Saturday Night Open Thread

Game Ten: Strive for Five
Hughes rocked as four-game winning streak comes to an end
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Well, the four-game winning streak was fun while it lasted. The Yankees lost a game to the Orioles this afternoon that didn’t really feel as close as it actually was — the final score was 5-3 — because Phil Hughes was awful in the first few innings. Allowing runs early is a great way to make a game feel like a blowout despite the actual score.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The Rangers and Islanders and playing a huge game with enormous playoff implications, so that will be a blast. MLB Network will also air a game (teams depend on where you live), but otherwise you’re on your own for entertainment. Talk about whatever, enjoy.

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Game Ten: Strive for Five
Hughes rocked as four-game winning streak comes to an end
  • Eddard

    Phil was awful but it’s not entirely his fault. Management rushed him back. Why didn’t he even throw a minor league start? Phelps was ready to fill in. This is spring training for Phil and he’s put through the rigors of the AL East. Give him a little bit of a break.

    • forensic

      Even if they hadn’t screwed with their original ‘plan’ he would’ve made a start this time through the rotation anyway.

    • vicki

      don’t forget the stomach virus!

  • Slu

    I can’t wait for the day Phil Hughes is no longer a Yankee. His starts, even the “good” ones are frustrating to watch.

    • Barry

      That’s a bit shallow. There are worse back end rotation guys out there. Now, I’m not against letting him go but let’s not treat him like a bad dog because of a bad start(or two.) He can be dominant.

      • LazzeriScooter

        Yeah, Barry he can be dominant like Nova, Phelps or any replaceable back-end-rotation pitcher can randomly be. Phil is an up and down average fastball pitcher that will give equal amount of dominant & disappointment stretches.

        • Barry

          And this validates “I can’t wait for the day Phil Hughes is no longer a Yankee” how?

    • LazzeriScooter

      Agreed. IETC

      Personally, would love for Brian Cashman to find some value in deadline deal rather to lose him for nothing.

      My condolences to Axisa, who is already in preliminary mourning over the loss of Hughes impending “Prime years”.

      • Barry

        *Throws up in mouth.

        • LazzeriScooter

          what? Mike is already complaining over losing Phil next offseason and I’m ribbing his opinion because there is no great value in losing a proven back end pitcher. Most organizations have a bunch of back end options to fill out rotations like Nova & Phelps.

          No big loss. Sorry about the nausea viewing Phil Hughes, or Nova, starts can cause that painful effect ;-<

          • Barry

            I’ve never really heard Mike complaining. He would rather extend him cheaply than loose him. Phil Hughes is still young, it’s wise to have as many pitchers as you can because they’re valuable. Even back end guys, who are on reasonable contracts, are extremely valuable.

            I threw up in my mouth because you’re blatantly insulting the guy that runs the site that you’re polluting and accusing him of things he hasn’t done. That and you’re shitting on a back end pitcher like he’s Kevin Brown shitting the bed.

            • LazzeriScooter

              Is Mike a sacred deity? Even though I disagree with him on many of his evaluations doesn’t mean I don’t respect the guy. I have said many times this is probably the best Yankee blog around but his opinion is not gospel.

              And read this blog as often as possible and Mike has indeed started the little narrative of losing the cost effective Hughes will be a significant error on the front office.

              • Barry

                Quote it then.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Realistically, there are reasons that might have explained Hughes’ ineffectiveness today, but he’s a major league pitcher. Even at 60-80% he has to find a way to give a better effort than that if he ever wants to be looked at as a back end guy, or maybe a middle rotation guy in the NL.

    • Dalek Jeter

      as more than a back end guy, or maybe a middle rotation guy in the NL. ***

    • LazzeriScooter

      The point is he mentally can not give any better, Dalek. Everyone knows when Phil does not have his plus fastball he becomes a severely compromised major league pitcher with few effective options.

      • jjyank

        Shit on Hughes all you want, but don’t pretend to know what another human being can do mentally. That’s ridiculous.

        • Barry

          Maybe the ol’scoot has a PHD or something… Anyway, you better listen to JJ you son of a bitch, he knows the way.

        • LazzeriScooter

          He is not physically hurt jj. Most of his ineffective starts occur when he does not have his best fastball. He knows this by now and he refuses to alter his game plan.

