Apr 4, 2008

Great start

from Phil Hughes, not just for the 6 ip, 2 er last night, but a great way to start the season. His fastball was lively, although it didn't show in the YES gun readings (which ranged from 88-91, and one 95er in the 6th), and he complemented it with a sharp but relatively inconsistent curve. If he showed better command of the curve, I believe we're looking at a 6 ip, 0 er performance. But that will only improve with experience - after all, he's (again) the youngest pitcher in all MLB (21). He also threw at least two changeups, inducing Matt Stairs to groundout. To be honest, only one ball was hit well: Rios' RBI single. Eckstein's double was a blooper, and Arod allowed a grounder to bounce off his glove for a single.

Dustin McGowan has pretty nasty stuff, although he struggled to control it at times. If Toronto's rotation stays healthy, they actually have a chance to do some damage - the problem is going to be their offense: outside of Rios, no one scares me in that lineup.

Billy Traber and Brian Bruney made their season debuts, looking rather impressive. Traber k'ed Overbay (his only batter), and Bruney induced a groundout and a pop out after falling behind 2-0 (of course) on his first batter. Joba pitched a 1 K, 1 hit 8th (hitting 98 on the gun), and Rivera gave us all a heart attack as he let the leadoff hitter reach 3rd before striking out Aaron Hill to end it.

It's probably too early for a 'turning point' game, but if not, this is a candidate. The Yankee offense was dead through five, and it looked like they would drop the series to a good division rival. The hitters finally woke up just enough to scratch across two runs in the 6th, and then a third in the 8th. Arod had another strikeout in a key situation: 6th inning, 2nd and 3rd, no outs, down by one (Wednesday's game it was bottom of the 9th, 1st and 2nd, no outs, down by three).

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