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Once upon a time, not too long ago, the Yankees were blessed with one of the nastiest trios of starting pitching prospects in all of baseball. Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy were supposed to be the boost of young pitching needed to help the aging core of the lineup stay competitive and in World Series contention as that generation of players moved to the ends of their careers. Instead, all 3 will be remembered mostly un-fondly for their time in pinstripes. Kennedy was the first to flame out in New York in an unfairly small number of starts, and 4 years later Hughes and Joba have followed him down and likely out of town at season's end. Kennedy-Hughes was the starting matchup and Joba made an appearance, so all parties from that failed venture got to contribute today in a bad loss for the Yankees. None more than Hughes.
- Hughes got into trouble in the 2nd by not locating his fastball and failing to put guys away with 2 strikes. He could have got out of it with just 1 run allowed, but he gave up a big 2-out, 2-run hit to Everth Cabrera that made it 3-0.
- With 2 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd, Joe elected to intentionally load the bases, a questionable move given Hughes' fastball struggles. After a sac fly and another 2-out hit allowed, San Diego had 2 more on the board and Hughes' day was done.
- The Yankees put a runner on base every inning from the 2nd through the 5th. They could never string any hits together against Kennedy to break through and he made some big pitches to get 2 inning-ending double plays.
- Kennedy helped his own cause in the 4th, singling to start the inning and coming around to score on a Chase Headley single. It was 6-0 and things were looking bleak.
- The lineup finally managed to break through in the 6th, and surprisingly enough they did it with 2 outs. 2 straight walks to Cano and Soriano and a pair of RBI singles for Curtis Granderson and Lyle Overbay made it 6-2 and abruptly ended Kennedy's day.
- An Austin Romine solo HR in the 7th made things interesting again, but the Yankee offense couldn't complete the comeback and 5.1 innings of very good relief work was wasted. Another series, another series loss.
- C-Grand: 1-1, 1 RBI, 3 BB. He's looked sharp these last 2 games. A shorter learning curve getting back to his usual self would be tremendously helpful.
- Romine: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Another solid day at the plate for Romine. Sooner or later Joe has to start picking up on this, right?
- Hughes: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. Where do you even begin anymore? Hughes has been worse in each of his last 3 starts and he's right down there with CC Sabathia in the realm of non-competitive right now. Same stuff it always is with Hughes; doesn't need to be repeated. Just frustrating that we still have to see it.
The Yankees are headed to Chicago for a series on their way back east. It remains to be seen if Alex Rodriguez will be joining them in the starting lineup tomorrow. Andy Pettitte will take the ball.