          Last year, his fastball swing and miss rate was sustaining for most of the 2012 season and he finally found some success close to his 2010 1st half. Still, you can’t expect always to have it and that leaves his team very vulnerable on his bad days.

          Often he can get away with that but, for the lasting good pitchers they learn to adapt. If this guy’s mentally tough enough he’d figure that out by now. Sorry if I got all ridiculous on ya.

          • Barry

            2 games and, once again, he didn’t have a proper ST to tune up. Nothing to do with mental toughness, IMHO.

            • forensic

              He had a similar ST to other pitchers by now, just against different competition. He’s still built up and anything. That possibly could’ve been part of an excuse for his first start, but not this one. He would’ve been up now either way.

              • Barry

                Not really, results don’t matter in ST. You work on things regardless of results.

                • forensic

                  Where did I say anything about results? I said he’s had a similar ST by now, being stretched out and worked on things his first couple of starts (hopefully, hence getting smacked around by A-ball teams or so). Pitchers aren’t working on things much late in the spring, they’re making sure they are stretched out and ready to go.

              • Havok9120

                Being stretched out and getting anything close to a proper ST are two totally different things.

                I don’t think a ton of this can be put on either the injury/sickness or the lack of ST, but lets not pretend that he’s actually gotten a similar experience to ST just to justify our own prejudices.

                • forensic

                  ST is there to stretch out the pitchers, and early on maybe work on things. He’s done that now. How does this have anything to do with prejudices?

                  If this excuse never goes away, then is this just a give away season because he missed MLB competition in ST?

                  Pettitte (I know, different stages of pitchers) had all sorts of a screwy ST last year and was terrific.

                  • Havok9120

                    He also spent weeks doing whatever he wanted against hitters who shouldn’t have been able to touch him. The innings against minor leaguers and AAAA players help.

                    And it isn’t like the excuse is still here a month into the season. He’s made two starts, one of which was supposed to be a tune up game in the minors until the night before. The excuse has “never gone away” because it hasn’t been AROUND for more than a few days.

                    I don’t want to defend Hughes all that much but you’re just bashing the guy at this point. No explanation you could see would keep you from tweaking him anymore than any sign of improvement could make you say anything but “too little too late,” or “he’ll blow it soon anyway.”

                    • forensic

                      I don’t want to defend Hughes all that much but you’re just bashing the guy at this point.

                      That’s not true. I’m just looking at what the numbers tell me, which is quite different than what I feel people are still holding on to with him.

                      No explanation you could see would keep you from tweaking him anymore than any sign of improvement could make you say anything but “too little too late,” or “he’ll blow it soon anyway.”

                      Well it’s not tweaking him, he has had well over 100 MLB starts now in his 7th MLB season. Forgive me for not seeing two good starts and saying he suddenly turned the corner and will soon be a solidly reliable, innings eating 2/3 in the rotation.

                      And combine any of this with his division and home park and it all gets worse. I hope he goes and signs with the Padres and has a few better seasons which people will wrongly take as him ‘taking a step forward that the Yankees missed out on’. Won’t bother me at all because I can acknowledge what he actually is and how it would be in this environment.

                      And I didn’t say the excuse is still here in a month, I said ‘If’ which we’ll just have to wait and see, because I can certainly still people bringing that up if he’s bad in say 4 of his 5 starts or something like that.

                      Hey, I hope I’m wrong because the Yankees are going to need all the help they can get from their pitching and I know Girardi and Cashman won’t pull him until somthing absurd happens, if they’d even do it then with their precious Hughesie. I just don’t see the ‘taking the next step’ and the ‘he’s solidly above average’ stuff as realistic either in the present or the future in this environment.

                    • forensic

                      Wow, that ended up being much longer than I thought, thanks to the narrower commenting area. Sorry…

                    • Havok9120

                      The “bashing” thing is directed at the quantity of comments more than the content. There’s certainly plenty of statistical reason to not like/trust the guy. But you had something like a dozen (!) comments in the Game Thread that were little more than a variation of “I really, really can’t stand Phil Hughes.” There were two others that had stats in them and were in the middle of discussions, but the rest were just snark at him or anyone that had anything even remotely complimentary to say about him.

