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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2007-08-31 15:29
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball, and the Yankees just swept them in a series in which the Sox threw their three best starting pitchers. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the worst team in baseball and the Yankees took six of eight from them after the All-Star break. This weekend the Yankees will once again miss not only Scott Kazmir, but James Shields as as well. Can you say extended winning streak?

The catch, of course, is that the Yankees will have Ian Kennedy making his major league debut on Saturday. Kennedy's tremendously talented, but so is Phil Hughes, and he's been experiencing some growing pains thus far this season despite the fact that, as a man in his third full professional season and with seven major league starts under his belt, he's a veteran compared to first-year pro Kennedy. Hughes, who starts tonight, has just two quality starts in those seven major league outings and is coming off a pair of similarly frustrating outings in which he allowed just eight hits in 12 1/3 innings and struck out ten, but also allowed ten runs due to five walks in the first game and three homers in the latter.

Opposing Hughes will be Andrew Sonnanstine, who, as a fourth-year pro with 16 major league starts under his belt, is of similar vintage to Hughes (though, as a Kent State product, he's three years older). Sonnanstine's only career start against the Yankees was his first following the All-Star break. He allowed five runs on a walk and nine hits, including homers by Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui, in 6 1/3 innings in that game and hasn't been much better since, posting a 7.28 second-half ERA despite allowing just three more homers in his last eight starts and posting a solid 2.49 BB/9. The Yankees swept the Red Sox on the strength of their pitching. There's no reason they can't sweep the Devil Rays by preying on their pitching, just as they did the last time the Rays came to town and the Yankees scored 45 runs in the process of winning the final three games of that four-game set (the loser in game one, incidentally, was Mike Mussina).

Before I get to the D-Rays roster, here's a quick progress report on the Yankees as they exit the rough part of their schedule. Two weeks ago I said the Yankees had to "at the very least split" their fourteen straight games against the Tigers, Angels, Tigers, and Red Sox. They went 8-6. After the All-Star break, I sketched out a plan for the Yankees' season in which they would have to do no worse than 12-11 against the remaining contenders on their schedule. With just six of those 23 games left (Seattle at home starting Monday and the Red Sox in Boston in two weeks), the Yankees are 11-6. If, over the final 28 games of the season, the Yankees can have the same rate of success they've had against contenders thus far in the second half (.647, which means taking four of six from Seattle and Boston), and the same rate of success they've had against the pretenders thus far in the second half (.677), they'll finish the season with 94 wins. Based on current winning percentages, that would give them the third best record in the AL and the Wild Card by some four games over the Mariners. That's good news, though it's important to note that it requires the team to continue to win at least two of every three games it plays. It's also worth noting that the Wild Card all but guarantees the Yankees a first-round matchup with the Angels.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

2007 Record: 54-80 (.403)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 52-82 (.387)

Manager: Joe Maddon
General Manager: Andrew Friedman

Home Ballpark (2007 Park Factors): Tropicana Field (102/102)

Who's Replacing Whom?

Ben Zobrist (minors) replaces Ty Wigginton
Josh Paul (DL) replaces Raul Casanova (minors)
Dan Wheeler replaces Shawn Camp (minors)
Juan Salas (drug suspension) replaces Jay Witasick (DL)
Jon Switzer (minors) replaces Casey Fossum
Joel Guzman (minors) replaces Jae Kuk Ryu (minors)

Current Roster:

1B – Carlos Peña (L)
2B – Brendan Harris (R)
SS – Josh Wilson (R)
3B – Akinori Iwamura (L)
C – Dioner Navarro(S)
RF – B.J. Upton (R)
CF – Delmon Young (R)
LF – Carl Crawford (L)
DH – Jonny Gomes (R)

Bench:

R - Josh Paul (C)
S - Greg Norton (UT)
S - Ben Zobrist (IF)
R - Joel Guzman (IF)

Rotation:

R – James Shields
L – Scott Kazmir
R – Andy Sonnanstine
R – Edwin Jackson
R - Jason Hammel

Bullpen:

R - Al Reyes
R - Dan Wheeler
R – Brian Stokes
R – Gary Glover
L - Jon Switzer
R – Juan Salas
R - Scott Dohmann

Typical Lineup:

L – Akinori Iwamura (3B)
L – Carl Crawford (CF)
L - Carlos Peña (1B)
R - B.J. Upton (CF)
R – Delmon Young (CF)
R - Brendan Harris (2B)
R - Jonny Gomes (RF)
R - Josh Wilson (SS)
S – Dioner Navarro (C)

15-day DL: R - Jay Witasick
60-day DL: R – Rocco Baldelli (R), R - Shawn Riggans (C)

Inactive List: R - Elijah Dukes (OF)

Comments (269)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-08-31 15:33:48
1.   yankz
I wonder if the national media would consider the Yankees the underdogs if they were to play LAA as the WC team.
2007-08-31 15:34:46
2.   ny2ca2dc
Per Pete Abe, Joba has been suspended 2 games. Charming.
2007-08-31 15:38:11
3.   monkeypants
2 Hmmm..when does that start? If they can count today, so what (other than the principle, because that is a pretty horseshit decision)?
2007-08-31 15:44:38
4.   Zack
3 He didn't appeal, so he'll be available Sunday, as would probably have been the case anyways. Makes 6 good innings from Prince Philip all the more important tonight
2007-08-31 16:00:04
5.   Sliced Bread
Nice preview, Cliff. Good times until that last sentence, but thanks for the reality check.

I got nothin' other than...

Let's go Yankees!

