(Courtesy of the AP)
The Yankees and Rangers wrapped up their mid-week series this afternoon, and the Yankees didn't come into the game looking like they were in a good position to win. They rolled out a lineup that featured no less than 6 severely below-average hitters (Ichiro, Nix, Wells, Adams, Gonzalez, Romine) on a day where they had Phil Hughes and his Harvey Dent act on the hill. While he stopped short of saying Hughes is pitching for his spot in the rotation, Joe did call this start an "important" one for Phil and it was. With Michael Pineda getting closer to returning every day and Ivan Nova still hanging around on the active roster, the heat is starting to get turned up on Phil.
- Hughes had a pair of 1-2-3 innings to start the game, then it was back to business as usual. He gave up a run in the 3rd on a sac fly after giving up a 2-strike walk and 2-strike hit, and another in the 5th when Jurickson Profar hit a hanging changeup for a leadoff HR to make it 2-0.
- The offense was predictably impotent through 5 innings against Derek Holland. They managed just 2 hits, 1 of which was erased in the bottom of 1st on a Robinson Cano GIDP, and wasted a Jayson Nix leadoff walk in the 4th.
- To Hughes' credit, he did retire the next 9 batters in a row after the Profar homer. He started locating his fastball better to get ahead in the count and got 4 swinging strikeouts.
- It didn't matter. The offense was weak. So, so, soooooo weak. Holland continued to blank them through 7 innings, and needed just 72 pitches to do it. Sinker, slider; slider, sinker. Didn't matter the order, the lineup couldn't do anything with him.
- The domination continued through the 8th and 9th, when Holland retired the final 6 in order. Just a pathetic display by a pathetic lineup today. Only 1 Yankee hitter reached second base all day.
- Hughes: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, K. Phil answered the bell today and probably surprised some in getting through 8 innings after looking like he was starting to crack in the middle innings. It was all for naught with that lineup supporting him, but he did his job and added another start to the "Good Phil" column.
- Vernon Wells: 0-3, 3 K. Yeah, maybe just stay on the bench, dude.
The Yanks hit the road again tomorrow night, stopping off for a weekend series in Baltimore. David Phelps gets the start against Kevin Gausman.