Lame pun? Yes. Still a huge game for Phil Hughes? Still yes.
The Yankees reaped the benefits of 7.2 innings of great pitching by Hughes today as they took down the Seattle Mariners 6-2. Hughes had four 1-2-3 innings in his best start since last August, and he took advantage of an early 4-0 lead to shut the Mariners down for the majority of the game. He struck out four and gave up just one run on six hits (the one run came courtesy of a solo blast by Mike Carp). Aside from the homer, Hughes allowed only two runners to reach second base in his outing today. He was relieved by Boone Logan with runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the eighth, and he received a great hand from the hometown crowd. Hughes deserved it—although the Mariners don't have a great offense, he needed a game like today to show Yankees management that he could still dominate against a major league club. Big ups to Phil today, let's see more of that in his next start against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday.
As previously mentioned, the Yankees staked Hughes to an early 4-0 lead as they went extra base hit-crazy against former Yankee Hector Noesi in the second inning. Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez, and Russell Martin each hit doubles to give New York a two-run lead, and number nine hitter Jayson Nix, starting at shortstop today while Derek Jeter received a half-day off at DH, deposited a two-run homer into the short porch in right field to cap the four-run frame. Noesi recovered to pitch decently for the rest of the game, but he still faced problems with the resurgent Ibanez, who clubbed a solo homer to the monuments in dead center field against him in the fourth. Ibanez is now 8-for-18 in his previous five games with two doubles and four homers. The Yankees finished their scoring with a sixth run in the eighth inning against reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, courtesy of a Jeter single, a stolen base, and a Robinson Cano single. Cano extending his hitting streak to the double digits and he is now 13-for-24 over his last six games. It's great to see the offense heating up after scuffling for a little while at the beginning of the month.
More notes from today:
- Logan finished the game and actually was credited with a save since he entered in a three-run game. He surrendered a run in the ninth on an RBI double that was originally called a homer but was overturned. As IGYAR pointed out on Twitter, it still seems silly that they need to bring in all the umpires to look at the replay instead of just calling up to someone in a booth. At least they're reviewing it at all, I suppose.
- Nix's homer was his first since June 8th of last year, when he was with Toronto.
- Noesi really did pitch a fine game after the poor second inning. He went seven innings for Seattle and gave up just two hits and one run after the second.
- The game was actually quite short, as the Time of Game was recorded at two hours, 36 minutes. Unusually fast for a Yankees game.
- The Yankees honored Hall of Famer Yogi Berra on his 87th birthday with a pregame ceremony, and the fans sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Cheers.
Comment of the Game: long time listener on Ibanez and Martin. He now has a two-vote lead over everyone in the CoG standings--everyone else, step your game up before he gets too cocky!