Hughes leads Yankees to win over Red Sox

Game 143: Win or and go home
Mailbag: Tie-Breaker, Cano, Nunez, Adams

Source: FanGraphs

I was unable to watch Thursday night’s game against the Red Sox, so I won’t be able to go into too much detail about what happened. The important thing is that the Yankees won — their first set of consecutive wins since beating the Rangers in three straight back in mid-August — and remain tied atop the AL East with the Orioles. The Rays are four back heading into this weekend three-game set in the Bronx.

Phil Hughes stepped up for the second straight start, though unlike last weekend in Baltimore, he did not surrender the #obligatoryhomer. Seven strikeouts in 7.1 shutout innings, including just five hits (four singles) and a walk. The Red Sox swung and missed 16 times at his 95 pitches, including eleven times at his 51 fastballs. Getting that many whiffs on the heat is damn impressive. By Game Score (74), this was Phil’s second best start of the season behind the complete game in Detroit. The team shutout was New York’s first in Fenway Park since July 2008.

As for the offense, well they put on another RISPFAIL clinic. One-for-nine on the night, with the one being a Derek Jeter bloop single to shallow center in the seventh. Andruw Jones plated the other run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, an inning in which the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs and only mustered the one run. Apparently Curtis Granderson lined into an inning-ending double play that was just bad luck. Alex Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez had two hits apiece. The Yankees really should find a way to work Nunez into the lineup a little more often, especially against lefties. Steve Pearce ain’t gettin’ the job done.

I was a little surprised to see that David Robertson pitched again, even if it was only one batter and three pitches. He worked what amounted to two innings on Tuesday and threw again on Wednesday, yet there he was for the third straight day. Joe Girardi has had a real quick hook of late — only once in the last eight games has the starter been allowed to throw 100 pitches, and that was (who else?) CC Sabathia — and his core relievers are being worked hard down the stretch. Just look at the Bullpen Workload page, that’s an awful lot of work for those guys.

Anyway, has the box score and video highlights while ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are coming home after going 5-5 on the ten-game road trip, and they have a chance to absolutely bury Tampa this weekend while the Orioles are out on the West Coast. This is as good a time as any to start stringing some wins together, especially with Sabathia on the bump Friday night. He’ll be opposed by David Price. Check out RAB Tickets for some last minute deals if you want to catch the primo pitching matchup.

Game 143: Win or and go home
Mailbag: Tie-Breaker, Cano, Nunez, Adams
  • Drew

    Good start by Hughes. He did what he was supposed to do and dominate an inferior lineup. Let’s hope he finishes his last 3 starts this strong. Would love to see his ERA stay at under 4 for the year.

  • Cy Pettitte

    @BryanHoch “Bobby V. wasn’t that impressed with Phil Hughes. Said that Hughes pitched up in the zone and Red Sox just had “immature” approach vs. him.”

    someone’s bitter.


      Bobby V: Salty little bitch

    • JohnnyC

      Ben Cherington thinks Valentine’s managerial approach has been “immature.” There’s that.

    • TrueBlue

      What a douche! You got dominated, tip your cap and move on.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      “Said that Hughes pitched up in the zone…”

      you know what? I actually thought so too. Had some luck with strikes up in the zone. Throw too many of those against a good hitting team and they’re long gone.

      • Darren

        No. He was up in the zone but his fastball had great life and he was dominant. You know who also used to pitch up in the zone? Ryan, Clemens (in his prime), Walter Johnson and Cy Young.

        • Frank

          That’s it. Compare one decent Hughes start to Ryan, Clemens and Walter Johnson. Hughes was up in the zone, he faced a B lineup and still some ball were hit hard. It was a good start but lets not mention him in the same breath as those 3 legends.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            B-lineup or not, every game is as close to a “must win” as can be, if the concept even truly exists. He did his job, and then some. No need to knock the accomplishment.

            That being said, and acknowledging that I may be contradicting myself, I have no problem with what Bobby V. said.

