• September 27th @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 27th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    I met a friend for dinner tonight at “The Thirsty Turtle.” (Really, that was the name of the place.) It’s a casual setting. No complaints on the service or food. If in the area, I would go there again.

    It’s about 50 miles north of my house. So, I had a bit of a drive home.

    I decided to listen to this game on X-M Radio – which picks up the feed of the home-team broadcasters. I think the Rays’ radio guys were Andy Freed and Dave Wills. In any event, I thought they did a pretty good job doing the game. It was a nice change to hear the Yankees covered from someone other than Sterling and Waldman. (And, it reminded me of days gone by when the Rays’ radio guys mentioned that some of the remaining Tampa Bay games would not be on TV. Remember what it was like before every game was on TV? We really are lucky in New York these days.)

    I got home just in time to see Jose (the new Luis Sojo) Molina get the hit to break the tie in the game. Between listening to the Rays’ radio broadcast, and seeing the game on YES from the point that I got home, I was impressed with Phil Hughes tonight. I think Al Leiter made a good point on YES when he said that Hughes using all his pitches made his fastball feel electric – even though it was on the gun around 88-91.

    If you ignored the radar readings, and went by batter’s reactions, it looked like Hughes was over-powering this evening. Joe Torre, in his post-game, even said that this was Hughes best start – even better than his “no-hitter” in Texas.

    Getting Hughes peaking at this point is great news for the Yankees. They’re going to need some Roger Clemens insurance – between Rocket’s elbow and hammy – and there’s a chance that Hughes might be called upon to be a big part of the Yankees chances this October. If Phil throws like he did tonight, that will be awesome for the Yankees.

    Nice moments for Gonzalez and Sardinha today as well – both getting their first big league hits. It will be night that they both will always remember.

    Lastly, how ’bout those Amazin’s? It’s almost time to tell the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers to move over, huh? I still feel sorry for Willow. This is something that he does not deserve to have on his resume.

    Comments on September 27th @ The Devil Rays

    1. baileywalk
      September 28th, 2007 | 12:58 pm

      What lightning flash went off in the minds of Phil and the organization that they finally had him throw all his pitches? He had been throwing the change a bit more in recent starts, but tonight we saw some sliders too. Phil was mostly a two-pitch pitcher in Trenton, and he specifically said he needed to work on his change in AAA after a disappointing spring training. He did do that and we saw a great change in his near-no-hitter, but after that it seemed to disappear. When he came back from the DL all we saw were curves and fastballs. It stayed that way even through a few bad starts. But now, finally, he’s using all his pitches again and he looks great.

      “I think Al Leiter made a good point on YES when he said that Hughes using all his pitches made his fastball feel electric – even though it was on the gun around 88-91.”

      That’s true of all pitchers, so it’s true of Hughes too, but it also doesn’t make sense. When Hughes was in the minors, he was always clocked at 90-94 (that’s according to his pitching coach, who never exaggerated what Phil brought to the table — in fact, he tried to keep him humble with his assessment). Before Phil throws a single breaking ball or off-speed pitch, he’ll throw a fastball to a hitter that registers 90 or 91 and they swing through it like it’s 95. Batters swing through his fastball or foul it off like it’s 93+ even before they SEE his other pitches. So that theory doesn’t exactly hold with him. Whatever it is — if something prevents him from clocking right, if it’s his motion — Hughes may in reality somehow be throwing 90, but he’s not — it’s not the same “90″ you see coming out of the hand of Mike Mussina or Ian Kennedy.

      Torre said this was his best start, even better than Texas. I don’t think so. But I would put it up there in the top three. He looked very confident, which is the best thing.

    2. Pete
      September 28th, 2007 | 2:33 pm

      Is it me, or is there a ‘Thirsty Turtle’ in just about every city in America? ;-)

    3. September 28th, 2007 | 2:52 pm

      FWIW, when I heard ‘Thirsty Turtle’ – my first thought was…that sounds like something that you’d find in a Kama Sutra book.

    4. baileywalk
      September 28th, 2007 | 4:02 pm

      FWIW, when I heard ‘Thirsty Turtle’ – my first thought was…that sounds like something that you’d find in a Kama Sutra book.

      You have a very sick mind, Mr. Lombardi. Jussst kidding…

    5. September 28th, 2007 | 8:01 pm

      LOL – and I try and keep it under control too!

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