Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hughes Leaves Game With Back Injury

The Yankees have removed Phil Hughes from this all important Game 3 of the ALCS with a herniated lumbar disc in his back. This came up after allowing a home run to Delmon Young, followed by a walk, and worked Peralta 0-2 before cursing and yelling pain after throwing a pitch. More to come when we have it but this is not good for Hughes or the Yankees.

My Optimistic Message To The Tigers For Tonight

That is all!

The Tale Of Two Phil Hughes Vs. Tigers

The Yankees will face Justin Verlander and the Tigers tonight in Game 2 of the ALCS and will be sending Phil Hughes to the mound for that task. Phil has faced the Tigers twice this season, both on the road in Comerica, and has had a mixed bag of results against them. In the first start on June 3rd, conveniently against Justin Verlander, Hughes threw a complete game with 8 K's while allowing 1 run and four hits. In his second start on August 7th, the day after Verlander threw, was not as good a start as his first. Hughes threw 4.1 IP while allowing 4 runs, all earned, and allowed a home run while collecting 4 K's. Not that you can judge anything by the way he pitched in the season and compare it to how he will pitch in the post season but this really shows us nothing. Which Phil Hughes will we see tonight? If the Yankees want to play past the weekend we better hope for the June 3rd Phil Hughes that out dueled Justin Verlander.

ALCS Game 4 : Yankees @ Tigers

Yankees offense still sucks

The Yankees backs are against the wall down 2-0 in the series losing both games at home. To make things better is that now they have to travel on the road to Comerica and the welcoming party will be headed up by Justin Verlander tonight. The Yankees offense is dead and could not score a run if Verlander walked the first three guys every inning it seems so to face a guy of his caliber does not seem ideal but the Yankees have had success against Verlander in the past, winning 2/3 this season alone. The Yankees season rests on the shoulders of Phil Hughes tonight who will make the start against Verlander and not CC Sabathia on three days rest. Which Hughes will we see tonight? Hopefully the one that takes advantage of the huge outfield in Comerica Park and keeps the ball where the outfielders can get to it. The game will be televised at 8:07 pm ET on TBS (I am sorry for the terrible commentary in advance).


1. Brett Gardner LF
2. Ichiro Suzuki RF
3. Mark Teixeira 1B
4. Robinson Cano 2B
5. Raul Ibanez DH
6. Russell Martin C
7. Erich Chavez 3B
8. Curtis Granderson CF
9. Eduardo Nunez SS

Go Yankees #27andCounting

Can Phil Hughes Be David Cone?

This is a really terrible comparison and I say that before I even go any further with this post so with that said let's get to business. As bleak as things look right now in Yankees land this is not the first time the Yankees have faced a situation like this and felt quite like this. Does anyone remember the 1996 World Series? The '96 World Series team that got spanked in Game 1 at home and then shut out 4-0 in Game 2 at home before going to Atlanta for the next 3 games?

Game 3 would be a great pitching match up featuring David Cone facing off with Tom Glavine for the Braves. The Yankees would end up winning the game 5-2 behind a gutsy performance by Cone who rushed back from a surgery in his shoulder that removed an aneurysm that was expected to keep him out the entire season. While Hughes has not had a similar surgery is it out of the realm of possibility that Hughes, like Cone in 1996, could defy the odds and win a game he probably was not expected to? I do not see why not. I mean it is worth noting that Andy Pettitte lost game 1 of the 2012 ALCS and 1996 World Series and is lined up to start the 2012 ALCS Game 5 while the Game 5 of the 1996 World Series game was the 1-0 duel with John Smoltz that turned the series around for good.

Long story short as bleak as things look now we have done it before and can do it again but it HAS to start tonight.

My Projected Game 3 Lineup

The Yankees offense is scuffling and the Yankees are facing Justin Verlander on the road tonight so our backs are obviously once again against the wall. The Yankees need a shot in the arm , and one in the butt if it gets the job done, and the lineup obviously couldn't hurt from a change or two. If I am filling out the lineup tonight in Detroit this is what I am penciling in. Love it, hate it, works, or fails I am sticking with who got me here so think of that before the hate comments from the arm chair managers out there.

1. Ichiro (CF)
2. Jayson Nix (SS)
3. Raul Ibanez (DH)
4. Robinson Cano (2B)
5. Mark Teixeira (1B)
6. Alex Rodriguez (3B)
7. Russell Martin (C)
8. Nick Swisher (RF)
9. Brett Gardner (LF)

I was almost tempted to start Gardner in the lead off spot but the 5-11 against Verlander career got overshadowed by the fact that he has only had 31 at bats all season long and probably has a little rust to him.  I am willing to live and die with guys like Teix, Arod, Cano, etc in the middle of the lineup. Batting Cano 2nd is absolutely ridiculous to me and part of the reason I just stayed away from the internet the last game. I am not starting Eric Chavez over Alex Rodriguez, left handed swinger or not, and I am not sitting Swisher over Granderson because at least Swisher will take a walk. Granderson is just lost out there right now and if he see's more then 4 pitches an at bat I consider it a good at bat for him. If I am going to go down I am going to go down with the guys that got me within a few wins of a World Series, not mixing and matching and showing my desperation on a sinking ship.

