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Tag: Phil Hughes
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Observations From Cooperstown: Hughes, Pitching, and Scranton/Wilkes Barre

I’m not ready to become all jelly-legged about Phil Hughes, not based on a trio of starts. Hughes’ drop in velocity is not as unusual as some make it out to be. I remember just last year the articles that were written in the Bay Area expressing dismay over Madison Bumgarner’s springtime loss of velocity. By the end of the regular season, Bumgarner was not only a significant part of the Giants’ rotation, but he was the No. 4 starter in the postseason, pitching for a world championship team. During the regular season, Bumgarner pitched to the tune of a 3.00 ERA. And then he pitched even more effectively in the postseason, culminating in a scoreless eight-inning start against the Rangers in the World Series.

Assuming that Hughes is not hurt, I think his velocity will return. (It was a bit better on Thursday night against Baltimore.) A 24-year-old pitcher doesn’t usually lose his fastball unless there is something wrong with his elbow or his shoulder. But Hughes could be serving as a test case for what is a flawed organizational pitching philosophy. The Yankees are so overly protective of their minor league pitchers, employing the strictest of pitch counts and innings limits, that it makes me wonder if they are hindering their development.

It’s one thing to avoid giving young pitchers 220-inning workloads in the minor leagues; it’s quite another to bend to the other extreme and do damage in another way. If pitchers don’t throw enough, they can’t develop arm strength, and if they can’t develop arm strength, they won’t be able to throw as hard as they are capable. If pitchers can’t even give you 175 innings in the minor leagues (Hughes never went higher than 146 in a season), how can they be expected to give you anywhere close to 200 innings in the majors, where the competition is stiffer and the pressure is greater?


The Best for Last

Phil Hughes is lost right now. He’s lost velocity on his pitches and is now lost in space. He threw more BP fastballs tonight and the O’s feasted on that weak sauce to the tune of five runs in four-and-a-third innings. It’s clear that something ain’t right, but what that something is, well, that’ll keep the angst-meter on blast for the foreseeable future, won’t it?

The Bombers inched their way back into the game behind a strong relief outing from Bad Bart Colon and trailed 5-4 going into the eighth. Colon put runners on the corners with one out and was replaced by Joba Chamberlain who uncorked a slider past Russell Martin. Felix Pie charged home from third but Joba beat him to the plate and blocked Pie’s leg, took the throw from Martin and made the tag for the second out.

Went something like this:

Joba struck Mark Reynolds out looking with some easy cheese on the outside corner, end of inning.

That  looked to be the last thing to get excited about as Alex Rodriguez, still hot, and Robinson Cano had two out hits in the bottom of the inning but Nick Swisher, ice cold, rolled over a grounder to end the inning. Joba pitched a scoreless ninth and then Jorge Posada hit Kevin Gregg’s first pitch into the right center field bullpen to tie the game.

And Yankee Stadium was happy.

Even more so when Curtis Granderson lined a ball off Nick Markakis’ glove in right field for a double. But Martin could not get a bunt down and whiffed. Brett Gardner, who has looked overmatched, did the same and Derek Jeter tapped out to short and the inning was over.

Yet all praise the Great Mariano, who worked around a lead-off single, and got the Yanks back up in short order. The lefty Mike Gonzalez walked Mark Teixeira on a full-count pitch to start the inning and then Rodriguez, who has been hitting just about everything on the screws, ripped a double to left. Second and third, no out. Robbie. Worked the count even at two, smacked a line drive right at the shortstop, one out.

The O’s chose not to walk Swisher, batting from the right side. Swish hit a hump back liner to Markakis in right, deep enough to score the winning run.

A.J., pie, game.

Yanks 6, O’s 5. Applause.

[First picture by Michel Gravel]

One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingy

Calling Phil Hughes, calling Phil Hughes.

The Yanks need ya, Hoss.

Go git ’em, boys.

April Showers Bring…


A.J. goes today, Hughes tomorrow. Mark Feinsand has more on Hughes in the Daily News.

And here is Brian Costello on Hughes’ early-season struggles in the Post:

“It’s obviously something to be worried about,” Hughes said. “This is my job, my livelihood and when I don’t have the stuff I know I’m capable of going out there with, it’s worrisome and it’s frustrating. I’m still confident in the fact that it will be there, but it’s something I’m worried about.”

