Monday, April 14, 2008

Hughes Struggles Mightily, Yanks Lose

Phil Hughes struggled early, throwing a lot of pitches and in the end was unable to get out of the third inning. It was a very disappointing outing for Hughes who was hoping to rebound from his last early exit. Hughes' numbers were bad and they paint an ugly picture of how he looked on the mound.

Hughes: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR, 65-35 Pit-Str

Hughes and Kennedy have not shown they can pitch in the majors this year. They looked good in spring training and were sharp in their 2007 major league outings, but this year they haven't been anywhere near good enough in their regular season starts. The Yankees need these two guys to settle down and give some quality outings or else there is no way this team makes the post season.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was wild in his start, but gave up fewer runs than the Yankee starter, which was good enough for a win. Dice-K threw 116 pitches in 5 innings of work. He came close to giving up more in the fourth but got out of a jam and came back and pitched a decent fifth inning.

Dice-K: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 0 HR, 116-62

David Aardsma pitched two shutout innings in relief of Matsuzaka.

Aardsma 2.0, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 36-19

The good news for Yankee pitching is that Ross Ohlendorf looked good pitching three innings of relief. If he continues to deliver similar performances he could be the long reliever the Yanks desperately need.

Ohlendorf: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K,  0 HR,   49-27

Even though Boston was winning, many of the fans didn't seem to be enjoying the game. Fox panned the audience several times only to see grumpy, frowning fans curled up to ward off the cold. Apparently 46 degrees is not enjoyable baseball weather.

Latroy Hawkins came in in the 6th and pitched 2 nice innings. This is the fourth good outing for Hawkins. I came down hard on him after his first few appearances but he really has pitched well since then. Could I have been wrong? Possibly. His last three appearances have been on the road. It makes me wonder if Hawkins can't handle the Yankee faithful and their booing regarding his #21 jersey. No matter how well he pitches on the road, if he can't get it done at home he won't last long in New York.

Hawkins: 2.0, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR, 17-12

The Yankees had their best chance when Boston brought in Timlin in the top of the eighth inning. Timlin has had absolutely no stuff in two appearances since coming back from the DL. Giambi hit a solo home run and then Molina and Cabrera hit singles before Timlin was pulled.

Timlin 0.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 11-8

Javier Lopez came on in relief and looked good, much improved over earlier outings, getting the BoSox out of the jam. While the Yankees were hitting fairly well and managed to put a total of 5 runs on the board, they fell short when they had too in situations like this. With Lopez coming on and the go-ahead run at the plate, the Bombers could do nothing. At the end of the game, the Yankees had left 9 on base.

Lopez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 16-11

Manny Delcarmen came in to get the final two outs of the game and did his job, retiring both batters.

Delcarmen: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR, 14-9

Boston's bullpen looked sharp with the exception of Timlin, who remains a huge liability at this point. After having designated Snyder and Corey, they're looking better overall as the rest seemed to have found their groove.

Kyle Farnsworth pitched the eighth inning for the Yankees and only gave up one run which, for Farnsworth, is pretty good.

Farnsworth: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 12-9

Joe Girardi was making a lot of moves late in the game as the Yankees were trying to rally in the eighth inning. Unfortunately most of the subtleties were missed because ESPN's Joe Morgan was going off on a soapbox tangent and refused to let anyone actually cover the game. Joe was switching things up, trying to get his best bats to the plate in the critical situations but unfortunately it didn't work out.

Disaster struck as Jose Molina inured his hamstring and Jorge Posada came in to catch the eighth inning. Everyone knew Jorge doesn't have the best arm and his shoulder has been sore and the Red Sox took full advantage, stealing two bases.

In the end, the Yankees ended up losing the game and most of the burden for the loss gets shouldered by Phil Hughes, who couldn't get out of the third inning. Hughes is still a young, raw pitcher and will require time and patience before he settles down into a reliable starter. Until that happens it's going to be a rough season. The Yankee bats were swinging better but couldn't get the critical hits to drive home runs late in the game when they needed them. On a positive note, Ohlendorf is really looking promising for a long reliever and Hawkins has been pitching much better.

Lets just hope that Kennedy and Hughes settle down, Mussina can go more than 5 innings, and Pettite stays healthy. Thank goodness we've got Wang.

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