Sep
01

Yanks can’t hang on to one-run lead, fall to Sox

By

Tuesday night’s series opener against the Red Sox was one of those “get the lead and hang on for dear life” games, but Wednesday’s game was a back-and-forth affair that ended with the Yankees on the wrong side of a 9-5 score.

Hooray for BABIP luck. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

An Early Lead

Josh Beckett has crushed the Yankees this year, absolutely buried them, but this game was different. The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Eduardo Nunez hustled out a double to leadoff the inning and moved to third on Frankie Cervelli‘s ground out. He scored on Derek Jeter‘s bloop single. The ball was in Jacoby Ellsbury‘s glove, but not in the pocket and it flopped out as he hit the ground on the slide. Jeter kinda willed the ball onto the ground as he ran down to first, and sometimes you need a lucky little bounce like that against a really good pitcher like Beckett.

Giving It Back

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Unfortunately, the 1-0 lead lasted all of eight pitches. Phil Hughes threw the ball pretty damn well in the first two innings, but Marco Scutaro (Mah-co Scutah-ro in Boston) led the bottom of the third off with a single and Ellsbury followed with a double. When you have men on second and third with no outs against a team like the Red Sox, escaping with no more than two runs allowed allowed is a minor miracle. Dustin Pedroia drove in a run with a ground out, then Adrian Gonzalez flew out to center for the second out.

That brought David Ortiz to the plate, but the Yankees chose to walk him intentionally. I usually hate putting runners on base on purpose, but in this spot I actually didn’t mind it. Ortiz came into the game with a .467/.500/.867 batting line against Hughes in 18 career plate appearances while Jed Lowrie sported a .256 wOBA against righties. The plan would have worked if Phil didn’t leave a changeup up in the zone that Lowrie drove to right for a run-scoring single and a 2-1 run. Shutdown innings, they’re a son of a bitch.

Hughes rebounded with a 1-2-3 fourth inning (the first and only perfect frame by a Yankee in the series), but he gave up a two-run homer to David Ortiz with two outs in the fifth. It was a 3-2 count and frankly it wasn’t a terrible pitch, a 92 mph fastball right at the knees, but Ortiz golfed it out to dead center for a 4-1 lead. If the pitch has one more mile of an hour on it or is just half-an-inch further outside, it’s off the end of the bat for a routine fly ball. Game of inches, you know? Hughes was thisclose to allowing just two runs through five innings, which I think was a lot more than we all expected coming into the game.

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Answering Back

The homer was deflating, but there’s a reason games don’t end after deflating moments. Beckett started the top of the sixth at just 75 pitches, but he gave the Yankees some life by hitting leadoff man Mark Teixeira with a curveball in the foot (clearly not intentional for all the blood lusters out there). Robinson Cano jumped all over a 2-1 fastball for an RBI double to left center (yes, Tex scored all the way from first I’m an idiot, he moved to second on a wild pitch first), then Nick Swisher worked a hard fought walk to put two men on with no outs.

After four straight curveballs to end the encounter with Swisher, Zombie Eric Chavez came back from the dead and jumped all over a first pitch fastball from Beckett. It was down the line into right, but Josh Reddick completely misplayed the ball and it rolled by him, all the way back to the wall. An average runner would have had an inside-the-park homer, rather easily I think, but Chavez settled for the two-run triple (the official scorer ruled it a double and error, which I don’t agree with) and a 3-2 lead. Nunez drove him in with a sacrifice fly one batter later, and just like that, the Yankees had scored more runs in the sixth inning off Beckett than they had the entire season up to that point. They were up 5-4 all of a sudden, but one run leads in Fenway Park are never safe, not when there are twelve outs left.

Nope, Nevermind

LNOGY. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Hughes went out to start the sixth, and I figured Joe Girardi had him on a real short leash. Things looked pretty grim when he fell behind Carl Crawford 3-0 to open the inning, but Phil rebounded to run the count full and get a weak pop-up. Hughes then got ahead of Reddick 0-2, but he got a little too cute and ended up walking the Red Sox right fielder. That was a pretty big no-no, especially since the hacktastic Reddick came into the game with just five unintentional walks in his last 117 plate appearances.