2007-08-31 16:06:54
6.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
5 I really don`t think we should fear the Angels so much, even with the current series loss. That lineup just doesn`t scare me in the playoffs, and with E.Sanatana imploding I think we can take them...
2007-08-31 16:09:54
7.   bartap74
Did Singleton just say that Kennedy would be the 43rd rookie to start a game for the Yankees this season?
2007-08-31 16:10:55
8.   yankz
First curve was a beaut, but he got a piece of it. 2nd one hung.
2007-08-31 16:11:13
9.   yankz
7 I heard 23rd...
2007-08-31 16:11:31
10.   yankz
Wow. Damn.
2007-08-31 16:13:08
11.   Yankees Brasil
He sure didn't wait to long to start sucking..
2007-08-31 16:13:18
12.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
When can we sign Carl Crawford??
2007-08-31 16:14:06
13.   JeremyM
Boy, I hope Ian Kennedy is good, because I don't think the Yanks can get it done with 3 starters.
2007-08-31 16:15:32
14.   SF Yanks
Not what I wanted to see. A different curveball to the first batter, and this is a different ballgame.
2007-08-31 16:16:01
15.   yankz
The stats say pitching from the stretch doesn't hurt Phil, but the past couple games my eyes think differently. Anyone agree?
2007-08-31 16:16:08
16.   Eirias
7 , 9 It was neither. Tomorrow's game will be the 43rd started by a Yankees' rookie.
2007-08-31 16:16:33
17.   SpoonG91
Would have been strike 3 if Posada held on.
2007-08-31 16:17:13
18.   SpoonG91
Is Ian Kennedy a hard or soft thrower?
2007-08-31 16:17:28
19.   SF Yanks
Big out. His mph is up so far.
2007-08-31 16:17:53
20.   yankz
18 He's between Moose and Phil.
2007-08-31 16:18:29
21.   SF Yanks
18 A Moose thrower.
2007-08-31 16:20:10
22.   yankz
93 MPH
2007-08-31 16:20:23
23.   SF Yanks
I wish I could see Hughes' command that he supposedly had in the minors.
2007-08-31 16:21:15
24.   yankz
Another 93 MPH, blew it by him.

Where have all the groundballs gone?

2007-08-31 16:21:53
25.   Zack
That FB Hughes just blew by him doesn't count b./c it was "only" at 93 mph...
2007-08-31 16:21:55
26.   JeremyM
Well, that looked like a disaster, good job settling down there.
2007-08-31 16:23:04
27.   Zack
I still strongly believe that we aren't really going to see what Hughes is capable until next season, with an offseason and ST to regain his strength and feel and this season in the past...
2007-08-31 16:23:23
28.   SF Yanks
Hopefully that was the inning that Hughes usually gives up 3 runs in. Now he gives up two more later and instead of 5 he's sittin at 3.
2007-08-31 16:24:14
29.   yankz
27 Only if the Yankees hire countless bloggers to redo his mechanics.
2007-08-31 16:24:27
30.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Ortiz with the solo tater, Boston up 1-0 already...
2007-08-31 16:27:17
31.   yankz
Captain 3000
2007-08-31 16:32:21
32.   yankz
Not that anyone's here to read this, but Wake missed a start with a bad back.
2007-08-31 16:37:10
33.   yankz
What a curve!
2007-08-31 16:38:02
34.   yankz
Seriously- where are the GB?

I can only do this for so long (I'm heading out soon). Someone's gotta take over...

2007-08-31 16:38:48
35.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Greg Norton of all people is fouling off multiple 2-strike pitches?

Where the heck is the Phil we saw before the hammy?

2007-08-31 16:38:56
36.   yankz
I bet they went through all Joba's pictures until they found one that looks just like a real mugshot.
2007-08-31 16:39:55
37.   yankz
Another fastball blown by him, but only at 92, so there's probably something wrong.
2007-08-31 16:40:13
38.   yankz
Screw you YF in Chicago- I was going for DiMaggio!!
2007-08-31 16:41:16
39.   Yankees Brasil
34 He's not throwing his two-seamer at all, that's why he's not getting GBs.
2007-08-31 16:41:19
40.   Zack
The one thing I do take out of that whole mechanical argument by Gomez is that the gbs might not be as common, which is fine per se...

Think about it this way, Hughes is already striking out his fair share. He has better control than he has shown, and b/c of this being off, has wlaked more than he normally does/will, and can't quite put batters away as quickly. So if/when he regains that control, we are looking at more, quicker Ks...

Hughes has always relied on his control, thats his game. The control allows him to generate the GBs b/c of the curve...PLUS, Hughes hasn't been throwing his 2 seamer, which is more of a sinker

2007-08-31 16:41:58
41.   Jersey
Sonnanstine has given up 14 home runs in less than 100 innings. Let's go boys.
2007-08-31 16:42:59
42.   bartap74
Murcer doesn't know what the words "unbelievable" or "acquit" mean. Sad.
2007-08-31 16:44:52
43.   yankz
42 Yeah, but the guy handing him notes on a napkin does.
2007-08-31 16:45:32
44.   yankz
Does anyone care if Singleton thought the guy stole the car or not?
2007-08-31 16:46:57
45.   Zack
Um, lets score some runs...
2007-08-31 16:47:00
46.   yankz
Great showing boys!
2007-08-31 16:47:14
47.   JeremyM
Please tell me this won't be another case of URP syndrome....
2007-08-31 16:49:45
48.   bartap74
44 I do. I'm a little concerned that Singleton decided the guy was guilty before actually hearing any evidence. Remind me not to put him on any of my juries.
2007-08-31 16:50:15
49.   Captain Munson
Anyone have a prediction on Kennedy's debut? Who would rather have Moose keep his start?
2007-08-31 16:51:07
50.   Zack
49 I'd put Kennedy down for 6IP 4R 5K
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-08-31 16:52:20
51.   yankz
I'm thinking the YES gun is slow, that looked way faster than 91.
2007-08-31 16:53:11
52.   yankz
A grounder!
2007-08-31 16:55:45
53.   SF Yanks
51 I think it's like 2-3 mph slower than the ESPN guns which are typically 2-3 mph faster than most guns, so I guess they are about right? Hmmm...
2007-08-31 16:55:45
54.   Max
47 We did tag him for five runs in 6.1 innings and made him throw 104 pitches just after the all-star break. I would hope we could at least get a repeat this time around...he's hardly unknown.

He did beat Boston at Fenway in August...but he's far from a world-beater at this point.