Well, at least the Yanks have Kevin Silwood, no, wait…

[Photo Credit: Excalipoor]

Slow Thaw

Phil Hughes had no life on his pitches yesterday–Jon DeRosa called it “weak sauce” in an e-mail to me last night–and he couldn’t locate either.

Here’s Bill Madden in the News:

“He was up in the zone … he left some sliders up,” [Joe] Girardi said after his team’s 10-7 loss. “I was more concerned about his locating the baseball and the fact that he didn’t do it today. Sometimes guys who throw harder take a while longer (to get their velocity up). The big concern is not locating.”

…My velocity is not where I would like it to be at this stage,” [Hughes] conceded, “and so when I’m not hitting my spots that’s what happens.”

“I think he’s trying to generate velocity and losing location because of it,” reasoned Rothschild, who later added: “There’s going to be concern until you see it.”

In the Post, Joel Sherman reports the troubling news:

…That this has been going on for weeks. That pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Hughes already have tried a bunch of remedies throughout spring training and — as of this moment — have unearthed neither a reason why the righty has lost fastball life nor a way to solve the deficiency.

Hughes thinks his arm swing is too long. Rothschild says that maybe more long tossing will provide a solution. Joe Girardi talks still about Hughes needing to build arm strength when we just finished that little thing called spring training which — above all else — is stretched to six weeks so pitchers can build arm strength.

“It’s a little disconcerting, right now,” Hughes said.

Of course, we Yankee fans are prone to panic and hysteria. Anyone ready to get nervous over this yet? Or would that be too un-Dude?


Sure, it was only the third game of the season and there was no lack of excitement–plenty of home runs, some nice fielding–but it was also a tedious affair, and for long stretches, boring. Phil Hughes struggled and threw 60 pitches before recording the seventh out of the game; Miguel Cabrera hit two long home runs against him. Max Scherzer wasn’t much better though a couple of the dingers he allowed were aided and abetted by the wind and a short right field porch.

Jorge Posada hit two home runs against Scherzer. Here’s the second…

Bartolo Colon ate innings and gave up runs. The Yanks kept scoring too, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira (who hit another home run), all had good days at the plate. But they couldn’t manage more than a touchdown and came up empty in the 8th and 9th. Yup, there was plenty of bang at the Stadium on Sunday afternoon but the game itself was soporific.

Final score: Tigers 10, Yanks 7.

Billy Crystal stopped by the YES booth for half-an-inning and after the third out, just before they cut to commercial, he said to Kay, “You still married?”

“Seven weeks and one day,” said Kay. Ken Singleton laughed.

“Seven weeks and one day,” Crystal repeated, imitating Phil Rizzuto. “Holy cow…I’m on the Bridge.”

Let it Slide

Phil Hughes pitched well last night. Here’s Chad Jennings with more:

Hughes threw a slider when he was younger, including his early years in the Yankees minor league system, but he eventually dumped the pitch and picked up the cutter. When the cutter disappointed him again last week, Hughes had Larry Rothschild work with him on finding a new cutter/slider grip. He tried a few slight modifications, found one he liked and used the pitched 25 to 30 times tonight. He threw it more than either his curveball or changeup.

“It’s bigger so I assume it has to lose a little velocity to get that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something that’s slow enough that they recognize it… I have to give it my fastball arm speed and not get lazy with it. If I do that, I don’t think it will fall in the same mode I was when I was 16 years old throwing my slider, because I didn’t really know what I was doing (back then).”

Man, it sure would be nice to see Hughes improve on his 2010 performance. I don’t think it’s asking too much, though he had a decent year, and won a bunch of games.

Think he’ll do it?

Switch My Pitch Up…

The Yanks played an exhibition game agaisnt the Pirates this afternoon. Chad Jennings has the tips; Michael Baron’s got the flix.

Here’s more from Jennings, on Phil Hughes.

Hope Is the Pointless, Annoying Thing With Feathers…

… That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all, no matter how gaddamn sick you get of that stupid tune, and wish it would just go perch somewhere else already.

I hate Emily Dickenson.

I am not much of a fan of optimism. I prefer to expect the worst, thereby avoiding disappointment and allowing for the possibility of a pleasant surprise. As far as I’m concerned Pandora, opening that famous Box of hers a second time to release Hope, as the story goes, showed a truly staggering inability to learn from past mistakes. So when the Yankees lost Game 4, I figured, yeah, they were toast. And I have not changed my mind about that, but I was thrilled to see them win yesterday, anyway – because that means we get one more game.

