Posada, Hughes turn back the clock in win over Rays

Santana seriously injured in GCL win
Phil Hughes to the bullpen, for the right reasons

The afternoon started with the Yankees honoring Derek Jeter and his 3,000th career hit, and it ended with another Yankees great showing everyone that the gas tank isn’t empty just yet. To the bullet points!

  • You think Jorge Posada‘s got a chip on his shoulder? In his first game in exactly a week, Posada singled in the game’s first two runs in his first at-bat, blooped a single in his second at-bat, and walloped a grand slam in his third at-bat. That was his first homerun since the interleague series against the Brewers at the end of June, and he had three hits this month total before this game. I don’t know if this game will get him more playing time, but it was fun to re-live the glory days, wasn’t it?
  • While Posada was busy partying like it was 2007, Phil Hughes was getting his 2010 first half on. Philbert struck out six walked one, and allowed just four hits in six innings of work, giving up just two runs in what was essentially garbage time. He also got seven ground ball outs compared to five in the air, which was a welcome change. Hughes threw 96 pitches, held his velocity throughout the start, and mixed his pitches were well: 46 fastballs, 25 curveballs, 13 cutters, and 12 changeups. That’s much more like it. Phil has now thrown three straight quality starts, and has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts since coming off the DL.
  • The Yankees offense was brutally effective as a whole, working deep counts and punishing mistakes. Jeremy Hellickson needed 99 pitches to get 13 outs, and Brandon Gomes needed 21 pitches to get two outs. Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano all had two hits, and Posada had the three. The Grandyman whacked his 33rd homer of the season, tying him with Jose Bautista for the MLB lead. Cano’s double was his 30th, making him the first player in franchise history with 30 doubles in each of his first seven seasons. Bananas. Eric Chavez and Russell Martin had one hit each, and although Nick Swisher didn’t pick up a knock, he walked three times. All told, the Yankees put 22 men on base and managed to score nine runs despite being 2-for-11 with RISP.
  • Cory Wade chipped in two scoreless innings (on just 21 pitches), and Hector Noesi actually came out of his burrow to see his shadow and throw a scoreless inning. That means he’ll go another six weeks before pitching, right?
  • The win stretches the lead over Tampa for the wildcard to 8.5 games. Jered Weaver and the Angels took a pounding in Toronto, so the Yankees lead them by eight full games. Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, and here’s the updated standings.

The rubber game will be played Sunday afternoon, at least in theory. The weather report is looking pretty grim, so there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to play. Freddy Garcia was supposed to start, but he’s been scratched with a cut on his finger. A.J. Burnett will go against Jamie Shields instead.

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Santana seriously injured in GCL win
Phil Hughes to the bullpen, for the right reasons
  • http://www.simdynasty.com/index.jsp?refer=Jeety jeety

    Fun game today

  • Greg Golson’s Laser Rocket Arm

    Did Posada have both hits with RISP?

  • http://Facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

    Great game, but bullet points on an afternoon game Mike? Come on mannn.

    • Ellis

      Are you serious mannn? They give us mountains of free content every day.

      • Sayid J.

        So do plenty of other websites, doesn’t mean people can’t complain…

    • Ellis

      Also- remove the bullet points and what you’ll see is a full, thorough analysis of the important game results. What more do you want??

  • Rich in NJ

    If inducing an improved performance can result from benching a player, the best way to handle AJ’s spot in the rotation is now apparent.

  • Jorge

    Just a great game all around. You really start to get that feeling with Posada, especially with his playing time becoming less, that every at-bat is a special one and that our time watching him as a Yankee is truly numbered.

    I really hope Hughes has turned a corner and will now never look back.

    Tough one tomorrow. Time to pull out the extra quick hook with AJ once he looks like he’s losing it.

  • Pablo Zevallos

    You know what’s truly bananas? That Cano’s been around for seven seasons.

    • Kevin D.

      Seems just like yesterday when we had Tony Womack holding down the fort at second base. Thank MO for Cano.

    • radnom

      Seriously. That line made me feel so freaking old. And I’m only 24.

