and great defense. This was completely different. His fastball was vastly improved, both harder and with more movement. The next step would be a real change. Right now it is kind of a waste pitch, although last night’s fastball was so good that his change still had them off balance a couple of times.

      • Nuke Ladoosh

        Would be sweet to see him outpitch Ubaldo over the rest of the season. And to see Jesus rake in September.

      • Ted Nelson

        Definitely was better last night, but I would point out that his first two games back were against Cleveland and Toronto (w/o Bautista). Both pretty solid offenses. Cleveland is pretty middle of the AL and MLB pack, and without Bautista Toronto is probably about the same. His stuff was shakier, but I think some people are/were exaggerating how bad he was.

        Really encouraging that he was able to air it out. I am/was still worried that his shoulder is damaged, but last night makes it seem like at least since coming back it might just be mental. Coming back from injury and working his way back into form I don’t think diminished stuff and getting blown up by the As are that unexpected. I wouldn’t have had a problem with sending him to AAA to try to get it together, but I also thought there was a lot of impatience among commenters here. I have no idea if it’s the same people, but there’s constant crying that the Yankees can’t develop pitching and then also constant calling for the head of any young pitcher who struggles. And of course a lot of people who think that they can predict the future definitively based on what’s happening now or recently.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Phil pitched well last night. What I observed was a pitcher who was throwing freely and with confidence. As Phil himself indicated. I hope Phil continues this mental and physical approach. Also using this approach when he needs to correct something during a game.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Phil pitched great.

    However, let’s not forget that he also faced the Konerko-less White Sox which might be the saddest lineup in MLB.

    Hope it gets him going.

    • Jim S

      Hah, you can not be serious.

      There are two AL teams on the west coast who’d like to speak with you.

      • theyankeewarrior

        Without Konerko, they are essentially those teams.

    • jsbrendog

      when does it end? oh he faced the mariners doesnt count. oh he faced the a’s, doesnt count. oh he faced the twins without mauer and morneau, and span, doesnt count. oh he faced the bluejays without batista doesnt count. oh he faced the white sox doesnt count.

      they. all. count. aces get beat up by the worst offensive teams just as often as othe rpitchers do.

      • theyankeewarrior

        The Mariners?

        He didn’t pitch well against the Mariners! He gave up like 10 hits to a AAAA team.

        When does it end?

        When our “ace” prospect becomes an above-average player.

        Go re-read my post. It was not negative. It was true.

  • the other Steve S.

    I too was impressed with Phil. First time all year that he looked like he knew what he was doing out there. Just be careful about the velo. The CWS radar gun is juiced. It had CC throwing 97-98 and last year as I recall, it had Joba back at 99-100 and Mo at 94-95.

    Phil can be effective at 92-93. Lets hope he is next time because I don’t think you will be seeing 95mph after they leave Chicago.

    • jsbrendog

      but that’s the thing, i feel he consistently sat at 92-93 and i only saw him get it up to 95 every once in awhile, like 1 out of every 3 or 4 fb…i dont disagree it was juiced but at the same time it wasnt like every fb was 95

    • NJ_Andy

      For what it’s worth, CC *does* hit 97-98 now and again. He did it in his most recent CGSO at the Stadium.

  • mike

    Throwing hard isnt the answer for Hughes – he was throwing 95 in the 2009 playoffs and was getting knocked around.

    His movement appears to be better when he throws 92ish, and his secondary pitches IMO are helped with a fastball which moves. If his 95mph FB is straight, it does his offspeed pitches no favors.

    i suppose his throwing 95 makes us feel better in that his arm/shoulder likely isnt injured, but he still can neither finish off batters nor stop them from frustrating “his” pitch.

    Plus, the Sox looked like lumberjacks last night swinging at everything. Their line-up is an embarassment with Viz, Dunn, Beckham, Rios…..

    • MannyGeee

      give me Hughes at 92, mixing in a dozen changes and hurling 2-strike curves falling out of the sky EVERY DAY, thanks…

      as mentioned above, hitting 95 is nice and all, but give me 3 good pitches with a change of pace changup in there.

    • Ted Nelson

      I agree that movement is generally more important than velo (unless you’re pumping it 100+ maybe), but a. if he throws hard with movement and command that’s preferable, and just looking at one playoffs is not proof of much and b. throwing harder with command can also set up other pitches even if there’s less movement…