I hope they keep a spare pair of dry pants in the YES booth at Yankee Stadium for Michael Kay…because Phil Hughes pitched a scoreless 7th inning out of the Yankees bullpen tonight!
O.K., kidding aside…and while Michael dreams about running with “Two Phils & A Mo” as his new catch phrase…Hughes did look really good this evening – pumping it in there at 94 and touching 95 once (by my count). And, even Andy Petitte, in the YES post-game coverage, said that Hughes’ ball was darting like Rivera’s fastball. So, maybe, if the Yankees are willing to give this a try, Hughes can be an important part of the bridge to Mariano?
Related, it was somewhat interesting to see Jason Isringhausen pitch in this game for the Rays…considering he was part of “Generation K” – the three big starter prospects for the Mets years ago…and now Hughes (part of the Yankees “Generation Trey”) is pitching out of the pen, in the same game, for the Yankees.
All told, a solid outing from Pettitte tonight. Hughes, Coke and Mo handled the back-end…although who will close tomorrow, now, in Boston, if needed, is anyone’s guess…considering how many days Rivera has pitched in a row. And, of course, the Yankees homerun bats were clicking – including a blast from Nick “Don’t Call Me Mr. May!” Swisher…who has been as hot this month, so far, as he was cold last month.
Nice to win this one before the big series up at the Fens. Game One of that series, for me, is key. A.J. Burnett, for the Yanks, against Josh Beckett, for the Red Sox. Beckett almost had a no-hitter in his last start and has a 0.40 ERA in his last three outings. But, the Yankees usually don’t roll over for him. Burnett? Who knows…
With Wang primed to pitch poorly on Wednesday, the Yankees need to win on Tuesday to set up Sabathia to win the series for them on Thursday. And, right now, the Yankees need to take at least two of these three games – to show Boston that they are not the same team who has lost to them all five times that they have faced each other to date.