A-rod followed with a solo shot in the third, and in the fifth Granderson and Cano joined the RBI party with a double and a triple to lead the Yankees to a 5-1 win.
Hughes fanned eight Tigers, gave up four hits, one earned run and walked three in his first complete, nine inning game.
No doubt this was a solid afternoon for Hughes but still not a convincing one.
First of all you have to consider the opponent, and the 2012 Tigers are a far cry from their 2011 counterparts. Everyone under the sun thought the Tigers would own the AL Central but now to say they are underperforming is an understatement.
Currently the Tigers sit four games under .500, and are 6 games behind the division leading White Sox and 3.5 behind the Indians. This has come as a total shock to baseball experts and fans everywhere.
So, this has to be taken into account when assessing Hughes’ complete game. Yes, it is a nice accomplishment but in this case a rare one and nothing else. Yankee fans and New York media have a tendency to inflate everything when it comes to Hughes, and it is time to be realistic.
Hughes only proved he is consistent and content with doing one thing, throwing his fastball. Out of 123 total pitches, 97 were fastballs.
Until Hughes starts to trust and incorporate his off-speed stuff into the mix, he will never beat good teams and win tight games. Yes, yesterday his fastball worked but not because he did anything differently.
Look at Hughes pitch locations from his last two starts:
Angels on the left and Tigers on the right, all charts are courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net.
So this complete game doesn’t make Hughes any more effective, just timely and lucky.
Reality is this Tigers team is far–removed from being a playoff contending team and haven’t given any reasons to think that would change.
So take this as a warning before you go campaigning for Hughes to win the CY Young, or even start singing his praises like he is the real deal and just wait.
Just wait and see if Hughes starts to execute at a high level over his next few starts because this was the same Hughes just different situation.
Hughes will continue to falter but because everyone allows his too.
Having a selective memory when it comes to Hughes not only hurts not only him, but also the Yankees as a team.
Just a week ago, Wallace Matthews of ESPN reported that skipper Joe Girardi stated that Hughes was, “going to have to throw” his off-speed stuff if he was to have any success as a starter; so my question is could this outing actually stunt Hughes even more?
I guess time will tell…but if history proves anything Hughes will continue to blow-up against good, playoff contending batting line-ups.
Overall the Yankees had a successful trip out West going 6-3. The Bombers are now back in the Bronx to start a crucial three-game set against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays, followed by the first Subway Series in 2012 vs. the hot Mets. All I can say is rest up today boys, you got a big week coming up.