Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hughes Lose (postgame notes 29 April 2008)

At what point do the growing pains end and the serious concerns begin?

This is the question that is going to creep up, sooner or later, on the minds of Yankee fans if Phil Hughes continues to have bad outings like he had tonight.

While the start in Chicago seemed to be encouraging, tonight's start was a regression back to the first couple of weeks of the season. No doubt, the cold weather probably affected it a little, but someone as hyped as Hughes has been, should have a win before the end of April. He was down almost immediately in the first inning, and after the Yankees tied it up at two, Hughes gave up two home runs in the next inning.

That said, it is far too soon to call Hughes a bust. For those that would, look at the rookie year stats of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Johan Santana and Fausto Carmona. It is much, much too soon to start thinking in those sort of drastic terms.

However, that doesn't mean there should not be a reason for concern. Hughes was if not magnificent, then service-ably good, in his first start, and the reason for the drop off in the performance is confusing. Is it a mechanical thing? A mental thing? One has to hope (well, a Yankee fan, at least) that between Dave Eiland, Joe Girardi and everyone else on staff that they can figure it out.

Another concern, one that's been building for a while now, is the lack of offense. There's no denying that the losses of Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada hurt, and that Jason Giambi and Robinson Canò are not having great seasons right now, but, as in the eighth inning, when the Yankees had the bases loaded, the lack of any discernible offense is frustrating to say the least.

As good as Chien Ming Wang has been, he won't pitch the Yankees to 1-0 or 2-0 wins every game (though it might seem like it) and with two young kids in the rotation, the offense has got to give the pitchers some better run support. I'm not sure if there's a voodoo ritual or perhaps some sort of Larry Boa-ish talking-to that the offense can get, but it needs a spark, badly.

OPTIMIST TAKE: The bullpen pitched 5.1 nearly flawless innings, and because Ross Ohlendorf went three, the workload for the rest of the bullpen was lessened. Robinson Canò had a two run home run. The Yankees got their first two men on base in the ninth and were able to pull from down 6-2 at the beginning of the eighth to within 6-4.


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  2. I don't know what's going on with Hughes. He just looks awful. I was pleased with the bullpen. Quality innings from Ohlendorf - good to see him rebounding after his walk off last outing. Perhaps Ramirez has his stuff together and will last a little longer in the big leagues this time and will avoid ending up a career quadruple A player.

  3. Hughes looks scared out there. I think that the pressure has gotten to him and Kennedy. These guys were annointed Generation Trey too soon. Look what happenee to the Mets years ago with Generation K.
    I think both Hughes and Keendy need to go back to AAA for a while and work on mechanics and get their heads straight.

    The Yanks are not scoring and now loosing ARod and Posada is a huge hit. The other guys are going to have to get going and get hits with RISP. (They could have won last nights game if they hit with RISP - they certainly had their chances)