• August 20th @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (21)

    This one hurts.

    Down, 3-1, after two.
    Up, 4-3, after six.
    Down, 6-4, after seven.
    Tied, 6-6, after eight.
    And, then, losing it, 7-6, in ten.

    And, on a night that Boston and Seattle both won too.

    To come back, twice, and then blow it…well, like I said, it hurts.

    Comments on August 20th @ The Angels

    1. MJ
      August 21st, 2007 | 8:39 am

      This was a sloppy game played by the Yanks in the top halves of innings. Melky taking strike three down the middle on Andy Phillips’ steal attempt looked like a missed signal on a botched hit-and-run. A couple of meatballs that were taken down the middle and then followed up with GIDP’s. Not a fun game to watch on the overall.

      Toss in the fact that Phil Hughes still doesn’t look that great to me. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have it in him and that he’ll be a bust so don’t rain hate-mail on me. All I’m saying is that besides the no-hitter game in Texas, he’s looked very hittable and doesn’t have the velocity that people kept on talking about. I need to see more.

    2. August 21st, 2007 | 9:00 am

      My take on Hughes:

      6 big league starts – 2 of which were great, 5/1 and 8/10. Three were duds, 4/26, 8/4 and 8/20. And, the other game, 8/15, was acceptable.

      But, the thing to remember here is that he’s 21-years old. How many pitchers have been good, at that age, for the Yankees? See:

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/12/since_so_many_f.html

      Hughes will not be great this season – consistently – it just doesn’t happen at his age. Still, I’d take him in a minute over Igawa.

    3. antone
      August 21st, 2007 | 9:03 am

      Hughes problem right now is walks…in the two innings he gave up runs he walked some guys which hurt him…he had 5 walks in the game which is way too many…other than that I think he’s been good and if he can throw strikes more often I think he’ll be fine…honestly for his age he is doing great and I don’t think the Yankees could do much better for a 4th or 5th starter.

      This game hurt though…the Yankees haven’t really hit Escobar or Lackey well and Mussina hasn’t been all that great, so I think they needed to win this game tonight to win the series. I’m just hoping they can win 1 of the next 2 and hope Seattle finally loses a game or two.

    4. MJ
      August 21st, 2007 | 9:05 am

      Hey, I never said I didn’t want him on the Yanks or that I’d pick Igawa, Pavano, Wright, Brown, Vasquez, Loaiza, Contreras, Weaver or any of the other duds that Cashman has served us over the years. All I’m saying is that the hype was tremendous and, so far, he’s been anything but. And while I agree that velocity doesn’t mean much if you’re making guys swing and miss, he was advertised as a power pitcher and seems to be an 89-90 guy. I’m just wondering where the mph went from what we were told and what we’re seeing.

      The problem with criticizing someone on a blog is that no one understands the spirit of the criticism. I’m not hating on him, I’m just trying to figure out why I was told one thing and am being shown something different.

    5. August 21st, 2007 | 9:09 am

      ~~~All I’m saying is that the hype was tremendous and, so far, he’s been anything but. And while I agree that velocity doesn’t mean much if you’re making guys swing and miss, he was advertised as a power pitcher and seems to be an 89-90 guy. I’m just wondering where the mph went from what we were told and what we’re seeing.~~~

      Hey, I agree with you – and I’ve been saying this since the season started:

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2007/04/april_26th_vs_t_2.html

      The Andy Benes comp is looking more and more real to me these days, FWIW:

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2007/03/i_spy_with_my_l.html

    6. JeremyM
      August 21st, 2007 | 9:44 am

      Honestly, I thought his fastball looked pretty good–it had good movement, and people were swinging and missing at it or not making good contact, other than the meatball in the 2nd that scored the 3 runs. The problem was his lack of control, and he couldn’t throw his curve or change for strikes to save his life. My guess is something was mechanically wrong and once he gets that in line, the velocity will return and the strikes will come.

      This game definitely stung, and the worst part was the big hits came from two BUCs, one of whom looks at Wil Nieves’ career and is actually envious of it. (Well, I suppose I am too, I’d rather make a living playing ball myself:)

      As far as Sean Henn, come on. He gives up the fluke double, fine, but you have to bear down on a guy like Budde and not serve it on a tee for him. I just don’t see it in this guy, call up Britton already. I don’t think Britton is Joba or anything, but any improvement helps.