  • JLC 776

    I hate that we’re in a pennant race right now, but DAMN is it exciting. Most fans have been kind of spoiled in recent years and don’t know what one feels like!

  • Rich in NJ

    Extending Hughes is the second most important thing they have to do this offseason, along with resolving the Cano situation.

    • Matt

      Disagree. He hasn’t had two good years as a starter back-to-back. Let’s see what he does next season first. Plus, the Swisher situation is much more important.

      • Rich in NJ

        Swisher? No way, he will be in his decline phase during his next contract.

        There is a cost-benefit to every move, but if he continues to improve next season, he might be out of the Yankees’ price range. Now is the time to see if he would be interested in a deal that is somewhat team-friendly, but would still guarantee him significant money.

        • Laz

          It might still make sense to extend him if it’s reasonable. I’m really not convinced that trading for Upton would be worthwhile. They still need someone to play out there and it won’t be dickerson.

          • jesse

            I agree. I would like to re-sign Swish for 4 and ~$60M, though I’m not too confident that that’ll happen.

      • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

        The problem is he’s a free agent at the end of next year. If he repeats this performance again next year I can easily see a team giving him a 6 year deal at anywhere from 13-16 per.

        • Laz

          I highly doubt he gets that much (money and security). Look at what CJ Wilson settled for, and his era was significantly lower and he threw over 200 innings both years prior. I doubt hughes gets to 200 this year, unless he throws 3 complete games. I see him getting less years or less money per year

          • BeanTooth

            Hughes might not get that kind of money with a good next season, but he’ll be only 27 (4 years younger than Wilson at the time?) and have proven himself in the AL East. Seeing what AJ did going to the NL, I could see the Dodgers making him a big offer, being a SoCal kid and all. I think the Yanks should definitely look into an extension. They might end up getting a bargain.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Oh I think he would get that kind of money with another good season. Extending him now is still a risk, but that money’s going to go towards another mid-rotation starter anyways. I lean more and more to wanting them to do it.

      • DC

        Look around, Matt. There’s not a lot of pitching available. As frustrating as Hughes can be at times, he’s still better than a lot of arms. If he hits FA, he’ll have plenty of interest.

        • Laz

          Especially since his era is under 4 now and if he repeats that again next year. Solid mid-rotation starter.

        • JLC 776

          Completely agree. When you look at the overall narrative arc of Phil’s big-league career, most of the extended bad portion can be explained by a rather nagging injury. He’s a solid pitcher, he’s young, and he can be a number 3 mainstay in this rotation for many years.

          Lock him up before his value potentially spikes.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      I disagree. He’s a good pitcher, nothing special though. Extreme flyball pitcher too, you don’t wanna have those on the mound in Yankee Stadium. I’d extend him for something like 3/30 (maybe 3/36 if I’m in a good mood) but not a cent more. If he doesn’t accept that then offer him arb after his final year and if he turns it down just say goodbye. Losing Hughes isn’t something I’m concerned about.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        3/36 is fine with me, which means you could convince me to go 4/48 rather easily. There’s certainly risk, but I believe he can continue to be an effective mid-rotation guy, at minimum.

  • anon

    Not to nitpick after a victory, but I hate the fact DRob was used for the 3rd straight day after throwing many pitches over the previous two days.

    Was hoping they would hold him out of tonight’s game (even though I know it was only 3 pitches) so he could potentially be available tomorrow and/or Saturday, but now it looks like he won’t be available until Sunday (maybe Sat).

    • Johnnyd

      Ive not had a chance to see Robertson pitch the last few games. Is he throwing the curve more than he had been? He REALLY needs to get back to that IMO to get back to being dominant.

  • Mattchu12

    The thing I was most impressed about what that Hughes got through the first three innings with just 26 pitches thrown. The fourth inning sucked, I thought there were some questionable calls, but all the same, he was very efficient overall. That’s a huge plus.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Phil Hughes since May 1:

    159 IP, 3.56 ERA, 7.52 K/9 2.49 BB/9

    The Yankees really deserve props for sticking with him after his rough start to the season.

