Thursday, May 16, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Andy Leaves Tonight's Start With Apparent Injury (Updated)

He wasn't having that great a start to begin with, but it just got worse for Andy Pettitte when he had to leave tonight's game with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning.  Pettitte had just thrown a pitch to strike out his second straight batter of the inning and appeared to grimace on his last pitch.  Joe didn't take any chances and removed Andy from the game.

It would be unfair to speculate, but the first place you think of with Andy is his back.  He's already missed a few starts due to back spasms this year and those type of problems don't just go away when you're his age.  More on this story as it becomes available.

** UPDATE 5/17 6:50 AM- The team announced that Pettitte left last night's game with a tight left trap.  After the game, Joe said he wasn't too concerned about it, so that's good news.  It was not said whether Pettitte will miss his next start. **

Want To See What No Command Looks Like?

There you have it.  36 pitches, 17 swings, 0 misses, 6 hits, 2 walks, 7 runs.  Phil Hughes joined a couple of select clubs in historical Yankee and baseball futility last night and it's not difficult to see why.  He was fastball-heavy again, and left almost all of them either right in the middle of the plate or way off the corners.  To make matters most, a lot of those fastballs middle and away as you right to left were thrown to left-handed hitters, putting them in perfect position to extend their arms and make solid contact, which they did.

It'd be easy to try to tie this back to Hughes' issues throwing inside or his need to work his offspeed stuff more, but that would be a moot point in this instance.  His offspeed stuff was just as bad, dropping right over the heart of the hitting zone or way off the corner.  Phil just had nothing last night, and it was the latest in a long line of examples of how frustrating his "hot and cold" career as a starter has gone.  As I mentioned earlier this morning over at IIATMS/TYA, if Hughes has officially settled at his ceiling of #4 starter, he might not be looking at offers as big as once thought after this season.

(Pitch plot courtesy of Texas Leaguers)

The One Good Thing To Come Out Of Last Night


I've already signed my application forms to join the Preston Claiborne bandwagon based solely on his performance since being called up.  The kid still hasn't given up a run in 5 appearances and has looked really good in every outing, with 4 strikeouts and not a single walk on his ledger.  He's throwing strikes, attacking hitters, everything you want to see from a young reliever.  Now that I know he has excellent taste in music and comes out to a super badass song for his entrance music, I'm putting a rush on submitting those forms.  I need to be officially recognized as a Preston Claiborne fan.

Game 40 Wrap-Up: SEA 12 NYY 2

(... Courtesy of Getty Images)

The Yankees reached the quarter pole of the regular season last night, and they did it the same way they started the season by making roster moves and trying to piece a lineup together from the collection of healthy bodies they had.  David Adams was the newest addition, called up on his birthday and just a few months after being outright released from the team to create a 40-man roster opening.  He was playing third base and hitting 6th, a sign of confidence from Joe, and looking to make a name for himself by being the next next man up this season.  Any continuation of that fun storyline got quickly swallowed up by the suck of Hughes.

Game Notes:

- Phil Hughes' start last night ended almost as quickly as it started.  After getting Michael Saunders to fly out to start the game, Hughes put the next 7 runners on, the big dagger a Raul Ibanez grand slam, and actually got yanked with just 2 outs in the 1st and 7 runs on the board.  Awful doesn't even begin to describe it.

- Vernon Wells continued his hot hitting in the bottom half, clubbing his 10th HR of the season to get the Yankees on the board.  If they got blown out, at least they wouldn't be shut out.

- Preston Claiborne came on after Hughes and turned in another good outing, tossing 2.1 innings of scoreless ball with 2 strikeouts.  Brett Marshall made his Major League debut after and wasn't so successful.  He took one for the team to the tune of 5 ER on 9 H and 5 BB in 5.2 IP.  Not exactly a repeat of Nuno's debut.

- Chris Stewart, yes THE Chris Stewart, gave the Yanks their only other run with a solo HR, his 3rd of the year, in the top of the 5th.

- Other than those 2 homers, Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma was great.  He needed just 89 pitches to get through 7 innings, and kept the Yanks off balance with a great sinker/splitter combination.  Not that it would have mattered if he was off with the run support he got.

- Fun little deal with Alberto Gonzalez coming on to get the final out of the 9th on a 81 MPH fastball/changeup.  Even when your team is getting killed, position players pitching is always entertaining.