Phil Hughes stunk up he joint for a disappointing 3.2 innings tonight, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks. As I took notes I was keeping track of the excuses for his performance. In the first inning, it was bad luck and a horrible decision by Joe Girardi to start Johnny Damon in center over Melky Cabrera. Apparently Girardi wanted to make sure to get every single left-handed bat he had in the lineup against the Gambler, good move. After the first, though, I gave up. At some point the kid has to take responsibility, or more accurately, I have to assign responsibility to him, I don't think he's been ducking it.
He throws nothing but fastballs and curves, he can't throw either for strikes with any consistency and when he does throw strikes, they cut the plate in half. When Al Leiter was breaking down his poor performance he had an alarming stat. Of the 82 pitches Hughes threw, only 3 were change-ups, and only 2 were sliders. He's basically turned himself into a two-pitch pitcher. That's not going to cut it.
We got our first, and hopefully last, look at the Yanks' new backup catcher, Chris Stewart. It was one of the worst games I've ever seen from a catcher, and that's being generous.
At the plate, well, the Yanks took a bunch of walks then couldn't drive in any of the free runners. Robinson Cano got into one for the first two runs, the third scored on a bases-loaded HBP and the fourth on a ball that Miguel Cabrera should've gobbled up off the bat of Jason Giambi. Just pitiful offensive production.
Two highlights of the game. Number one, the bullpen. Ohlendorf, Edwar and LaTroy completely shut down a potent Tigers' lineup for 5.1 innings. Number two, a spectacular broken bat from none other than Johnny Damon.
Oh yeah, remember yesterday
when I wrote about the three worst things that could happen to this team, injury-wise? Well, as of tonight, 2 of the 3 have happened. The Yanks placed A-Rod on the 15-day disabled list
, which means we get to see Morgan Ensberg, his nonexistent throwing arm and his super-slow bat on a daily basis for the next week. If I had my druthers, Alberto Gonzalez would see all the time at third until A-Rod came back, at least he does one thing well. The odds of that happening are pretty much nil, though.
So, for the foreseeable future, the Yankees will be trotting a national league lineup out there to backup a pitching staff with 2.5 legitimate big league starters. A quick note to Joey Jr. after the jump.
Player of The Game:
Ross OhlendorfTeam Record:
14-14Damon's Broken Bats:
1 lawn dart tonight, 13 on the season.