Phil Hughes started the game well, setting the Sox down in order in the first and second, but he faltered in the third, after he let a wet ball slip away from him on a routine double play, allowing Mike Aviles to scoot into third. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedro Ciriaco on–and two out, after Ciriaco’s RBI fielder’s choice–he left a ball up in the zone to Pedroia, who deposited it in the left field seats. It was a bit of a shocking turn for Hughes, who was mixing his pitches well, throwing his fastball between 91 and 94 MPH, with his changeup fooling even the more experienced Sox batters.
He would recover to toss seven innings, however, and his final line wouldn’t be as ghastly as we might have thought after the third: 7 IP, 4 H, 4 R (0 ER), 4 K, 1 BB. Hughes’ recovery after his tough third inning was particularly impressive, considering how mentally fragile he can be; but tonight, there was no question about his stuff–he just got burned by one bad pitch (as they say in the business).
His counterpart, Franklin Morales, seems to only give up home runs to the Yankees: before tonights game, he had given up 10 on the year, a whopping 7 of them to the bombers. Tonight didn’t help that ratio, as first Swisher (first), then Granderson and Martin (back-to-back in the second), left the yard; Derek Jeter would tack on another bomb against Morales in the fifth, and that would be it for the strong lefty who came into the game with a 3.67 ERA on the season.
The Yankee bullpen would take care of the rest, with Robertson and Soriano guiding the team to a 13.5-game lead over the drowning Sox.
- It’s interesting to think about how people will respond to this victory, as we look back on it. The Yankees scored the heretofore dubbed “conventional, old-fashined, honest-to-goodness, baseball way” only one time–a Jayson Nix single in the bottom of the sixth. Other than that they DIDN’T HIT WITH RUNNERS IN SCORING POSITION (AHHHHHHHH!). And they ONLY HIT HOME RUNS!! I don’t know about you, but there’s a reason that wOBA resonates more with me than other batting metrics, and it has a lot to do with weighting homers and power metrics the correct amount, which is something I don’t think we hear about enough.
- Anyways, I do think we’ll hear something in the next few days about the Yankees “struggling” hitting with RISP.
- Which is stupid.
- I did think Phil Hughes was good tonight, but I do find it a tad ridiculous that he wasn’t charged for any runs because of his own error.
- The Sox are really crumbling. What I don’t understand about their situation is why they don’t allow Crawford to get his Tommy John surgery now instead of after the season–the sooner they let him do it, the sooner he’ll be back next year.
- And maybe that’s where the logic falls apart: when you have a manager like Bobby V, and a franchise like the Sox, you’re not really allowed to think about Next Year while This Year is still happening.
- And hey, they’re only 6.5 (or 7.5 now?) games out of the Wild Card, so crazier things have happened.
- The problem with that logic is that they’re trailing six other teams. If it was one or maybe two teams, then it’d be possible that they’d both go on a losing streak and the Sox could catch up; with this many teams, it’d be quite hard for all of them to lose while the Sox suddenly start winning.
- It’s always nice–and shocking–when Russell Martin hits a home run. He looked a bit shocked himself when it cleared the wall.
Next game is tomorrow at 4:00 PM EST.