From a scouting standpoint, the same problems that have plagued Hughes since the second half of 2010 are still there, namely his inability to consistently put hitters away when he gets ahead of them. His strikeout rate suggests he’s getting better at this, but consistently making good pitches remains a problem. That Andrus at bat last night is a good example; he got Andrus out on his front foot with the curveball but, rather than burying the pitch in the dirt where Andrus would have flailed helplessly at it, Hughes left it a little bit up and Andrus was able to adjust enough to get the bat on it, making A-Rod charge to field it and giving an alert Mitch Moreland plenty of time to score. It looks like a minor thing, but it’s the difference between a run and a strikeout that gives you a chance to get the next batter and get out of the jam without any damage.…
After all the hand-wringing about Michael Pineda‘s velocity this spring, and his subsequent sidelining with shoulder pain/weakness, we finally have a resolution. Unfortunately, the resolution was not a positive one, as a dye-contrast MRI found that Pineda had a torn right anterior labrum (a ligament that goes around the socket of the shoulder)...
Still, Hughes had two outs at this point and could have ended the inning with minimal damage, but alas, Hughes would hit Josh Hamilton with a fastball above the knee before allowing a single to Beltre and a double to Michael Young to extend the Rangers’ lead to 4-0. Hughes wasn’t quite done imploding yet, however, as he promptly hit Nelson Cruz to register his second hit batsman in four at bats, loading the bases and giving the Rangers a good chance to really blow this one open early. At that point, Joe Girardi had seen enough and, with the left handed hitting David Murphy at the plate, decided to call on Clay Rapada to stop the bleeding and keep the game within reach of the Bombers’ bats. Rapada got Murphy to ground out to shortstop, and Girardi’s early aggressiveness seemed to have paid off when the Yankees got two runs back in the top of the fourth.
Popular long man David Phelps entered the game in the 5th inning looking to give the Yankees a few quality innings, and maybe make his case for a chance to start after Hughes’ rough outing, but the first batter he faced, Mike Napoli, took an 0-2 fastball the other way and over the fence for a home run, pushing the Rangers’ lead back to three runs.…
Andy Pettitte finished the night with five innings of work and four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. He had three strikeouts. Andy’s fastball sat at 88mph, which is what is expected for the veteran southpaw, who threw 59 of his 81 pitches for strikes. Mustelier went 2-3 with two runs scored, a double and a triple. Johnson also went 2-3 with a double, a homer and all four of Trenton’s RBIs.
Empire State came from behind to beat Pawtucket 8-6:
Adam Warren struggled early, giving up a two-run homer to a hot hitting Mauro Gomez in the first inning. Pedro Ciriaco began the bottom of the third with a solo shot and Daniel Nava doubled to left. Will Middlebrooks drove a homer to right center, and the Red Sox held a 5-0 lead. The Yankees fought back in the top of the fourth. Dewayne Wise drew a walk and Steve Pearce singled to right, putting runners on the corners. …
Both pitchers have had very good success as bullpen pitchers. But both would prefer to start and who can blame them. A good start by Feldman could pique the interest of other teams for trade possibilities. A good start for Hughes will allow him to keep his doubters at bay for a little while longer.
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez DH
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Nelson Cruz RF
David Murphy LF
Game time is 8:05 and will be televised on the YES Network.