It’s starting to turn chilly and gray and dark out there. The wind’s getting colder. It’s gonna be a long winter, because every winter is a long winter. But at least we get one more hunk of American League baseball before that happens, and if it turns out to be a four-hour slog that’s just fine with me, because soon there will be a months-long string of zero-hour slogs. So let Charlie Manuel and Ron Washington make a dozen pitching changes apiece; let the batters step out and call time over and over again until the announcers start whining; make these puppies last.

And as much as I strive for negativity… well, of course you never know. I actually felt pretty good about the Yanks’ chances yesterday, because of C.C. Sabathia, who even when he’s off his game can usually hold things together. I feel considerably worse about Phil Hughes’ odds, but it’s not like I haven’t seen stranger things happen. Hell, I saw stranger things happen on the subway this morning.

Damn. Shut up, you feathered nitwit.

Have You Ever Been Experienced?

Like many of my statistically-inclined colleagues, I tend be wary of arguments that put a lot of stress on “experience”. Too often that line of thinking seems to result in managers playing declining veterans instead of more talented young players, something fans of many, many teams gnash their teeth over every year. Experience will only get you so far; the ability to hit a good fastball, or throw a great curve, will get you farther. So I don’t put a lot of stock in automatically favoring a player just because they’ve been there before.

But — did you guess there was a “but” coming? — with that said…

Andy Pettitte.

I can’t help feeling a bit relieved knowing that if the Yankees get to a Game 7 in the ALCS, Andy Pettitte will be on the mound and not Phil Hughes. That’s not only because of the experience factor – I think that when healthy Pettitte pitched a bit better, or at least pitched well more consitently, than Hughes this year; Hughes is absolutely a quality Major League starter now, but he’s still got a few kinks to iron out, as just about anyone does at that age.

But it’s more than that. I mean, there’s experience, and then there’s experience. And Andy Pettitte has experience. Postseason experience, sure, having thrown the equivalent of more than an entire regular season just in the playoffs, but I’m not so worried about that – I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything to suggest that Phil Hughes will suddenly crack under pressure, Game 7 or not. It’s more that Andy Pettitte just plain knows what the hell he’s doing out there. He knows what to throw to who when, and he knows exactly how he can best compensate when his velocity isn’t quite there, or when his cutter isn’t cutting; he knows how to get double plays and hold runners on and the odds of catching him sleeping are slim. He may not win – he may not even pitch well, he’s blown his fair share of postseason starts – but there likely won’t be too many what-ifs about it. If Phil Hughes pitches and loses Game 7, I think you start going over how things might have gone differently, pick over mistakes or questionable choices. If Andy Pettitte loses Game 7… well, what are you gonna do?

So I don’t know, maybe it’s the same old “experience” fallacy tricking me one more time. But one of these years, Andy Pettitte’s going to stop his annual (and by now kind of comic) contemplation of retirement and actually retire; until then, I hope the Yankees squeeze everything they can out of his seasoned veteran brain.

…Okay, it sounds kind of gross when I phrase it like that. But you know what I mean.

Hughes Got It

Game Two, that is. I think this is a good call. Whadda ya say?

Running with the Devil

I spoke to Pat Jordan this morning. I don’t need to borrow his gun after all–and oh, I learned that you can’t polish a Glock because it’s plastic–but he might want to put his to good use as his beloved ‘Caines were trounced by Florida State last night. He got so pissed watching football, he turned to the Yankee-Twins game. Then he got furious with the Twins, who went out like mice against the Yanks.

Me? I was at the game with the Mrs, sitting in the Todd Drew box, and I have to admit–by the ninth inning, I felt bad for the Twins. Or at least their fans. There was a group of five of them sitting in the row in front of us and by the time Time “Enter Sandman” played over the loudspeakers, these fans were getting heckled pretty good. On their way to another loss, another loss to the Yankees. They have a guy on their team named Hardy (first initial J and everything)–Damned Yankees, indeed.

