Tagged: Phil Hughes

Broken Record

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #53 – 6/2/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 9, Orioles 1.

I truly feel like a broken record here. Phil Hughes is absolutely phenomenal this year! We’re in June, and this young man is 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA. I knew he was going to be good, but I didn’t think he was going to be this good.
Another outstanding start from Huuuuuuuuuughes. This kid is the real deal. He’s got excellent pitching, an excellent mentality, and doesn’t seem fazed by anything. He is showing us all that he’s a future ace. Very few people can doubt that. How blessed are we, that our fifth starter is better than most teams’ aces? 
Of course, our bats were alive and well today. We hit the Orioles’ Bergesen early, scoring six runs in the second and third innings. Then, we got three more runs off of the O’s bullpen. We finished the game with nine runs on fourteen hits.
Can you feel the wrath of the modern-day Murderers’ Row?
We secured the series win, now let’s bring those brooms out! 

Keeping It Hot

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #48 – 5/28/10 – Indians @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 8, Indians 2.

There’s not much to say about this game, except that it was hot. 
Phil Hughes continued to show us that he truly does belong in the rotation. He gave up two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out eight. I’m saying this a lot this season, but I’m so happy Joe Girardi chose Hughes for the rotation. I can’t believe anyone was even considering leaving him in the bullpen.
The biggest surprise, however, came before the game, when the lineups were announced. Alex Rodriguez needed a day off, so we needed a cleanup hitter. Who stepped up to the plate? Robinson Cano. Boy, did he step it up big. 
In the seventh inning, with the bases loaded, Cano stepped up to the plate. If Tony Sipp was relieved that he was facing Cano, and not Rodriguez, that relief was soon gone. Robinson Cano blast a home run off of the Indians’ lefty reliever. A GRAND SALAMI to make sure that Phil Hughes’ wonderful start wouldn’t go to waste.
Add that to Nick Swisher’s two-run blast, Gardner and Miranda’s RBI’s, and you have yourself a win!
What else can be said? Robinson Cano continues to be hotter than hot, showing us that he is a huge asset in our lineup.
As for Hughes, well he’s simply PHILTY.

Taste The Pie!

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #38 – 5/17/10 – Red Sox @ Yankees

