Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yanks Pound Boston 10-3, but Lose More Players in the Process

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

N.Y. Yankees «00030601010110
W: P. Hughes (4-0) L: J. Beckett (1-1)

Injuries are mounting, but that hasn't stopped the Yankees. Tonight they made it eight wins in their last nine tries and five in a row, with their 10-3 beatdown of the Boston Red Sox.

Phil Hughes
had another great start, allowing two runs on seven hits, walking one, and striking out seven in seven strong innings. He basically did it all with two pitches tonight; the four-seamer and his cutter. He threw 101 pitches tonight (70 strikes), and according to the PitchFX data, 89 of those pitches were either four-seamers (60) or cutters (29). He also threw 9 curves, one change, and one two-seamer. With that way those two pitches were working for him tonight, you can't really blame him. The velocity of his four-seamer continues to rise. Today he topped out at 96 mph, and averaged 94.29. He also had great command and spent most of the night painting the corners. With each start Hughes is showing exactly why the Yankees went with him over Joba for that fifth starters spot. He's showing great composure, great command, and a solid arsenal of pitches. With the win Hughes improves to 4-0, with an ERA of just 1.69.

Over the first three innings Josh Beckett matched zeros with Hughes and was dominating in the process. He retired 9 of the first 10 batters he faced, and struck out six of them. He got into his first jam of the game in the fourth when the Yankees put the first two men on, but he retired the next two men he faced and was one pitch away from working out of it when he was ahead 0-2 on Nick Swisher. Swisher worked the count back to 2-2, and then clubbed a hanging curveball just over the wall in center for a three-run homer. Swish is now 10 for his last 24 with 4 HR and 9 RBI.

Boston got one back in the bottom half on a sac fly by David Ortiz, and that's how the score would stay until the sixth.

The top of the sixth was an interesting inning to say the least, one I had to rewatch after the game. Josh Beckett imploded, allowing five runs on four hits, two walks, and two hit batters. Alex Rodriguez started the inning with a double. Robinson Cano then hit on the knee with a fastball to put two on and knock Cano out of the game. Beckett then got his signals crossed and fired a fastball off Jason Varitek's forearm and thigh, allowing the runners to move up. Varitek would eventually have to leave the game. Following a strikeout of Swisher, Brett Gardner was intentionally walked to setup a force at any base. Beckett then walked Francisco Cervelli to force in a run. Randy Winn was next and knocked in a run with an RBI single. Beckett then threw his first pitch to Derek Jeter into his ribs to force in another run. A Marcus Thames infield RBI single, a Mark Teixeira RBI single, and an sac fly by A-Rod finished off the rally. The Yankees would eventually send 11 men to the plate.

The Yankees were not too pleased with Beckett's actions on the mound. Many Yankees, including CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez were shown yelling at Beckett on the mound. Normally, I'd never suggest that a pitcher was trying to hit people even though it would force in a run, but Beckett isn't your normal pitcher. And based on some of his reactions on the mound it wouldn't really surprise me. After he hit Cano and saw him hunched over in pain the YES cameras caught Beckett cracking a smile. Then, prior to walking Cervelli on a 3-2 fastball under his chin, Cervelli had called timeout which appeared to piss Beckett off. Cervelli's reaction made me think he thought Becket was sending a message. Beckett was shown smiling again after hitting Jeter. To me, it looked like a guy who knew he had nothing tonight, didn't care about the game or his team, and just decided to take his frustrations out on the Yankees hitters. It's still hard to imagine a Major League pitcher giving away runs because he's angry or frustrated, but with Beckett, you never know.

Anyway, that was the end of the fireworks for one night. Hideki Okajima replaced Beckett after Teixeira's single and that was that. Lansdowne Josh allowed 9 earned runs on 9 hits, walked 3, and struck out 8. He's now 1-1 on the year with an ERA of 7.46.

The Yankees added a tenth run in the eighth on a sac fly by Thames.

David Robertson had some more trouble out of the pen. He allowed a run on a hit and two walks in the eighth. You never want to see relievers walking guys, but when you're up 10-2 it's completely unacceptable.

Boone Logan pitched a scoreless ninth to finish off the game.

Besides Cano, who is listed as day-to-day after being hit on his knee, the Yankees also lost Nick Johnson with a wrist injury that's been bothering him for a few weeks now. Reports are saying that Johnson is headed to the DL and the Yankees will likely call up Kevin Russo to take his spot on the roster.

The Yankees are now 20-8 and have CC Sabathia going in game two tomorrow afternoon. Boston will send right-hander Clay Buchholz to the mound. Both pitchers have started off the year very well, CC is 4-1 with a 2.74 ERA, and Buchholz is 3-2 with a 2.97. First pitch is 3:10 p.m. and the game will be on FOX.

Derek Jeter, SS4101022.300
Nick Johnson, DH2000010.167
a- Marcus Thames, PH-DH2012000.433
Mark Teixeira, 1B4111110.181
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4221000.262
Robinson Cano, 2B2000022.355
Ramiro Pena, PR-2B2110012.111
Nick Swisher, RF5113023.290
Brett Gardner, CF3110100.345
Francisco Cervelli, C3121100.395
Randy Winn, LF4221003.217

a-flied out for N. Johnson in the 5th
2B - Alex Rodriguez (7, Beckett)
HR - Nick Swisher (6, Beckett)
SF - Marcus Thames (1), Alex Rodriguez (3)
RBI - Derek Jeter (22), Marcus Thames 2 (4), Mark Teixeira (15), Alex Rodriguez (18), Nick Swisher 3 (20), Francisco Cervelli (7), Randy Winn (4)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Swisher 3 (13)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Jeter-Pena-Teixeira

Phil Hughes (W,4-0)77221701.69
David Robertson111122013.50
Boone Logan11000002.25
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 101-70, David Robertson 24-13, Boone Logan 11-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 7-6, Boone Logan 1-2
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 28, David Robertson 6, Boone Logan 4


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