Today's win gave us 3 out of 4 against KC which seems about right...I am concerned about Hughes though. While he didn't walk anyone, he threw some VERY hittable pitches. He also was throwing mostly 92 all day which is not good enough. When he is throwing 94-95 and cutting the ball at 91 it is FAR better than 92 and the cutter at 88. That being said, the other concern is that he left pitches over the middle of the plate all day. He needs to use his cutter more when he is throwing so slow. For perspective, O'Sullivan was pitching against us and he is a change up and curve ball guy and his fastball gets up to 92...that is not fast enough for Hughes. Outside of getting away with grooved pitches, Hughes was very unlucky that the ump made one of the worst calls I have seen on a SB; calling a guy who was out by a long shot at 2nd safe. I have no idea what the ump was watching, but Jeter got the glove down and put it down in front of the bag and the runner slid right into it. Jeter got up and tossed the ball to Cano to throw it around and was shocked the ump called him safe. Horrible call by the ump that got exacerbated when the next batter (Posednik) hit a opposite field ball that hit low off the fair pole for a 2 run homer.
Back to Hughes (and Joba) I am not sure what is going on with our young guys, but whatever the Yanks are doing is NOT working. Both are young guys who used to throw 97-98 and 95 and are now throwing a good 3 MPH less than expected. Just as bad, their location has not been good. Some Yankee fans have made the assumption that Hughes will go to the pen to solidify the 8th inning??? First, do they forget that last year Hughes was not helpful in the postseason? In fact, Joba was better, plus, Hughes should stay in the rotation anyway as the last thing we want to do is mess with him anymore.
Hughes' ERA in his last 7 starts is 6.48. This isn't about a tired arm, he is not throwing hard and not spotting hhis pitches well. He is 4-2 in those starts which also shows you why wins and losses for a starting pitcher are really more of a function of run support and why a 20 game winner is more about the run support as well. Example: Felix Hernandez for Seattle has started 21 games, is leading the league in innings pitched and has a 2.75 ERA; his record is 7-6.
A couple blogs ago I mentioned Granderson starting to hit the ball better even though he didn't have much to show for it...well today he hit 2 homers and worked a walk...let's hope this continues; I expect it will.
Earlier in the game, Pena scored on a double from Jeter (who is centering the ball a little better as well) and did that reaching the hand slide at home plate. Not only could someone hurt their hand, Pena made a play where if he slid he would have knocked over the catcher before the ball arrived a lot closer. Somebody on the Yanks better teach this team how to deal with home plate, because in a big spot we may get called out on a play that if a normal hard straight slide was used we would be safe.
This game was a close game until the Yanks broke it open with a 1 run in the 6th and 7th and then a 5 spot in the 8th.
Yanks have 4 against Cle and the Fri-Sun against TB followed by 3 against Tor and Fri-Mon against Boston.