Hughes remained in the game to face the reanimated corpse of Jason Varitek, who he’d already blown away twice in the game. With the hit-and-run on in a 1-1 count, Varitek threw his bat (not literally) at an outside curveball, and managed to slap the ball fair down the third base line. It was a total defensive swing, he was bailing pretty badly and hacked at it only because the runner was in motion. Brett Gardner misplayed the ball in left (it looked like he expected it to carom off the sidewall and out into left, but it didn’t), allowing Reddick to score and Varitek to move to second. The lead was gone and the go-ahead run was in scoring position.

Girardi left Hughes in to face one more batter, and his faith in his starter was justified when Scutaro flew out harmlessly to center for the second out. At 100 pitches on the nose, Phil’s night was done, his final pitch a 92 mph heater. Earlier this year he was topping out at 92, now he’s hitting that with his 100th pitch. By no means was it a great outing, but it was world’s better than what we all expected. Yeah, I just told you what you expected. Deal with it.

Anyway, Boone Logan was brought in to face Ellsbury, who came into the game with three hits in five career at-bats off the Yankees’ lefty specialist. Logan fell behind in the count 3-1 then caught a little too much of the plate with a 95 mph fastball, which Ellsbury drove it out to left center and over the monster for a 7-5 lead. Shutdown innings, eh? They’re a son of a bitch.

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Ellsbury’s dinger was the game-winning hit, but Luis Ayala served up a two-run homer to Varitek in the bottom of the eighth to put it even further out of reach. Ayala has now put eight men on base and allowed seven runs in his last three outings (4.2 IP). It’s the world’s most deceptive 1.97 ERA, I’ll tell you what. Ayala did a fine job this summer as the last guy in the pen, but he might be in danger of losing his 40-man roster spot sometime this month. The last thing a team needs to worry about in September (and potentially in the postseason) is the last guy in the bullpen, a mop-up guy. If he keeps pitching poorly, he might not be around much longer.

Tagging Beckett for five runs in seven innings is a pretty big accomplishment given how he pitched against them earlier this year, but the Yankees had some chances to score early. Brett Gardner led the game off with a single to right, but for reasons that defy logic and common sense, Jeter bunted him to second. I mean, I guess anytime you have a chance to bunt away an out against a pitcher like Josh Beckett in the first inning, you have to take it. It’s just good baseball, playing the game the right way, you know? Unsurprisingly, the Yankees didn’t score in the inning. They also left runners on first and second in the third, a man on first in the fourth, and a man on first in the fifth. The final dozen men they sent to the plate in the game made outs.

Jeter was the only player on the team with two hits (he also stole a base), though Nunez, Cano, and Chavez all had extra base hits. Gardner had the leadoff single. Curtis Granderson, Swisher, and Chavez drew walks while Teixeira got hit by the pitch. Frankie Cervelli had nothing to clap about, he went 0-for-4. The Yankees actually went 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position, which is a .375 average but I’m guessing still complaint worthy.

I was watching on YES, but apparently the ESPN booth for the broadcast was Curtis Schilling, Nomar Garciaparra, and Dave O’Brien. O’Brien, in case you don’t know, is the Red Sox’s regular radio play-by-play guy. No bias in that booth, of course. At least Michael Kay called them out on it.

The loss moves the Yankees back to 1.5 games behind the Red Sox for the top spot in the AL East, and the Rays beat the Rangers to move to within 7.5 games of the wildcard. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot remained at Paul O’Neill, number 21 in the sidebar.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

That WPA graph had so much potential, it’s a shame it didn’t reach it’s ceiling. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Up Next

The rubber game falls into the hands of … A.J. Burnett. Even better, he’ll be opposed by Jon Lester. Reverse lock, right? Right?!? Seriously though, look at the bright side: Jesus Montero is coming, and that is the most exciting news of the season, bar none.

Categories : Game Stories

145 Comments»

  1. Nuke LaDoosh says:

    Will be ironic when the 1 series the Yanks win Vs. Sox this year will be in October.

