Tag Archives: Phil Hughes

Look Hughes Pitching

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Phil Hughes with his patented “why did the ball go over the fence again?” look

I’m going to my fourth Yankee game of the year on Monday…I know, I know pathetic right?

Phil Hughes is pitching on Monday against the White Sox, which is normal, because he’s still a member of the Yankees rotation thanks to David Phelps’ and Michael Pineda’s bum arms.

What’s not normal is that this is THE FOURTH FREAKING TIME I HAVE TO SEE PHIL HUGHES PITCH. WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS!?!?

I dealt with seeing Joba start four times in 2009, but I was helped immensely by the Yankees being the best team in baseball. This my be too much for me, especially now that essentially every game is a must win.

I don’t want a sympathy party thrown for me. I Just want to know why.

At least I’ll be sitting in the bleachers…maybe I can snag one of the five homers Hughes is due to give up.

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AJ Burn-outt: Who Will be the Number Two Starter?

AJ Burnett dazzled again Monday night, giving up seven earned runs and getting the Yankees a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays. His “effectively erratic” stuff, hasn’t been so effective, helping him to a dismal 10-15 record, with a 5.33 ERA. After falling behind the Blue Jays after a Vernon Wells home run, Burnett seemed to give up, losing confidence with each pitch he threw.

This seemed to be Burnett's approach Monday night

“It’s something we’ve got to keep working on, definitely,” Girardi told the media after the game.

Now is not the time to be working on things. Sure every pitcher needs to fix minor things here and there, but Burnett seems to be a lost cause this season. The Yankees don’t have the luxury of losses right now, they are battling for a playoff spot, a division title, and the ever-important home-field advantage.

The only thing Burnett has done effectively is pitch himself out of the number two starting pitcher spot on the postseason roster.  Thankfully the Yankees have Javier Vazquez, right?

Wrong.The Yankees would have been better off signing Kenny Powers, who could be Javy’s new teammate on the Mexican League Charros after Vazquez gets released at the end of the year.

Vazquez has arguably been an even bigger disappointment this season, and how he hasn’t been released yet is beyond me. The man for the number two spot is the youngest of them all: Phil Hughes.

Hughes as had some bright moments, like his strong outing against Boston on Sunday, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to get him his 17th win of the season.  Hughes has hit some bumps in the road, but he has the makeup and stuff to be a solid arm in-between a solid CC Sabathia (say that five times fast), and one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time in Andy Pettitte.  Hughes has earned the right to pitch in that spot, a spot that should be based not on salary, but on performance.

Sure Hughes has struggled in some more recent starts before Boston, but he consistently keeps the Yankees in the game, giving the offense a chance to play catch-up, which is something Burnett fails to do.

Yes,  Burnett dominated in his role as a game two starter in each postseason series lat year, but last year wont matter is he blows it this year.  This is a “what have you done for me lately” sports world, especially in New York City.

Burnett sure hasn’t done much to help the Yankees get into the playoffs, which is somewhere he doesn’t belong.

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“It Will Be a War”-American League Championship Preview

“It Will Be a War”– Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte

Game 1: Angels (John Lackey) at Yankees (CC Sabathia), Fri., Oct. 16, FOX

Game 2: Angels (Jered Weaver)at Yankees (A.J Burnett), Sat., Oct. 17, FOX

Game 3: Yankees (Andy Pettitte) at Angels (Scott Kazmir), Mon., Oct. 19, FOX

Game 4: Yankees (TBD) at Angels (TBD), Tues., Oct. 20, FOX

Game 5: Yankees (TBD) at Angels (TBD) (if nec.), Thurs., Oct. 22, FOX

Game 6: Angels (TBD) at Yankees (TBD) (if nec.), Sat., Oct. 24, FOX

Game 7: Angels (TBD) at Yankees (TBD) (if nec.), Sun., Oct. 25, FOX

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Record:  97-65  American League West Champions

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

The Angels needed to pull out the rally monkey on the road in their dramatic, come-from-behind victory, in the clinching game three Division Series over the Boston Red Sox.  Former Yankee, Bobby Abreu, led the offense with a whopping .556 batting average while Vladimir Guerrero followed suit with a .400 batting average. Chone Figgins had a terrible series, going 0-12 and only reaching base once.

