Hughes dominates as Yankees top Athletics

Saturday Night Open Thread
Austin homers, Rondon rocked in Trenton loss


Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees have lost consecutive games just once since the 1-4 start to the season, and they avoided the dreaded two-game losing streak on Saturday with an impressive 4-2 win over the Athletics. Good pitching and timely hitting, there’s your ballgame. Let’s recap…

  • Philthy Phil: As I mentioned in the open thread, this was tied for the best start of Phil Hughes‘ career (by Game Score). He allowed three singles, one double, and one walk in eight scoreless innings of work, striking out nine and throwing a first pitch strike to 21 of 29 batters faced. Eighty-two of his 118 total pitches were strikes — including a ridiculous 19 swings and misses — the most strikes thrown by a Yankee and sixth most by any pitcher this season. Hughes retired the last ten men he faced and didn’t allow a single A’s player to make it to third base. He was awesome and has been for four starts now.
  • Solo Homers & Singles: The Yankees built a bit of a picket fence against Bartolo Colon and the Oakland bullpen, scoring exactly one run in four of the first seven innings. Chris Stewart (!) opened the scoring with third inning solo homer down the left field line while Lyle Overbay followed with a bigger blast into the second deck in right two innings later. They tacked on ultimately important insurance runs in the sixth and seventh with singles from Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner. Both of those rallies started with extra-base hits and ended with soft hits — Hafner’s was a bloop off the end of the bat while Gardner’s was an infield single off the second baseman’s glove.
  • Short Leash: I don’t understand why Joe Girardi bothered to send Shawn Kelley to the mound in the ninth if his leash was one base-runner. Mariano Rivera didn’t pitch on Thursday or Friday, plus the team is off on Monday. Rest isn’t an issue. If you’re willing to bring in Mo with a four-run lead after a man reaches, just send him out for the full inning so he can start it fresh. Eh, whatever. Two runs scored in the ninth, one charged to Kelley and one to Rivera. Four Athletics batted while representing the tying run that inning.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees had eight hits, including five for extra-bases. Overbay was the only player with two knocks while Ichiro Suzuki and Chris Nelson went hitless. Everyone else had one hit apiece … the Bombers didn’t draw a single walk, which isn’t surprising. Bartolo Colon has walked one batter (!) in 37.1 innings this season … I have to think Preston Claiborne has a chance to take Kelley’s job if he pitches well between now and when Joba Chamberlain comes off the DL. Kelley has pitched poorly and he clearly doesn’t have Girardi’s trust.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound in the rubber game on Sunday afternoon while the Athletics will counter with rookie right-hander Dan Straily. If you want to catch the final game of the homestand in person, check out RAB Tickets.

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Saturday Night Open Thread
Austin homers, Rondon rocked in Trenton loss
  • Now Batting

    Seems like Hughes just really trusts his stiff and has good control. Here it is, good luck hitting it. If he could improve his command I really think he could become the pitcher he was projected as.

    • Now Batting

      Stuff*…I really need to stop posting on my phone.

  • Laz

    The front four of the rotation is looking very good. Now if they just get a solid 5th starter.

    • Bob Buttons

      Wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Not many teams have a solid 5th starter. (Heck, we won it all in 09 with 2 1/2 solid starters, didn’t we?)

      • FIPster Doofus

        It helped that eight of the nine offensive regulars that year had at least a 118 OPS+. That team’s offense was just about endless.

        I do agree, though – not many teams have good fifth starters, so it’s not worth worrying about. Maybe CMW will come up and pull off a miraculous run of success at some point.

        • Bob Buttons

          Even if he pitches to a 4.50 ERA ( 6IP 3 ER) I’ll gladly take it.

        • Laz

          and the offense this year is average. They are going places on the back of their pitchers.

        • CountryClub

          Or Pineda…..hey, it’s possible.

  • ahh

    s

  • MannyGeee

    Hughes keeps this up he’s gonna get muthafuckin PAID next year. I feel like he’s going to be a Ranger next year.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Home run Hughes in that ballpark? Uh oh. I think he’ll end up in the NL.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        I think Hughes in a park like Petco or somewhere like that would really flourish.

  • Eddard

    Phil ain’t going nowhere if he keeps pitching like he is. Andy and Kuroda will not be back so there will be money in the coffers to sign him to a multi-year deal. He’s only 26, still in his prime. Hughes was grown from the Yankee farm system and he’ll stay a Yankee.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Why won’t they be back? No guarantee of retirement for either. They’re obviously effective enough to keep pitching.

      • Laz

        But do they want to. Many are assuming this is it for those two.

  • MB923

    Short Leash: I don’t understand why Joe Girardi bothered to send Shawn Kelley to the mound in the ninth if his leash was one base-runner.

    #Binder

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yup. Let’s pull out the binder line for anything we don’t like that the manager does.

      I didn’t get the Kelley thing. If that’s how little you trust him, then either only use him in blowouts or don’t bother having him on the team.

      The ass-end of the bullpen needs some work for sure.

      Great win. Loved watching Hughes be the Hughes I love.

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    This is such a fun team to watch, a lot more fun than last year.

    I know I’ll get criticized for that, but it’s something totally subjective, and I just enjoy watching them more.

    That said, that run of awesome comebacks at the end of last year, culminating in the Orioles series, was definitely fun while it lasted.

  • Havok9120

    All for the greater glory of Prussia.

    I am pleased this day.

  • JLC 776

    I keep saying not to give up on Hughes. Retrospectively, when he’s not pitching injured, he’s been consistently solid. Right now it’s just fun to watch him!

  • jimmy

    Phil Hughes just passed Jim Boutin as #30 all-time in Yankees strikeouts. Hard to believe he’s so far up in the record books.

    On a related note, its interesting that given the great history of the team, they have four of their top 30 strikeout leaders pitching actively this year (Pettitte #2, Mo # 9, CC Sabathia at #18 and PJ Hughes at #30).

    • Havok9120

      Okay, yeah. That is pretty insane. It makes perfect sense, but it’s still nuts.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    maybe Hughes is putting it all together finally. It’s a small sample of course but his last 3 starts have been pretty awesome.

    • CountryClub

      He started to put it together last yr. You could see him learn how to pitch and not just throw. The slider was a revelation. He’s a little behind on the learning curve because of the injuries, dead arm, bullpen stints and early call up. But he’s still only 26. He’s going to have a very good year.

      • jjyank

        Yeah. Hughes has been around for so long already that I think a lot of us forget that he really is only 26. There’s still time for him to put it all together.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    This was the most satisfying win of the season so far only because the fifth and sixth batters were Ichiro and Chris Nelson.