      Torre was definitely getting too cute with some of the plays he was calling, it really appeared Anaheim was in his head with some of the pitch outs, hit-and-runs, etc. I do think he handled the bullpen pretty well (I don’t like Henn but the options were pretty limited), although Vizcaino looks pretty fried and apparently has a sore arm.

      Mussina has to bring it tonight.

    7. JeremyM
      August 21st, 2007 | 9:49 am

      The meatball in the 2nd was a hanging curve, I’m a moron….

    8. Jason O.
      August 21st, 2007 | 10:05 am

      If Melky dives for that ball, he gives himself a chance to catch it.

    9. Santino53
      August 21st, 2007 | 10:37 am

      Doesn’t Cano own a piece of this loss with his
      shoddy defense in the first two innings ?

    10. Joel
      August 21st, 2007 | 10:41 am

      Angels 1, Joba Rules 0.

      That stadium is the freakin’ Temple of Doom for the Yanks. I don’t think I have one fond memory from that place.

      That said, I think you guys are being a bit hard on Hughes. His velocity was fine. He was consistently between 91-93. Rex Hudler of FSN West repeatedly said that hitters have commented that it looks more like 95 when it gets to them. He just was not consistently throwing his off-speed stuff for strikes. I would have liked to see him trust his fastball even more. His fastball has great late movement and hitters can’t seem to square it up.

      Hughes needs to pitch regularly now. He needs to get into a rhythm which I think will give him a better feel for his off-speed stuff. Without his best stuff, against the best home team in baseball, he left the game with a 4-3 lead in the 7th inning. A gutty performance.

    11. festus
      August 21st, 2007 | 10:52 am

      I understand the criticism and disappointment over Hughes in light of the hype over “Franchise,” but honestly, I sometimes wonder if you all are watching a different game from me when he pitches (it happens reading the Banter too). ESPN had his fastball consistently at 94. Maybe that’s high, but it’s a far cry from 89-90. I saw a gritty performance by a very young pitcher with only two bad innings (he only gave up 4 hits!) who struggled with control of all pitches (he was clearly overthrowing his fastball and trying too hard to place his curve and changeup on the corners). Those 3 runs in the 2nd might not have happened with better defense by Cano, and the 7th might not have happened without Torre trying to out-Scioscia Scioscia with inane pitchouts, endless throw-overs, etc. Sure, lots of woulda-coulda-mighta, but I think it’s still too early to say that Hughes can’t pull it together for a stretch run and be a consistent #3 starter. Hell, I would argue right now he looks better than any starter except Pettite. I thought the Yanks were unlucky last night — as always seems to be the case with the Angels — Mosely was waiting to implode, Bootcheck looked to me like he could’ve given up 7 runs (got saved by a couple lucky grabs), and Speier also looked bad (Giambi just missed one). It all came down to the soft underbelly of our bullpen, obviously not a strength. I hate losing late on those effing West Coast games.

    12. August 21st, 2007 | 11:09 am

      ~~~I understand the criticism and disappointment over Hughes in light of the hype over “Franchise,” but honestly, I sometimes wonder if you all are watching a different game from me when he pitches (it happens reading the Banter too). ESPN had his fastball consistently at 94. Maybe that’s high, but it’s a far cry from 89-90.~~~

      All I can say is, when I’ve seen it, I use the other pitchers in the same game as a compare. So, if the YES gun says that Hughes is throwing 89-91, and the same gun, in the same game, says that the Blue Jays AJ Burnett is throwing 96 (in the 7th inning) or that the Royals John Bale is throwing 90-91, then I have to accept the fact that Hughes is, indeed, throwing 89-91…or, then the gun is slow and Burnett is thowing 99 MPH late in a game, after a 100 or so pitches, and a nobody like John Bale is really throwing 93-94 MPH. Since I know there’s little chance that AJ is near triple-digits late in a game, and that Bale is throwing in the mid ‘90’s, I have to believe that the YES gun reading on Hughes is not far off when it shows 89-91 MPH for him. This make sense?

    13. Raf
      August 21st, 2007 | 11:44 am

      Personally, I think many of you are reading too much into the radar gun readings.

      Something that has bothered me about the bullpen management is the “reliever per inning” mindset. Granted, it may not have been the reason they lost last night, but it would’ve been nice to see someone go longer than an inning.