Dellin Betances, Others Bounce Back In AFL

Dellin Betances was rocked in his first start down in the Arizona Fall League, which was not much different then what happened to him all season long. It was his first start since being placed on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and inflammation so it was not exactly how you would like to see him bounce back. He took a step in the right direction last night thought for the Scottsdale Scorpions as he threw two scoreless innings with 4 K's while hitting 95 mph on the gun. Dellin also reported that he added a slider to his collection a couple of weeks ago in the Instructional Leagues so if he can harness that it would give him four pitches to work with.

Slade Heathcott, David Adams, and Austin Romine have all been hitting the ball well down in the AFL as well which is very encouraging. They are all hitting the ball well, taking their walks, and staying healthy which is more important then anything for guys like Slade and Austin especially. Slade was eve seen playing in RF for the first time ever because he is a CF by trade. David Adams also made an appearance or two back at 2B after being moved to 3B this season for defensive purposes, to get him on the fast track to the majors, and not that they would ever admit it but to have insurance for Alex Rodriguez if he can find a way to possibly decline any faster.

Gardner May Start Tonight Against Verlander, Tigers

Brian Cashman was on the Michael Kay show this morning and the hot topic, other then the slumping offense, Derek Jeter, and our impending elimination from the playoffs was Brett Gardner. Brian Cashman said that he would not count out Brett starting as early as tonight in Detroit stating that the outfield in Comerica is so large that the Yankees defense could benefit from it. Obviously they are skeptical since he has only had three at bats since coming off the DL with various elbow issues that kept him out for basically the entire season. Gardner is 5-11 against Verlander in his career though and as small of a sample size as that is it looks a whole lot better then the rest of the Yankees not named Ibanez have looked lately. Also I never heard of the Yankee Stadium fans hurting Brett Gardner's feelings... cheap shot I know. Keep your eye's here for the lineups and see if Girardi makes the move.

The Yankees & Our Old Friend Justin Verlander

The Yankees have their backs against the wall without the guy known most for producing with his back against the wall, Derek Jeter, as they travel to Comerica Park for Game 3 of the ALCS. The Yankees have no easy task either with their absolutely dead offense having to face off against the Tigers ace Justin Verlander tonight. The Yankees have had to face off with Verlander now three times this season but usually with CC Sabathia on the mound for us, not Phil Hughes, but the Yankees have probably done better then you think against Mr. Verlander this season.

On April 27th Verlander faced the Yankees in Yankees Stadium and granted this was very early in the season but he was held to only 6 IP while allowing 5 runs, 4 of them earned, while allowing 2 home runs and throwing over 100 pitches. Verlander would get the no decision in the start though but the Yankees would win the game. After getting knocked around his ERA was still only raised to 2.41 to give you an idea that he was still pitching dominantly even in the beginning of the season albeit not as dominant as he was in the latter parts of the season. He also only struck out four Yankees in the game.

On June 3rd the Yankees and the Tigers would face off again with Verlander on the mound but this time at home in Comerica Park for Justin. Different game about the same result though as he only pitched 6.1 IP and allowed 5 runs, 3 of them earned, while throwing 114 pitches and allowing 2 more home runs to the bombers. This time he would take the loss in the game and would drop his record to 5-4 and raise his ERA from 2.55 to 2.67. Once again he only struck out four Yankees in the game while they took pitches, fought off pitches, and made Justin have a long game.

August 6th these same two teams would match up YET again with Verlander on the mound in Comerica Park again. This time Justin Verlander would get the best of the Yankees while getting the win to improve his record to 12-7 and lowering his ERA from 2.80 to 2.73. Justin would pitch 8 IP on that night while throwing 132 pitches. He would allow 2 runs but neither of them were earned while striking out an insane 14 Yankees batters before leaving.

Can we base ANYTHING whatsoever off of this post? Absolutely not! The Yankees offense was a lot better in the first two starts then the last and light years better then than they are right now. Verlander seems to get stronger and better not only the deeper the game goes but the deeper the season goes so we will not see the same Verlander tonight that we saw in April and June. Can the Yankees beat Verlander, then win tomorrow with CC on the mound, and get back in this series? Absolutely we just have to do it, simple as that. We always have his kryptonite though if all else fails...