    • Pat D

      But he still sucks. Right?

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      And somehow he’ll likely finish with less than 2 WAR for the season. He’s seemed to pitch much better than that would lead you to believe.

      • JonS

        Conversely, CC’s right at 2.1. So think about that.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          It’s 3.7 in 170 IP. Nice try.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            2.1 bWAR, 3.7 fWAR, 2.7 WARP

            • billy consolo


              WHO’S GOT THE BEST BARF?

              • TrueBlue

                no shit.. too many metrics.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  More like too many people misusing them.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    Yup. Or just not understanding them.

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

                    Who do you think is misusing them?

          • BigDavey88

            *groans* good lord you’re too much. Chill the fuck out, guy.

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

              If that’s directed at me, you’re an asshole.

              If not, sorry.

    • vicki

      he became a pretty decent pitcher the day he abandoned the cutter.

  • jesse

    Wasn’t that July 2008 game, the last time the Yanks shutout Boston in Fenway, started by Joba?

  • Pat D

    2 of 3 against Tampa would be sufficient. They’d be 5 back and without anymore direct chances against the Yankees.

    Hopefully the Orioles are treated as miserably in Oakland as the Yankees were, and hopefully the Mariners spoil a game or two.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    A winning streak! Yipee!

    Since the last winning streak, the Yankees have played 26 games and gone 11-15. Yankee starters in that span:

    Pitcher Games Team Rec IP ERA OPS against
    Kuroda 5 2-3 36.2 3.68 .690
    CC 4 1-3 27.2 3.58 .748
    Phelps 5 2-3 27.1 5.27 .798
    Garcia 4 2-2 17.2 7.64 .871
    Nova 2 0-2 11.2 7.71 .995

    Hughes 6 4-2 39.1 2.29 .631

    Who’d have thought Hughes would be the stabilizing force in the rotation.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Yikes. I guess WordPress doesn’t like spacing.

    • Rich in NJ

      Me, but I have been a stopped clock about Hughes.


    Our backs are against the wall and we get 6 innings and 1 run out of Big Game Dave Phelps and then 7+ innings of shutout ball from King Phillip. No Yankee starter has pitched as well lately as these two kids just did in two must win ballgames.

    CC and Kuroda are both going in the Tampa series, they must continue what the kids have started and we must take 2/3 at home.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I have to admit some slight admiration for you owning the things I make fun of you for. Honestly, I tip my hat there.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    If we assume that Oakland is going to get one of the wildcard spots that leaves 2 places for 3 AL East teams. Taking 2/3 from the Rays this weekend would help a lot in making it a 2 teams for 2 places race.

    • CUYanks

      And we can’t even assume that with Oakland, because either they or Baltimore are gonna lose a few games in their series.

    • Laz

      Baltimore’s schedule after the oakland
      3 vs Tor
      3 vs Bos

      Lets hope the A’s do good, because that schedule is incredibly easy to finish off the season.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        They finish off with 3 @ Tampa.
        They have a very similar schedule to what the Yankees have left.

      • Pat D

        Seattle has been playing much better. Hopefully they’ll give the O’s some fits.

      • JLC 776

        Please tell me Felix is in line to face Baltimore. It seems like we’re the only team in the East (with the giant exception of TB) that he plays against.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    So who here thought that Phelps and Hughes would actually be the best pitchers in the last four games?

    • Pat D

      Well, you can’t predict baseball.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        No John, you know what, you really can’t. You really, really can’t. What a game this is.

  • Laz

    Tampa series will be a tough one to win.

    Price vs CC
    Shields vs Nova
    Moore vs Kuroda

    Lets hope the bats can come alive

    • Cashman’s Third Mistress

      What bats? Have you been watching this team lately?

      • TrueBlue

        Same can be said for Tampa

  • stuart a

    not to rain on anyones parade but.

    that was a very unimpressive 2 ou of 3 in Fenway.

