Yanks earn split with ChiSox behind Hughes

Austin & Sanchez continue to slump, Charleston wins anyway
Listen: FOX Sports Radio 1410 in Hartford

Source: FanGraphs

On a steamy Sunday afternoon in which the Yankees celebrated their history, the current team went back to what the Bombers do best to beat the White Sox: they pitched well and they hit the ball out of the park. The win clinched a split of the four-game series with Chicago and gave New York a very solid 5-2 homestand. Let’s recap…

  • Rebound: The ChiSox struck for two quick runs in the first — replays showed that Alejandro De Aza did not touch the plate on the first run, however — and a few years (months?) ago this would have been an ugly four-inning, six-run type of outing for Phil Hughes. Something like that. Instead, he settled down and allowed just four baserunners (zero runs) is the next seven innings to turn in a high-quality start. Phil struck out eight, walked one, and completed eight innings for the second straight start and third time in six starts. Over his last ten outings, Hughes has pitched to a 3.27 ERA with a 4.21 K/BB and only once in his 16 starts has he walked more than two hitters. That’s pretty darn good. Go Philbert.
  • Two Times: The Yankees used a nice and simple formula to get back in the game. Raul Ibanez singled to lead off the second and one batter later Eric Chavez homered into the second deck to tie the game at two. In the next inning, Robinson Cano followed up a Mark Teixeira walk with a two-run shot that fell just short of the right field bleachers. Pretty simple; see ball, hit ball a mile. Robbie’s hit nine homers in his last 14 games, by the way.
  • Leftovers: Derek Jeter went 1-for-5 and for the first time since the first series of the season, he’s sporting a sub-.300 average (.299) … everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least once, though Russell Martin needed some help from a Kevin Youkilis error … Chavez is up to six homers on the year with a .348 wOBA, and I don’t think you could ask for more from a bench player … the Yankees went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and they squandered a bases loaded, no outs situation in the first when Cano bounced into a 1-2-3 double play … Ibanez stole a base (!) and had his tooth chipped by the bench when he tried to avoid a foul ball (he’ll be fine) … Rafael Soriano walked a batter in an otherwise flawless ninth inning, his 18th save in 19 chances.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees won for the 26th time in their last 35 games and with the Orioles losing to the Indians, they’re now six full games up in the AL East. That’s pretty cool. The Bombers are off to Tampa for a three-game set against the reeling Rays starting Monday night. It’ll be Matt Moore and Freddy Garcia in the opener.

Austin & Sanchez continue to slump, Charleston wins anyway
Listen: FOX Sports Radio 1410 in Hartford
  • Este15

    Loving me some Robbie at bats atm!

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    Another strong start for Hughes. I am really happy that the Yankees stuck with him through his struggles in April. Really looking forward to the rest of his starts, though he might not be the ace he was hyped up to be but hes just pitched awesome and that’s all he needs to be.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

      He’s been a rock solid number 3 type starter for the Yankees over the last couple of months and considering he was on the verge of being permanently banished to the bullpen, I’ll gladly take this.

      • Brian S.

        He has, what, a 3 ERA since May? Just two bad starts really.

        • DF

          And that’s more like a rock solid #2 than a #3. If he continues this performance, he’ll make the Yankees look very smart for sticking with him.

          • Deep Thoughts

            The rotation isn’t a batting lineup. It’s not a set of different positions like in basketball. Arguing over whether someone is “a #2” or “a #3” is as lunkheaded as arguing over whether Joba is a 7th-inning guy or an 8th-inning guy. The ’95 Braves arguably had Hall of Famers in their rotation, but only one of them was a “#1”. See how this works?

            • JobaWockeeZ

              They don’t literally mean the order, just the type of production that comes with being a number two starter. There was a discussion of what it actually means since it’s vague. But the point was Hughes has been good, just short of acelike. Not where he’s penciled in the lineup.

        • RetroRob

          I believe he’s 8-2 with an approximate 3.30 ERA since the end of April.

          • Deep Thoughts

            Hughes has now pitched 20 more ML innings this year than all of last year, and peripheral-wise he is not in bad company:

            AL K:BB Leaders
            1. Lewis (TEX) 7.500
            2. Peavy (CHW) 4.208
            3. Verlander (DET) 4.172
            4. Sale (CHW) 3.917
            5. Hughes (NYY) 3.857
            6. Haren (LAA) 3.696
            7. Weaver (LAA) 3.667
            8. Sabathia (NYY) 3.621
            9. Scherzer (DET) 3.563
            9. Hernandez (SEA) 3.563

  • Sjferrari

    Went to the game today, Old Timers Festivities and all. Spent about 6 hours at the ballpark, and it was a great way to spend the day.