Pitching was key for the Angels, holding the normally potent Boston bats to a .158 batting average for the series.  John Lackey set the tone in game one throwing 7-1/3 shutout innings.  Jered Weaver contintued the strong pitching performances tossing 7-1/3 innings while only giving up one earned run in game two.  Newly aquired Scott Kazmir got hit hard, giving up five earned runs in six innings of work in game three.  The bullpen was excellent, only allowing one earned run in 5-1/3 innings pitched.

KEY PLAYERS:

Chone Figgins- Figgins tends to be a thorn in the Yankees’ side.  He needs to get on base where his speed can be a vital asset in helping the Angels manufacture runs.

John Lackey- Lackey has the challenge of squaring off with 19 game winner CC Sabathia.  Lackey needs another strong game one performance in order to get his team off on the right foot.

Jason Bulger and Kevin Jepsen- The Angels set-up men will have to bridge the gap between the starting staff and all-star closer Brian Fuentes.  The late innings are when the Yankees tend to win games, so these two will need to have their “A” game in every appearance.

New York Yankees

Record:  103-59    American League East Champions

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

The Yankees reached a three game sweep against the Minnesota Twins, their first playoff series victory since the 2004 Divisional Series.  Alex Rodriguez got the monkey off his back, belting three home runs with six runs batted in (RBI) while posting a .500 batting average.  Other than Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, the normally devestating Yankee offense, was dismal with Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon each hitting .083 for the series.  Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera never got things going either, with each of them hitting a lack-luster .167.  Even Mark Teixeira hit only .167, but he did hit the walk-off home run in Game two that crushed any hope Minnesota had in the series.

Pitching got the Yankees past the Twins, with strong starting performances by CC Sabathia, A.J Burnett, and Andy Pettitte.  The bullpen combination of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes bridged the gap to the always dependable Mariano Rivera.

KEY PLAYERS:

Alex Rodriguez- He proved he can carry the offense, but can he continue to keep his head where it’s been at?

CC Sabathia- Like Lackey, another strong pitching performance in game one can once again set the tone for the series.

Johnny Damon- Hitting .083 in the second spot in the order will not cut it this series.  It is crucial for Damon to get on base in order for Teixeira and Rodriguez to drive him in.

Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain- If each pitcher dominates as usual, the combination of Hughes, Chamberlain and Rivera will mean that each game could be over after the sixth inning.

Prediction The New York Yankees win a tough series in six games, although I can see it only going five as well.

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Trade Deadline Approaches: Yankees Stay Silent

With Jarrod Washburn heading to Detroit and the Victor Marinez to Boston deal just about finalized, the Yankees have lost an opportunity to land needed help from a starting pitcher.  Martinez is a big name heading to Boston, which usually means the Yankees will be making a splash too.

Don’t expect any huge names to be heading to the Bronx.  The biggest name that may land is Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell, who be part of the set up crew that already consists of Philthy Phil Hughes and Phil Coke.  The Padres asking price for Bell is said to be pretty high so don’t expect anything to get done until the price goes down.

Brian Bannister, who is a solid starter on a Royals team that doesn’t like to score runs for him, was also rumored to be involved in a deal to NY until the Yankees asked the Royals to pay the the remaining 650 thousand bucks left on his contract.

No, that’s not a typo, the Yankees asked the Royals to pay for a contract.

The deadline is less than an hour away and it will be very interesting to see who lands in the Bronx.

-Brenden

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Wang’s Last Stand: Trying to Fend Off the Braves and the Critics

After a mediocre start against a mediocre team, Chen-Ming Wang is on the ropes.  Phil Hughes deserves a starting spot, and the Yankees don’t seem like they are ever going to put Joba back into the pen.  This leaves Wang as the odd man out.

The Braves’ offense is much better than the Nationals.  Granted, it is not an elite offense, but the Braves are not slouches either.

If Wang wants to keep his job, he will come out with his best stuff tonight.  If he doesn’t, he could end up in the shish kabob known as the Yankees bullpen.