2007-08-31 16:56:20
55.   bartap74
The more they talk about Pena, the more I think about the Yankees releasing him and signing Scrabble.
2007-08-31 16:56:34
56.   Yankees Brasil
Can we get Hughes to throw strikes??
2007-08-31 16:56:44
57.   Mike T
Hello all, back from the fantasyland that is Carnival Cruise Lines. I think I need to go on vacation more often, not just because it's so much fun, but because the Yankees beat the snot out of their opponent, in this case the Red Sox, while I am gone. The limited TV offerings on board the ship only included ESPN International for sports, so they didn't really show much in the way of American sports leagues. They did take a moment during Sportscenter though to show highlights from the Yankees-Red Sox games in between soccer and auto racing highlights. Glad to be back, even though cruising to Mexico was a damn good time.
2007-08-31 16:57:10
58.   yankz
53 Reading the comments on the RLYW game thread, GameDay has him about 1 MPH faster I'd say.

Too many BB!

2007-08-31 16:58:07
59.   yankz
Holy smokes- already 50 pitches.
2007-08-31 16:58:26
60.   Zack
Singleton brings up an interesting point without mentioning it: Hughes has had problems working out of the stretch, and I bet a lot of that is b/c he so rarely had to in the minors...Hughes has never had adversity before and never had to battle...

Cheap hit

2007-08-31 16:58:33
61.   Captain Munson
50 pitches in 2.1 innings - wont last long with what Hughes is throwing 2nite
2007-08-31 16:58:42
62.   SF Yanks
There sure are a lot of swing and misses on Hughes' 92 mph fastball.
2007-08-31 16:58:53
63.   yankz
60 I said that earlier in the thread, but I don't think the stats back it up. I'll look it up now.
2007-08-31 16:59:35
64.   randym77
WTF was that???
2007-08-31 17:00:12
65.   yankz
WTF just happened?
2007-08-31 17:00:13
66.   Zack
Oh Jesus. Can the Yanks possible screw up Hughes' starts anymore?
2007-08-31 17:00:27
67.   joejoejoe
7 9 2007 Yankee rookie SP games started:
Igawa 11, Hughes 7, Clippard 6, DeSalvo 6, Rasner 6, Karstens 3, C. Wright 2 = 41 starts
2007-08-31 17:00:44
68.   SF Yanks
Cano really bothers me with his laziness.
2007-08-31 17:01:32
69.   Zack
I wouldn't call that play laziness on Cano's part, just a screw up...

But more so, with the inside the park HR last start, and now this, the fielders sure aren't doing Hughes any favors

2007-08-31 17:01:46
70.   randym77
60 Very common problem with young pitchers. Heck, Wanger had that problem for awhile.

And the other phenom, Homer Bailey, really struggles when he has to hold runners on. He's just not used to it.

2007-08-31 17:02:08
71.   Zack
This game is starting to scream "trap game"
2007-08-31 17:02:19
72.   yankz
Actually, in 98 PA with the bases empty, opponents have a .615 OPS against Phil. It's .810 with a runner on 1st, .826 with a runner on 2nd, and .780 with men on overall. So it appears that so far, he has pitched worse from the windup.
2007-08-31 17:02:26
73.   yankz
From the stretch, I mean.
2007-08-31 17:02:29
74.   SF Yanks
Now Hughes will bare down because he's already given up 3. Seems like a repeat after the last 4 repeats.
2007-08-31 17:02:42
75.   bartap74
Maybe we could ask the D-Rays to put on some Boston uniforms. This just doesn't look like the same team that just whupped the Red Sox.
2007-08-31 17:03:03
76.   randym77
I think Andy Phillips would have gotten that throw from Posada.
2007-08-31 17:04:23
77.   yankz
Hughes hasn't pitched badly at all, I don't think. Some bad luck with grounders (Crawford's non-DP ball, Upton's slow roller), and then that disaster. Only bad pitch I can think of, besides the BB (which are still too high) is that hanging curve to Iwamura in the 1st.
2007-08-31 17:04:31
78.   Zack
72 Wait, doesn't that say the opposite, that he pitches worse from the stretch?
2007-08-31 17:05:41
79.   yankz
78 I corrected myself in 73
2007-08-31 17:06:13
80.   Zack
Hello? Earth to offense? You there?
2007-08-31 17:07:14
81.   SF Yanks
80 Nope, unfortunately I think they took the night off.
2007-08-31 17:07:23
82.   yankz
I hate when this happens (O starts to suck vs. a shitty pitcher).
2007-08-31 17:07:34
83.   Yankees Brasil
Can we get the real Yankees now??
2007-08-31 17:07:56
84.   yankz
According to the RLYW thread (again), JD Drew is out with an ankle injury. That might actually be a blessing for them...
2007-08-31 17:08:08
85.   Max
This game isn't close to being over, but things look bad right now. We've made the kid throw about half the pitches he normally throws by now, and we look like we're mailing it in all the way around.
2007-08-31 17:08:59
86.   Zack
79 Maybe if I could learn to read, i would have noticed that
2007-08-31 17:09:59
87.   yankz
Way to pick up the rookie, Yanks.
2007-08-31 17:12:27
88.   rbj
Just got in, what's up with Hughes and the offense?
2007-08-31 17:12:42
89.   seamus
83 this is the real Yankees. We occasionally go real quiet at th eplate. It is what it is.
2007-08-31 17:13:35
90.   yankz
OK, cue the grounder.
2007-08-31 17:14:16
91.   yankz
88 Walks + a bad defensive play + a hanging curve explains Phil. Sleepover at Derek's explains the offense.
2007-08-31 17:14:18
92.   Zack
88 Hughes has been inconsistent with his control, as has been the case. Velocity is fine, its really the control thats killing him.

As for the offense, well, lets just say its one of "those" games...