    2 hits with RISP in 3 games, both by Jeter and both bloops.. the rest of the team like 0 for 31..HORRIBLE.

    Resolve the Cano situation in the offeseason…. There is nothing to resolve. Let him play out his last year of his deal and if after that you want to sign him do for a contract that makes sense for a over 30 yera old tease.. the guy is not that good.. people are mesmerized by his sweet swing and great fielding plays he makes on occasion.

    under 180 with RISP is all you need to remember about his 2012 season…the guy should get 115 rbis or more in this lineup with this # of opptys…

    i play brick hands nunez tommorrow at SS and jeter at DH… taken a risk defensivly but he can hit and has speed. the yare so damn unathletic….

    • Need Pitching & Hitting


    • anon

      nunez is playing baseball with hands made of bricks? he deserves a raise….and a parade.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Please find another Gold Glove 2nd baseman, under 30, who will play for cheap, and who leads the league in extra base hits. Then we can talk.

      • anon

        Well he’s not cheap but yeah…

        • WhittakerWalt

          I’m not saying Cano would be cheap. Stuart seems to think a cheap option exists. That’s all I’m saying.

    • DC

      Stuart is actually Bobby Valentine.

    • DT

      Man you are dumb.

    • JLC 776

      I will never look at a series against the Red Sox, regardless of respective records, as an indicator of team performance.

    • TrueBlue

      The good news is that it was still 2 out of 3.. We held serve on the road- at some point the bats will wake up (right??)

    • Pat D

      At this point in the season, style points don’t matter. A win is a win.

      Actually, style points never matter. Getting the win is all that matters.

  • Kevin G.

    The team shutout was New York’s first in Fenway Park since July 2008.

    Joba :(

  • LarryM., Fl.

    A win is a win. Yankee fans are happy. As much as I was happy to see Phil pitch into the eigth last night. I felt he was a bit fortunate at times. Granderson’s catch would have been gone in Yankee stadium. Some of the balls hit to right could have been wall scrapers at the stadium.

    As far as Valentine is concerned. He’s a bitter man who is as phony as a $3 dollar bill. Hughes pitched against the lineup presented by Boston in the park scheduled. Maybe if Bobby V. had a real personality. His veteran players would still be playing for him and not in LA or Chicago just a hunch. Apparently he is a better manager in Japan where the players keep their mouths shut about the manager’s quotes to the press.

    • Kosmo

      speaking of Granderson he just broke his own Yankee record for K´s in a season, now with 170 and counting.

  • Cashman’s Third Mistress

    CC vs. Tampa? Well that means Upton’s getting 2-3 hits and probably going yard.

  • JM

    Was at the game last night, Fenway was obviously not as crazy as years past, but still always nice to take 2 of 3 vs. the Sox, the games just get more important now, On to the next one!!

    • Erica

      Very cool that you got to go! Is it true that the Boston fans arrive late and leave early? Michael Kay was lamenting about that last night.

      • B-Rando

        I’ve lived in Boston the past 8 years and was also at the game last night. Boston sports radio coined the term “pink hat” to represent they type of fans that attend Red Sox games. It basically refers to the female fan who doesnt know crap about the team but is decked out in pink team merchandise.

        These “pink hats” arrive sometime in the 3rd inning, ooo and ahhh at every popup to shallow center field, dance in their seats to try and get on the dance cam between innnings, and leave directly after Sweet Caroline is played in the middle of the 8th.

        If I were a Sox fan I’d be ashamed that these types of fans have run amok in Fenway.

        • JLC 776

          I wish I could say the average YS3 fan was better…

  • mt

    I would love for them to take 2/3 but pitching matchups favor Tampa in 2/3 (sorry, Price is better than CC and Shields of course is better than returning Nova who sucked efore he was onb DL). Maybe Kuroda is a slight favorite to Moore.