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The Failure of the Yankees 1st Round Draft Picks

Slade Heathcott became the latest Yankees first round pick when he was selected 29th overall in the MLB draft.

Let’s hope he doesn’t turn into almost all of the other Yankees first round picks.

Here is the past decade of first rounders the Yankees have selected: (the links are from ESPN.com and the comments are mine)

2009 Slade Heathcott OF  
2008 Gerrit Cole RHP -Chose to go to UCLA instead of sign  
2007 Andrew Brackman RHP -Can’t throw a strike in A ball   
2006 Ian Kennedy RHP  -Just had surgery to fix an anuerysm, but never showed much promise on the major league level  
2005 Carl Henry SS  -Left the minor leagues to go play basketball at Memphis.  He was once quoted as saying “I spent my off-seasons from baseball working on my basketball skills”  
2004 Philip Hughes RHP -Could be the future ace, he is the one guy who isn’t a failure on this list  
2003 Eric Duncan 3B Has a good glove, but is currently hitting .225 at AAA Scranton  
2001 John-Ford Griffin OF Got a couple of stints in the majors with the Blue Jays, now in the Dodgers minor league system  
2000 David Parrish C Son of former Major Leaguer Lance Parrish, David never did anything for the Yanks  
1999 David Walling RHP  Walling got the Knoblauch/Ankiel  syndrome and just couldn’t be an effective pitcher anymore  
         
         
         

 

As you can see, the only good fist round pick in the past decade has been Phil Hughes, who has shown flashes of what he can become with some solid, high-stirkeout performances.  He still has time, and so does Andrew Brackman, who had arm problems.  If Brackman can throw strikes, the 6-10 pitcher will see the Majors sooner rather than later.

Let’s hope Slade Heathcott doesn’t turn into the the lastest edition to this unenviable list.

-Brenden

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The Return of Philip Hughes

The Yankees were in a slump that although it was only April, was sending shock waves all across the Tri-State area. After being swept by the Red Sox, which included the now infamous slap to the face known as Ellsbury stealing home plate on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, and then not being able to hit Justin Verlander who last year and this year has been hit more times then a pinata in a loss to the Tigers had sent the Yankees and their fans into pandemonium.

Not to fear….PHIL HUGHES IS HERE. (Cue the Superman music)

After the Yankees has let him go down to the Minors and let Joba pitch in the starting rotation, which he shouldn’t be, the Yankees watched as Chien Ming Wang went from bad to worse and they had to call up the big Texan to take his spot.

Phil Hughes is a pitcher that everyone had high hopes for a few years back, he had a No Hitter into the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers, in Texas mind you, before a leg injury during the game derailed him for the year. Then the next season, he was thrown under a ton of pressure by Brian Cashman after he didn’t pull the trigger on the Johan Santana deal and told anybody who would listen, and the NY media loves to listen, that Hughes was going to be a huge part of the plan.

He failed early on, got hurt and a Sidney Ponson and Dan Giese later, the Yankees ended up mssing up the playoffs for the first time in a non strike year since 1993, in the final year of the Old Stadium no less. It was fair to say that Mr. Hughes had alot on his plate heading into spring training this season.

He excelled during the Spring and had people believing in him again, that he was the real deal and was a bright spot for the Yankees in the future. Of course that future just happened to be on April 28th in a near half empty Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

Hughes would pitch 6 shutout innings against the Tigers , and once the Yankee bats exploded to the tune of a 10 run top of the 7th inning, Hughes, who had thrown 99 pitches, had earned his first win since 2007.

“He looked really good,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said he took Hughes out because of the length of the New York seventh. “He had his legs under him tonight.”

Phil Hughes has alot to learn about being a major league pitcher, especially being 21 years old and pitching for the New York Yankees. He will have his moments of greatness and failure and his job is to make sure the greatness is reached and the failure is minimal.

“I feel like I’m back to where I was a couple years ago,” Hughes said. “I just wanted to pitch well and earn another shot.”

Phil Hughes earned his shot last night and all the Yankees and the fans want now is for Hughes to finally become Superman.

-The Falk

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