The Yankees won their fourth straight game last night, defeating the White Sox 3-2, and will hand the ball to Phil Hughes in search of a fifth straight win. The only question is, will he pitch well enough to get the Yankees to a five game winning streak?
Hughes has had only one good start all season, and could be pitching for his job tonight. With an ERA of 8.24, a FIP of 5.55, an xFIP 5.66, and a K/BB ratio of 16:13 in just 31 2/3 innings, it's no wonder that Hughes is on the hot seat. Getting ahead in the count and putting hitters away will be huge for Hughes, whose 4.55 K/9 is his lowest rate of any of his professional stops, including the minors.
Opposing Hughes will be John Danks, who has fallen victim to terrible run support. Danks is 4-8 on the season, despite a 3.79 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 3.86 xFIP, 44.4 GB%, a near 7 K/9 and an under 3 BB/9. These are solid numbers, and a perfect example as to why judging a pitcher based on his record would be a mistake.
Danks throws five pitches: a four-seamer and a two-seamer around 92 mph, a cutter around 88 mph, a changeup around 84 mph, and a curveball areound 77 mph. Danks had also thrown a slider for his entire career, but dropped it coming into 2011. Danks' cutter has been slightly above average for him, but his changeup has been very effective at 6.2 runs above average. Opposite his change, his fastballs and curveball have combined for -6.1 runs below average.
Yankees lead the series 1-0
WP: CC Sabathia (16 - 5)
SV: Mariano Rivera
LP: Jake Peavy (4 - 5)
|3 - 2 win|
|Wed 08/03||8:10 PM EDT|
|Thu 08/04||8:10 PM EDT|
Follow the jump for lineups and matchups.
Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira, Cano, Swisher, Jones DH, Martin, Nunez, Gardner
White Sox Lineup:
Pierre, Vizquel, Quentin, Dunn, Ramirez, Pierzynski, Rios, De Aza, Beckham.
The White Sox haven't seen much of Phil Hughes, but of those who have, Alex Rios has Hughes' number. Rios is 7-for-16 with two doubles off Hughes, good for a .974 OPS. Opposite Rios, Gordon Beckham has been victimized by Hughes. He is 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in his career against Hughes. For more, check out Phil Hughes vs. current White Sox batters.
Opposite the White Sox and Hughes, the Yankees have seen a lot of John Danks. Of the six Yankees who have seen Danks at least ten times, five have OBPs against him at .375 or higher. Additionally, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira have owned Danks. Each has an OPS above 1.200 against him. For more, check out John Danks vs. current Yankees batters.
Look for the game thread at 8 o'clock.