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Welcome To The Big Leagues, Phil Hughes . . .
2007-04-27 08:22
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.
 

. . . you're not in Trenton anymore.

 Hughes warming up in the outfield with a bullpen catcher.

Taking the long walk in from the pen with pitching coach Ron Guidry.

Hughes taking the field for his first major league game. In the lower right corner, bench coach Don Mattingly heads to the dugout after handing in the lineup card.

Hughes places his glove on the grass behind the mound before the national anthem.

Standing for "O Canada" with Mientkiewicz, Matsui, Damon, Abreu and the ball boy in the background. 

Digging in.

Taking his warmups.

 

And finally, Phil Hughes' first major league pitch:

That first pitch was low and inside to Alex Rios. Judging by the Yankee stadium radar gun, Hughes was otherthrowing in the first inning (two runs on three hits and a wild pitch). He was throwing his devistating curve for strikes, but missing with his fastball, which the juiced Stadium gun clocked as high as 96 miles per hour. He settled down after the first, easing up on the fastball and throwing it 92-93 mph for strikes (one walk, one hit, no runs, 3 Ks from the second through fourth innings). By the fifth, he had passed 80 pitches and the excitement of the day plus his raw pitch count clearly had him winded as his velocity dropped to 90 mph (again on the juiced Stadium gun). Hughes worked in his changeup, which is close to ten miles per hour slower than his heater, but that curve is a good 20 mph slower than the number one and a truly impressive major league out-pitch. The Yankees are expected to announce today whether or not Hughes will make a second start before being sent back down to Scranton.

Comments (51)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-27 09:34:05
1.   yankz
Yankee fans really don't like Canada. I heard several "F--- Canada!" and "USA! USA!" shouts during O Canada, God Bless America, and when some tool was waving around a Canadian flag.
2007-04-27 09:37:52
2.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Funny, wherever I sit the fans sing along and know all the words. Seriously. Maybe I just always wind up sitting near hockey fans (who are old enough to remember when there were Canadian teams in the NHL).
2007-04-27 09:55:56
3.   rbj
1 It's total BS to do that during the Canadian Anthem. It's not like Americans need another reason to look bad to other countries.

Great photos, Cliff. My fav is Hughes & Guidry walkin in from the pen.

2007-04-27 09:59:10
4.   EB in LA
Maybe I just always wind up sitting near hockey fans (who are old enough to remember when there were Canadian teams in the NHL).

There are still NHL teams in Montreal, Toronto,Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. The last time I checked those cities were in Canada.

2007-04-27 10:09:24
5.   Jen
Nice pics Cliff. I have a couple from last night as well. Unfortunately most came out too blurry.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goddam/sets/72157600137077972/

There were more assheads than usual in the stands last night. I hope it's not a trend this year.

2007-04-27 10:10:40
6.   Zack
4 I think you missed the tone of Cliff's comment...
2007-04-27 10:19:24
7.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for the slides, Cliff.
I like the "taking his warmups" action shot.
Maybe he'll sign that for you someday.

The MY 9 (sorry!) radar gun had him around 94 mph early on, and I suspected that might have been a bit generous, but whatever the speed, the fastball looked pretty good until he ran out of gas.

I've never felt as good about a player following a 6-zip loss.

2007-04-27 10:21:47
8.   yankz
5 I actually heard A-God get booed after his groundouts. And they really did a number on Myers. (As I posted last night, a girl who looked like she was a young teenager yelled "A-hole!" at him as he ran in.)
2007-04-27 10:22:13
9.   yankz
7 The stadium gun actually had him reaching at least 96.
2007-04-27 10:23:15
10.   yankz
Oh, and I didn't really like it when the Yankees starting flashing what pitch was thrown on the scoreboard, but it's pretty fun as a fan to guess the pitch. I remembered Phenom's comments about how he'd challenge Vlad, and I totally called a fastball up and in vs. Wells one AB.
2007-04-27 10:24:32
11.   Xeifrank
Nice photos! The thing that struck me was all the empty seats. Do the Yankees always have that many "no shows", or do the fans tend to show up late for games. I would think with all the Hughes-hoopla (Hughpla) that more seats would've been filled. I know they are a last place team, but they're still the Yankees and Hughes is one of the best prospects in the game.
vr, Xei
2007-04-27 10:27:50
12.   monkeypants
1, 3 Yeah, that's pretty bush-league. Sort of like what I saw Canadians do here (in Montreal) during the US national anthem during the World Cup last year and the olympics a couple of years ago. I am not sure why sports fans feel the need to behave like barbarians.
2007-04-27 10:31:22
13.   Sliced Bread
9 Yep, but as Cliff notes, the Stadium gun seems juiced. It tends to run about 2-4 mph higher than the YES gun.

