On another cold night in NY, the youngest pitcher in the major leagues, Phil Hughes took the mound and pitched with the control of a ten year veteran, painting the corners and buckling the knees of Blue Jay batters all night with a nasty curve for six strong innings. His velocity averaged around 89-91, but his command was exquisite. He did hit 95 once on the gun, but as he pitches more and the weather gets warmer, he'll get it up to 93 mph consistently. Rarely do you see such a young man control both sides of the plate and with such precision. And he is really young. It's kind of hard to believe he's still not 22 yet.
After the Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 2-2, enter the bullpen and they combined to shut out Toronto the rest of the way as Bobby Abreu's bloop single to center scored the winning run in the bottom of the eight.
For one game Billy Traber reminded me of Okijima in Boston. A nice off speed junk baller that took care of Lyle Overbay very easily, but I know, I know...it's only one game.
Joba came in and once again dominated the eighth inning, the inning that gave us all nightmares for a long time---the inning that is The Bridge---the bridge to--- the Sand Man.
Rivera recorded his second save of the season already. I think he's like a month ahead of last year's total. When I saw Scutaro in Toronto's lineup, I remembered when he tagged Mo for a game winning HR in Oakland and the "Rivera is finished" chorus began. Not last night. Ball game over, The Yankees win!
IPK takes the hill tonight and I can't wait to see him go up against the very good Rays lineup. He has more pitches than Hughes, but with a little less velocity and a little more guile.