                      At a certain point I think “bashing” or “tweaking” becomes an appropriate adjective. :p

                    • forensic

                      If saying something like ‘I’m shocked he gave up a homerun’ or ‘Good thing they didn’t have the pen warmed up or in yet’ is bashing or tweaking, then almost everyone is guilty of it and it’s not just me as you’re trying to imply.

                    • Havok9120

                      I’m not even trying to imply anything on the “bashing” front. I’m well beyond the point of caring. It just seems an odd thing to devote so much…invective (too strong a word) toward.

                    • forensic

                      Well, I just gotta get through my Friday at work now (very unmotivated right now obviously), maybe have an adult beverage afterwards, and then I’ll be all better (hopefully) tomorrow night for Kuroda. :-)

                    • Havok9120

                      That’s the spirit!

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

            Yes, this is sufficiently ridiculous.

            • LazzeriScooter

              I’m not referring to just these two starts that would be unfair. My opinion of his lack of mental toughness has formed in his tenure as a starting pitcher over the past three seasons.

              And as said before, my condolences Mr. Axisa over his impending 2014 departure.

              • Barry

                I don’t understand how you’re basing this on mental toughness. What are you talking about?/Proof prease.

          • jjyank

            So not having a good fast ball = mental issues? M’kay.

            • LazzeriScooter

              Nope, depending on your fastball to be at optimum level being the root of his basic effectiveness means he is mentally weak as a pro pitcher.

              When we see guys like CC, Andy, and Hiroki manage to be dominate, let along basic effectiveness, without their best stuff those are pitchers who impress me.

              They are mentally strong and worth contracts of varying lengths. By now, I hope Phil starts showing that ability to adapt to not having his best stuff and not look completely lost on bad stuff days.

              And once again that opinion has been formed from his general starer profile resume over the years and not off these past two starts.

              • jjyank

                Your last sentence is all the evidence I need to not pay attention to you.

                Mentality of a 27 year old in two starts vs. veterans in a selective sample on his psyche. Brilliant.

                /sarcasm

                • LazzeriScooter

                  Wait, JJ, are you saying those veterans were just as lost and ineffective as Hughes during their pre- prime years? I don’t recall any of the veterans being as ineffective as Phil can be during a regular bad stuff outing.

                  Sorry, if my select thoughts are not up to your lofty standards. Guess expecting highly touted prospects to grow and progress in development is a ridiculous argument now.

                  Like I said my opinion of Phil has come over the past few years not over these 2 starts. Personally, I believe he’ll be mostly fine this season as a reliable back end pitcher.

                  But those bad days for Phil are due to bad stuff problems that I feel he should have already figured out.

                  • jjyank

                    The problem with your perception of Hughes is that “highly touted prospect” part. That’s over. There are a hell of a lot of “highly touted prospects” that don’t even contribute that Hughes has thus far.

                    He’s serviceable. And considering you just said this: “Personally, I believe he’ll be mostly fine this season as a reliable back end pitcher.” And not a single person has said anything to the contrary (positive or negative), I don’t even know what your argument is. But your tone and your language suggest argument.

                    Anyway, I’m done. Enjoy your Saturday.

                  • Havok9120

                    What, exactly, are you arguing for or against regarding Hughes? And why are you so determined to make it seem as if you’re being ganged up on by unreasonable people?

    • Barry

      Well I mean, he did pitch to a 1.26 WHIP, 20.3%K and 5.6%BB, over 191.1 innings last year. He’s a solid back end guy. Regardless of his meager 7 innings this year without a solid spring training to refine his stuff. He’s a step behind the competition right now and is in a race to play catch-up.

      • jjyank

        I agree Barry. I won’t write off his bad performances so far entirely, but I do think he’s a solid back end guy going forward.

        • Barry

          Yeah, he needs to pitch better. No argument there, but it’s too early to just trash bin him.

          • jjyank

            Agreed 100%. Maybe we’re wrong, but there’s a decent chance that we’re not. Nobody here is saying he’s an ace in waiting, but I do think he’s a serviceable #4 type pitcher. And that’s not glamorous or anything, but it is useful. For the record, I would like the Yankees to keep him because the in-house rotation in 2014 is CC/Pineda/Nova/Phelps/Warren at the moment. I don’t want them to overpay, and I fear that another team might. But he’s not as bad as many seem to believe.