2007-08-31 17:15:30
93.   yankz
Whoa- he missed that pitch completely. It was up and in; Posada was set up low and away.
2007-08-31 17:15:38
94.   Zack
Well, that was a gb...
2007-08-31 17:16:09
95.   yankz
Another hanging curve. ML hitters will punish mistakes, as Hughes is learning.
2007-08-31 17:17:01
96.   Zack
It does seem more and more that Phil's mechanics are off since coming back. His curve hasn't been as sharp and his control has been off...
2007-08-31 17:17:05
97.   yankz
Why did he stop throwing the 2 seamer, if that's true?
2007-08-31 17:17:22
98.   yankz
Good grief.
2007-08-31 17:17:56
99.   Hocakes
I want Hughes to succeed as much as anyone, and i think he will succeed, but I can't help but think when I watch him, "THIS is a power pitcher?" They've hit the ball pretty hard in this game and he doesn't seem to be blowing anyone away. If you have to hit your spots perfectly in order to succeed, you're a finesse pitcher.
2007-08-31 17:18:04
100.   Zack
97 There doesn't seem to be an explanation. Not throwing his change-up either...Or slider for that matter
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-08-31 17:18:32
101.   rbj
91 LOL. Thanks 91 & 92. Kinda weird rooting for the birdses tonight.
2007-08-31 17:19:00
102.   Yankees Brasil
97 Nobody knows..but I guess that's why they brought the pitching coach from Scranton, to find out what's wrong.
2007-08-31 17:19:01
103.   yankz
There's no way he's gotten that many swings and misses on a 91 MPH fastball.
2007-08-31 17:20:06
104.   yankz
See? Another swing and a miss on a "91" mph fastball.
2007-08-31 17:20:08
105.   Yankees Brasil
99 He used to throw harder..
2007-08-31 17:20:29
106.   SF Yanks
Why is Hughes only throwing TWO pitches? A straight fastball and a curve. Dats it.
2007-08-31 17:20:41
107.   Zack
99 But he HAS been blowing people away. Lots of swing and misses...And thats without hitting his spots at all, without throwing his three other pitches, and without throwing his curve well...
2007-08-31 17:20:43
108.   rbj
Giambi flashing the leather.
2007-08-31 17:21:32
109.   yankz
Nice play, now launch one over the 314 mark.
2007-08-31 17:21:35
110.   Jersey
80 pitches through 4? Do they even let him come out for the 5th?
2007-08-31 17:21:52
111.   Zack
102 I think Eiland was up b/c of Kennedy, not Hughes...

105 that's also kind of a misconception. Somehow it got out that phil "sat" at 95, whereas he has always "sat" around 93...

2007-08-31 17:22:47
112.   Yu-Hsing Chen
whew, escaped.

As disappointing as Hughe's overline seems, a young pitcher being this consistently able to strike out so many guys is a very very encouraging sign.

2007-08-31 17:22:49
113.   yankz
Does anyone else agree that besides the BB (which admittedly have been huge) Phil has looked pretty good tonight? And the BB are growing pains, are they not? It's not like he forgot how to control his pitches. It'll come back.
2007-08-31 17:24:27
114.   Yu-Hsing Chen
a base runner!
2007-08-31 17:24:39
115.   yankz
Pena is really terrible out there.
2007-08-31 17:24:51
116.   Zack
113 Like I said, I think the mechanics are off. Not drastically, but enough to mess up his mechanics..

I think he looks ok, not world class of course, but not bad. Course, it should be only two runs instead of three, and if he can be a bit more economical, he can make it through 5 if not 6...

2007-08-31 17:25:24
117.   Zack
The offense is beyond pathetic tonight
2007-08-31 17:26:38
118.   rbj
That's starting to look like some offense.
2007-08-31 17:26:55
119.   Zack
HA!

Wow, thanks BJ!

2007-08-31 17:27:00
120.   yankz
MVP
2007-08-31 17:27:04
121.   SF Yanks
There's one.
2007-08-31 17:27:18
122.   Zack
That ball went over Derek's head, they should suspend him for two games
2007-08-31 17:27:57
123.   Yankees Brasil
111 Eiland was Phil's pitching coach in Trenton last year. He's been with him for a while now. He's here to help him.

Also, in the minors Phil sat at 93, but he could hit 95 at times. Now he hits 93 at times, and sits at 90, 91.

2007-08-31 17:28:25
124.   Yu-Hsing Chen
what is this run thing! now lets open it up
2007-08-31 17:29:54
125.   Zack
123 Eiland is here to help Kennedy get used to mound etc, just like they did with Hughes. From the Times:
"When Ian Kennedy had a day off last season as a Staten Island Yankee, he visited Times Square, not Yankee Stadium. He had never been to the Stadium until Thursday, when he took the field in an empty ballpark after the Yankees wrapped up their sweep of the Red Sox.

It was a neat scene, with Kennedy playing catch in the outfield, wearing Yankees workout gear as his Class AAA pitching coach, Dave Eiland, looked on. After a while, they moved to the infield and Kennedy threw off the mound."

2007-08-31 17:30:46
126.   yankz
Dammit.

Shit, it's only the 5th?

2007-08-31 17:30:57
127.   Zack
123 And yeah, his velocity has been down a tick since coming back, but lots of people are saying Phil has dropped 5 mph, which is incorrect...

Ugh, wasted RISP

2007-08-31 17:32:22
128.   yanster
I can't agree with anyone that Hughes looks good. This is the lesson we learned from Moneyball - "tools" don't matter. Looks don't matter. Size doesn't matter. Speed doesn't matter. What matters are results. And Hughes has had lousy results in the games he has played in since his return from his injury.

Maybe he can work it out and get to his minor league performance level, but his "potential" is irrelevant to that evaluation. I know lots of people with potential - executing is much much harder.

And we should know that - Farnswacker has as much potential as Hughes and he's never had the disposition to take advantage of that - which sucks.

2007-08-31 17:32:33
129.   rbj
Dang, hadn't realized Joba got suspended. Thanks Bud, and I mean it sincerely, as Joe can't overuse him for the next two days.
2007-08-31 17:32:54
130.   Zack
From the official site:
"In order to help guide Kennedy and aid his preparation for the Tampa Bay matchup as much as possible, the hurler will continue to work with Triple-A pitching coach Dave Eiland."
2007-08-31 17:33:56
131.   Yu-Hsing Chen
good news is , Seattle is trailing by 4 runs
2007-08-31 17:34:33
132.   rbj
Ugh.
2007-08-31 17:34:55
133.   yanster
128 Case in point
2007-08-31 17:34:59
134.   yankz
Shit.
2007-08-31 17:35:09
135.   Yu-Hsing Chen
128 disagree, Fransy's career in the minors was mediocare (though he was a starter), he could always whiff guys, but could never keep the walks down, Hughes almost never walked anyone in the minors.
2007-08-31 17:35:10
136.   Yu-Hsing Chen
128 disagree, Fransy's career in the minors was mediocare (though he was a starter), he could always whiff guys, but could never keep the walks down, Hughes almost never walked anyone in the minors.
2007-08-31 17:37:20
137.   Yankees Brasil
This game sucks. The Yankees didn't show up today.
2007-08-31 17:38:12
138.   Zack
128 Yeah, the Hughes that is pitching lately is different from the one of even before the injury. Bad control, not sharp break on the pitches, lots of FBs.