    • Sayid J.

      aside from the sun…

      • Yank The Frank

        He started the day as a northern Italian and left looking like a Sicilian fisherman.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          I resemble that remark! (Well, maybe a little more like a Scicilian farmer than fisherman.)

  • CP

    The Yankees are now 19-6 in their last 25 games, and all of those games were against teams with winning records. It’s pretty amazing how they’ve been able to build up their lead in the division despite playing a lot of good teams.

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

      They haven’t played a team with a losing record in a month, since they went to Detroit. That’s 24 games ago. The next time they’ll play a team with a losing record (as of today) is the third series after the All-Star break.

      • Kramerica Industries

        And Oakland’s 38-42, so with a little hot spurt, even they could be over .500 by the time the Yankees go to Oakland.

        Only Seattle is guaranteed to be sub-.500.

        • Brian S.

          Do we even have any easy stretches in the second half? Like two weeks of nothing but bad teams?

          • CP

            Not really. They have a west coast trip where they play the As and Mariners, which shouldn’t be too bad but those west coast trips can be trouble. Then they have the Blue Jays (home), A’s (home), Twins (away), and Blue Jays (away) at the end of the season – right before their final series against the Red Sox.

            With every team in the AL East over .500, it’s hard to find any easy stretches.

            • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

              July 30 – Aug 12 which is 13 straight against the Orioles, Mariners, Tigers and Jays.

              I expect the Orioles to have kinda faded by then, although the Tigers will probably be improved.

              • Kramerica Industries

                And the four Tigers games are at Comerica.

                Yeah, they took two of three in May, but historically the Yankees don’t fare too well there, so that could be trouble.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  Because what the past Yankees teams have done is more relevant to this iteration than what this team did in May?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        …..but they’re still not for real, someone here will say.

  • Knoxvillain

    Is it safe to say that Hughes looks like he will end up being a pretty good starter the rest of the way? I say so.

    • The Guns of Navarone

      He’s certainly got youth on his side. I love how he’s totally scrapped that garbage cutter. I also like the two curveball approach. One that’s 12-6 and the other is more 11-5 and he throws that one a little harder at 77, 78mph. He’ll still need that third pitch though. Whether it’s the changeup or if he suddenly gets a better feel for that cutter.

  • Slu

    I had given up on Phil Hughes starting pitcher. I am glad to have been wrong.

  • Cuso

    Time to break the losing streak inside the Tropicana Toilet Bowl. Have we really lost 7 in a row there?

    That seems crazy.

    • Brian S.

      Three of those losses were glorious though.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      One of those losses was the sick 6 run comeback game that knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs though. That game, I approve.

  • Erica

    Wait, so were there any major highlights in the Old Timer’s Day game??

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yogi. The man is a living fucking museum, which is ironic since he also HAS A MUSEUM. He makes me almost tear up because every time I see him, I realize how lucky we are as fans to still see him alive and at the stadium.

      The game was fun. Pat Kelly looked good. Sterling Hitchcock was left out there to die. Tanyon Sturtze played RF, probably because it was really far away from Joe Torre.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        I feel so privileged to say that I actually MET Yogi Berra in…’09, I believe. We even exchanged words. He told me he didn’t sign bats, so I gave him a hat instead.

        Okay, not exactly memorable banter, but I met him nonetheless. He wasn’t rude at least.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          My wife knows of someone at Montclair who had a young child who was a major Yankees fan. On his birthday, all the kid wanted was to meet Yogi. The mom didn’t know what to do, but would do anything for her child, so she actually knocked on Yogi’s door. She was terribly apologetic to his wife when suddenly, a voice emerged and asked “who is it? well let him in!” and Yogi let the child into his home and sat with him looking at pictures.

          Yogi Berra is an absolute treasure.

          • Erica

            That’s a beautiful story. That child will NEVER forget meeting Yogi, ever.

            • Rick

              Not to be funny, but they probably already have. I met Lawrence Taylor when I was younger. Couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. Same for every other athlete I’ve ever met.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I remember, about ’85 or so, my dad and I were in a Popeye’s in Paramus when Harry Carson walks in. I was the first person to recognize him and, even as a kid, just knew that I should say “hi,” “thank you,” and let the man buy his chicken. Once I did that, though, he got mobbed and had to leave without buying chicken.

