• August 17th vs. The Royals

    Posted by on August 17th, 2008 · Comments (29)

    So, this is how the other teams (and their fans) must feel when they get to face Ian Kennedy or Kei Igawa. Cool.

    When was the last time that the Yankees scored 10 runs at the start of a game before their opponent’s starter was able to retire four New York batters in the contest? Well, according to my quick research…it has never happened since 1956 – and do not have access to data before that time.

    So, what you saw in this game was something special.

    In fact, before today, since 1956, there have been only 3 starting pitchers to allow the Yankees scored 8 runs in a game before retiring 4 batters in their start: Ryan Drese in 2002, Mark Langston in 1995 and Fergie Jenkins in 1980. Rare stuff, indeed.

    Meanwhile, it was not all puppy dogs and cupcakes in Yankeeland today. Phil Hughes got beat-up down in Triple-A this evening. And, this was against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs – who, with an average of 3.83 runs scored per game coming into this contest, are the worst offensive team in the International League.

    I’ll have to defer to the various members of the Phil Hughes Apologists Association to provide the litany of excuses for young Mr. Hughes’ poor effort today.

    Comments on August 17th vs. The Royals

    1. hallofamer2000
      August 17th, 2008 | 11:31 pm

      It’s one bad start. It happens. Life will go on.

      Actually, no. They should release him. He’s 22 and coming off an injury. He should be striking out 20 every single game.

    2. JeremyM
      August 17th, 2008 | 11:49 pm

      Really, Steve, why does it make you happy when Hughes sucks? I don’t get it. I know the Yankees blinders thing and all of that, and I appreciate that you were never a believer in the guy, yet I can’t understand the delight you seem to have in his failures.

    3. AndrewYF
      August 17th, 2008 | 11:57 pm

      I dunno, not really wise to make a snarky comment, when Hughes shut down by far the best International League team two times in a row. Of course, these are AAA teams, so either way you win! Congratulations Steve, your happiness is derived from something that hurts the Yankees. What a fan you are.

    4. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 1:39 am

      Just can’t win… So Kennedy performs well against a poor offensive club and you come after him for that, Hughes doesn’t perform well against a poor offensive club, and you come after him for that…

      Meh… Whatever

    5. Jake1
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:33 am

      I don’t see the big deal about Hughes.

      He has average stuff. His fastball is major league avg at 93 tops. What does he do that blows you away?

      He doesn’t have a third pitch.

      I don’t see front line starter from this guy. I see maybe a #3.

      The hype is crazy. Because a few publications named him a top prospect?

      Not getting Santana for him cost us a title this yr and next.

    6. dgreen323
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:35 am

      By Phil Hughes Apologists Association, do you mean Yankee fans? A commenter above says you were never a believer in the guy? Why would that be?

      He dominated the minor leagues. Had a no-hitter going in his second career start before a freak hamstring injury. Came back and took his lumps, as you’d expect from a 21 year old, without his best stuff, but then followed that up with a gutsy performance in the playoffs. Then this year, after a fine first start, broke a rib somewhere along the way but didn’t realize how serious it was so he pitched through it.

      Now he’s had one bad start during his rehab stint and you can’t help but pat yourself on the back using this as proof that Hughes is a flop.

      As a Yankee fan, I don’t really get why you take satisfaction in his bad start? I’d also love to hear your reasoning for why you never believed in Hughes in the first place.

    7. MJ
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:37 am

      Just can’t win… So Kennedy performs well against a poor offensive club and you come after him for that, Hughes doesn’t perform well against a poor offensive club, and you come after him for that…

      Meh… Whatever
      ———————————–
      Well said.

      Your dislike of Hughes is inexplicable. You’ve hardened your position on him to the point that you’re incapable of even being indifferent. You could’ve merely reported that he pitched poorly. Or you could’ve avoided the topic altogether since you don’t often report on the day-to-day goings on of minor leaguers. But you decided to write and make a snarky comment because it was Hughes.

    8. dgreen323
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:45 am

      The thing is he never had an average fastball until he came back from the hamstring last year. If you remember his 2 starts against Toronto and Texas before that injury, he consistently hit 94-95. Combine that with a plus curveball and that’s where all the hype comes from.

      He inexplicable didn’t have that velocity at the end of last yr or the beginning of this year, but from all reports on his rehab, before this last start he was consistently in the mid-90′s again. He’s going to be fine.