And besides, results don't tell the whole picture with a 21 year old kid. You're not talking about a 30 year old journey man or even a 26 year old starter, but a developing kid coming off 3 months of inactivity. You're not looking for results, you are looking for signs of progress, things to work and build off of, and consistency.

2007-08-31 17:38:19
139.   Yankees Brasil
If Ian has a good outing tomorrow, is it possible that we might see Moose taking Phil's spot in the rotation?
2007-08-31 17:38:22
140.   yankz
Oh my god
2007-08-31 17:38:48
141.   rbj
If it were earlier in the season I wouldn't mind Hughes doing this -- he's got to figure out how to pitch up here. Yankees can't afford these games now.
2007-08-31 17:39:14
142.   Yu-Hsing Chen
oh crud.... comeon Phil....
2007-08-31 17:39:34
143.   yankz
He got the DP ball they needed, but they missed by inches. Not his fault.
2007-08-31 17:40:15
144.   bartap74
Britton? Pitching? In a Yankee uniform? In an actual game?

(Looks outside for flying pigs)

2007-08-31 17:40:23
145.   Zack
Another rough start for Phil though. Too bad the offense didn't show up today, nor did the fielders...Classic Yankee hang over game thus far
2007-08-31 17:40:28
146.   yankz
Hughes is PISSED
2007-08-31 17:40:58
147.   Max
128 I'm done making excuses for Hughes in this game. He just doesn't seem to have it. All this qualified praise and excuse-making for him is really avoiding the point that he's got a lot to learn, and raw physical ability doesn't seem to be enough at this point (especially coming off the injury).

The lack of control is especially disappointing.

2007-08-31 17:41:40
148.   yankz
Yeah. Hughes needs to have a long talk with Joba about throwing it over the plate. Although I guess that's easier when you can hit 100.
2007-08-31 17:42:42
149.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Torre using Britton in a still managable game?!?!?! where have you gone normal Joe Torre?
2007-08-31 17:43:50
150.   Yu-Hsing Chen
shit
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-08-31 17:43:57
151.   yanster
138 (128 ) You're right that you can't ask the world of a 21 year old - I really just want to see improvement. But other than the Texas game when he blew himself up, I've never seen him even be average. I don't much care about strikes - I prefer Wang's worm killing. When will he have a nice solid 4.8 ERA?
2007-08-31 17:44:03
152.   Zack
I just figured out what the problem is: I traded for Hughes in my fantasy league while he was on the DL. I clearly need to drop him
2007-08-31 17:44:15
153.   rbj
149 It's opposite day.
2007-08-31 17:45:12
154.   Sliced Bread
Isn't this a blatant violation of The Britton Rules, which dictate that every other game he pitches... never?
2007-08-31 17:45:56
155.   yankz
The worst thing is that this will cue all the "Phil Hughes = Sterling Hitchcock at best" tools.
2007-08-31 17:47:25
156.   Zack
151 The Cleveland game.

Good Lord people, he's 21, go look at the #s for pitchers who were in the league when they were 21, and thats without the injury time off Hughes suffered.

2007-08-31 17:48:31
157.   rbj
Could have been worse. Yanks can still come back here.
2007-08-31 17:48:31
158.   Yu-Hsing Chen
whew... still... within... reach...
2007-08-31 17:49:42
159.   yankz
He's been good at times, bad at times. Anyone watching today would've seen a bunch of grounders that weren't converted into outs. He's still striking guys out. But as a rookie, who, in his AAA year, missed a ton of time, he doesn't do it consistently yet.

Also he only throws 2 pitches. WTF?

2007-08-31 17:51:19
160.   Yu-Hsing Chen
151 ERA is probably the worest way to judge a young pitcher, i'd much rather see a youngester struggle with ERA but put up respectable or great strikeout/walk rates than vice versa.

There is clearly some questions Hughes and the Yankee system need to answer about him after this season. but there's still plenty enough reason to think he's going to be the next big thing. for one, not even Roger Clemens or Felix Hernandez managed to whiff 9+ per 9 at this age.

2007-08-31 17:52:13
161.   Yu-Hsing Chen
i just realized that Cano has 7 of his 16 HR in August... damn he's really hot in the later half
2007-08-31 17:52:32
162.   Sliced Bread
155 another crappy outting, or two by the kids and ESPN will soon have the baseball world believing Hughes + Joba + Kennedy = The Hansen Brothers.
Fug that.
2007-08-31 17:52:45
163.   yankz
King Felix IS "this age."

WE WANT A HIT

2007-08-31 17:53:15
164.   kdw
156 Could not agree more. He's a kid feeling his way in the big leagues.
2007-08-31 17:53:31
165.   yankz
I hope their wives mock them for being 2-hit by Sonnanstine.
2007-08-31 17:56:07
166.   Zack
Isn't this just like this team all year? Sweep a good team, then look like s#@t against a crap one...
2007-08-31 17:56:34
167.   yankz
What a shame, if both SEA and BOS lose.
2007-08-31 17:57:40
168.   OldYanksFan
Wow... how can we play so well against the BEST team (aside from us) in baseball, and so poorly against the worst!

Boston and Seattle both down by 2, Cleveland down by 5.
Little consolation.

