(Look at that. A standing O. Courtesy of The AP)
has been trending up lately, and his teammates have been doing the same over the past 5 days. The Yankees were fresh off of beating Felix Hernandez
on Friday and facing a pitcher whom the have some familiarity with in former teammate Hector Noesi
. The struggles of April were starting to fade in the rearview mirror and the Yanks were looking to keep it that way yesterday.
- It looked like we were being set up for a pitchers' duel as both guys worked through the majority of the first 2 innings unscathed. But with 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd, the Yankee offense strung together a trio of big hits (RBI doubles by Ibanez and Martin, and a 2-R HR by Jayson Nix) to stake Hughes to a 4-0 lead.
- For the 3rd straight game, Hughes seemed to use the "reliever mentality" he talked about to his advantage. He threw a lot of strikes, worked from ahead in the count more often than not, and did a much better job of putting hitters away with 2 strikes. Through 6 innings, the Mariners had just 3 hits and 1 walk to their credit.
- Raul Ibanez
has been on a mini-tear this week and he continued that in the 4th with his 7th HR of the season. He now has 7 on the season, 2 in consecutive games, and 4 in his last 5.
- Hughes did give up a home run to Mike Carp
in the 7th for his only run of the day, a byproduct of being a flyball pitcher, but for the most part Hughes was outstanding yesterday. He used his changeup a lot more than he had recently, and many of the flyballs he got were easy outs.
- The most important thing was that Hughes seemed to mix all his pitches better, which made him more effective with 2 strikes. Rather than try to throw the ball by everybody, he was very willing to let the Mariner offense make contact and trust his defense behind him. He only recorded 4 Ks yesterday, but he also only walked 1 batter.
- Hughes tired in the 8th, not a big surprise considering he was at 112 pitches, and Boone Logan
came on to strike out Ichiro to end the inning.
- Robinson Cano
kept his hitting streak alive with an RBI single for some insurance in the bottom of the 8th, and it was up to Logan to close the game out, which he did with 3 more strikeouts. He did give up a run, but it was another stellar performance from Logan.
- Interesting note- Logan was the 3rd different Yankee reliever to record a save since Mo's injury.