Young Andy Sonnanstine came into this game, for Tampa Bay, with an ERA of 6.38 is his career 16 big league starts. What does he do to the Yankees tonight? He throws 8 innings – facing just 3 batters over the minimum during that period.
Sonnanstine didn’t just fall out of a tree. He was awesome in Double-A last year and did very well in A-ball the year before that one. His game is one based on great command and changing speeds. He’s got some talent and skills and is capable of shutting down a big league team, even at his young age, once in a while, like he did to the Yankees tonight.
Young Phil Hughes, also full of talent and skills, came into this game, for New York, with an ERA of 5.35 is his career seven big league starts. What did he do for the Yankees tonight? He throws 4.3 innings – allowing 11 of the 24 batters that he faced in that time to reach base. In terms of “stuff,” Hughes was averaging 92 MPH on his fastball in the first 4 innings of this game. But, when Phil came out to pitch in the fifth inning, his fastball was closer to 90 MPH – and, in fact, his last fastball of the game was clocked at 88 MPH. Once he got near 90 pitches this evening, Hughes basically ran out of gas.
On a night where Seattle lost again and where Boston lost a heart-breaker in Fenway, it would have been great to see Phil Hughes pitch more like Andy Sonnanstine did tonight, and vice versa, and have the Yankees win in a romp today – instead of having Tampa Bay take New York to school. Alas, it was not to be…and that’s a shame.