            • Barry

              Yeah, he’s a guy who is average. Average pitchers keep the team in the game enough that there is a chance of winning. They don’t go out and win games on their own. And he’s still young, he could get better or he could stay the same. If he’s reasonable it’s crazy to think he can’t help us. Even if he ends up being replaceable, if he has a decent contract there will be people out there that would pay to acquire him.

      • Dalek Jeter

        I’m a huge Hughes Fan, and I agree with everything you just said Barry. But I’m saying if he wants to take that proverbial “next step” he needs to figure out how to go out there and grind out 5-6 innings of 3-4 run ball if/when he doesn’t have his best stuff.

        • Barry

          I agree with you, but it’s early. He missed ST and didn’t get a chance to get his repertoire up to speed before facing one great and one decent line-up.

  • vicki

    i risk derision here, but:

    phil hughes has taught us a couple things. 1. he will break your heart; and 2. when you’ve written him off he’ll show up strong and surprise you.

    he looked awful for two starts, against a solid offense today and one of the best in the league in detroit. while i’m not super-psyched for his next outing – and while even his best performances can be adventures – i expect he’ll be better. still standing behind phil (insert health clause).

    go. have at me.

    • Barry

      I agree with you, seems to be a lot of people drinking that small sample cool aid lately. Binge drinking it actually.

    • forensic

      i expect he’ll be better

      Well, it’d be pretty difficult to be worse, even in Toronto against their (compromised) lineup.

      11 baserunners, 3 homers, 5 runs, and a grand total of 1(!) swing and miss in 3+ innings. Hard to be much worse than that, though it’s certainly possible if he’s “off” again.

    • LazzeriScooter

      What risk? Most RAB regulars are quite fervent Hughes supporters and will gladly lap up your post. No big deal, Vicki.

      Now if you post against A-rod, supporting Cervelli, thinking Jeter was not done a few years back, resigning Swisher was not the right move or AJ Burnet was worst pitcher… Then you would be risking a great deal of heated venom from the faithful posters.

      • forensic

        Against A-Rod? I think most people here despise him and the air he breathes.

      • jjyank

        You have some really misinformed perceptions of the “regulars”. Try again.

        • LazzeriScooter

          Really, JJ?

          How many regulars on non-game threads {because there you have many anonymous commentators post} are instantaneously with their support for the guy.

          When I refer to regulars respected posters like you, Robinson T., Mike Axisa etc. not the troll guys. Unfortunately my self-outing as an anti-Rodriguez guy has hurt my status on this grand blog.

          • Havok9120

            Almost no one (and NONE of the everyday posters) comes in “supporting” him. Unless you consider it “supporting” when someone says that the investigation and many of the media reports that have resulted from it haven’t produced a single tangible piece of evidence. Even the handful of reports we get are almost immediately contradicted by OTHER reports.

            If we’re at the point where anyone not breathing fire on the guy are somehow biased supporters then we might need to step back and gain some sense of objectivity.

          • Barry

            I’d be willing to say that most everyone is anti-Rod but accepting of the fact that he’s ours, regardless. Beating dead horses gets you no where.

          • jjyank

            I don’t even know who you are. You hating A-Rod doesn’t mean shit. Most Yankee fans do. I don’t, but I understand why some do. Frankly, that doesn’t mean shit. Plenty of regulars (myself included) support Cervelli, just as an example. You’re generalizing in a bad way.

            • Barry

              I’m still banking on the equal to or better than .329 wOBA.

      • Barry

        I can’t say I fervently support Hughes, I support Cervelli, think Jeter will somehow defy the odds and end up with the all time hits record, was neutral on Swisher but liked him as a ballplayer and a person, and thought AJ just couldn’t handle new york.

        You’re becoming a troll, metamorphosis in progress.

        • LazzeriScooter

          Is is possible to not be troll and disagree with you guys? Sometimes the common opinion doesn’t always end up being right.

          For awhile pro-Jeter not being done were attacked pretty badly, any criticism on Swisher sustained playoff failures is a blasphemous idea and the opinion of being a critic of recent offense failures these past post seasons is being a member of the “home run is bad” crowd.

