Friday, July 17, 2009

Yanks Open 2nd Half With A 5-3 Win Over Tigers

The comeback kids did it again. Tonight's come from behind win was a nice way to start the 2nd half of the season. I think I heard them say after the game that the Yanks have won the first game after the break 8 straight years now. Like Phil Hughes' outing tonight, impressive.

Phil Hughes looked really good tonight. I mean really good. He was very sharp. He hit 97 on the gun and threw 30 of his 40 pitches for strikes. That's an outstanding strike-to-ball ratio. What was most impressive was the fact that all 6 outs came via the strikeout. Phil has been the man since joining the bullpen. Tonight was Phil's 14th relief appearance of the season. He's allowed only 2 earned runs and those came in his 2nd outing. Here's Phil's line as a reliever: 20.1 IP, 10 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB, and 25 K. That's an ERA of 0.89. Woah. I'll say it again. Woah. Talk about lights out. Looks like he'll be Mo's setup man for the foreseeable future. Phil has definitely been pitching with a lot more confidence lately. When the time comes for Phil to go back to the rotation, and that time will come, I hope he brings that confidence with him. He's going to be the man.

A.J. Burnett on the other hand was not so sharp. A.J. finished the 1st half of the season on a very strong note. A.J. has pitched extremely well since 5/27. Prior to tonight, he was 6-2 in his last 8 starts. His line over those 8 games: 49.1 IP, 39 hits, 11 ER, 26 BB, 51 K. That's pitching to a tune of a 2.01 ERA. A.J. was OK tonight. He wasn't bad. He wasn't good. His control wasn't there. He walked 5, hit 1, and threw only 55% of his pitches for strikes. Not good. I'll give him credit for only giving up 3 runs. It could have been a lot worse but he battled his way thru his outing and kept it close. A.J. had a great second half last year, going 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA and he lost his 1st start after the 2008 break. I'm expecting a big 2nd half from Burnett.

5 guys tonight had multi-hit games. Good stuff. The big offense of the night came courtesy of Mark Teixeira. Teix went 3-for-5 and his 3-run dinger in the 7th was the big deathblow. Teixeira is another guy I'm expecting to have a big 2nd half. Teixeira has the rep from being a slow starter and getting better as the season moves along. He definitely got hot after the first month of the season and cooled a little. His 2nd half is off to a great start. His HR was his 2nd in his last 5 games. It looks like his stroke his returning and that 23 game homerless streak is a thing of the past. Keep it going Teix.

Mariano came in and did what he does best. Mo now hasn't given up a run in his last 11 games. He's been absolutely awesome over that stretch, giving up only 4 hits in 11.1 IP. 4 hits. That's it. No walks. No runs. 11 Ks. Mo is the greatest of all time. 'Nuff said.

Marquee matchup tomorrow afternoon as CC matches up against Justin Verlander. Should be a war. Go Yanks.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,