2007-08-31 17:57:49
169.   Captain Munson
Go Jay's
Go O Birds
2007-08-31 17:58:35
170.   Max
Wow, we are barely making Sonnanstine work. Isn't this supposed to be our best offensive lineup? Did Cairo and Stink sneak into the lineup while I wasn't looking?
2007-08-31 18:00:21
171.   tommyl
Hey, who's this Britton kid? He seems to be able to get what are those things called again...outs...yeah. That's it.
2007-08-31 18:00:24
172.   yankz
Phillips should start for his bat, with Giambi coming in as a LIDR.
2007-08-31 18:01:02
173.   tommyl
Spoke to soon. Good to know that Pena spent the entire year at AAA for us last year.
2007-08-31 18:01:10
174.   yankz
Yankees = Pena's biatch.
2007-08-31 18:01:24
175.   rbj
171 A pitch too soon.
Dust Lee next time he's up.
2007-08-31 18:01:30
176.   yankz
Britton, meet bench.
2007-08-31 18:02:35
177.   yankz
Can you imagine the right side of your HIGH SCHOOL infield being Upton and Wright? Jeez.
2007-08-31 18:03:41
178.   SF Yanks
What a disaster.
2007-08-31 18:03:45
179.   yankz
Is it too early to call this one yet?
2007-08-31 18:04:36
180.   SF Yanks
No.
2007-08-31 18:06:23
181.   OldYanksFan
Sox score one, still down by one.
2007-08-31 18:06:23
182.   yankz
http://tinyurl.com/22a5fc
2007-08-31 18:07:21
183.   nyy jim
This game is going like our whole season is going. Dig yourself a deep hole in the first half then try to climb back in the second half. We still have four innings left so it's time to start the come back.
2007-08-31 18:07:24
184.   BklynBmr
Just got in and flipped on the game. It's official. This team has driven me to insanity. I don't even want to know what happened. I just want to see about 12 Yankee runs tonight.
2007-08-31 18:08:20
185.   OldYanksFan
Baltimore with the leadoff guy on. Timlin in, top of the 6th.
2007-08-31 18:08:28
186.   BklynBmr
183 Let's hope tonight will go like that...
2007-08-31 18:09:14
187.   SF Yanks
Here we go. Big whammy, big whammy. Or is it no whammy, no whammy.
2007-08-31 18:10:32
188.   OldYanksFan
Maybe we should all be watching the Seattle game together...
2007-08-31 18:10:50
189.   yankz
It'd be so perfect if he K'd the side.
2007-08-31 18:11:49
190.   SF Yanks
Oh. My. God.

What. The. Hell.

I. Don't. Understand.

2007-08-31 18:11:53
191.   OldYanksFan
Line drive single for Mora. 1st and 2nd, no out.
2007-08-31 18:12:36
192.   yankz
3 more innings?
2007-08-31 18:13:02
193.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
187 You killed me with that Whammy reference...

ONE run in against the D`Rays is unacceptable! Let`s hope the M`s continue to lose...

2007-08-31 18:13:04
194.   OldYanksFan
Hard hit line single. Bases loeaded for Baltimore, no outs.
2007-08-31 18:13:59
195.   Mattpat11
This team defines one step forward two steps back.
2007-08-31 18:14:34
196.   OldYanksFan
Sac fly. One in. 5-3. 1st and 3rd, one out.
2007-08-31 18:14:43
197.   Max
I haven't given up on this game, but it has the look of a complete game 2 hitter by a scrub pitcher against the World's Greatest Lineup, at their house no less.

Complete train wreck and inexcusable.

2007-08-31 18:16:32
198.   OldYanksFan
How's Britton looking? His numbers don't look great so far.
2007-08-31 18:17:13
199.   OldYanksFan
Brian Roberts walks. Bases loaded, one out.
2007-08-31 18:19:03
200.   C2Coke
198 He didn't look that shaky. And he at least delivered the first 1-2-3 inning.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-08-31 18:19:19
201.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Jesus christ Sonnastine isn't even at 90 pitches yet.

good to see a garbage inning guy that won't cough up 9 runs in less than 1 inning ... sheese.

2007-08-31 18:19:49
202.   OldYanksFan
Hard hit sac fly. Almost a double. 6-3 Baltimore. 2 out, 1st and 2nd.
2007-08-31 18:19:56
203.   Sliced Bread
Co-worker of mine, casual Yanks fan, you know, the type that thinks he has better things to do with his time - comes up to me, shaking his head about the bi-polar insanity of the 2007 Yanks. Says they look like a last place team one series, then sweep the Sox the next. Says, I don't know how you can follow them so closely. They gotta drive you nuts. Then he wonders outloud, half-kiddingly, "You think baseball might be fixed? You know, stir up interest, create crazy story-lines?"
I laughed him off, dismissing his conspiracy theory as impossible, but watching this mess... this B-horrorflick... I'm thinkin' Mr. Casual might be on to something.
But here's what I know for sure:
I fucking hate when the Yanks play shitball.
2007-08-31 18:20:37
204.   tommyl
So Britton's line so far is 2.1 innings with just the inherited runner and that Pena HR. Now that's a reliever. Sigh, imagine if we had him instead of Henn in the pen last week?
2007-08-31 18:20:56
205.   Sliced Bread
198 Britton's looking like he'll return to his invisible self very, very soon.
2007-08-31 18:21:11
206.   Max
198 Looks like we have a marginally credible inning-eater at least. One that gave up 2 runs, but that's better than 10 runs.
2007-08-31 18:21:55
207.   Sliced Bread
205 kidding. But I'm not sure if Joe's even watching...
2007-08-31 18:22:37
208.   Yu-Hsing Chen
206 at least it's one that could throw strikes . while good things don't always happen when you throw strikes, bad things ALWAYS happen when you don't.
2007-08-31 18:22:58
209.   OldYanksFan
And Markakis with a 3 run bomb. Timlin still on the Yankee payroll. 9-3. Sox Sux.
2007-08-31 18:23:16
210.   JeremyM
Poor Ian Kennedy, as if he didn't have enough pressure, he has to follow this shitfest.
2007-08-31 18:24:01
211.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Sonnastine isn't even touching 90 right now, how the hell are we not scoring at least some run against this sort of shit.
2007-08-31 18:26:35
212.   Vandelay Industries
Wouldn't it have been easier for the guys to have just called Joe and told them they wouldn't be showing up for work today?
2007-08-31 18:26:40
213.   Max
209 To be honest, I don't care about the Sox too much...I just don't want to lose any ground to the M's or Tigers. No matter how bad the Sox look tonight (I figured the Birds were due for a win at some point), their magic number still goes down after tonight's disaster in the Bronx.
2007-08-31 18:26:50
214.   yankz
Maybe it actually is opposite day? And the Yanks think if they punt this game they'll actually get a win?
2007-08-31 18:27:57
215.   rbj
It's nice that Human Weapon is showing Judo right now. Now that I'm studying it a bit in Aikido, I can actually learn something.
2007-08-31 18:28:24
216.   Yu-Hsing Chen
grovy, this is the good ole make a crap pitcher look like Pedro game.
2007-08-31 18:28:28
217.   SF Yanks
This game is making the mutilated cat I saw this morning look like a work of art.
2007-08-31 18:30:57
218.   SF Yanks
Damn, Britton makes Bruney look like Edwar.
2007-08-31 18:31:43
219.   JeremyM
Is Britton really this much of a long man?
2007-08-31 18:32:23
220.   Sliced Bread
217 Interesting. I was thinking about the junkie I saw nodding off on a stoop in Hells Kitchen this morning. He was holding his arm like he'd just injected himself into palookaville. Grungy looking bum. Felt sorry for him. He was wearing a Mets hat. Seriously.
2007-08-31 18:32:49
221.   yanster
Comparing yesterday's game to today's is like comparing my girlfriend with yours.
2007-08-31 18:32:58
222.   yankz
219 More of a wide man, IMO.
2007-08-31 18:33:35
223.   yankz
221 Yours is a tease who throws shutouts?
2007-08-31 18:33:59
224.   yankz
Whereas mine lets me score all the time. Yeah baby!
2007-08-31 18:34:42
225.   yankz
For the record, I'm single.
2007-08-31 18:35:36
226.   yankz
Um, when did this become a blowout?
2007-08-31 18:35:41
227.   yanster
225 likewise
2007-08-31 18:35:44
228.   SF Yanks
220 Ha, and this game makes him look like Brad Pitt right?
2007-08-31 18:37:07
229.   rbj
Rosters expand tomorrow. Who gets called up?
2007-08-31 18:37:45
230.   SF Yanks
Please, lets set the fucking walk record tonight or something.
2007-08-31 18:38:05
231.   yankz
All right, I'm heading out. Peace guys.
2007-08-31 18:38:25
232.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
So . . .

