(D'oh!! Courtesy of Getty Images)
If you would have asked me before the first game of the season, I don't think I would have said I ever expected to see a 7-1 stretch of ball from this squad, especially not with how slow and lifeless they looked to start the season. But lo and behold, here we are, with the Yanks in that position and doing exactly what they need to do while their injured heal. They've had better starting pitching, a red hot Robbie Cano, a solid collective offensive performance from the rest of the lineup, and relatively clean defense. They had a series sweep on the line against the Diamondbacks last night, and Phil Hughes was tasked with making it happen.
- Hughes got off to a great start, giving up just one single in the 1st and retiring the 2nd in order with 2 swinging strikeouts. He was mixing pitches and he looked comfortable.
- As he's apt to do, though, Hughes gave up a leadoff HR in the top of the 3rd on a thigh-high 1st-pitch fastball down the middle. He recovered to get out of the inning and the next 2 unscathed, and worked around runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out to do it in the 5th.
- The offense wasn't showing much early against Patrick Corbin. They got a few walks here and a single there, but he had sat down 7 in a row and kept the Bombers scoreless through 5.
- The bad pitch bug came back to bite Phil in the top of the 6th on an atrocious 1-1 fastball. It really was an unforgivable pitch and Martin Prado made him pay for a 2-0 D-backs lead. Hughes bounced back again to finish that inning and go 1-2-3 in the 7th for what was, all in all, a good start.
- Robinson Cano got the Yanks back in the game with his 5th homer of the young season in the bottom of the 6th, but he couldn't come through with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 8th, instead striking out on a pitch that hit him. Kevin Youkilis struck out too and the Yanks went to the 9th down 1.
- And there waiting to save them was Francisco Cervelli. With 1 out in the 9th, Frankie stepped in and hit a 1-2 pitch over the plate into the left field seats to tie the game at 2.
- The game went to extras, where the Yankees were unable to come up with anything. D-Rob handled the 10th and gave the ball to David Phelps, who wiggled out of trouble in the 11th but gave up 4 in the 12th for the loss. Just didn't seem to have his best stuff. Oh well.
- Hughes: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. This was the Phil Hughes people were hoping for this year. He was aggressive, he was pounding the zone with his fastball, and he mixed his offspeed pitches well, especially the slider. The home runs suck, but I can live with that when Hughes isn't walking anybody. 2 runs in 7 inning should always be good enough to win.
- Youkilis: 1-5, 1 K, 4 LOB. Tough night for big Kev. Had some chances to bring in a winning run and couldn't get it done.
- Phelps: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. Didn't have it last night. Just a tick off on everything and he never really seemed to find his stuff and get comfortable. Cervelli's catcher interference in the 12th didn't help matters either.
It's back to AL East opponents for the Yanks this weekend as they travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays. Andy Pettitte is scheduled to make his comeback from his back issues tonight against Brandon Morrow.