Box Score:
redsox @ Yankees 1.png

You have your good ol’ American Apple Pie…
And then you have your good ol’ Yankees walk-off pie…
Which one tastes sweeter? Yankees fans across the globe will agree that it’s the latter.
On a night where things didn’t look to be going the Yankees’ way, two swings of our bats turned this game from the worst loss of the season, to the best win of the season so far. Why? Because it was our first walk-off win of the year!
Oh, and it didn’t hurt that it happened against the Red Sox, and specifically off of Jonathan Papelbon.
After many walk-off wins last year, we’ve been feeling a little deprived in 2010. The Yankees have been off to a hot start, despite the injuries, so we have very little to complain about as fans. We have been feeling that something’s been missing, though. That something is: The Pie.
We’ve had many games on the road so far this season, so the opportunity for a walk-off hasn’t presented itself much. In this game, however, it did, and our bats took full advantage of it.
Phil Hughes had a bad start. I wouldn’t read too much into this performance if I were you, we all knew his ERA wouldn’t stay at 1.38 all season. Hughes has enough confidence in his abilities to bounce back from this. Hopefully our clutch hitting gave him a moral boost as well, and he will dominate in his next start.
Our bullpen was absolutely horrendous. I was horrified by what I saw today. Whether it was Boone Logan (I’m heartbroken about this) or Chan Ho Park, our pitching today blew it. Boone Logan at least managed to recover from the solo home run he gave up, and pitched a double-play ball, and fielded the grounder to end the inning. That doesn’t excuse the home run, but it somewhat makes it easier to swallow. Park, on the other hand, got himself into quite a mess (dare I say, he crapped his pants?) and needed Damaso Marte to save him. 
Park pitched well in the seventh inning, and kept his sheet clean. He came in to pitch in the eighth, and gave up three runs (two home runs) on four hits, without getting any outs. That wasn’t very pretty, because he also gave up the lead. Damaso Marte came in to keep the deficit at two runs, and recorded the three outs. Marte came back to pitch in the ninth inning, and got two outs, before Javier Vazquez was brought in for the final out.
Vazquez threw five pitches, recorded the final Boston out of the game, and actually received cheers from the crowd at Yankee Stadium. Ironically, that five-pitch strikeout was enough work from Javy to get him his first home win of the season.
After the messiness from every pitcher in this game not named “Javier Vazquez”, the Yankees needed heroics in the bottom of the ninth inning. We needed the Bombers to live up to their names, and give us the lifeline we need to secure a home win.
The Red Sox brought in their self-overrating closer, Jonathan Papelbon, to get the save. We brought in the heart of our lineup to the matchup.
Alex Rodriguez asks his haters: “How does my clutchness taste, b*tches?”
In true Bronx Bombing fashion, Alex Rodriguez came through in the clutch, once again. Anyone who has been doubting A-Rod’s power, can kiss his pinstriped Dominican butt. 
With Brett Gardner on base (who has a perfect record against Jonathan Papelbon), Rodriquez dropped an A-Bomb on the Red Sox. He blasted a two-run home run to tie the game. At the very least, we were going into extra innings, so we were happy that we hadn’t lost the game. 
How many times has A-Rod come through in the clutch for us? I lost count. All I know is that I am thankful he’s a Yankee. I would hate to be the team that has to face him.
This clutch home run from Rodriguez can be added to the game-winning home run against the Twins. I think we can safely say that A-Rod’s slugging is back from its early hiatus. 
Alex Rodriguez was one of our two heroes on the night. We’re used to having him as our hero, so very few of us were surprised by his home run. We were ecstatic, and we were cheering like crazy, but it came as no surprise.
I don’t know about you, but our second hero was a huge surprise to me.
Marcus Thames asks: “Melky, who?”
Okay, I think we’ve pretty much disproved the insane claim by some fans, that we need Melky Cabrera to get walk-off wins. While Melky seemed to shine in the walk-off role last season, Marcus Thames is here to tell us that he can do that, too.
Marcus Thames hit a walk-off home run. Who would have guessed?
I most certainly did not predict this. In the seventh inning, I did predict that we would get a walk-off win off of Jonathan Papelbon (and my Twitter Faithful will confirm this). I never imagined that it would co
me off of the bat of Marcus Thames.
After Papelbon hit Cervelli with a pitch, and put him on base, Marcus Thames came up to the plate thinking “Oh no you di’iiiiiin’t!” and quickly made him pay. He connected with the very first pitch he saw from the Boston closer, and blasted it for a two-run home run.
Thames gave us our first walk-off home run of the year, and he got the first walk-off home run of his career.
If we win our 28th World Series Championship this year, you know that this Marcus Thames home run will be in the 2010 highlights reel.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.

Still Philthy

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #33 – 5/12/10 – Yankees @ Tigers