  2. Craig says:

    Think Jesus is in the lineup tomorrow? And who here is comfortable giving Hughes the ball in game 2 or 3 of a playoff series? Personally I’d go CC Nova Garcia Colon,if he holds up. Hughes as the longman/ starter if Colon tires.

    • Brian S. says:

      Considering Montero has an OPS of 1.039 against lefties this year he better damn well be in the lineup at DH, with Jones in left field. Slumping Gardner can sit on the bench and remember that he once knew how to get on base.

    • Smallz says:

      It was no Cy Young performance but I took alot of positive out of Hughes start last night. He was lighting up the gun pretty consistently, he was locating pretty well and for the 1st few innings he was putting guys away. He just cant get beat by Ortiz 3-2. It was a good pitch but you cant just lay in there to a hitter like that. You just cant’t. Also even though his pitch count was not incredibley high, he was on the ropes alot. I wouldn’t of sent him back out for the 6th. The bullpens a strength. Use it.

  3. Rich in NJ says:

    Given the inconsistency of the underbelly of the pen, they should have kept Noesi on the roster, especially since he can’t be a starter this season.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        It’s sort of a big series and Ayala kind of sucks in other than low leverage situations.

        • IRF says:

          They aren’t really any big series left in the season. The Yanks are going to the playoffs, and the difference between TEX and DET is so minimal that theres no point getting worked up about it either way.

          • Rich in NJ says:

            In the words of Herman Edwards: “You play to win the game.”

            So why not go with your best 25 men when the cost is merely Ayala?

            • Herman Edwards coached a sport where there’s only 16 games in a season.

              Joe Girardi coaches a sport where there’s 162.

              Of course you play to win the game in football; each game is vitally important. You don’t always play to win the game in baseball, though, you play to win the week/month/season.

              • YanksFan77 says:

                I hate it when I buy tickets to the games the Yankees don’t care about winning. They should discount those games!

              • Rich in NJ says:

                The issue is cost v. benefit. The cost isn’t playing a player with an injury, like A-Rod. It’s constructing the best roster possible. I think Noesi is their fourth best reliever, so if the cost is a fungible reliever like Ayaya, I think it’s well worth it.

              • radnom says:


                Of course you play to win the game in football; each game is vitally important. You don’t always play to win the game in baseball, though, you play to win the week/month/season.

                Uhhhhhh….but that quote was actually about a game where the Jets were already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. So, that means its a game infinitely less important than the upcoming week for the Yankees, regardless of how many games are in each season. Not exactly ‘vitally important’.

            • IRF says:

              Because the difference between Ayala and Noesi for ten days barely affects the team. Theres no point in getting rid of an effective reliever like Ayala so that you can have a slighty more effective reliever in Noesi for ten extra days.

              • Rich in NJ says:

                IMO your overrating Noesi and underrating Ayala.

                We disagree, but that’s ok.

                I actually think Noesi has more upside than Nova because he has swing and miss stuff (unless Nova’s improved slider becomes consistent).

        • Noesi was optioned because ARod and Garcia needed to be promoted and he was the low man on the option pole. Refusing to send him down for a week and pitch a man short in the pen would have necessitated cutting someone a week before rosters expand, which is pretty silly.

          Having that extra depth for all of September is more important than this one series (which isn’t really that big, no.)

  4. Will says:

    I was on ESPN.com and the anti-Yankee articles/Yankee bashing going on is just disgusting. They don’t even try to be discrete about it. Things like “Everyone’s favorite righthanded nutcase, AJ Burnett” are only ok when we Yankee fans say it. I’m so glad we won the first game.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Well, the Yanks have gotten their asses beat by the Sox this year and AJ sucks. What do you want from the media? “The Yankees Rule!” headlines?

  5. Jesse says:

    Fellow RABers, I have a confession to make. I hope all of you understand, but I want to let everyone know this, and maybe some of you have figured it out by now. But I do in fact have a man crush on Phil Hughes. Yes it’s true. He’s sucked for the last year and a half statistically, but I’ll always love him. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll become the pitcher everyone once thought he would be.

    • Will says:

      He’ll never be successful in the AL East when he only has two (below average) pitches. His time has come and gone. I don’t know if its that the Yankees ruined him or if he doesn’t have the makeup and doesn’t work hard enough. I mean he came in overweight to camp this year and refuses to use his change-up.

