It was another nail-biting, extra innings game for the New York Yankees who needed to win and did.
Now, the Bombers are back in first place after losing it for 24 hours to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Only a half-game separates the two ball-clubs making Wednesday night’s outcome a declaration for who ever wins. That is until next week when the Rays come to the Bronx for four games.
Pitching has dictated this series, as the Yankees look to Phil Hughes to keep the Rays bats quiet. Hughes will face Rays James Shields, which is not Sabathia vs. Price but it looks to be a fair fight.
Phil Hughes innings limit has him coming off a skipped start, but threw a solid inning out of the bullpen in Texas.
It will be Hughes first start since September 5.
Hughes has the stuff, as the first-half of the season proved by earning a trip to the All-Star game.
Hughes’ development is being monitored, but Joe Girardi has no other options. Pettitte has been on the DL for two months; add that to Vazquez and Burnett who remain unreliable.
Otherwise this situation would be different.
In his last 10 starts, Hughes has 5-4 record, with a 4.83 ERA, striking-out 36, walking 17 in just shy of 51 innings.
Hughes has allowed 37 earned runs in his last 10 starts and looks to improve against the heavy Rays lineup. Hughes has to settle down early, locate his pitches and throw his curve-ball confidently for strikes.
Even with the recent decline, Hughes’ excuse is legit. His young arm has never thrown this many innings, as well as his inexperience pitching a full season.
Hughes needs to be extra careful with Rays Carlos Pena who has knocked Hughes around in the past.
The Rays counter with James Shields, who has been even streakier this season. Continue reading ‘Yankees-Rays Pitching Preview: Phil Hughes Is Fighting For First’ »