Unbelievable. Unbe-[expletive]-lievable. How amazing is Phil Hughes?!
I knew he would be a great starter, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Phil Hughes would be leading all of Major League Baseball in the middle of May. This young man is 5-0 in six starts, with 39 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched, and has only given up one home run! Not to mention his ERA is an unbelievable 1.38! 
Jesus Christ, Phil Hughes, talk about showing the haters what’s up.
I didn’t think I’d be saying this in 2010, but Phil Hughes is currently our Ace. Not only is he the best star
ter in our rotation, but he is the best starter in all of baseball! Words fail me as I try to describe his amazing start to the season. My mind is a complete blur. What more can I say about a pitcher who as been absolutely lights-out so far?
He already has five wins, if he only wins eight more, he’ll have as many wins in our fifth spot, as our second starter had last season. I don’t see why he’ll slow down. Will he win every game he starts all year? Probably not. Will he finish the season with a 1.38 ERA? Highly unlikely. But we couldn’t have dreamed of such an amazing start to the season from our young pitcher.
He is really living up to the name “Phil Franchise”
What I would like to know is, where did all those fans who said he belongs in the bullpen disappear to? I remember, in Spring Training, when many people were saying that he needed to stay in the bullpen, because he was lights out as a bullpen arm in 2009. 
Why fix what isn’t broken? 
Are you now aware of what I’ve been saying all along? Do me a favor and go back to my posts in the offseason and Spring Training, I’ve been saying that Phil Hughes will be a great starter the entire time. I’ve actually been saying it for a couple of years, but I’ve only been blogging for a few months.
Can you imagine the opportunity we would have missed out on, if Joe Girardi listened to fans when making his decisions about our rotation? Phil would have been in the bullpen, and Joba or Aceves would have been in the rotation. Aceves is injured already, and Joba is lights-out in the bullpen. So not only would we have missed out on Hughes’ amazing starts, but we would have also missed out on Joba’s domination of his relief role.
Seriously, there’s nothing more to say about how amazing Phil Hughes is. I sound like a broken record. Every start of his, I say the same thing. Phil Hughes is absolutely PHILTHY.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.

Pump It!

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #24 – 5/2/10 – White Sox @ Yankees

I will keep this blog entry light, short, and sweet. I think a final score of “Yankees: 12 – White Sox: 3” is self-explanatory.
To sum up this game, I made a little video.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.

Simply Philthy

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #14 – 4/21/10 – Yankees @ Athletics

We’re getting spoiled this April. The second game of the series against the Athletics had another Yankee no-hit bid taken into the eighth inning. This time, it was Phil Hughes looking to get the first no-hitter of his career.
The usual superstitions appeared, and we refused to mention the phenomenon we were witnessing while it was happening.
Once again, we were robbed of witnessing magic in the eighth inning, when the Athletics got a clumsy hit off of Phil Hughes. Were we disappointed? Yes, we were, but it was mostly disappointment for Hughes. With the way he pitched, efficiently keeping his pitch-count down, he deserved a no-hitter. This is the second time in Phil Hughes’ short career that he’s had a serious no-hit bid. Luckily, this one didn’t end badly like the first one.
In his second start of the season, Phil Hughes continued what he began in his first outing, and that is to prove that Joe Girardi made the right decision by naming him our fifth starter. Phil’s fastball and cutter were unbelievable, and he seasoned his outing with curveballs here and there. 
Hughes was working hard for a no-hitter, but ended up with 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, with the run given up by Joba Chamberlain being attributed to Phil. He struck out ten batters (a career high), walked two, and got a second win to take his record up to 2-0. 
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Phil Hughes’ win gave us our fifth series win of the season. Yes, we’ve only played five series. The last time we won our first five series of the season was in 1926, and that’s our club record. I don’t want to jinx it, so I won’t say anything else about it.
I can summarize Phil Hughes’ start with two words: Simply Philthy.
In honor of Phil Hughes’ brilliant start, I’ve decided to give you some facts you may have not known about him. I’ve already given you facts about Brett Gardner, and chances are I will give you facts about several other players throughout the season. 
Facts About Phil Hughes