I'm assuming gameday has it backwards, and Phil is pitching a 7 inning 2 hit, no walk gem, while the Yanks have lit up the Tampa scrubs for 7?

Right?

Right?

um, right?

2007-08-31 18:39:16
233.   Sliced Bread
228 I figure he was a southpaw. He was holding up his right arm, which means he injected himself with his left. We don't have a lefty in the pen, do we?
2007-08-31 18:39:28
234.   JeremyM
Bruney sucks and he's an asshole to boot. Not a good mix. He's not a guy a I like having on the team.

229 Well, Kennedy obviously, Gonzalez presumably, but surprisingly there's not a way for Wil.

2007-08-31 18:40:58
235.   Yu-Hsing Chen
229 both the AAA and AA team are going to the playoffs, so i'd think we won't see as many callup until a little later.
2007-08-31 18:41:24
236.   SF Yanks
232 Yeah if you squint your eyes the Rays uniforms can sorta look blue...and white...or something like that.
2007-08-31 18:42:48
237.   Yu-Hsing Chen
man, my military pal is going to be so pissed. he betted today on...

Yankees, Red Sox, Brewers, Twins (first game) ... so far only one of them is working out... (he did win 4 outta 5 on my advice yesterday though. and the one he lost went against my advice.. i told him to bet on Kazmir instead of Guthire)

2007-08-31 18:43:03
238.   nyy jim
Seattle within one run now. 6-5 with a runner on second, two outs.
2007-08-31 18:44:39
239.   SF Yanks
233 Damn, I hope Henn is doing ok after those beatings. I mean we don't want him to go to the streets and start using.... uh oh...
2007-08-31 18:45:26
240.   Max
The thing is, none of the typical excuses for crappy play apply tonight:

1) "LHPs shut us down" -- no LHP tonight.
2) "Unknown Rookie Pitcher" -- nope, a guy we've beaten up before
3) "no sleep after playing a late game then going on the road" -- nope, early game the previous day and we stay at our house where we own the opposition
4) "It's early in the season" -- nope, we're in the home stretch and need every damn game..no days off
5) unfavorable pitching matchup -- The Franchise vs Sonnanstine, riiiight...

The only remotely credible excuse is the typical letdown we have after we play the Sox, but nobody expected this abomination...this is down there with losing to the Rockies and Giants.

2007-08-31 18:45:55
241.   Mattpat11
232 The thing that worries me about Hughes is his performances are getting worse. I wasn't entirely against letting him use this season to get his feet wet, but I was hoping to see signs of improvement throughout the year.
2007-08-31 18:49:06
242.   Sliced Bread
239 Heh. More likely it was Billy Wagner.
2007-08-31 18:52:19
243.   Mattpat11
Okay. Thats rock bottom.
2007-08-31 18:54:48
244.   SF Yanks
240 I think it comes down to this. It seems as if the Yanks don't fare well against pitchers who attack the strike zone and get ahead early in the count, which Sonasomething is doing. The Yanks are patient and work walks and when they have to swing early on, they hit a bunch of crap that goes nowhere. That's why when they let a few pitches go, they're already down 0-2 and now have to protect. Of course this all doesn't matter if the pitcher is shitty. So I think it's all of that combined with...

this pitcher pitching the game of his frigging life, of course one he will never repeat. A bit fluky that he pitched this well, but that's my 3 cents.