      • Jorge

        Wait until you look at guys like Don Mattingly, who are MANAGING, and thinking to yourself, “wow….I remember his first major league at-bat” while you’re still not even 40. Total mindfuck.

    • OldYanksFan

      What’s also nuts is that that new guy… the Seattle/Texas guy… is in his eighth year with the Yankees. Aside from the FabFive, who else has done that in the last few decades?

      • boogie down

        Ha, for a second, I was completely lost as to whom you were referring.

        Guess his status as a True Yankee blocked out any memories of him being in a Seattle or Texas uniform.

  • Mattchu12

    “Phil has now thrown three straight quality starts, and has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts since coming off the DL.”

    Just wanted to repeat it for emphasis. Hughes deserves a rotation spot.

    • wow

      but AJ has ELECTRIC stuff! ELECTRIC, I tell ya!!!

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        and he HAZ MOAR WINZZ than Hughes!1!1!1!1

    • Will

      I think Hughes has earned the right to be the fill-in for Garcia during this finger injury, and maybe after that for a start or two to rest Colon, but the trope on here that he’s all of a sudden back to being a potential ace is pretty ridiculous. There have still been numerous red flags process-wise since he’s come off of the DL, although the results have generally been there.

      • Hank

        Exactly. His velocity might have “held up”, but he averaged under 92mph in this game on his straight as an arrow 4 seamer and gave up several hard hit 2 strike pitches (batters should not be making such good contact when you have them in a hole at 0-2 or 1-2). He’s not exactly faced murderer’s row since getting back (SEA – who despite giving up only 2 runs was a poor game, CHI – where he was fairly dominant but that was a lineup missing Konerko and TB tonight – a so-so start with quite a few hard hit balls that were outs).

        I think, despite the talk o fgoiing back to a 5 man rotation, the Garcia injury sets up a 6 man rotation. A sixth starter will be needed at the end of August for a double header as well, and once rosters expand in Sept, the short bench/bullpen is not an issue. At some point in Sept Hughes will probably be moved to the pen to see if he’s worth adding to the postseason roster for the pen. The only issue is what to do when ARod gets back as you will likely need to take an arm out of the pen until Sept 1.

        At this point with a marginal at best changeup and an erratic cutter, he’s a back of the rotation starter. When you average 92mph on a 4 seamer (and an inability to sink the fastball to generate groundballs) , you need 2 other plus pitches to be an effective starter.

        • V

          Except, well, you’re wrong.

          Hughes, when he’s pitching well (early last season, for example), has a natural late cut on the ball (last fraction of a second, the ball zips an inch or two), which makes it hard for opponents to get the barrel of the bat on the ball.

          The cut isn’t as extreme as Mariano’s, but it’s still there, and is one of the main reasons (along with the fact that he’s been able to maintain his mechanics on every pitch since 2005 or so) he was a top top prospect. What we learned in early 2010 was that it wasn’t enough to have this cut on the ball – opponents could still foul it off – and he needed a true swing and miss offering, which the curveball and changeup are proving to be as of late.

          • Hank

            Except, well, his 4 seamer doesn’t cut.

            I assume you are referring to his cutter? His 4 seamer actually moves in the opposite direction of a cutter (check fangraphs and look at the pitch f/x horizontal movements)

            And he didn’t start throwing a cutter until 2009… he came up through the system with a slider, 4 seamer, curveball (and that thing he calls a change). So if you are talking about this cut being why he was such a top prospect…. you are in fact wrong as he didn’t start throwing it until 2009.

            Hughes had an xFIP over 4.00 in EVERY month but May in his 2010 season… sure he had 18 wins and a decent ERA for 2-3 months, but the peripherals were indicating a regression (which came in the 2nd half). People got excited about the 18 wins and a perceived dropoff in the 2nd half chalked up to reduced velocity…. except his velocity didn’t really drop until late Sept (he was still averaging 93mph in early Sept).

            I like Hughes – especially if he can throw more changeups (and do so more effectively) and not be so cutter happy until he knows he can command it. But this perception of him being a top of the rotation (#2) type starter is putting the cart well before the horse.