      • Jesse says:

        You’re the harsh one, aren’t you?

        • Will says:

          I speak the truth. Fuck the #1 prospect, he’ll be back to his 2010 1st half self half narrative. He’s clearly regressing to a point to where he’s no longer a reliable, effective starter. I’ll leave it up to Hughes to prove me wrong and make me eat my words but we’ve been giving this guy a chance to become that #1 or #2 starter for us for almost 4 years now. I’m tired of waiting to be honest.

          • Rich in NJ says:

            Hughes needs to pitch regularly as a starter. That’s not something he’s done a lot of since 2008. Maybe they rushed him back to the ML following the injury, but as his IP increases, both his stuff and command will improve.

            • Phil Hughes’s professional career:

              2005 (Age 18.5): healthy stud starter in the low minors
              2006 (Age 19.5): healthy stud starter in the low minors, pitched more innings, had more success
              2007 (Age 20.5): healthy stud starter in the high minors, fasttracked, pitched more innings, had more success, called up at age 21, had normal rookie scuffles
              2008 (Age 21.5): youngest ML starter to make an opening day rotation, scuffled and demoted, injured midseason, ineffective post-injury, pitched a reduced amount of innings
              2009 (Age 22.5): pitched with medium effectiveness as an ML starter, moved to the bullpen a month into the season in a numbers crunch, effective in that easier role, pitched a reduced amount of innings and stopped developing 3rd and 4th pitch
              2010 (Age 23.5): returned to the rotation, pitched effectively, hit a wall after pitching well past 100+ innings for first time since 2006, regressed, likely began suffering from dead arm
              2011 (Age 24.5): opened the season with dead arm, regressed more, DL’d again, ineffective post-injury

              Phil Hughes’s three main problems have been
              1.) injuries in 2008 and 2010, curtailing his development and possibly damaging his arm
              2.) missing a year of starter development in 2009 where he could have been building innings and working on secondary pitches
              3.) making the minors so young, missing out on all that minor league controlled development of his pitch arsenal and carefully planned innings stairsteps

              His development track hasn’t helped him much. That’s not blaming the team for all his struggles, he obviously has to fight through adversity and pitch well when given opportunities, but there’s certainly valid explanations of why talented 25 year old Phil Hughes has gotten off track on his journey to fulfill his promise of being a future ace at 18-19-20.

              He’s far from a lost cause, though.

              • Sorry, #3 should be:

                3.) making the minors majors so young, missing out on all that minor league controlled development of his pitch arsenal and carefully planned innings stairsteps

                • IRF says:

                  This is the one part that I’m not sold on. Plenty of top pitching prospects reach the majors in their formative years. Kershaw, Felix, CC, etc. Obviously everyone has a different development path-but Hughes completely dominated the minor leagues from the day he turned pro. Sure he could have got a few more innings at AAA, but theres no way to know whether that contributed to his regression as a pitcher.

              • Jesse says:

                I wouldn’t say ineffective post injury. He hasn’t been ineffective, just not as effective. He’ll be fine, he’ll be back to full strength next year. And along the way he’ll make some, and win some, big games down the stretch.

          • Jesse says:

            Eh, you’re just tired and still upset about the loss. Not to be a smart ass or anything, but you should hit the hay.

      • He’ll never be successful in the AL East when he only has two (below average) pitches.

        Agreed, which is why he needs to get his other pitches working again. Something he can still do, seeing as how he’s only 25 and still under team control for a few years.

        His time has come and gone.

        He’s been injured, he’s not dead.

      • Jay h says:

        The amount of facts used in this post is astounding

      • Jetrer says:

        he uses 4 pitches, and his fastball has been the 7th most effective among AL starters, hardly below average

  6. Xstar7 says:

    Heigh-Zeus Mahnteiro is going to hit the game winnah in the rubbah match.

