If you made the mistake of turning away from your computer screen for the last 48 hours, here's what you missed:
The bad news:
Andy Pettitte will miss a turn. Sergio Mitre will take the Monday start against the Tigers. This means Javy Vazquez pitches on Tuesday instead- which lines him up to start against the Mets at CitiField. Romulo Sanchez was called up from AAA to be the long man in the pen.
In the course of last night's game, Robbie Cano took one on the inside of the knee and had to take himself out of the game, Nick Johnson hurt something in his right wrist and had to be pinch hit for, and Jorge Posada is still out.
Johnson is headed for the DL. Make your own jokes, because I think that sucks.
Either Kevin Russo or Eduardo Nunez will be called up from the Scranton infield to cover for Cano, who will sit out a few games.
Hopefully Jorge is healthy enough to hit, or the lineup could go Jeter-Gardner-Tex-Arod-Swisher-Winn-Cervelli-Pena
The good news:
Phil Hughes is the MAN.
It will be lost in the worry over Robbie, the complaining about NJ, and the hating on Beckett. But Phil Hughes is 23 years old. He pitched 7+ for the third time in five starts this season. He has a 1.69 ERA. He's collected 31 K in 32 IP. He has a 0.94 WHIP. He mixes and locates his pitches. He is 23 years old (24 in June).
The Yanks used the unusual approach of subbing in the bench before blowing the game open, and it worked like a charm. The 6th inning was among the most bizarre I've seen in a while (heard actually, because I was driving): an Arod double, followed by the Cano HBP.
The key play, to me, was a defensive misscue- Varitek's past ball allows the runners to move to second and third. With one out (Swisher's K), the smart baseball move is to walk Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner to load the bases in order to pitch to Francisco Cervelli and try to work a double play.
But after the IBB, Beckett (who had been untouchable early) completely lost the strike zone. Cervelli walked after working the count full- Randy Winn singled on the first pitch- Jeter got hit in the ribs on the next pitch- Thames saw a ball and then singled- Tex swung through the first pitch, saw a couple balls inside then singled.
Counting from the 4th ball thrown to Cervelli, Beckett threw 9 pitches to 5 batters, allowed 5 run and left the bases loaded with only one out.
Moral of the story: throwing strikes is an extremely fine mixture of repeatable mechanics and mental fortitude; if you ask a pitcher to not throw strikes, don't be surprised when he can't switch it back on again.