Sometimes we dread days that Phil Hughes starts because, well, Phil usually isn't very good. Coupled with the dreary weather, and it seemed like it might be one of those days. And it was, but fortunately it was for the guys not wearing the pinstripes.
Hughes took the mound on Labor Day 2013 looking to do something in September that he failed to do in all of August: win a game. He opposed Jose Quintana, who shut down the Yankees as part of Chicago's embarrassing August sweep.
After Hughes managed to make it through the top of the first inning unscathed, Brett Gardner continued his recent string of extra base hits with a leadoff double that was immediately followed by a Derek Jeter single that gave the Yankees the game's first run and the lead. In the top of the second the rains came to interrupt what would surely have been a complete game shutout by Hughes, who was replaced after a two-hour delay by David Huff. Quintana would be relieved Dylan Axelrod.
Act II of the game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Yankees put together their most productive inning of the 2013 season. Get a snack, because this may take a while. Here we go: (takes deep breath) Alex Rodriguez double, Vernon Wells single, Curtis Granderson walk, Mark Reynolds single, Austin Romine single, Gardner double, Jeter single, Robinson Cano popout, Alfonso Soriano double, Rodriguez walk, Wells reaches on error, Granderson groundout, Reynolds groundout. 8 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 errors. Oddly enough, not a homer amongst all of the scoring. It seemed the Yankees had to take out some of their frustration from Sunday's game on poor Mr. Axelrod. But most importantly it was 9-0, and the game was well in hand.
Huff continued to shut down the White Sox until the seventh when Paul Konerko hit a solo homer off of him. All in all, it was another excellent showing for the man most suited for taking the fifth starter slot from the incumbent Hughes. He would get his second win with the Yankees as a reward for his efforts. And in September call-up news, Cesar Cabral pitched a scoreless eighth and J.R. Murphy got the first hit of his career! Adam Warren finished off the win with a scoreless ninth.
The weather could not damper the absolute joy of this game. After the abject disaster from the day before, this game was the perfect palette cleanser. Like a lovely after-dinner chocolate following having eaten a boiled shoe. The teams meet up again tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Chris Sale and Hiroki Kuroda are your probables.