  1. When Phil Hughes pitches, planet Earth stops rotating. If it keeps moving, it’ll strike out.
  2. Chuck Norris came up with his roundhouse kick while trying to hit a Phil Hughes pitch. That time, he hit nothing but air.
  3. With Hughes on the mound, there is no “hitter’s count”. Every count is Phil’s count.
  4. Phil Hughes can strike out a revolving door.
  5. Physics text books will include a new law of gravity: A strike zone will always pull a Phil Hughes pitch.
  6. Phil Hughes can strike out a wall.
  7. Joba who? (I kid, I kid.)
  8. Al Gore and Brett Gardner were wrong, Phil Hughes’ pitching is the number one cause of Global Warming.
  9. There are less people fooled by April Fools’ Day pranks, than opposing batters fooled by Phil Hughes’ pitches.
  10. Mathematicians have finally defined “Infinity” as “the number of strikeouts Phil Hughes has in his starts”.
  11. How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? Less than the at-bats it takes to get a hit off of Phil Hughes.
  12. Phil Hughes doesn’t sweat. That moisture you see on his face is Pimp Juice.
  13. 99.99% of American males put themselves to sleep at night, by imagining hitting a home run off of Phil Hughes. The remaining 0.01% have never seen a baseball.
  14. Phil Hughes can impregnate a woman by just looking at her.
  15. Sorry, Straight Line, but the most efficient way from Point A to Point B is a Phil Hughes pitch.
  16. Phil Hughes can get 27 outs with a pitch-count of 10.
  17. Phil Hughes’ pitches don’t find the strike zone. The strike zone finds Phil Hughes’ pitches.
  18. Opposing Batters: If at first you don’t succeed, Phil Hughes will make sure that you never do.
  19. Phil Hughes’ cutter can out-bite a shark.
  20. One day, a batter will hit a Grand Slam off of Phil Hughes. That batter will be God, and Phil Hughes will give it up as a favor.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com


Praise the Lord! Our 2010 starting rotation has been set! 
Yesterday, Joe Girardi announced the final piece to our starting rotation puzzle: Phil Hughes. He will be our 5th starter in 2010.
I have no idea what took them so long to make the announcement. Most of us following spring training saw it coming, it was obviously going to be Hughes from the start. Alfredo Aceves was most valuable to us working from the bullpen, as was Joba Chamberlain. So, why the wait? I think the Yankees wanted to build up anticipation, and provide drama to an otherwise boring spring training. 
If the aim was to glorify this decision, then I give you a short clip that I made. 
I present to you, The Arms Of God:
Now, we can sit here and argue over Joba’s situation, and curse the day that the seemingly pointless “Joba Rules” were enforced, but it would be a waste of time. This year, it doesn’t look like Joba will be a starter. Those of you who were pulling for him to start this year should get over that dream.
Who knows if Joe Girardi will put Joba in the rotation for the second half of the season, should Phil Hughes make a mess of things. “You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn”, and you definitely can’t predict what Girardi will do. I highly doubt that will happen, though, and I don’t recommend it. I’ve been saying all along that Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen. With a relatively light work load, and the opportunity to regain his confidence in his own pitches, we could have our next closer-in-the-making with Joba. I hope that God [Mariano] will take him under his wing and teach him how to “accidentally” throw his cutter. 
We’ll have to wait and see how this season unfolds.
I have confidence in the abilities of Phil Hughes. He’s done really well this spring training, and we’ve seen him improve the command of his pitches. Joe Girardi said that he will limit Phil’s innings to 170. With the rest of our inning-gobbling starting rotation, 170 innings from our 5th starter will be wonderful.
I was surprised by some of my fellow Yankees fans’ reactions to the announcement yesterday. Some people responded to it like it was the end of the world. While I respect the opinions of those of you who think that Hughes is the wrong man for the job, I kindly ask you to calm the [expletive] down. 
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Phil Hughes isn’t as great a starting pitcher as Girardi thinks he is. So what? He won’t be worse than the mess we had in our 5th rotation spot last year. Let’s also assume that Hughes won’t be able to pitch deep into games. Who cares? Have you seen our bullpen pitchers recently? They’re more than capable of picking up the slack. Also, don’t forget who our top 4 pitchers are, chances are we won’t need much work from the bullpen when CC, AJ, Andy and Javy start the game. So if Phil needs help from the bullpen, they’ll be more than ready to take over.
Furthermore, look at the other teams in the American League. Who has a starting rotation that is better than ours top to bottom? No one. The Red Sox come close, but we get the cigar. While some of you are panicking over our 5th starter not being as great as our top four, other teams don’t even have one solid pitcher in their rotation. Remember when, as a child, your mother said to you “You better finish your dinner plate. There are starving children in Africa who would love to have the food that you’re tossing aside”? Look at the pitching problems the majority of teams in Major League Baseball have. 
Relax. Stop being so spoiled.
I think Phil Hughes will be just fine in the 5th rotation spot. He won’t win the Cy Young Award, and his ERA will probably be around 4.50, but that will be more than enough for us this year. I believe that Hughes will be a starting pitcher for a very long time, but as I said before, we’ll have to wait and see.
Now that Phil Hughes is “The Chosen One”, and we no longer have to argue about it, we can fill the void by arguing over who will be in the bullpen. I can focus all my energy on campaigning for my boy Boone Logan.
boone logan.jpg
Boom Boom Boone.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