          Never will be a troll if I can help it but there are valid counter arguments that should be respected and encouraged .

          • Havok9120

            I don’t think you’re a troll, I think you’re just totally incorrect about either who you consider the “regulars” or about what those regulars think.

            There are plenty of people here who like Cervelli. There are those who prefer him to Martin now AND those who didn’t think letting Martin go was a heinous mistake. There are PLENTY of Swisher haters which is one reason that the lines between all the different sides of that argument have gotten so blurred. As to Jeter both sides of that argument have had pie splattered on their faces so many times that I’m not sure how you can clearly say one side has been attacked worse than another. Heck, almost everyone on here has switched sides in that debate at least once or twice over the last several years.

            • forensic

              As to Jeter both sides of that argument have had pie splattered on their faces so many times that I’m not sure how you can clearly say one side has been attacked worse than another.

              Apropros of nothing, I miss the walk-off pies in the face…

              • Havok9120

                I do too. I was so sad that no one took up the torch on that after AJ got traded.

            • LazzeriScooter

              thanks, Havok.

              Appreciated the support. Really sorry to ruffle so many feathers around here.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Very late to this and, although I disagree with some of what you’re saying, I certainly don’t think you’re “trolling” either.

                Contrary to what others think, we’re actually allowed to disagree around here.

  • King Of Swat

    This Thursday, April 18, is the 90th Anniversary of Old Yankee Stadium – The House That Ruth Built. Everyone who was anyone was there. Babe Ruth “christened the stadium with savage” a (game-winning) home run.” Be part of the year-long celebration, commencing at Old Yankee Stadium Park, commencing Thursday afternoon, before the game.

    • Barry

      Is this going to be the baseball version of woodstock? Anyway, wish I could be there, damn work.

      • King Of Swat

        It’s a year-long celebration of America’s greatest stadium and the Yankee’s first World Championship season, Barry. So,for all those who can’t make it Thursday, as many great fans cannot, you still have all season long to visit the site and pay your respects.

        • Barry

          Guess I’ll have to look into it.

          • King Of Swat

            Will be great to have you involved, Barry. All devoted fans realize how extremely significant the ’23 season is in Yankee history. The “90th Anniversary of Old Yankee Stadium” can ve seen on YouTube – featuring one of the world’s greatest guitarists (and huge Yankee fan), Chris Risola, from Steelheart (so, there’s a little Woodstock for you!)

  • Mattchu12

    So I hear Cano ended up at shortstop today? Did he have to make any plays? Been a long time fan of him making the move to shortstop post-Jeter. He’d be crazy valuable there if he can bring his quality defense to the left side, actually worth the huge contract he’s gunna get.

    • Barry

      I don’t think he has the range to play there long term. He’s a big boy.

    • Havok9120

      He didn’t get anything hit to him. No way he’ll get enough time there to be able to market himself as a legit option at the position.

    • jjyank

      Noooo. I love Cano more than anyone. Hell, I’m looking at his home jersey draped over one of my chairs, and still no. As Cano ages, he moves from 2B to SS? That makes no sense. I’ve long been on the Cano-to-3B bandwagon at some point, but definitely not SS.

      • Barry

        Cano at 3B would be nice.

        • jjyank

          If the Yankees extend/sign him long term, I’m thinking 2-4 years at 2B, the rest at 3B. He played it in the minors, and we all have seen his arm. I think it would help preserve him physically. Hell, if Miggy can play 3B for a contender, so can Robbie.

          • Barry

            If Miggy can play any position, the options are wide open. It would be nice to take the errant slide injury chance out of the equation.

  • OldYanksFan

    It’s not SSS, it’s his entire career.
    He a 99 ERA+ guy, and unfortunately, a RH fly ball pitcher who plays half his games in YS. He also seems somewhat injury prone.

    Look… he’s a lifelong Yankee, and I like to keep all our talented kids. But he will be an FA in a weak market, at a time what ‘top tier’ FAs get radically overpaid.

    So what is he worth to the Yankees? 4/$32m? More? Less? My guess is he gets more on the open market.

    If YOU are Cashman… what do you offer him at the end of this year???