  • forensic

    Hooray for celebrating a guy who quit on his team…

    • Rich in NJ

      He has given his heart and soul to this team for 15 years. Past service performed at a high level should afford him the right to mess up and be forgiven.

      • forensic

        Getting picked off first to end a game is messing up.

        Taking yourself out of the lineup because you’re cranky and have an attitude about your spot in the batting order is quitting on your team. That’s a whole other animal.

        • crawdaddie

          Quiting on your team is leaving the clubhhouse and stating you’re retiring immediately like Zambrano did.

        • Noseeum

          @forensic, get off your high horse, seriously. It’s not for you to argue. If his teammates felt that way he probably wod have been DFA’d. But they stuck by him. If they’ll stick by him than what right do we have to feel differently?

          Lots of people have a bad day. To throw everything posada’s done out the window for one stupid day is a bit much.

          • forensic

            You’re right. How dare I, as a fan, actually have an opinion on a player.

            I guess we should all just listen to what current players say, which according to surveys is that 3-4 Yankees are the worst players in baseball.

            What right do we have to feel differently? Is this a serious question? We are fans, and we can feel anyway we want about a player, that’s the whole point of sports. If we just listened to what players said (when they would be butchered if they weren’t politically correct) then why bother with any of this. Give us a cheat sheet of who to cheer for and it’ll be much easier.

            I can’t believe you take the players reaction as evidence of anything… And, though I was never his biggest fan, I’m not throwing everything he’s done out the window. He’s just basically dead to me this year. Maybe in the future it won’t matter, but he gave up on this team this year, and I can’t ignore that.

            • Jorge

              Making your comment “Hooray for celebrating a guy who quit on his team” is asking for exactly the kind of response you’re now whining about getting.

              Get some sleep.

            • Sayid J.

              I think the difference between what you are saying and what everyone else feels is that you are claiming he gave up on the team this year. He had one bad day where he got upset, how is that giving up on the team? Posada, as far as i can tell, from watching games over the past 15 seasons and this one especially, cares a tremendous amount about the Yankees and about winning. To say he gave up on the team just seems to be incorrect based on his actions. Did he put himself before the team for a day or two? Yes, he certainly did that. But given the situation, is anyone all that surprised that he was so upset? I’m not saying I agree with how he handled, but I’m also not surprised by it. He comes to play everyday, I just don’t understand how you can say he gave up on the team.

            • David, Jr.

              I haven’t been the biggest Posada supporter, but I don’t agree with you on this. He flew off the handle, got pissed off, but did not quit on the team. He has been a great Yankee for many years and deserves more slack than this.

            • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

              What Posada did was whiny and not admirable in any way but it’s not “quitting on your team”. It doesn’t negate the last 15 years, and it certainly doesn’t warrant this comment.

              • Andrew518

                Condidering how many days off Girardi feels that everyday players *need* I can’t really consider asking for a day off is quitting on the team. He didn’t leave and go home, he was there on the bench and supported his team mates.

                Also considering how much posters here rag on him when he’s in the line up, what’s a day off?

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Hard to believe that cano is the first Yankee to have seven seasons of thirty doubles to start their career.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      I guess the other guys hit too many homers :D

      • boogie down

        I believe that literally was the case with Mickey Mantle.

  • Jericho Spade

    Hughes is entering his would be midseason around now, if he keeps pitching he could be fresh and ready to go for playoffs, which would be a nice bonus.

  • Dismortologist

    I’m new to sabermetrics, but I noticed Hughes threw 12 change-ups (9 for strikes) that had the highest negative linear weights. Am I right to assume the change-ups were very effective in this game?

    • David, Jr.

      I saw it the same way. His change had been pretty much a “waste” pitch, but this time it was much better, generating awkward swings. He has to have it, because his fastball can be slaughtered when they are sitting on it.

  • dean

    That’s the best I’ve ever seen Hughes use his changeup…..both in the effectiveness of the pitch itself and how he used it.