A True Blessing

This year’s spring training has been a relatively quiet one for our Yankees. No scandals, no controversy, nothing very Yankee-esque. We’re not used to the lack of drama from the Yankees camp, so we have to find something put all of our energy into.

With our starting lineup set (not much to debate other than whether Cano should bat 5th or 7th), we’ve turned our attention to pitching. The main debates amongst Yankees fans involve four names: Hughes, Aceves, Gaudin and Logan. 
Phil Franchise vs. The Aces
The fifth spot in our rotation is up for grabs. The main candidates are Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes. Very few people still think Joba Chamberlain should be a starter, and I’m not one of them. Joba needs to clock that fastball of his in the mid-90s, something he hasn’t been able to do as a starter. I think he’ll be our next closer. 
Between Hughes and Aceves, however, I’m somewhat torn, yet confident about which one will become our fifth starter. Both have shown strength this spring training, and they’ve shown that they deserve to be starters.
Aceves has done wonderfully so far in spring training. In three outings, his record is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA. That is absolutely amazing. He started out as a long-shot, but quickly became the frontrunner for the rotation spot with his great outings. Many have also said that if Aceves earns the spot in the rotation, Hughes and Joba will be in the bullpen, providing one Hell of a bridge to Mariano Rivera.
This is all very true, and I am very impressed with Aceves’ performance in spring training so far. He was also wonderful for us last year. 
In my opinion, however, Hughes edges him out in the race. As you know from my previous blog post, we weren’t able to watch the game against the Astros, so I wasn’t able to see Hughes’ last start. What I’ve read about his start, however, really made me happy. Not only were his numbers great in that outing, but he’s worked on his fourth pitch. He’s now confident in his changeup, adding it to his previous arsenal of curveball, fastball and cutter. He threw it as a first pitch at one point, and as a 2-1 pitch with men on base at another. I like the sound of that.
With his dominant start against the Astros, my vote is currently going to Phil Hughes for the 5th spot in our rotation, with Aceves as a very close second. I’d much rather have Alfredo Aceves in the bullpen.
Sixth Righty vs. Second Lefty
This argument depends on who wins the coveted fifth rotation spot. If Aceves is our fifth starter, and Hughes is in the bullpen, then it would probably be a good idea to add Chad Gaudin to the bullpen, since he can be our long reliever. If Hughes is our fifth starter (which is more likely), then we would already have our long reliever in Alfredo Aceves, and we therefore would have no real need for Gaudin. Who should we add to our bullpen instead? I’m a fan of adding a second left-handed pitcher, so my vote goes to Boone Logan.
Boone Logan is one of those pitchers who are betrayed by their numbers. I’ve said time and time again, numbers and statistics do not come close to telling the whole story. Yes, his numbers thus far in the majors have been less than impressive, but he has good stuff. Logan’s main problem is his command of his pitches. In his years in the major leagues, he’s lacked the control necessary to avoid being lit up in some of his appearances. 
What everyone seems to forget, however, is that Boone is still young. He’s 25 years old, and as a left-handed reliever, it’s normal to have control problems at this age. The big bright spot is that he can pitch, his fastball has been clocked at around 94 MPH, and he also has a good slider, curveball and changeup. Even with his shaky command, Logan has held the lefties he’s faced to a .231 batting average. That isn’t a bad number for a pitcher who’s yet to gain full control of his pitches. Phil Coke’s numbers against LHB weren’t much better, and he was great for us last season. During this year’s spring training, Boone Logan has shown good command of his pitches thus far. He had one rough outing, but since then he’s been great. So there’s a big improvement.