  7. tom says:

    So, am I right that Frnacona has worked it so Beckett and Lester have pitched in every single series against the Yankees this year? That doesn’t seem accidental. It tells me he doesn’t see his team as automatically superior to the Yankees, and has felt the need to give himself the maximum pitching advantage each time.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Lester didn’t pitch in the 1st series, but other than that, yes, Beckett has pitched in every series, and Lester every series since the first. That’s 8 out of 14 games vs. the Sox, and it’ll be 9 out of 15 as of tomorrow. Even in a 7 game series, you can’t match that percentage. (Well, you can in a 6 gamer.)

  8. dkidd says:

    what does one do the night before jesus arrives?

  9. Will says:

    The fact that Beckett is allowed to pitch as slowly as he does by MLB is disgusting. Its clearly an advantage to the pitcher to throw off the hitters rhythm. Its easy to domimate when you make each pitch an event like that.

  10. CP says:

    Gardner didn’t really misplay that double. It took a crazy bounce over the wall, but glanced off the wall enough to keep it in the field. An inch lower and it caroms into short left. An inch higher and it goes in the seats for a ground rule double. There wasn’t really anything he could have done differently.

  11. stuart a says:

    montero in the lineup and andruw tommorrow. sit gardner and jorge. gardner is in a terrible slump.

    no one ever asks jeter why the hell bunt in the first inning, it is 1 of the dumber plays the yanks do.

    the espn crew of the ex sux, man how ridiculous is that. espn is a joke…….

    boston has pummeled the yankee staff all season. there hit total in head to head matchups has to be sick….

    ayala stinks, if he see’s the field in anythiong but a blowout in the playoffs would be insane. seems like girardi has soured a little on wade recently.

    hughes had better velocity but the results were not there. he needs to figure things out. he was basically a 2 pitch pitcher and his fastball after the 2nd inning was never 95 again…..

    he is better then aj but then again jo jo reyes may be better then aj…………

  12. Avi says:

    Did Saltalamacchia really say it’s because he’s latin when talking about Cervelli?

  13. Nuke LaDoosh says:

    I’m out of the country and off the site for a week. Here’s hoping AJ receives some Grace from the arrival of Jesus tomorrow. Happy Labor Day holiday to all.

  14. IRF says:

    Am I the only one who’s really excited about seeing Scott Proctor relieve AJ Burnett in the third inning tomorrow?

  15. Will (the other one) says:

    Zombie Eric Chavez does work.
    http://tinypic.com/r/bi5aaq/7 (SFW)

  16. Jerome S. says:

    Truthfully? I’d be fine with a Yankee loss tomorrow if I get to see Montero in the lineup.

  17. duzzi23 says:

    That loss was tough to stomach it seems this season anything that could go wrong vs Boston has. I think that #1 stud prospect Hughes left the mound in Texas and never came back to say he’s been a disappointment this year is an understatement. On a more position note I am ecstatic for Monteros debut and hopefully they dont let him rot on the bench.

  18. Dino Velvet says:

    So who pitches game 2 in the playoffs (Nova, Colon, or Freddy)?

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      CC
      Freddy
      Nova
      Colon

      IMO

    • Jesse says:

      I’ve said it for a month, and I’m sticking with it.

      CC
      Nova
      Hughes
      Garcia

      Go ahead and disagree, but no one will change my opinion until Girardi makes it official.

    • Xstar7 says:

      I have to think that’s it’s going to be El Jefe. He’s outperformed both Colon and Nova and has had previous success in the postseason.

      • Jesse says:

        El Jefe? Obviously I’m assuming that’s Freddy Garcia. And yes, he’s had postseason success, but that was as a different pitcher. I’m not saying he can’t perform in the postseason, but I’m just saying it’ll be a different road for him.

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          Andy Pettite was a completely different pitcher from 96 to 09 and he had consistent success in the playoffs. Also Freddy has been the most consistent this year, why the hell not?

          • Jesse says:

            Did I say he couldn’t?

            • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

              I didn’t say that, it seems a little like you are discounting the whole “has had success in the postseason” because he was a different pitcher. Thing is, the experience factor is a big thing in the playoffs, which is something that Nova doesn’t have. I’m not saying that Nova shouldn’t start in the playoffs, just that I’d trust Freddy more in a 1-1/2-0 ALDS tilting game than Nova, due in a large part toward the playoff experience.

              But that’s just me and what I thought.

