Monday, May 25, 2009

Hughes Dominates, A-Rod Finds His Stroke, And Girardi Is Still A Bonehead

The answer is awesome. But what's the question? Is it, a)in a word describe Phil Hughes's outing today against the Rangers. Or is it, b)in a word describe A-Rod's day at the plate? Or could it be, c)in a word describe today's Yankees/Rangers game. If you answered d)all of the above then you my friend, are a genius. Phil Hughes = awesome. A-Rod = awesome. Yankees = awesome. If only all tests in life were that easy.

I'm glad today's game wasn't close. It didn't give Joe Girardi much of a chance to screw it up. Judging from the comments I got yesterday (thanks guys), everyone seemed to share my opinion for the most part. I've cooled down a little bit. I don't necessarily think Joe needs to be shown the door at this exact moment, but he needs to be put on notice. He's making some pretty boneheaded moves. You could argue taking the bat out of Melky's hands for 2 pitches was a factor in them losing yesterday. I think it definitely played a part. How big of a part we'll never know. I always thought if Girardi as a really smart baseball guy. Not anymore. Not after the last 2 games of that homestand. I really hope someone questioned him on that call.

A-Rod had a monster day at the plate. He entered the day hitting .189, with 7 of his 10 hits being HRs. His 5-for-5 performance today raised that average 70 percentage points. Talk about being locked in. This should be a huge confidence booster for Alex. I know one huge game out of 17 isn't enough to go on, but he looked real good at the plate today. The only thing that's been missing this year for Alex was his timing. That wasn't a problem today. I don't see it being a problem from here on out.

Phil Hughes was outstanding today. If only he could pitch all of his games in Texas, right? In 2 career starts, Phil has thrown 14.1 IPs, allowing only 3 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 12 and allowing no runs. That's pretty damn impressive considering how hitter-friendly the Ballpark in Arlington is. He very well could have thrown a no-hitter in his first start there if not for getting injured. Phil looked great today. He was ahead of most batters, threw 65% of his pitchers for strikes, and only walked one. Frequent readers of this blog know I'm a big Hughes guy. Always have been, always will be. I've said it before and I'll say it again, in the long run he'll prove to be a better starter than Joba. I really he think he will be. Hughes has had a pretty solid year so far. He's now made 6 starts and only one has been bad. In his other 5, he's thrown 28 IPs and has allowed 24 hits, 12 walks and has struck out 25. He's gotten much better with the walks over the last 2 starts, allowing only 2 in 13 IPs. Roll those starts together and you've got a guy who's 3-1 and a 2.89 ERA. Not too shabby. The only think I want to see him improve on is his pitch count. He hasn't always been economical with his pitches. I hope he takes his start today and puts it into his memory bank. Draw from the experience and remember how you got things done. He's definitely earned another start in my book. Too bad Joe Girardi is running things. Who knows what he'll do?

Overall today's game was excellent. They got outstanding performances on both sides of the plate. Every Yankee that stepped up to the plate picked up a hit. Yes, even Nick Swisher. For those keeping track at home, that's 8 hits this month for Nicky Swish. In May, Swisher is hitting 8 for 65 (.123) with 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI (3 of which were from today), 14 BB, and 24 Ks. Let's compare that to the other option the Yankees have right now, Brett Gardner. In limited action, Brett is 10 for 32 (.313) with 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, 6 BB and 2 Ks. Now I'm not saying it's time to give the everyday CF job to Gardner (while moving Melky to RF), but it's worth looking at. It would definitely make the Yankees better defensively and it would arguably make them better offensively also. Sure Swisher walks a lot more, but you'd think he'd score more than 5 times. Gardner has 8 runs under his belt this month. I'd expect BG to score more hitting at the bottom of the order with the top of the order driving him in more often that the bottom of the order driving in Swisher. Again, I'm not saying they should make the move, but if they don't, they should at least consider moving Swisher down in the order to take advantage of his high OBP. He's not exactly driving in the runs. But again, it's Girardi we're talking about here. WWJD? What would Joe do? My money is on the wrong things.

It's JC in the place to be tomorrow. Go get 'em Justin.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,