The Franchise

The prospect we’ve all been salivating over for the last couple of years is Phil Hughes. He’s pitched well enough for a 21-year-old, thus far, with some moments of brilliance. Last night he went 6.1, which was probably .1 too far, and the result was an additional 2 runs to the 3 he had already given up. It was a game effort. He showed 3 good pitches (fastball, curve, change), but had trouble with control, which he needs for success. I suspect some YFs out there are a bit disappointed, if not a bit concerned, especially when viewing Hughes’s performance thus far through the lens of the phenomenon that has become Joba Chamberlain. Hughes has shown periods of dominance, but for the most part he has been just solid—which is no small accomplishment. Expecting more from him this early is probably both unfair and unreasonable; still, I think many of us are wondering if and when he will bloom into a true ace. It’s going to be fun to watch his development.

15 comments… add one
  • He gave us a chance to win. And the Yanks got _many_ hits, just not many runs, except for the big HR’s.
    Tough game with some tough breaks though.

    Lar August 21, 2007, 10:21 am
  • As someone (YF?) pointed out in response to my hand wringing last night, all we really need Hughes to do is be better than Kei Igawa. Which, we can all agree, he has done spectacularly well.
    I’m not sure I agree that he shouldn’t have come out for the 7th, though. His pitch count was relatively low (~80) and he had been cruising the previous few innings. However, I do think he should’ve been pulled after he allowed that first baserunner.
    Lar: they did get big HRs! Two of them, in fact. It just wasn’t enough in the end, unfortunately.

    Seriously, kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 21, 2007, 11:24 am
  • 3 runs in 6.1 innings that fatured pretty shaky Yankee defense against one of the most aggressive offensive teams in baseball is not a cause for any concern from me at all. I think the kid is fine.

    IronHorse-YF August 21, 2007, 11:27 am
  • In all honesty, Yanks looked tired last night, with all the mental miscues. Hopefully it was just a matter of a long flight/jetlag and they’ll adjust tonight. With Moose on the mound, they’ll have to! Lord knows, had it been Moose up there last night when Cano booted the grounder in the first inning, they might’ve been down 5 or 6 before you could say rally monkey…
    (Disclaimer: Moose is one of my favorite players, always was, still is).

    Seriously, kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 21, 2007, 11:33 am
  • I agree YM – they looked and played tired. Some poor at-bats and some sloppy defense. I really like Cano but I think Torre should sit him for Betemit tonight – he was probably the sloppiest and, if nothing else, he needs to get a message.
    And I want Giambi DH’ing instead of Damon today even though I still feel Damon is due for a big end-of-season…I just want Giambi’s bat but not at the expense of defense…not vs. the constantly-bunting Angels.
    And I will be holding my breath with Mussina on the mound.

    Sanity August 21, 2007, 11:44 am
  • For some reason, my tagline was changed from IronHorse to “Sanity” in that last post – should I take it personally???

    Iron Horse (yf) August 21, 2007, 11:50 am
  • Cruising around the various Yankee blogs this a.m., it really made me chuckle to see how short a fuse the fans have. “Oh noes, he sucks, trade him while he has any value left!!!11!!!1”
    And then we act surprised that Torre doesn’t give rookies a chance to prove themselves. Do we? Sheesh, people, chill out.

    Seriously, kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 21, 2007, 11:53 am
  • The alarmism over Hughes is RIDICULOUS and reflects nothing more than unrealistic expectations. We in Yankee-land excel at this. I want the Yankees to win the World Series every year, but I know it won’t happen and if the Yankees even miss the playoffs this year, my concern will NOT be “what’s wrong with this team” – it will be “will Steinbrenner now pull out from Cashman and give back to the Tampa cohort the support he finally gave to Cashman last year, because I want Cash to be in position to keep going on this re-building-while-competing plan which is the ONLY way for long-term success and consistency”. Unrealistic expectations from fans and ownership lead to over-reactions an lack of patience in developing talent.
    Newsflash: Hughes is 21!!!!! I believe that makes him the youngest starter in the entire league. So far his numbers are hugely better than Kei and even comparable to the other Yankee starters.

    Iron Horse (yf) August 21, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • I don’t think anyone is starting to panic Iron Horse. Informed Yankee fans understand that Hughes is a work in progress and most definitely an upgrade now and forever over Igawa.
    Unfortunately I cannot comment on last night’s game I missed it completely, first game all season.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 21, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Trisk, the keyword there is “informed”. A vast number of fans are not informed. He’s already being called a dud, the next coming of Brad Radke, etc etc. Stupid? Yes.
    The annoying thing about last night’s game is that, aside from some sloppy plays and the outcome, it was one of the best games I’ve watched this season. Tight, tense throughout. Lead changes. Clutch home runs. Great defensive plays. Had the Yankees won, it would’ve been a worthy candidate for the Yankees Classics. Alas….

    Seriously, kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 21, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • The problem last night was control, esp of the fastball. It’s a reasonable assumption that the cause is all the missed time. Since control has been one of Hughes” strongsuits in the minors, with time I think it will come, and we’ll see better results.

    Andrews August 21, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • As soon as Hughes walked the last batter he faced, I told myself (and some friends): that’s it, the Yankees lost. And lo and behold, Vizcaino came in, due for some hits with a season .203 BAA, and gave up those hits.
    Then I told myself, even after the Posada homerun, yeah, here comes Farnsworth to blow it, and lo and behold, he let the first two runners on, and soon it was second-and-third with only one out, tied at six. I was convinced, hell, even rooting for Farnsworth to fail (so I could finally go to bed). When Betemit made that great play, I couldn’t believe it, but when Farnsworth struck out the next guy, I started to believe.
    Then Jeter walked, then K-Rod balked, and at that point, with Jeter on second, A-Rod on deck, the Yankees HAD to win. Just get A-Rod to the plate in the ninth, and good things will happen. But, Abreu struck out, and I knew the Yankees would lose. I went to bed. They lost.
    I hate West Coast games.

    Anonymous August 21, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • TM – that’s what I said – they didn’t get runs _except_ for the HR’s. And kept on getting double plays to kill rallys (including the throw Andy out..)

    Lar August 21, 2007, 1:56 pm
  • anyone who actually watched last night game and said they should trade hughes must be a fan of another team.

    Sam-YF August 21, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Ditto to Sam. If every rookie pitcher could give up only three runs over 6.1 against the team with the second best record in the league while backed by shoddy defense and playing on the road, the veterans would be out of jobs fast.

    Iron Horse (yf) August 21, 2007, 5:04 pm

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