We have Damaso Marte who is definitely going to be in the bullpen, so Boone Logan would be his “backup”. My main concern with Marte is his health. He’s not getting any younger, and he had injury problems last year that kept him out of games for a chunk of the season. Yesterday, he got hit in the back hard with a comeback ball off of a Phillies’ bat. That scared me. He seems to be fine right now, but I’m still concerned.
When Marte is healthy, he is solid. I have very little worries when I see a healthy Marte coming out of the bullpen. To keep him healthy throughout the season, we can’t overwork him like Coke was overworked last year. Look, let’s not kid ourselves here, we all know that Joe Girardi likes to go overboard with mixing and matching pitchers to batters. That is no secret. With Girardi’s style of bullpen management, I fear that Damaso Marte will be overworked, and we’ll lose him for the second half of the season due to injury. 
Some people have said “Well, let’s start out the season with Marte as our only lefty, and if he’s hurt, we can call up Logan, or acquire a new LHP, for the second half”. That’s all fine and dandy, but why not avoid Marte’s injury and have a backup for him right from the start? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see Marte healthy all season long and have him pitch during the crucial games in August and September. The way to minimize the risk of Marte getting injured is to give him a well-balanced work load right from the start. Joe Girardi will not do this if Marte is the only LHP in the bullpen. He will overwork him, you know he will.
Others (including Joe Girardi) have said “There are right-handed pitchers, like Robertson, who are good against left-handed batters”. That is true, Robertson has been impressive against both righties and lefties; but again I’ll go back to Girardi’s bullpen management. Do we want Robertson to turn into Joe Girardi’s Scott Proctor? If our only backup for a lefty pitcher is one of our best righties, then said righty will become the “go-to guy” in many games. We’ve all seen what that did to Scott Proctor’s arm, do we want to see it again with Robertson? I most certainly do not.
So far, this is how I see our bullpen:
– Mariano Rivera RHP
– Alfredo Aceves RHP
– David Robertson RHP
– Joba Chamberlain RHP
– Damaso Marte LHP
– Chan Ho Park RHP
That leaves one spot left for a reliever. Of course, I’m already calling Phil Hughes our 5th starter. 
With our inning-eating starting rotation, we don’t need two long relievers in the bullpen. Alfredo Aceves is more than enough as a long reliever, especially since we also have Park and Robertson to share the work load when short relief is needed. Chan Ho Park could also be a second long-reliever if necessary. The addition of Chad Gaudin, albeit a fine pitching addition, would be redundant. Gaudin’s main strength is his ability to be a solid long-reliever. In short relief, I’d rather have Robertson and Park on the mound. What we’re missing is a “lefty specialist” behind Marte. I hate the term “lefty specialist” and, if I believed that Girardi doesn’t depend on these specialists, I wouldn’t be bringing it up. Knowing that Girardi loves lefty specialists, however, I
cannot be comfortable with having Damaso Marte as our only option. We need a second lefty.
Unless Cashman acquires another left-handed reliever, we’re stuck with choosing between Boone Logan and Royce Ring. Yeah, I’ll take Logan. Thanks.
I would love to take a risk and give Boone Logan a chance. With the rest of our arms – I like to call them the “12 Arms Of Fury” – adding Boone Logan would be a low-risk/high-reward move. Give him a chance, if he doesn’t pan out, we still have Marte, and with the other right-handed relievers that we have, losing Gaudin wouldn’t be a tragedy.
We are Blessed.
We’re unbelievably blessed that these are the only tough decisions the Yankees face in spring training. We are practically complaining that we have too many solid pitchers. All teams wish that the only problem they face going into the season is the problem of choosing which of the plethora of good pitchers make the roster. No matter who makes the cut, and who doesn’t, we will have 12 solid arms going into the season. We are truly blessed.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com