Apr 14, 2008


In a way, I preferred Hughes' start tonight (looked great, struggled with control) to a game where he looked merely good while pitching a little better. We all saw the future ace: the 90-94 mph fastball, the knee buckling curve and a solid changeup. I prefer a glimpse of that to a slightly better pitched game. After all, it's just one game in a career we hope will last 15+ years.

The problem stemmed from the first batter, when the ump squeezed Hughes into a walk. A poor throw by Molina (on a steal) allowed Ellsbury to advance to 3rd. That seemed to rattle Hughes, who walked three and allowed six hits in 3+ innings. His fastball command was inconsistent (his problem in KC too), although his curve was phenomenal. It's a matter of consistency and getting used to cold weather, ML hitters, foreign mounds and last but not least: maturing mentally - he's barely old enough to drink.

His biggest problem is trying to be too fine. He's trying to make a perfect pitch every time - he just has to let it fly sometimes. Maybe it gets hit, maybe it doesn't, but don't walk the guy. He actually k'ed more guys than Matsuzaka, despite pitching 3 fewer innings: two on the curve, one on a 93-mph heater. It was the great curve that I haven't seen since his no-hitter last May 1.

And talk about a poor return. Matsuzaka threw 116 pitches in just 5 innings while allowing 11 baserunners. $100+ million for that guy?! I know, Igawa sucks too, but he costs half as much. Both have been disappointing to say the least.

It would be very nice to see Ian Kennedy pitch a good game tomorrow night. We need it to restore faith in our youngsters that some 'fans' have already lost. Patience please - Hughes is the youngest pitcher in all MLB and the youngest player in the AL. And Kennedy is just 23.

Update 1:10 a.m.: Shit. Jose Molina strained his hammy in the 4th inning and his status for tomorrow is TBD but the Yanks are going to add a catcher to the roster.

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