              • Jesse says:

                I never discounted his previous success in the postseason. I don’t know where you got that from.

                • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

                  “And yes, he’s had postseason success, but that was as a different pitcher.”

                  “I’m not saying he can’t perform in the postseason, but I’m just saying it’ll be a different road for him.”

                  To me, that first sentence questions the previous success because he was a different pitcher.

                  The second one says that you’re not saying he can’t perform in the postseason, but then what is the purpose of the first statement? Just to point out that he was a different pitcher? Maybe I have it all wrong, but this is what I see.

                  • Jesse says:

                    The first sentence was a fact, was it not?

                    The second sentence is a fact, and I meant that he hasn’t pitched this way in postseason play before so it’ll be a different road than before.

                    Nowhere in that did I say that he can’t. Don’t assume things. Assuming can be a bitch.

        • Xstar7 says:

          El Jefe is Spanish for “The Chief” aka his real nickname. And yes he’s a different pitcher then he was with the Mariners and his first stint with the White Sox, but he’s (insert veteran/experienced/gamer narrative here).

  19. steven says:

    so is this considered christmas eve??

  20. J says:

    Horrible article

  21. Avi says:

    Why didn’t the Yanks promote Adam Warren?
    Would be nice to have him around tomorrow in case Burnett gives up 5 runs in the first inning. Don’t want to see them burn the bullpen tomorrow.

  22. Kosmo says:

    It seems NY sent Noesi down to stretch him out. To me that´s a good idea.
    I didn´t see the game last night, my question is why didn´t Girardi pull Hughes after 5 innings ? Pitch count be damned. It´s like sending a lamb to the slaughter.
    Everyone seems to make these grand excuses for why Hughes isn´t a successful MLB pitcher. He´ll be 26 next season. When does the org. say we´ve had enough ?

  23. Avi says:

    Quotes from Saltalamacchia:
    “The game is changing,” Saltalamacchia said Tuesday. “Younger guys are coming in, (Rangers shortstop) Elvis Andrus and (Blue Jays shortstop Yunel) Escobar, a lot of Latin players and that’s the way they play the game. It’s OK to an extent, but if you go further than that, than that’s when you’ve got to kind of step back.”

    A few minutes later in the clubhouse, Saltalamacchia attempted to clarify what he meant.

    “Let me clarify: I wasn’t trying to say ‘Latin players’ or any of that stuff. I meant he’s an emotional guy,” Saltalamacchia said. “The younger guys who are coming up now are real emotional players. They’re young players coming up, wanting to make a name, wanting to stick around and the game has changed a little bit from when the older guys were coming up, veterans were a key in their development.

    “So basically I was just saying that (Cervelli is) a real emotional guy. I have no issues with him doing what he does because that’s the player he is.”

    I think Saltalamacchia needs to have his foot surgically removed from his mouth. What an idiot!
    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/.....o-cervelli

  24. Kiko Jones says:

    AJ,

    Dude, it seems like I’m the last guy in your corner. Some of my boys—even the patient ones—are asking for your head on a platter. Don’t make me regret sticking up for you. If on Thursday night you could channel just a bit of that kick-ass pitcher from 8/7/09 or Game 2 of that year’s WS, it would be worth having endured the heartbreak of the last 2 months. I know you can do it. Don’t let me down.

    Good luck,
    -KJ

  25. forensic says:

    Tex actually didn’t score all the way from first on Cano’s double. He had advanced to second on a wild pitch prior to the double. Tex should be so thankful he was hit by that pitch though. It’s not like he’d get on any other way against Boston at this point. His season numbers against them now stand at:

    .118/.233/.176/.409 with 1 HR (plus 5 1B), 4 RBI, 3 R, and 17 K in 14 games. Prior to tonight his OPS+ against them was an impressive 23.

    If you’re curious, the one homer was a solo shot in the 8th inning down 7-3 in game they eventually lost 10-4. His other RBI’s were a SF in the 5th inning down 7-3, an RBI single in the 9th inning down 11-5, and an RBI single in the 1st inning of a scoreless game. Certainly key hits…

    He really is/was one of my 2 or 3 favorite players, but it’s so aggravating how useless he’s become in about 500-550 of his 600 AB’s, especially being invisible in the games against Boston.

