Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Not Unusual

(I thought umpire Carlton Banks' punch
outs were a little over the top as well...)

I don't think too many people would have expected that Phil Hughes would turn in a better performance today than his last time in Arlington. Perhaps some would disagree that today was better than 6 1/3 innings of no hit ball, but the object of the game is to avoid giving up runs, not necessarily hits. No-hitters are captivating and are remembered as historically significant, but as far as the scoreboard is concerned, they are no different than any other scoreless performance. 8 innings of shut out ball are better than 6 1/3, no matter how you cut it. 

Hughes gave up only five baserunners - three hits, a walk and a hit batsman - while striking out six. He threw 65 of his 105 pitches for strikes and dropped his ERA nearly two runs to 5.19. Twelve of his remaining outs came via fly balls, as opposed to six on the ground. That ratio isn't necessarily encouraging, but the fact that he kept that many fly balls in the park in Arlington is impressive in it's own way. 

The young righty wasn't the only bright spot on the day. A-Rod went 5-5, drove in four runs and raised his average from .189 to .259 in the process. Mark Teixeira went 2-4 with a walk and 2 RBIs, his 35th and 36th on the season. Even Kevin Cash got in on the party, notching three singles. The Yanks stacked up 19 hits (9-20 w/RISP) and only stuck out three times.

Robby Cano went 2-5 while driving in two runs and apparently found some time in the top of the 5th to praise be to God. 

The Yanks got out early and gave Hughes and Cash room enough to breathe and be aggressive with their pitch selection. As the 11-1 final score would indicate, the outcome of the game was never in doubt. Why can't they all be like this one?


  1. Hughes is for real. He's obviously good enough to dominate at the major league level. But in the end, this is still not saying much, and there are too many questions and variables to consider before anyone can proclaim that we have the next Roy Halladay, as opposed to, say, the next Aaron Sele.

    Will he stay healthy? Does he have the personality and the arrogance you need to be able to rise waaaaaay up there, meaning dominating hitters in playoff games, etc.? Does he have the work ethic and drive to continue to push himself to improve?

    I'm seriously hoping the answers are yes, yes, and yes. But at this point it's anyone's guess.

  2. Damn, I hate the Burnett deal.