The Yankees went into today's game in a bit of a rut, having lost two of three to the Kansas City Royals and Mariano Rivera for the season after tearing his ACL. New York needed a big win to get them going once again, and today the team got that win.
After a rough first inning for Phil Hughes, the former phenom settled down and looked like himself for the first time all season. Despite not appearing to have an out pitch, Hughes managed to locate his fastball and strike out seven Royals. Hughes' line doesn't look fantastic, but he did give up a home run to the last batter he faced on his 115th pitch.
Hughes certainly gave the Yankees something to smile about, as he only surrendered three runs in six and two-thirds (Cory Wade surrendered the fourth run). If Hughes can give them that every outing, I'm sure the Yankees would take it. The main improvement left for Hughes is working on an out pitch so he doesn't throw so many pitches. Some more good news about the righty is that he reached 94 MPH on his fastball in the sixth inning.
Another player that gave the Yankees reason to smile was Robinson Cano. With Luke Hochevar struggling in the top of the third inning, Cano came up with the bases loaded and launched a grand slam, as I predicted he would! Cano got another hit, so hopefully he's on track to be the same Robbie as last season, or even better.
Nick Swisher hit a solo home run in his return to the lineup, and Alex Rodriguez hit a three run bomb to add to the lead for the Yankees. Russell Martin was unsurprisingly 0-5.
The Yankees will head back to New York to face the Rays on Tuesday.
Comment of the Game: mikefromnbny