The Twins had a few chances last night to do some damage and came up short. They had pitches to hit and they missed them, striking out, popping-up. The Yankees, on the other hand, removed any tension from this game early on, put up runs in the second, third and fourth innings, capped by a two-run dinger by Marcus “They Call Me Mr.” Thames. Phil Hughes pitched about as well as we could have hoped, and the only trouble the Yanks encountered was a lousy outing by Kerry Wood, who let up a run and loaded the bases, recording just one out in the eighth. But Boone Logan and Dave Robertson got out of it–Jason Kubel and Delmon Young missed their pitches and hit sky high, yet harmless fly balls.

Then it was time for the Great Mariano who retired the Twins in order and for the last time of the season. Jim Thome, a future Hall of Famer, faced Rivera in each game–popped-out to Rodriguez in Game One, and popped-out to Brett Gardner, who had him played perfectly, in Game Two. Now, in Game Three, Thome led off the ninth and saw three pitches. The last one, fastball on the outside corner, froze Thome, and he walked off the field, dismissed for the year.

Final Score:  Yanks 6, Twins 1.

Yanks advance, looking every bit the part of defending world champs.

Emily and I had a good time–and I thoroughly enjoyed scoring the game in my new scorebook—but from the time we got off the subway, the energy around us was subdued. And it remained that way for most of the game, the by-product of the Yankees’ great success. There was no urgency in the building, something closer to entitlement. I don’t think that’s unnatural–how else would a fan base that has been so spoiled react?–but Emily turned to me late in the game and said, “This doesn’t feel any different than a regular season game.”

That said, we’ll take it. Another series win. Never gets old.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Chris McGrath–Getty Images]

Don’t Boogie on My Face

Playoff baseball returns to the Bronx tonight as Phil Hughes takes the hill for the Yanks. Yanks win, they advance; lose, and CC goes tomorrow night.

‘Nuff said:

Let’s Go Yan-Kees!

[Picture by Bags]

Don’t Fence Me In

According to reports, Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 2 and Phil Hughes will start Game 3.

On the Road Again

Over at PB, Steven Goldman writes:

Phil Hughes has got to start on the road. Batters hit a home run once every 20 at-bats at home, but only once every 53 at-bats on the road. Target Field, with its hard-to-reach fences, seems to have been built for him. Andy Pettitte has the Yankees great gravitas that would normally make him an easy choice for the spot, but given how their rotation after the top three is… imaginary, the Yankees can’t overlook this chance to minimize Hughes’ weaknesses and put him in position to win.

Rays-ing to the Occasion

On my way home from work, I flipped on ESPN Radio as Michael Kay was interviewing Andy Pettitte. Midway through the conversation, Kay asked Pettitte which was the bigger priority: simply making the playoffs, or winning the division.

Pettitte’s answer was telling.

“Obviously, you just want to get to the dance,” he said. “But as for me, I want to win the (American League) East. I think we’re the best team in the East, so why not go out and win it?”

Pettitte has been a part of 11 playoff teams, including 8 Division winners, in his Yankee career. Certain Yankee players, and definitely manager Joe Girardi, would not be as candid as Pettitte in their replies to a similar question. So to hear that level of honesty was refreshing.

And for the first part of this four-game grudge match against the Tampa Bay Rays, Pettitte’s teammates have answered the call to push for a division title. Tuesday’s 8-3 win increased the Yankees’ AL East cushion to 2.5 games, thereby guaranteeing that they’ll be in first place when the Red Sox enter town this weekend to close out the home schedule. The Orioles’ 9-1 romp at Fenway put the Red Sox a little further in the rearview mirror.

Speaking of the Red Sox, these Yankees-Rays series are bearing a strong resemblance to the classic Yankees-Red Sox battles in the late 1990s through the middle part of this past decade, aren’t they? The games are long, action-packed, loaded with playoff-level intensity. You could sense that even games like this one, where the Yankees sprinted to a 5-0 lead after one inning, would have its share of nerve-wracking moments. The Rays have made a habit of coming back from big deficits, home-run prone Phil Hughes was on the mound, and Mariano Rivera was likely unavailable after throwing 25 pitches Monday.

I’ll admit it: I’m still not sure what Hughes will provide on a per-start basis other than throwing a lot of pitches, give up a home run or three, and maybe last five or six innings. Based on his last few outings, what I wanted to watch closely on Tuesday was his handling of batters once he got ahead in the count, specifically 0-and-2. He had six 0-2 counts, and allowed two walks, a loud flyout to right, and had three strikeouts. Hughes struck out six overall.

