(The following was originally published at The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). Lately, the baseball intelligentsia has been preoccupied by rosters. When the calendar turned to September, the usual, but growing round of articles decrying the practice of roster expansion became prevalent. Then, once that furor passed, attention turned to the roster rules governing the one-game play-in that [...]
This probably is not ground-breaking news to those of you who watch all the games when Phil Hughes pitches. And it is probably not news to those of you are deep into the stats on a daily basis. But for the rest of us, it is somewhat surprising that a right-handed pitcher cannot get right-handed batters out. Right-handed batters have hit Hughes to the tune of a .938 OPS with a wOBA of .398. Whoa. That is the equivalent of every right-handed batter going up to the plate and being a Giancarlo Stanton. So if Hughes faces five RHBs in a lineup, he is facing five Stantons. That is a huge problem. Twenty-three of his thirty-four homers allowed have been hit by RHBs. If an opposing manager stacks his lineup with LHBs to face Hughes, they are doing him and the Yankees a huge favor. So what is the problem? Why can’t he get those guys out?
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After taking both games of the doubleheader on Wednesday behind the bat of Ichiro Suzuki, the Yankees sent Phil Hughes to the mound searching for the sweep. Hughes did not have his best stuff, but managed to keep the Toronto damage to a minimum. While the Bombers’ bats were silent early on, they woke up in a big way, which was refreshing after they failed to hit Henderson Alvarez or Ricky Romero very hard. The Yankees scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth and held off a late inning run by the Blue Jays, taking the 10-7 victory as they get ready to host Oakland this weekend.
Hughes looked strong in the first, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, but had some trouble in the next couple innings. The Blue Jays drew first blood when Adam Lind started the second with a double to center and Kelly Johnson hit a one-out double to left for the 1-0 lead. He started to look very shaky in the third, walking Anthony Gose to start the inning. Brett Lawrie grounded out to Hughes and Russell Martin gunned down Gose trying to steal third, but Hughes’ trouble wouldn’t end there. He hit Colby Rasmus with a pitch and gave up a single to Edwin Encarnacion, whose grounder took a weird hop past Jayson Nix at third and into left. A walk to Lind loaded the bases. A fastball got away from Hughes, hitting Moises Sierra in the side and bringing Rasmus across the plate. At the end of three innings, the Yankees’ starter had already tossed 63 pitches.
Ichiro picked up the Yankees first hit of the day, driving a solo shot over the wall in right and cutting the Blue Jays’ lead in half. Aaron Laffey gave the Yankees a chance to take their first lead of the day in the bottom of the fourth. He walked Russell Martin, who stole second base. Curtis Granderson reached on an error by Kelly Johnson and Casey McGehee drew a walk to load the bases for the incredibly hot-hitting Ichiro. After fouling a couple pitches off (including one that was inches away from being caught by a sliding Lawrie), the veteran hitter smacked a double to right, plating two runs, knocking Laffey out of the game and giving the Bombers a 3-2 edge. Nix took a free pass, loading the bases again and Derek Jeter lined a single to right for another Yankee run with Toronto still searching for an out. Swisher then crushed a ball into the Bleachers, opening up the game with an 8-2 Yankee lead.
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It wasn’t the prettiest win of the season and it got a little scary late in the game but the Yankees were able to hold off the Blue Jays and complete a three-game sweep. Phil Hughes had an odd outing. He only lasted five innings – throwing 102 pitches, gave up four runs on four [...]
Toronto Blue Jays New York Yankees Brett Lawrie, 3B Derek Jeter, SS Colby Rasmus, CF Nick Swisher, RF Edwin Encarnacion, DH Robinson Cano, 2B Adam Lind, 1B Alex Rodriguez, DH Moises Sierra, RF Russell Martin, C Kelly Johnson, 2B Curtis Granderson, CF J.P. Arencibia, C Casey McGehee, 1B Adeiny Hechavarria, SS Ichiro Suzuki, LF Anthony [...]
I’ve been putting together my top-30 prospect list for this fall since the minor league season ended. Its not an easy task to take 40-50 prospects inside the Yankee organization, pick thirty, and say which one is better than the others. How do you do it? We know basically what makes a good baseball player. [...]