(Not a visit you want to have in the 3rd. Courtesy of The AP)
After getting the bad news on Michael Pineda's condition, the Yankees took the field in Arlington looking to take the series from the Rangers with Phil Hughes on the mound for the 4th time this season. Hughes got a quick hook from Joe and it got no better from there.
- Hughes retired the top of the Texas order on just 11 pitches in the bottom of the 1st, even throwing a couple changeups to Josh Hamilton, but then his usual demons reared their ugly heads. Misplaced offspeed stuff in the zone, piss poor pitch sequencing, and a failure to put guys away with 2 strikes and 2 outs led to 4 runs in the first 3 innings for the Rangers.
- Hughes' fastball command also eluded him in the bottom of the 3rd, when he was either way outside the zone or catching the meaty parts of the plate. 2 hit batters on errant heaters is never a good sign, especially when the 2nd comes after a coaching visit to the mound, and Hughes was sent to the showers after just 2.2 IP.
- After stranding a runner in each of the first 3 innings, the Yankees broke through on a pair of singles by Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira and a ground-rule double from Raul Ibanez in the 4th and that was it for Texas starter Scott Feldman. A sac fly by Eric Chavez cut the lead to 4-2.
- New fireman David Phelps was anything but last night, flashing little command and allowing 3 earned runs in what was easily his worst outing to date. Hey, they can't all be gems. Too bad this stinker had to come after the Yankees started to get back in the game.
- After the 4th inning, the Yankee offense was mostly silent. Somebody named Robbie Ross shut them down for 2.2 innings after Feldman left, and they only managed 2 hits after that point in the game, one of them Ibanez's 3rd homer of the season.
- Just an all-around ugly night for the Yankees. Their starting pitching was bad, their middle relief wasn't much better, and their offense was a non-factor.
- Ibanez: 2-3, 2B, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Pretty much the only Yankee hitter with a line worth mentioning.
- Derek Jeter: 2-4, 1 K. Another 2-hit game for The Captain. Ho-hum.
- Hughes: 2.2 IP, 5 H, ER, 0 BB, 2 K. He retired 7 of his first 8 but then fell apart. It's clear Joe has no confidence in him with how quick his hook was, and I'm starting to run out of positive approaches I can take when talking about Hughes.
- Alex Rodriguez: 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB. Saw 7 pitches in his first AB and 9 total in his final 3. Somebody change the oats! The Horse is down to a .221 BA.
- Russell Martin: 0-3, 1 LOB. As horrific as Hughes' pitch sequences are, it's worth asking if Martin should share some of the blame. And he's also been pretty bad swinging the bat.
An off day. The Yankees will get a travel day as they head back home. Games pick back up on Friday night when Ivan Nova looks to continue his solid start to the season against Detroit.