Wednesday, May 2, 2012


(Hughes leaving in 6th inning last night, 05/01/12)

So Phil Hughes pitched last night and suffered another loss.  But this time he wasn't shelled and knocked out in the second inning.  No, this time he made it into the 6th inning and, in fact, was one out away from finishing the 6th only down 3-1.  But, that did not happen.  Hughes proceeded to hit a batter with two outs and Girardi saw enough.  In came Boone Logan and the game basically got out of hand.  In the end you can blame Girardi if you want for not letting Hughes get out of the 6th, but at the same time, how can you blame Girardi?  I mean he has sat in that dugout for 2+ years watching and waiting just like us, the fans, waiting for Hughes to either dazzle or implode.  And last night Hughes did neither, which is maybe more frustrating to watch.

If Hughes got completely roughed up last night today's conversation among Yankee fans and probably Yankee brass might have been, does Hughes stay in rotation.  But after last night's game Hughes could have easily been on the winning side.  Although he gave up 4 earned runs (thanks to Logan), he basically surrendered 3 runs in almost 6 innings.  That's not really bad at all.  I mean, that's pretty much a line you would take from your starting pitcher 9 out of 10 times.  The Yankee offense had Brian Matusz on the ropes a few times and did nothing to support Hughes.  So was Hughes to blame for last night's loss, or do you blame the offense?

(Clemens in pinstripes)

Look, I personally think Hughes absolutely earned the right to stay in the starting rotation after last night's performance.  I know this may be an unpopular stance among Yankee fans.  In fact, this is even a topic Casey and I disagree with.  Hughes wasn't great last night by any means but he definitely was not awful.  It was somewhere in between but he pitched well enough to win.  As a huge Yankees fan and someone who really wants Hughes to do well I am gonna take a new approach every time Hughes takes the mound.  I am going to stop looking for him to give us a Roger Clemens-like performance.  I am going to just hope he gives up 3-4 runs in 6 innings and hope the Yankee bats knock in a minimum of 5 runs.  His mechanics seem to be okay.  His arm strength seems to be fine.  So maybe we have to accept that Hughes will just be a .600 career pitcher with a 4.60 ERA

And maybe if Hughes started to realize that die hard fans like me are not expecting anything from him other then keeping us in each and every game, he would pitch with less anxiety?  Maybe the Yankees should take the same approach with Hughes.  Just hand him the ball every five days and say, "Phil, just give us 6 innnings and keep us in the game."  I'd love to know what you all think about Hughes...does he deserve to stay in the starting rotation?

--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @MikeyBlu23

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