    My fear is that Cc will actually come through with a pretty good game tonight but our bats will totally whiff. Price is coming off shoulder soreness so maybe he has a clunker in him. But normally Price outduels CC even in more stable times so we’ll see. Also Doubront was about to tie a record for consecutive bad starts for Red Sox (4 or 5 runs in 4 innings or less) bt of course he looked great again (that’s 3 starts tghis year – watch for that next year and his one bad start against us was not horrid). Price is better than Doubront so I am not expecting much. This is type of game we need a Nunez or pearce to come through – would love if Cano or Grandy could surprise like they did on Wednesday but Grandy looked bad again yesterday and Cano with RISP just fails unfortunately.

    At this point a win is a win but Yanks as a so-called “good team” has been historically erratic (thank God we were 11-15 in 26 game span and not worse – MLB showed a graphic that the Yankees of 2012 are the first first-place team in the history of baseball to play as many as 26 consecutive games without winning 2 in a row. Think about that).

    Rays scored 6 runs in 3 games (including a 14 inning game) in Baltimore – let’s hope we see more of same from our pitchers and our bats do not freeze with RISP.

    I hope 2/3 but am expecting 1/3.

    • mt

      I also called that there was absolutely no way Yanks would sweep in Boston and I knew that Red Sox would play hard although many on this site said 1) Yanks would sweep and 2) that Red Sox would lay down because of checking out due to Bobby V hate.

      Speaking of Bobby V hate, what is going on with Aceves? I hate Bobby V but Aceves was wrong on Wednesay o walk off mound without going past Bobby and wrong to also hand ball to Salty, not Bobby. I love to see it happen to Sux because I again hate Bobby but I thought Aceves was more professional than that. I guess it’s better than having a fight in dugout which is what almost happened on West Coast a week ago.

      I was thinking we could get Aceves back next year (yes, I know he has failed in some big spots this year but I also attribute this to him being somewhat overused earlier in year and now he has just mentally checked out.) Cashman probably also does not like him becuase of the motorcycle or bike accident or whatever he had when he was with Yanks.

  • Erica

    Happy with the win. A W is a W, regardless of RISP-fail or over-taxing the bullpen. I don’t care how we win – as long as the job gets done.

    Phil pitched wonderfully! I mean, if he’s going into the 8th (and let’s face it, he probably could’ve finished that inning), that’s a great sign, right? I was just as excited to see Nooney NOT overthrow the ball for once.

    #untuck guys. Let’s destroy the Rays this weekend! ::Cervelli fist-pump::

  • Better off Eddard

    Coney said last night that the job of the pitcher in these types of ballgames is just to win whether it’s 3-2 or 1-0. Phil and Phelps did that. Now it’s time for the veterans to step up and do the same. CC and Kuroda have both blown leads in recent starts. Nova has been awful and actually blew a 5 run lead in a game vs the Os this year. The Rays O is not good. They scored 6 runs in 3 games vs Baltimore. WIN!

  • Erica

    On a separate note – I totally love when Al Leiter and David Cone are in the booth together. I will forever maintain that they need to host a program about pitching.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Are you saying you want them to make out?

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    People have been comlaining about Cano not hitting. The problem may pertain to who is protecting him. When you have Martin or Jones behind him, the pitcher is reluctant to give Cano anything good to hit. Truly, the right handed platoon is the weakest I have ever seen.

    • mt

      Good point but why does he do so much better with martin behind him when there is no one on base? Pitchers bear down more when men in RISP but also more reluctant to walk him if there are men in RISP.

      • Jose M. Vazquez

        I did not know that he did better with no runners in scoring position. But still, who is afraid of Martin and Jones.

  • David K.

    Phil Hughes is starting to become the ace of the staff. That’s good for him but obviously means that C.C. and some others are not having good years. But the Yankees deserve credit for sticking with him in the rotation. I myself would have banished him to the bullpen when he was struggling earlier this year. He’s still not better than a number 3 or 4 starter on a World Series caliber staff but at least he’s learned how pitch and get hitters out. Is he going to better next year? Who knows, but we’d better hang onto him, because he’s basically all we’ve got going for us right now.