11 More than the standings I think weather is keeping fans away.
It seems there have been more late arrivals this season, but that's probably due to the construction of the new stadium. Stadium traffic is more of a nightmare than usual.

2007-04-27 10:32:32
14.   Cliff Corcoran
I've seen the no-show thing far more this year then I can remember in any other recent season. I think the weather has something to do with it (I dressed for rain rather than cold and was freezing throughout the game), but I wouldn't argue with those who point to some bandwagon jumping. The bleachers, as always, were full. Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time I was able to get front row upper deck seats in the infield last minute and below face value, but that's what I did last night (via StubHub).
2007-04-27 10:38:37
15.   Bama Yankee
2 Cliff, I'm not sure which is better: The line "who are old enough to remember when there were Canadian teams in the NHL"
or
the fact that someone felt the need to point them out to you (you can count them on one hand, which seems to prove your point even more).
2007-04-27 10:39:16
16.   Sliced Bread
14 Despite the weather I figured the bandwagon types would have been in abundance last night what with the hyped Hughes debut, and A-Rod's run for the record books.

Weird deal.

I haven't checked the attendance stats, but crowds tend to be thinner this time of year, no?

2007-04-27 10:41:19
17.   Zack
16 Nah, bandwagon types aren't going to really know about Hughes, let alone care about his first start. Had he domianted, you could be damn sure his next start would be packed...

I'm noticing more and more media types jumping on the "yanks are doomed" and "cashman should have prepared better in the offseason, shame on them for losing out on DM" bandwagon.

2007-04-27 10:48:54
18.   Cliff Corcoran
16 The problem is that they count tickets sold, not turnstiles, so last night's crowd was listed in the 40,000s, but there's no way that many people were actually there.
2007-04-27 11:00:08
19.   rbj
11 Hughpla, I like it.
2007-04-27 11:05:17
20.   ny2ca2dc
thanks for the pictures, good stuff. work on your focusing though ;) I watched the game this morning on mlb.tv (at least the first 6-7 innings, then skimmed the last part.... long ass game).

Sadly, I was at the O's-Red Sox game last night, with my wife & some of her family members - Boston-ites all of them. All the sox fans there were in a tizzy about the shilling-bloody sock thing, and get this, there was an O's fan with a blown up photo (2 feet square poster, at least, great quality) of shilling's ankle/bloody sock, walking around taunting the sox fans. Maybe not the classiest move, but the reaction was hilarious - Sox fans yelling at him & getting all crazy mad, and some chick was screaming at him & dumped her beer on him. Classy bunch!

Couldn't avoid staring at the away scoreboard though, my heart sank as Hughes gave up 2 in the first, but i was lifted a bit as he settled down. Not a bad debut.

2007-04-27 11:07:37
21.   Raf
And my pics from last night

http://tinyurl.com/32az38

many came out blurry too

2007-04-27 11:28:34
22.   Bama Yankee
Looks like Schilling is offering $1M to anyone that proves the bloodly sock is fake...
http://tinyurl.com/yskkpe

I can see it now... CSI Cooperstown

2007-04-27 11:34:15
23.   ric
20

classy bunch?

http://graphics.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Photo/2004/10/14/1097732061_7130.jpg

2007-04-27 11:42:10
24.   randym77
Love that first photo. Especially compared to the one posted yesterday. Now I understand why they say some young players get freaked when they get called up and have play in a stadium with a third level.
2007-04-27 11:43:50
25.   JL25and3
Since it looks like Hughes is going to get at least one more start...does that mean we get a free re-Phil?
2007-04-27 11:44:19
26.   williamnyy23
1 Does anyone else remember (I think it was back in 1985) when the fans at YS kept booing the Canadian anthem, prompting Bob Sheppard to read a message describing how the Canadian armed forces had done something at some point to assist U.S. troops? Maybe the Yankees need to break out that memo again?
2007-04-27 11:46:17
27.   Raf
26 Remember the singer who forgot the words to O'Canada? I think that was in '85 as well.
2007-04-27 11:47:46
28.   williamnyy23
27 And the worst was the U.S. color guard incorrectly holding the Canadian flag during the national anthem at the 1992 World Series.
2007-04-27 11:47:59
29.   rbj
25 That was awphil.
(borrowing from yesterday's ration of puns)

26 Yup, I remember.

2007-04-27 11:51:28
30.   Sliced Bread
Things could get worse around here.
The Yanks could be the Knicks.
Here they come.
SI's Jon Heyman checks out the rumor that the Dolans have been sniffing around the Yanks.

http://tinyurl.com/yun976

2007-04-27 12:04:15
31.   Bama Yankee
30 "sniffing around the Yanks"

That's got to almost be like taking a whiff of smelling salts these days the way we are playing...