Hughes demonstrated a level of guts that proved why he will likely be in the starting rotation come October. There were three specific occasions where Hughes went into “grind” mode:

1) Top 3, Yankees up 5-1, two out. After Hughes issued a wild pitch on ball four to Carl Crawford that allowed the lead runner to advance to third, Evan Longoria delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to three. That brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Dan Johnson, who hit two prodigious home runs off Hughes last Thursday in St. Petersburg. Hughes won this battle, getting Johnson to ground out to Mark Teixeira to end the threat.

2) Top 4, Yankees still up 5-2, one out. BJ Upton bounced back to Hughes for what should have been an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play, but they only got the force at second, thanks to a gross miscommunication at second base between Robinson Canó and Derek Jeter. Knowing his trusted middle infield tandem gave the Rays an extra out, Hughes had the demeanor of Dante from “Clerks” for the next two batters (“I’m not even supposed to BE here today.”), loading the bases on a single to Jason Bartlett and a walk to John Jaso. Two pitches later, Hughes got out of the jam by inducing a soft grounder to first from Ben Zobrist.

3) Top 6, Yankees still up 5-2, two out. Hughes reared back and fired a 92-mph, Eff-You fastball right down the pipe that Upton swung through.

That pitch had the look of being Hughes’s last one of the night … until Girardi sent him out there for the seventh. My first thought: “Bad Idea Jeans.” Sure enough, Bartlett led off with a single and advanced to second on Jaso’s groundout. Girardi then removed Hughes for Javier Vazquez. My first thought: “Bad Idea Jeans.” And sure enough, Carl Crawford floated a single to left to drive in Bartlett and bring up Longoria with Vazquez and his intimidating array of whiffleball pitches keeping the lead intact. It should be noted that at this point, I was mentally prepared to scrap my original angle and rewrite the recap featuring an all-out assault on Girardi’s bullpen management, but Vazquez got Longoria to hit the ball on the ground. Inning over. Quality start preserved, lead preserved.

The offense responded with two more runs, only to have Vazquez and Joba Chamberlain do their best impressions of John Wettleand circa 1996 on the Rays’ next turn at bat. Chamberlain, with the bases loaded and one out, Houdinied his way out of it by striking out pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe and getting Jaso to fly out to center.

An extra insurance run in the eighth courtesy of back-to-back two-out doubles by Brett Gardner and Jeter provided the final margin, as Chamberlain pitched a stress-free ninth. Not until that last out was recorded, though, was there any relief.

Pettitte believes the Yankees have the best team in the division. They may be, provided they maintain the level of production in clutch situations they showed Tuesday — 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position, seven runs scored with two outs — continue to receive quality starts through the rest of the rotation and get capable relief pitching.

A sweep, which is still in the offing, would almost solidify Pettitte’s theory.

Hey Mac, Take Us to the Playoffs and Step on it

Big Game James. I’m not buyin’ it, man. There’s only one Big Game James to my way of thinking and he didn’t play baseball.

Hughesie needs a good outing and a win.

Let’s Go Yan-Kees!

[Picture by Bags]

What Do You See?

I’ll tell you what I see.  Sure, the Yankees dropped a tough game — and a tough series — to the Tampa Bay Rays, and will spend at least two days in second place, but things aren’t as bad as some people might have you believe.

Let’s take a look at Wednesday night’s game.  With Phil Hughes taking the mound in the deciding game of a three-game set, I can’t say that I clicked on the TV with an overwhelming sense of confidence.  Hughes hadn’t started a game in more than a week, and it’s been months since people were talking about him as a Cy Young candidate, but even with his recent struggles he still entered the night with a respectable sixteen wins.

For most of the night the Rays got the Phil Hughes from April, not August.  After the game he spoke about the importance of using all his pitches, and indeed only half of his 106 pitches were fastballs.  He mixed in curves, change-ups, and even a handful of cutters to keep the Rays in check as he retired the first twelve batters to start the game.

Trouble arose in the fifth, just about two seconds after I caught myself wondering how Joe Girardi might weigh an elevated pitch count versus a potential no-hitter.  The thought shattered as quickly as it crystallized when Evan Longoria ended the mini-drama with a single to center.  Two batters later a guy named Dan Johnson deposited a rope into the stands in right, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead.