    • forensic says:

      And just to add to my misery (as I ponder whether the 3 runs in the 6th inning was the most predictable result ever), his Fenway numbers:

      .067/.222/.167/.389 with 1 HR (plus 1 1B), 1 RBI, 3 R, and 12 K in 8 games. OPS+ of 6 entering tonights game.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Some of those #’s remind me of his 2009 post-season. Who knows what he would have done had he not gotten injured last year. His defense helps but he is awful against Boston (yes I know he had the multiple HR game at fenway).

  26. Monteroisdinero says:

    Jesus will definitely put on a show in bp. Hopefully he gets some good contact when it counts. It is time.

  27. Bavarian Yankee says:

    Hughes awful again. 67% of his pitches were fastballs (mix it up, dude) and ~25% of them were in the happy zone. Happy birthday Boston Red Sox, that’s a gift they can’t deny.

    Hughes has to work on his sick fastball command and he has to mix his pitches up otherwise we won’t fake a starter much longer.

  28. Hall and Nokes says:

    Meh, that’s just like when ESPN has Scully, Fernando and Rick Monday in the booth for Dodgers games.

  29. Accent Shallow says:

    On the one hand, I thought Hughes looked quite a bit better than his line indicated.

    On the other, he has to get swinging strikes on something other than a fastball.

  30. Waldo says:

    Notwithstanding the all-Red-Sox commentary line-up for ESPN yesterday, did anyone else enjoy ESPN’s commentary as much as I did? The presence of Schilling enhanced the whole commentary. There wasn’t a moment in the broadcast when he or Nomar weren’t offering amazing insight into the mind of a baseball player in different situations.

    • Foghorn Leghorn says:

      did they talk about steroid use at all? I always like it when fat ass schilling gets on his high horse to instruct us all on how we need to follow his lead in living our lives

      • Sarah says:

        I don’t recall steroid use being a discussion. But there was lots of “stats can’t measure heart/grit/baseball IQ.”

        And then there was Schilling talking about how he controlled every aspect of the game when he was pitching – where the defense was positioned, what pitches he threw. Probably even when players could go to the bathroom. All I could think was “I’m glad I’m not married to this asshole.”

    • Billy Pilgrim says:

      LOL! Schilling was constantly stumbling over his words. They discussed the intangibles- heart and grit. Nomar said something about Pedroia being a winner. Schilling said nothing good about the Yankees except Cano. It was a joke. At least have Boone in there to maintain some semblance of balance.

      • Waldo says:

        Oh come on, be fair! They showered praise on Granderson, Cano and Jeter, and they ripped into Carl Crawford and Lackey. I’m not saying it wasn’t a bit Red-Sox-centric, but it wasn’t that lopsided!

        Overall, I thought their analysis of count-outs-bases situations was excellent.

  31. So pumped for Jesus to be up. I’ve been waiting for this since April!

  32. theyankeewarrior says:

    Just give Hughes a couple more years, and he will be a stud…

    And a free agent.

  33. bonestock94 says:

    I wonder if last night’s start means Hughes is in the pen no matter how AJ pitches tonight.

    • Smallz says:

      Honestly, the way Hughes pitched last night. Isnt anywhere near as bad as AJ has pitched latley. No, I dont see AJ or Hughes getting a post season start but facing the lineup he did and kind of being overworked in that game(IMO) I dont feel like the outing was all that awful. The mistake pitch to Ortiz was the back breaker. Before that its 2 runs in 4-5 innings? I am sorry I cant recall right now. One swing and its 4 runs and the Yankees are down 3. The Ortiz homerun was the blemish on his outing. Starting the 6th didnt help much either.

  34. Bronx Byte says:

    Burnett will right the ship ……… straight to the next hurricane. The confidence factor tonight is piss poor.

  35. Dave says:

    “But yeah, a moth flew in my eye on the 3-2 and that’s why I yanked it and missed my location by about 8 feet.””

    Classic Phil Hughes.

  36. Zach says:

    If we lost tonight and the Rays win..they will only be 6.5 in the Wild Card. That scares the crap out of me.

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