Tigers 8 Yankees 4: Hughes Retraction; Continued Futility

Before I get to the game wrap of another loss, my apologies for not believing that Hughes was injured. Rooted in my justifiable if in this instance incorrect distrust of how the Yankees discuss injuries, my belief was that the Yankees were shielding the youngster from further difficulties on the mound with a short DL stint. This was also based on the continued fact that Girardi has appeared either out of the loop or not on the same page as others regarding injuries. In fact, examinations have now revealed that Hughes has a stress fracture of a rib that will shut him down completely for a full month and, with rehab, will keep him out until at least July. Clearly, this is bad news and a bad break. My surmising of the situation before this news was not by any means to cast Hughes as a slacker; his work ethic certainly has shown him to be anything but. Rather, my sense was rooted in my distrust of the organization’s checkered recent history regarding injury matters and discussions. My apologies for sharing an opinion, based on trying to read the chicken bones and entrails of the organization, that was obviously proven wrong. It’s a tough break for a good kid who has had his share of tough luck the past couple years. It was exactly one year ago today that Hughes suffered a significant hamstring injury during a no-hit bid against Texas, then later hurt his ankle while rehabbing his hamstring. I hope he heals quickly and bounces back while keeping his confidence. It’s been a tough month.

That continued on the field with tonight’s 8-4 loss, getting swept by Detroit to start the home stand. Kennedy couldn’t complete the fifth, Albaladejo got rocked, and though the Yankees started well and staked the youngster to a 3-0 lead, couldn’t put away the Detroit starter for the second straight game.

After Kennedy worked a 13-pitch 1-2-3 first, JD worked a seven-pitch BB, Jeter singled, and Abreu ripped a 3-1 fastball deep to right, 3-0 with no outs in the first. For the second straight game, the Yankees made the Detroit starter throw 27 pitches in the first, but failed to finish him off. Robertson then retired the next seven straight, while the Tigers scored four in the third to take the lead. Santiago doubled with one out, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Granderson’s 4-3. Polanco doubled, Sheffield the Zero walked, and Ordonez doubled to score them and tie the game at 3. Cabrera then tripled to make it 4-3 before Guillen’s 3U ended the top of the third. Except for Santiago and Cabrera, Kennedy started the other six batters with a ball, by and large paying for pitching from behind.

The Yankees tied it at 4 in the fifth. With one out, Jeter worked his third walk of the year after being down 1-2, Abreu singled, and Duncan singled in Jeter, 4-4. But Matsui’s fly out and Melky’s 6-4 ended the fifth-inning rally. Right away in the sixth, the Tigers took the lead back off Albaladejo when Guillen singled, Jones doubled, and Santiago tripled to center, 6-4 Tigers. They added two more off Alby in the seventh when Ordonez singled and Cabrera homered to right, 8-4 Tigers. Hmm. look what happens when hitters take the ball to the opposite field. The Yankees had the chance to come back right away in the sixth, working another improbable two-out rally. Moeller singled, Damon’s tapper was too difficult for Inge at catcher to field cleanly, and Jeter’s slow roller to third loaded the bases for Abreu, but his liner to center ended that threat. Cano singled and took second on an error to start the eighth but was stranded, effectively ending things for the Yanks.

Kennedy wasn’t very good but was somewhat better than other nights, getting roughed up mainly in the third. He went 4 2/3 in a no-decision, allowing five hits, four runs earned, three walks while fanning one on 96 pitches/57 strikes. Albaladejo got roughed up, going only 1 2/3 and allowing six hits, four runs earned with no walks and three K’s on 46 pitches/30 strikes in taking the loss. Chris Britton did very well in the remaining 2 1/3, allowing no hits or runs and walking two, throwing 40 pitches/20 strikes. He’ll need to throw more strikes, but Britton deserves more chances to pitch and not collect dust get shuttled between The Bronx and SWB.

Jeter was 2-4 with two runs, his 1,390th of his illustrious career to tie Joe DiMaggio for 4th on the Yankees’ all-time list. Jeter is back up to .286. Abreu was 2-4 with a run and three RBIs (19 for the season), batting .277. Matsui (.316), Damon, Duncan, Cano, Ensberg and Moeller each had a hit. But although the Yanks made Robertson work (106 pitches through 5 2/3, unlike Bonderman’s 100 through 7 2/3), they let him off the hook and let him settle in the second and third innings. The Yankees stranded eleven, six in scoring position.

More of the same in this wrap, unfortunately. More injuries piling up, more failure in the clutch, more pitching struggles led to Detroit’s sweep. The Yankees are now 14-16 and it gets no easier, with Seattle upcoming. In a high-quality match-up tomorrow night, Bedard (2-0, 2.04 ERA) faces Wang (5-0, 3.23 ERA), and Hernandez and Silva follow this weekend. Tighten the belts, guys, and for goodness sake, start hitting.

[Edit: Lest I forget, I hope everyone had a happy May Day.]

[PS Edit: Because GLG had a soccer game–a 5-3 win–and then we went out for very good Chinese food, I missed the first few innings of last night’s game.  I therefore missed Abreu’s atrocious play in right that I only saw on a highlight on “Baseball Tonight” near the end of the loss.  What a terrible play in right from Abreu, an experienced and talented outfielder.  There is absolutely no excuse for such poor awareness of the wall at any time, especially in one’s own ball park.  Get to the wall and make the play! Horrible.]

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Published in: on May 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. to be swept at home by three mediocre pitchers and a pedestrian bullpen is shocking and unacceptable. we have plenty of offense even without jorge or alex. this is a time for team leaders to pull this club together, but there is no evidence that many of these guys are doing anything but going through the motions. you can se flickers of enthusiasm in some of the newer guys, but there’s not much to like about this yankee team.

  2. BTW i just read the the yankees had not been swept at home by the tigers since 1966.

    how bout that?

    hank must be about to blow his top 🙂

  3. I agree wholeheartedly, Mike. No Zumaya, no Rodney, no problem for the Tigers. The Yankees’ not working the count better against The Pine Tar Gambler and Bonderman to get into a mediocre bullpen was a disgrace, as was their performance against said bullpen. I feel the same way about the offense, which is why I felt they could still pull something together on this home stand. JD, Jeter, Abreu, Matsui, Cano, Giambi–that’s a heck of a lot of firepower. But what have they done collectively? Garbage. Thirty games in and they’ve devolved to this wretch of a series against Detroit, injuries notwithstanding. To me, it screams two works–team meeting.

  4. I thought I had a lot to say when I sat down at the computer, but I feel a lack of emotion right now. I am sure the Yankees could identify with that.
    If we could clone Wang and Matsui, then maybe we could win a game.
    I also apologize for thinking Hughes was not hurt.
    Go get ’em Wang, but you may have to throw a perfect game.

  5. I may watch that game tonight. Two of the best going at it.

    http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

  6. you know what? i DID think of you yesterday in regards to May Day.


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