      Do you know how many other 22 year old starting pitchers were in rotations coming into this year. One. Felix Hernandez. Pitching isn’t easy, and it takes time to develop. You have to be patient.

      Though I totally get the converse point. F*** patience. Let’s just trade all youth for 30 year old superstars and win the world series every single year…forever. I mean there’s no flaws to that argument or anything.

    9. August 18th, 2008 | 9:45 am

      I shared the basis for my opinion on Hughes six months ago:

      http://waswatching.com/2008/02/10/keanu-hughes/

      And, since, during that time, he’s only pitched poorly and spent three months on the DL when not pitching poorly. So, I see no reason to change my feelings about him.

    10. dgreen323
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:51 am

      So you have a bad vibe about him. And since developing this vibe, he tried to pitch through a broken rib and struggled because of it, which obviously confirms your initial clairvoyant thoughts. Got ya.

    11. blaze9
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:12 am

      I’ve been reading this blog for about three years now. I’ve never bothered to create a username b/c I never post. But this Phil Hughes thing has become absurd. He has been great in all of his other rehab outings. His velocity has been as originally advertised (90-94, touching 95 and 96) and now after one single bad rehab start, it warrants a featured spot on the blog, as if it is demonstrative of the kind of pitcher he is. I can’t deal with this site anymore. The bizarre, negative bias against Phil Hughes has become untenable, and actually really obnoxious to me for some reason. And so in essence, I finally created a username to say I’m finished reading this site. Later.

    12. August 18th, 2008 | 10:15 am

      dgreen323 – Was his rib broken last night too?

    13. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:28 am

      So you have a bad vibe about him. And since developing this vibe, he tried to pitch through a broken rib and struggled because of it, which obviously confirms your initial clairvoyant thoughts. Got ya.
      ————
      In fairness, this was also written in that entry;

      “Don’t get me wrong. I still also feel the way I did five months ago when I wrote: “Hopefully, I’m worrying about nothing here and there will be a seat left for me on that [band]wagon when Hughes is a star for the Yankees.”

      I would love to be totally wrong about “Keanu Hughes” – and, I will confess to being wrong about, every time, when Hughes goes on to be a star. And, I will do it happily. But, for now, I have to stick to my gut feeling on this one – and, wait for that day when I am proven wrong about Phil Hughes.”

    14. dgreen323
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:39 am

      Steve – Yeah, he probably, did. Since obviously the only justifiable reason for a pitcher to have a bad outing would be that he has a serious injury. Otherwise, it just means he’s awful.

    15. ken
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:55 am

      Gosh, why would any young pitching prospect ever want to come up in the Yankee organization? One or two bad outings as a 21yo and you’re washed up and overrated!

      Not to say that Hughes will definitely develop, but give him a break.

      Take the great, established pitchers and see what they looked like in their first season or two.

    16. August 18th, 2008 | 11:08 am

      Ken – I did that, FWIW…

      http://tinyurl.com/6gkd8n

    17. ken
      August 18th, 2008 | 11:15 am

      Steve- I had a feeling you’d come up with something like this. But I’m certain that there are other pitchers with bad starts and great careers. (Or, at least I hope there are.)

    18. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 11:28 am

      (Side note: Between Livan and Javy, in 2003, what were the Expos feeding their starting pitchers that season?)
      —————-
      Insert “PED joke” here :D

      Whatever it was, it didn’t take with the rest of the staff; looks like it was just those two that had outstanding years.

      Looking at the numbers, it appears the offense (or lack thereof) & defense doomed the ‘spos that year.

    19. antone
      August 18th, 2008 | 11:42 am

      I don’t know why you guys get all bent out of shape over Steve’s opinion on Hughes. It’s his opinion and his blog, so he had every right to tell us how he feels about Hughes. If you guys don’t like it then don’t read.

      Not to mention, the comment section has been dead around here and then Steve makes one comment about Hughes and peopel start popping up out of the woodworks.

      We all have our certain players who we don’t like for our own personal reasons. Steve just happens to have a blog and puts it out there for all of us to see. If Hughes has a good career, I guarantee Steve will admit he is wrong about Hughes, but until that happens he has every right to speak his mind otherwise.

      I’m so sick and tired of the no-hitter excuse. How many crap pitchers have pitched no-hitters? It doesn’t mean much to me, it was just one night.