    • Barry

      99 ERA+ is almost exactly average. Which is pretty good for a 4/5. No one is saying he’s cy young. I also don’t think he’ll be grossly overpaid. Kyle Lohse wasn’t.

      • OldYanksFan

        Give me a number. 4/$32m?
        Enough?
        Will he get more as an FA?

        • Barry

          4/32 seems reasonable. That would be a team friendly deal. It’s hard to figure what he’ll get, I know he won’t get a qualifying offer. It really depends on what his final line is at the end of the season I suppose. I’m no good at predicting contracts.

  • Iron Horse

    I know it’s irrelevant, but Yanks screwed Hughes by bringing him up too soon. If they has just waited one more year…then they screwed with Joba: he’s a reliever, he’s a starter, he’s a reliever, he’s a starter. This kid had three pitches, electric stuff, he would have bee the perfect guy to succeed Mariano…if they had given him that role. No, make him a starter…he just never pitched the same.
    Joba and Hughes just throw too many pitches. I don’t know about all those stats and other stuff that rates these players, but I’ve been a fan since ’67, and I’ve seen my share of great pitchers and no knew”how” to pitcher better than Catfish Hunter. I remember when Hunter pitched against the A’s for the first time as a Yankee. He pitched a complete game 3-0 shut-out that was over in under two hours; I believe he K’d Reggie 3 times.
    Anyone else remember players bitching about an “easy collar”, an 0-4 afternoon against a guy they thought had thrown them hittable pitches, but didn’t give them any hits.
    Catfish was the master of the “easy collar”: he threw strikes, had great control and had the other side swinging the bats. If only guys like Hughes could learn “how” to pitch…I have to question the skill and credentials of the Yankee pitching coaches and instructors up and down the organization.
    These last few years have been so frustrating because we can see that some of these kids have ability and promise, but they either never learn how to use what they have, or they get hurt…just saying if anyone cares…

    • Barry

      The definitely made mistakes with those two. Hopefully they learned the hard way and didn’t remain ignorant to the lesson.

      Learning how to pitch is perhaps easier said than done. Some guys have the natural instinct while others do not. I don’t think it’s fair to blame the pitching coaches but I could be wrong and they could be focusing on the wrong things.

  • Barry

    Fantasy fudged by another big three. Started Kennedy over Ryu, big mistake tonight :(.

  • forensic

    I’m enjoying so much (maybe too much?) what’s been happening to the Angels so far this year.

    It likely won’t last, but I’m going to enjoy it very much for as long as it would like to continue. Well, the offense likely won’t last being like this, but the pitching certainly may continue being an issue all year long.

    • dkidd

      i should have read the thread before posting
      (see below)

      :)

      • forensic

        Stupid Jose Veras. Ruining all the fun…

        Can’t believe he is actually someone’s closer. And on a sort of Major League team no less.

  • Dennis

    Well there goes Jose Reyes ( Out until All star break)

    • forensic

      It didn’t even take the turf to do it.

      The Yankees have 10 of their 19 games against the Jays in their next 5 weeks (the other 9 in August and September), so even if things change a little he’ll still be out for those games. Hopefully that helps the Yanks a bit.

      • forensic

        Speaking of games against AL East opponents, taking a quick look through the schedule the Yankees basically have one series per month against the O’s and Rays.

        That seems strange for some reason.

  • dkidd

    the angels are in free fall

    loving it

  • http://CCOYS.com Chris Jones, CCOYS

    In four days the Original Yankee Stadium will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of its Grand Opening; and what better way to honor the date than with the announcement that a statue of the Babe will be placed in Babe Ruth Plaza or in the newly rename OLD YANKEE STADIUM PARK…by BABE RUTH FIELD.

    If there’s enough room for the embarrassingly gigantic Steinbrenner plaque in Monument Park, then there’s plenty of room for a statue of the player who is directly responsible for getting Steinbrenner his job.

  • Nor’ Easter

    How do you think we feel down here in FLA? Used to be we had a fiekd named after all the Yankee Legends « Legends Field». Now it’s «Steinbrenner Field» – with a statue if Steinbrenner on a pedestal looking down in all the Legends, who have – even collectively – all been deemed less worthy than Steinbrenner. Pathetic.