Just when you think Phil Hughes might be losing steam (coming off a 6 ER game against Atlanta), he shows how good he can be. Despite struggling with command early, he settled down to eventually hold Cleveland scoreless over eight innings. He couldn't locate his curveball early on, fell behind in some counts and had to throw his fastball a lot. He had some luck, as some well-struck balls turned into (sometimes two) outs. But in the mid-innings he started finding his curveball mechanics, allowing him to make it through Cleveland's lineup four times. He dropped his ERA all the way from 4.94 to 4.48. Keep it up, Phil.*
* Despite that blow up against Atlanta, Hughes has a 2.67 ERA over his last five starts and 3.48 over his last nine.
3B umpire Mike DiMuro also helped the Yankees' cause with a borderline call that opened the door to a three-run inning and then a flat out wrong call that helped Hughes escape a jam. In the second, with two outs and a runner on third, Chris Stewart lined a ball down the third base line. Jack Hannahan dove for it across the foul line. The ball hit his glove and bounced into foul territory. DiMuro ruled it a fair ball, allowing the Yankees their first run. The replays I saw were inconclusive. Curtis Granderson followed with a two-run single. (FYI, the Yanks went 4-8 with RISP.)
Then in the top of the seventh, with a runner on third and two outs, DeWayne Wise dove into the left field stands. The ball struck his glove and bounced off. DiMuro ruled it a catch and an out. (In fairness, I too thought it was a catch at first.) Replays showed he never had possession of the ball.
The 9-4 hitters did most of the damage, going 7-19 (.368) with three walks, a homer and all six RBI.
Cory Wade is quickly pitching himself off the team. He started the ninth with a 6-0 lead. Six batters later Cleveland had scored four runs and Rafael Soriano had to enter to save the contest (which he did on two pitches).
Play of the Game: Grandy's two-run, opposite field single that gave the Yanks a 3-0 lead in the second (+14%).
I'll leave you with this.