Luck + Fluke + Attacking strike zone + the Yankees never even showing up + being behind early on = BARF GAME

2007-08-31 18:58:49
245.   SF Yanks
242 Oh yeah, the Mets hat, Haa.
2007-08-31 19:00:10
246.   randym77
Well, I think that proves it. The Force is not with us tonight.
2007-08-31 19:00:40
247.   SF Yanks
Tonight would have been such a perfect win too, with the Sox and the M's losing. Damn it! The more I think about this team the more aggravated I get.
2007-08-31 19:01:28
248.   JeremyM
If arguing over which loss sucks the worst is your thing, this season has been a good one!
2007-08-31 19:01:33
249.   OldYanksFan
TWO HITS? We only have 2 hits? How is that possible?
2007-08-31 19:02:59
250.   JeremyM
247 I hear ya, but neither of those games is over yet, it can get worse.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-08-31 19:03:34
251.   nyy jim
What a pathetic performance tonight. I don't expect them to win every game for the rest of the season but I do expect them to show up and play with a little intensity. They looked flat and managed only 4 base runners and their pitching sucked once again. This type of play will not go far in the playoffs.....if we make it.
2007-08-31 19:10:11
252.   SF Yanks
250 True dat. I did not realize that. Welp, hopefully Kennedy can show up tomorrow. Although we really can't expect much.
2007-08-31 19:11:35
253.   nyy jim
Seattle just lost 7-5
2007-08-31 19:12:26
254.   JeremyM
Blue Jays almost found a way to get their revenge for HA!, but they decided better of it. Well, if I knew we'd be up a game in the Wild Card going into September, I'd be a very happy man.
2007-08-31 20:03:52
255.   OldYanksFan
Wow... the O's did everything possible to give it back, but managed to save it on a game ending DP, from Captain Tekaver, with the typing run on 3rd.
2007-08-31 20:28:27
256.   randym77
Miguel Cairo is being called up by the Cards tomorrow. Eckstein and Miggy in the same infield. About as scrappy as you can get.
2007-08-31 20:43:05
257.   williamnyy23
Just got back from the game...Hughes looked awful and I don't think he should have a guaranteed spot in the rotation. If Kennedy does well and the Moose has a good side session, I wouldn't hesitate to make Hughes the odd man out. He has really only pitched well on two occassions and might not be ready just yet.
2007-08-31 20:49:51
258.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Ugh, A's w/ 1st and 3rd no out and manage not to put any runs across.

We're lucky Boston and Seattle lost tonight, but I think the Tigers are our real competition at this point. The division might be a bridge to far given Boston's schedule, and Detroit even sans teh Sheff is better than Seattle, especially given their respective schedules. Go A's.

2007-08-31 20:50:46
259.   spudrph
Apropos of nothing, but-I know (Sox fan here, but still) we always hear, "Well, we won't get the callups now because the AA team is in the playoffs". My response would be, as James Hetfield once said, "So F*(king What"?

If the idea is to maximize the chances that my MLB team wins every game, I give my MLB manager all 40 guys at 12:01am on September 1. So, if he needs that pinch runner in the 16th, he's got that luxury.

Simple, no?

2007-08-31 21:36:50
260.   monkeypants
241 257 et al. I'm not an apologist, but from what I saw in TV (not in person, like william) Hughes ddn't look as bad as his numbers. He was consistently in the low 90s with his fastball; his curveball was off and his control was not great, but he still threw 63% of his pitches for strikes (not great but not bad either). From what I recall, he only gave up a couple of hard base hits (double in the first, the HR, for example); at least two of the five hits were a bouncer and dribbler. One run was given up by Britton. Atrocious defense really hurt him in the third.
2007-08-31 21:41:28
261.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Looks like that failure to get the runner in from 3rd w/no out earlier in the game is gonna hurt -- Tigers tie it in the 9th w/ 2 runs off Street.
2007-08-31 21:51:55
262.   Yu-Hsing Chen
260 I have to agree, and to move Hughes out would require BOTH Kennedy to do well AND Moose to find something, thats a lot of things going write.

while i would hope we don't have to resort to this option, Kei Igawa has actually been showing a lot of progress in AAA, he's line today. 7IP 5H 3ER 2BB 9K 1HR, more improtantly, for the 3rd strait outting, he's managed to keep the ball on the ground with a 6-6 GO-AO ratio and threw 71 of 101 pitches for strikes. I would at least call him back up as a reliever after the AAA playoffs, i would hope we wouldn't have to use him as a starter but his 3 recent start is giving me some consideration again.

2007-08-31 22:00:51
263.   monkeypants
260 In fact, according to gameday (FWIW), Hughes threw 57 fastballs out of 94 pitches (gameday failed to record the pitch speeds for one batter). His velocity:

91-94 mph: 42 pitches
90 mph: 10 pitches
88-89 mph: 5 pitches

His velocity on fastballs did not drop to 90 mph until the fourth inning, by which time he had thrown over 50 pitches. He didn't drop into the 80s until the fifth inning, when he had thrown about 80 pitches.

It really looks like he's struggling with consistency, but mot of all with endurance. He is still only about an 80 pitch pitcher before his power really starts to drop. I think that we're just seeing a young pitcher coming off an injury and still building arm strength.

2007-08-31 22:16:18
264.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
I still don't understand why the Yankees have made Hughes a 2-pitch pitcher. Change? Slider? Sinking fastball? Wtf are they?
2007-08-31 22:33:16
265.   SF Yanks
264 I just asked that same exact question on another site. What's the reason for abandoning those pitches? I saw him throw a few change-ups today but each one missed horribly outside.

No slider, no 2-seamer, no effective change.
Loss of control.
Loss of 2-3 mph on his fastball.

No wonder he's getting rocked.

2007-09-01 04:25:05
266.   randym77
265 "I saw him throw a few change-ups today but each one missed horribly outside."

That's probably why they don't want him using them. If he could throw them well and consistently, I'm sure we'd be seeing more of them.

I think what we're seeing with Hughes are the typical struggles of a young pitcher who was perhaps rushed a bit. Homer Bailey, the pitcher often mentioned in the same breath with Hughes, is having remarkably similar struggles.

2007-09-01 05:57:04
267.   JL25and3
262 Shhh. Don't let Mattpat hear you.
2007-10-29 03:28:41
268.   Al Rogers
Today's Front Covers

http://tinyurl.com/yqo9gt

ARod serves divorce papers & Dodgers show Torre some leg.

2007-10-29 03:29:02
269.   Al Rogers
Today's Front Covers

http://tinyurl.com/yqo9gt

ARod serves divorce papers & Dodgers show Torre some leg.

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