    • Pat D

      O’Neill cried “OUCH!” when he grounded out to first.

      • Erica

        HAHAHAHA, I did manage to see that. Paul is too much.

  • yooboo

    Although 299 is still solid, it is really annoying to watch Jeter plummet from 370 to sub 300.

    Worst parts on Jeter, he sucks at men at 3b any situation except base loaded and he has a landslide difference between home and away. Come on, Jeter.

    • Brian S.

      OPS of .599 since May 3rd. I really miss Nunez.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        Yeah, no. I’m slightly bummed about Jeet too, but I still don’t miss Nunez.

        • Brian S.

          YES YOU DO!!!

      • JobaWockeeZ

        LOL. The only people that should be missing Nunez do anything but run are fans of other MLB teams.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I should write Phil Hughes a letter of apology every time he has a start like this. Even I had given up on him.

    I wish Eric Chavez would stay healthy.

    Another great win. I love this team.

    • yooboo

      Hughes never completes a full season as a starter so you ought to hold this apologetic thing until at least September.

      I still like him as our next Yankees HOF closer.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I will hold onto it until I feel like it. He’s done nothing but improve all year. You never say never, but this is the most encouraged I’ve been by him as a member of the Yankees.

      • CP

        He was pretty good in the 8th today, but the 9th is a different thing all together.

  • DeWayne is DeDealin




    • Pat D

      Ruben Amaro: I’ll only accept the pig if you can prove it is SpiderPig/Harry Plopper.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Harry Plopper?

        • MannyGeee

          The Simpsons Movie. SpiderPig/Harry Plopper will become clear.

      • Erica

        Spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does…

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Completely forgot about that! :)

    • Rick

      I guess we’re close enough to this territory: “Your trade proposal sucks!”

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I never TOTALLY gave up on Hughes, but I was starting to become skeptical. IF he can have a decent number three starter type of year it would really be a great story and an unbelievable turn around for this guy. I’m really rooting for him.

    • YankeesJunkie

      At the start of the season I thought he was done as a starter, but would still be effective in the pen. Ever since he has scraped the cutter it seems like his fastball has improved and sticking more to the curve as the second pitch. It would be nice to see him use the change more, but when the FB and CB are going as well as they while pound the zone he will give a homer here and there, but for the most part has been very effective.

    • boogie down

      Over his last 10 starts: 66 IP, 63 H, 14 BB (1.9 BB/9), 59 K (8.05 K/9), 24 ER (3.27 ERA), 4.21 K/BB. Also, he hasn’t given up a HR in his last two starts, both of which have come against fairly good offenses.

      I’d say those numbers amount to more of a legitimate #2-type of starter than a decent #3. It does seem as though he’s figured something out, as he’s managing to limit walks, strike out a good percentage of batters, induce an increasingly noticeable amount of pop-ups, and, most importantly, put hitters away. Continued performance like this would really set us up nicely for the stretch run and postseason, assuming Kuroda continues to be rock-solid and Pettitte returns healthy and effective.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        I don’t think he’s going to keep this level of performance up, though. Number three starters numbers are something I’d take in a heartbeat, no questions asked, and those are my expectations for Philthy Phil.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          He certainly doesn’t have to keep up that performance, but continued consistency and health for Hughes would be a godsend. I really hope he took the lessons from the start of the season, is far removed from the overuse of 2010, and is leaving it all behind.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    In all seriousness guys, the Yankees have really kicked ass this year. I thought their pitching staff would be really good in Spring Training, but after the start the Yanks had I was thinking we might be decent once we got Pettitte back. Never expected to be this good.

    Now Pettitte AND Mo are down and I still have total confidence in our pitching staff. Robbie is making a legitimate MVP run. We’ve been demolishing first place and over 500 teams. And now Hughes, a prospect that the entire blog has always had a soft spot for, may, just may, FINALLY be turning it around.

    This year is awesome.

  • Kosmo

    NY rebounded nicely vs. Chicago on the strength of their SP which was undependable earlier in the season.
    Hughes has been excellent, let´s hope he can continue gettin it done thru the final 3 months. Fingers are crossed. Cano after hitting into an easy DP came back for redemption later. Great Story.

  • MannyGeee

    Thank You Phil Hughes. Thank you for meeting our lofty expectations of you (one start at a time, at least)… and thank you for making some of us skeptics wrong.