2007-04-27 12:19:17
32.   jkay
Nice photos. Nothing like the rarified air of the upper deck.

Weeknight games in April and May are a tough sell. There are $5 ticket specials for many weeknight games just to fill the seats. Bad weather does not help. You can check craigslist of stubhub for good deals.

2007-04-27 12:31:02
33.   pistolpete
23 Why, did the guy in the Vader mask throw a beer on someone...?
2007-04-27 12:39:31
34.   Bama Yankee
23 & 33
I always thought that the "Evil Empire" + "Who's your daddy" = "Pedro, I am your father" stuff was pretty clever and funny.
2007-04-27 12:43:30
35.   pistolpete
34 Exactly, and it really wasn't hurting other fans now, was it?
2007-04-27 12:50:10
36.   ric
33
i dont know... maybe?

that whole "unclassy" term gets thrown around so loosely these days its hard to identify when its referring to fans taunting, obnoxious behavior or criminal behavior, pitchers brushbacks, homerun struts etc. etc. etc.

34
i guess so... certianly more clever than "yankees suck". I thought the "whos your daddy" baby bibs were pretty lame though ;)

2007-04-27 12:58:01
37.   vockins
30 I will jump off of a bridge if that ever comes to pass.
2007-04-27 13:04:18
38.   JL25and3
36 Their "Yankees suck" obsession is pretty tedious, and I hate it when Yankee fans chant "Boston sucks."

But I have to say, I think "the MFY" is good.

2007-04-27 13:07:23
39.   E-Rocker
35 Hey PistolPete, any relation to the surfer from Gilgo Beach on Long Island?
2007-04-27 13:07:46
40.   standuptriple
38 Let's ask Beckett for his opinion.
2007-04-27 13:18:32
41.   Bama Yankee
35 at least not until he did this:
http://i13.tinypic.com/470ejcj.jpg
;-)
2007-04-27 13:30:49
42.   Zack
Pete A. has the lineups up. Yanks standard lineup (Jeter back) with Minky batting last.

I ask again, what the heck is it going to take Torre to stop playing Minky and get Phelps regualr at bates. Phelps has done nothing but produce, and Minky has done, well, nothing. You would think joe would want to try and get us a win here, but nooooooo....

2007-04-27 13:44:35
43.   yankz
From Molly Hughes, the sister:

"He did well, he only had one walk," the elder Hughes said. "His control of his secondary pitches didn't look as sharp [as the fastball], but I thought he worked through that."

I think I'm in love.

2007-04-27 13:45:04
44.   nick
ok, for some good news, there's free BP content today re. minor league systems/young talent:

http://tinyurl.com/32plfa

They rate the Yanks second [!] for talent in the minors, and a still very respectable 6th for the broader category of all under-25 talent in the organization

2007-04-27 13:57:08
45.   Shaun P
42 Its like Mientkiewicz has become the new Sturtze. Maybe Tanyon passed those incriminating pictures of Torre on to Minky?

Phelps as the everyday 1B, or even he and Giambi swapped between 1B/DH, with Minky playing when Tiger Wang pitched, is probably the most optimal use of assets.

Of course it leaves the bench completely devoid of hitting - but Phelps is too good a hitter to rot on the bench while Minky starts 90% of the time. Especially when the only guy in the lineup worth pinch-hitting for is Minky himself!

2007-04-27 14:05:16
46.   Clay Caviness
Nice shots -- judging by the angle, you and I were sitting relatively near one another, too...
2007-04-27 14:26:40
47.   Raf
I was the guy in the Yomiuri Giants cap
2007-04-27 14:59:32
48.   yankz
23 That's not unclassy, that's hilarious.
2007-04-27 17:28:23
49.   Hocakes
I've only seen a few but in every game I've seen him start, Dice-K has had an inning like this where he loses the plate. But then he goes back to being dominating. The Yanks better get their licks in now.
2007-04-27 17:36:38
50.   Hocakes
How many times do we have to hear this little back and forth between Flash and Kaye about the pitcher being in trouble when the bases are loaded? It's only April and I've got it memorized. I miss Kaat. Talk about not knowing what you've got until it's gone.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-27 17:40:12
51.   Hocakes
Thought Drew was going to get that one...maybe that'll get Damon going.

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