      I would not say that Hughes is a bum and he is definitely still young and I think he has a lot of promise but I can’t blame Steve for having his doubts. It’s not encouraging for him to get lit up by a minor league team. I don’t expect him to pitch well this season when he comes up again if he’s getting lit up by a minor league team, even if it was only once. That just seems to tell me that whatever was wrong with him before is still not 100% fixed.

    20. dgreen323
      August 18th, 2008 | 11:44 am

      Ken – don’t ever judge things based on perceptions, things you’re “certain” are true without any research to back it up. That’s where you get into trouble.

      As for this piece, most of those guys were not dynamos from the start. Steve even closes that post saying: “This study suggests, to me, that, come 2010, the second season of the new Yankee Stadium, if Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy are not effective major league pitchers, there’s a good chance that they may never be star pitchers in the bigs.”

      This is a fair assessment. According to that post it’s basically 50/50 between being above average from the start and taking anywhere from 1 to 3 seasons to figure things out. It is currently late 2008, far from the 2010 season mentioned above. Phil Hughes has not yet thrown 100 major league innings yet.

      It is not enough to preach patience when assessing young pitchers. You have to actually practice it too.

    21. August 18th, 2008 | 12:02 pm

      Here’s one for the fans of Phil:

      http://tinyurl.com/5qu2sr

      FYI.

    22. Tresh Fan
      August 18th, 2008 | 1:09 pm

      To date I can think of only two (2) HS pitchers that were selected in the first round of the annual June Amateur Draft by the Yankees that have gone on to appear in a major league game for the Bombers. One is Phil Hughes(2004). Who is the other? The answer will tell you all you need to know about wasting your 1st round pick on HS pitchers.

    23. MJ
      August 18th, 2008 | 1:23 pm

      To date I can think of only two (2) HS pitchers that were selected in the first round of the annual June Amateur Draft by the Yankees that have gone on to appear in a major league game for the Bombers. One is Phil Hughes(2004). Who is the other? The answer will tell you all you need to know about wasting your 1st round pick on HS pitchers.
      —————————————–
      Have other HS pitchers taken in the first round panned out? That’s the better question. I don’t think it’s inherenly because the Yankees draft them that they might fail.

    24. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 2:59 pm

      Have other HS pitchers taken in the first round panned out?
      ————-
      Using the criteria stated above (they’ve gone on to appear in a ML game), we have

      2006: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
      2005: Ryan Tucker, Marlins
      2004: Homer Bailey, Reds, some guy named Phil Hughes
      2003: John Danks, Rangers, Chad Billingsley, Dodgers

      That’s all I’ve got for now… Check thebaseballcube.com for others.

    25. Tresh Fan
      August 18th, 2008 | 9:57 pm

      Raf, the actual criteria is HS pitchers selected in the first round that first appeared in a MLB game for the team that drafted them. There may be a good number of HS pitcher 1st rounders who got to the bigs after getting traded as a minor leaguer to another organization. HS pitcher Scott McGregor was a 1st Round pick for the Yankees (1972) who went on to become a 20 game winner—for the Baltimore Orioles. That’s not the point. You don’t spend a 1st round pick on a HS pitcher thinking that in a few years you can include him in a deal for aging mediocrity like Ken Holtzman. You make the pick thinking that he’ll be a franchise fixture for years to come. And that, I believe, is naive at best.

    26. August 18th, 2008 | 10:06 pm

      FYI, this just in from the President of the Phil Hughes Apologists Association…

      http://tinyurl.com/6q27lo

      ~~~[Phil] had a rough outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Sunday night, allowing five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. But it might not have hurt his stock, as Cashman said Hughes had “a bug.”

      “He was feeling under the weather,” Cashman said, adding, “it explains a lot of things.”~~~

      That’s the thing with Hughes. There’s always an excuse when he doesn’t pitch well, right?

    27. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:30 pm

      Raf, the actual criteria is HS pitchers selected in the first round that first appeared in a MLB game for the team that drafted them.
      ———–
      I believe the pitchers listed fit the criteria.

    28. Raf
      August 18th, 2008 | 10:31 pm

      That’s the thing with Hughes. There’s always an excuse when he doesn’t pitch well, right?
      ————
      Seeing as some come up with excuses when he does pitch well, I guess it’s only fair ;)

    29. August 19th, 2008 | 9:17 am

      Actually, do a search of WW and you’ll see that I’ve called Hughes a hero when he pitched well for the Yankees.

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