    14. festus
      August 21st, 2007 | 11:44 am

      Sure does. But I was only talking about last night, and what I saw on ESPN, admittedly without seeing every pitch. Incidentally, I don’t think Andy Benes is a bad comp at all, he was a very good pitcher for almost 10 years, underrated because his best years were with the Pads, and with less injuries might’ve been something real special. Though I’d be disappointed if that was his ceiling, it wouldn’t be a disaster if it turned out that way.

    15. August 21st, 2007 | 12:34 pm

      ~~~it wouldn’t be a disaster if it turned out that way.~~~

      Agreed.

    16. August 21st, 2007 | 1:48 pm

      ESPN’s gun had him consistently 94. hitting 95 and 96. realistically that means he was throwing 92, and hitting 94. his fastball wasn’t really getting hit – if he was ONLY throwing 90, then he made a lot of guys look bad with JUST 90 mph gas. he just has to get more consistent command of all his pitches, but that’s to be expected from a just-turned 21-year-old. his WHIP is less than pettitte, wang and moose, and .01 above roger. his OPS Against is lower than ANY of the big four. there’s been a lot of bad luck so far for him. but once it and his control improves a bit, watch out!

      i know you would love Hughes to turn into Benes just to prove you right. he’s made 6 starts (4 after missing 3 months) and you’re implying (you would never come out and say it) he’s a bust already?!

      take a look at the first two years of maddux and santana…

    17. Don
      August 21st, 2007 | 1:49 pm

      Melky took a bad angle to the ball and stupid Abreu sliding in Melky’s vision made the catch impossible.

      They would have lost eventually anyway. They lucked out with Farnsworthless to begin with.

    18. August 21st, 2007 | 2:35 pm

      ~~~take a look at the first two years of maddux and santana…~~~

      Agreed, I wrote that this time last year:

      “But, think about these facts. In his first season, Roger Clemens had an ERA of 4.32. In his first two seasons, Johan Santana had ERAs of 6.49 and 4.74. Greg Maddux, in his first full year, had an ERA of 5.61. The Big Unit, in his first full season, had an ERA of 4.82.

      Not every star pitcher breaks into the game like a Doc Gooden or Pedro Martinez. So, what happens to Hughes, if, in his first season in the Bronx, he posts an ERA of 4.80 in 30 starts?

      If you’re Chien-Ming Wang or Andy Pettitte and you do this, you will live to see another day. The hype was not there for them. But, for Philip Hughes, they way the Yankees and the media (and now the fans) speak of him, he almost has to win the Cy Young Award in his first season. And, is that going to happen?”

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/07/maybe_they_shou.html

    19. Josh
      August 21st, 2007 | 5:14 pm

      ~~~My take on Hughes:

      6 big league starts – 2 of which were great, 5/1 and 8/10. Three were duds, 4/26, 8/4 and 8/20. And, the other game, 8/15, was acceptable.~~~

      Steve,

      Did you actually watch the game last night? I doubt it, since if you did you couldn’t possibly call last night’s start a dud. Hughes actually pitched quite well except for the walks, left with a lead, and if Joe would have actually given him a chance to work out of the inning, could have finished the start giving up 3 runs in 7 innings. (He actually pitched better last night than on 8/15). I’ll take duds like that every time. You can’t blame Hughes for the Viz’s meltdown.

      As for the rest of the game, once you go to Henn in the 10th you are pretty much conceding the loss. Reminded me of Jeff Weaver agst. the Marlins.

    20. brockdc
      August 21st, 2007 | 5:35 pm

      Watching Hughes pitch last night – I was at the game in Anaheim – the thing that stood out most was the kid’s poise. He just does not seem to get rattled, regardless of the situation; and I think that bodes well for him down the road.

      With that said, Hughes does not come as advertised. He is a control pitcher with a sneaky fastball (He was consistently hitting 90-91 on the Angel’s Stadium gun, as was his counterpart). I remember reading something about him having an exploding fastball earlier in the season, but that just does not seem to be in his arsenal at this point. It’s still fun and rewarding to watch young, talented, farm-raised guys pitch though.

    21. August 21st, 2007 | 8:12 pm

      ~~~Hughes actually pitched quite well except for the walks~~~

      That’s like saying Tony Womack hit well as a Yankee – except for the outs that he made.

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