Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hughes Rusty in Return As Yanks Fall 5-3

For the first time in eight tries the Yankees lost a series thanks to their 5-3 loss in Cleveland last night. Phil Hughes returned from the DL and took the loss. He wasn't terrible, but did deal with some rust in the first inning which would cost him.

The first three batters of the game would reach -- a leadoff walk to Brantley, a single by Cabrera, and then an RBI single by Hafner to open up the scoring. Hughes would then uncork a wild pitch to the next batter allowing Cabrera to go to 3rd and then score on a throwing error by Russell Martin. Eventually he would get out of the inning, but it took him 32 pitches to do so.

Hughes would eventually settle down and complete five innings of work, allowing just those two first-inning runs. His stuff was pretty decent after that rocky first as was the velocity on his fastball, which averaged 91.5 MPH and topped out at 92.9. Either way, it was his first start back so there's really no need to hyper-analyze it.

Here is a quote from Girardi on the right-hander's outing:

“People are going to say it’s a good outing, but we know that he can be better,” Joe Girardi said. “We know that he can be downhill more… I talked about with the extra days off and the first outing, my concern was that he would be up a little bit. That’s what we saw.”

Indians starter Justin Masterson, had no such problems. He dominated the Yankees over 8 shutout innings, holding them to just three hits and two walks, while striking out six.

The Yankees bullpen also didn't help matters allowing three runs over the final two frames to help the Indians put the game away. Boone Logan served up a solo shot to Lonnie Chisenhall in the 7th and then Sergio Mitre walked three and allowed two more runs in the 8th to give the Indians a 5-0 lead.

Those runs proved to be the game-winners because the Yankees would score three times in the top of the 9th before Chris Perez came in to shut the door.
One positive on the night was Derek Jeter's 8th-inning double, moving him just 3 hits away from 3,000. He now has four games in the Bronx to pick up three hits and be able to reach his milestone in front of the home fans. Game one of that series is tomorrow night at the stadium, with Bartolo Colon facing Jeff Niemann.


PLAYER OF THE GAME: Justin Masterson
GOAT OF THE GAME: Sergio Mitre

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