That single Yankee run had come in the first inning, but it shoulda been woulda been coulda been so much more.  The suddenly-frisky Derek Jeter led off the inning with a single and stole second base as Curtis Granderson fanned for the first out.  After a Mark Teixeira single and an Alex Rodríguez walk loaded the bases, Robinson Canó started the Score Truck rolling with a single to left.  Rays starter James Shield was struggling, the vultures were circling, and it looked for all the world that the Yankees would get off to a good start… and then Lance Berkman bounced into a double play.

The Yankees would put runners on in every other inning save the fifth for the rest of the way, and Shields always looked on the verge of destruction, but somehow he wasn’t pulled until the seventh inning and the Yankees weren’t able to score again until he left.  Chad Qualls entered the game with one and out and the bases empty in that seventh inning and lined up against Jeter.  Jeter spun away from Qualls’s first pitch, but he wasn’t quite quick enough, as the pitch appeared to have ricocheted off his left hand.  I was on the phone with Alex at the time, and our conversation screeched to a halt as we both visualized a playoff run with Ramiro Peña playing shortstop.  As Jeter was tended to at the plate, we were treated to a replay of the hit by pitch — except there was no hit by pitch.  Just as Jeter had dropped his lead hand from the handle in order to spin away from contact, the ball had hit the bat and bounced harmlessly away.  The shrewd Captain somehow thought to instantly grimace and grab his arm, convincing home plate umpire Lance Barksdale that he had been hit.

As if all that weren’t good enough, the replay caught a moment that was pure Jeter.  As he was spinning and grimacing, eyes squeezed tight to shut out the pain, he opened one eye and peeked from beneath the brim of his helmet to notice that Barksdale was awarding him first base.  You know what they say about Jeter.  He’s got an edge.  (Grandpa Maddon, by the way, was too busy getting kicked out of the game to appreciate any of these theatrics.  As it turned out, the ball had dribbled into fair territory after striking the bat, and after instructing one of his players to field the ball and throw it to first, Maddon expected an out to be called.  He was disappointed and eventually removed from the game.  I’d have loved to have been down the tunnel with him to catch his reaction to what happened next.)  What happened next was that Granderson popped a home run to right, scoring Sir Derek Olivier and giving the Yanks a 3-2 lead and a view to a one-and-a-half-game lead in the division.  (When asked after the game where the pitch had gotten him, Jeter honestly replied, “In the bat.  But the umpire told me to go to first.  What am I supposed to do, say no?”  All that, and honest too?)

You’ll find the bottom of the seventh cross-listed under J for Johnson and K for karma.  Hughes was still cruising, having retired six of seven hitters since the Johnson home run in the fifth, before yielding a two-out single to Matt Joyce.  That Man Johnson came up again and caught a 2-1 fastball that drifted a bit and yanked it out to put his club in front for good.  Sure, the Yanks would mount a decent rally in the eighth, and even manage to get A-Rod up in the ninth as the potential go-ahead run, but Rafael Soriano took care of things nicely and the game was over.  Rays 4, Yankees 3.

So some will have you believe that the Yankees are limping out of town a beaten bunch.  Girardi is inept, the Rays are simply too good, the Red Sox are charging, and even the Minnesota Twins are in the hunt for the best overall record.  Everything, it seems, is falling apart.

Really?  As difficult as this series was, don’t forget that the Yankees played these games without Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner and used the second game — the only game they won — to give Ivan Nova his fifth career major league start.  Even so, the Yankees could easily have swept this series given a little luck.  The fact that the Rays could also have swept tells us not that the Rays are going in the opposite direction but that these are the two best teams in the game.

This glass is half full.  Relax and have a drink.

Hughes Got It

Step up (to get your rep up).

Let’s Go Yan-Kees!

Stop the Pigeon

At least that’s how these two see it. Our cats in the Bronx, waiting for the boids to show up.

The Yanks gun for the sweep today as well as their ninth win in a row. Phil Hughes will toe the rubber for the Bombers. Let’s hope he can put away hitters when he’s ahead of them and have a strong outing. Alex Rodriguez returns, Robinson Cano sits.

Fresh direct from the Lo-Hud Yankees oven, here’s the line-up:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Marcus Thames DH
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Greg Golson RF
Ramiro Pena 2B

Dudes, it is drop dead gorgeous in New York. Hope you all are enjoying it.

Let’s go Yan-Kees.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver