Here is the lineup:
Hughes RHP (2-3, 5.65)
UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Here is the new lineup:
Hughes RHP (2-3, 5.65)
Pregame chatter: Yanks are facing LHP Jarrod Washburn (9-12, 4.37). … A-Rod went for an MRI before the game but is going to play. … Thanks to Mike Dougherty for sending in the lineup as I am off tonight.
UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: Quite a bit of news happening … Luis Vizcaino has a shoulder issue (shocking, I know) and will be shut down until at least the Toronto series. … Chien-Ming Wang will start on Sunday in Kansas City on regular rest. That will keep him off the carpet in Toronto. … Roger Clemens had his shot in Houston and the hope is he will pitch at some point on the road trip.
It seems A-Rod was not pleased that he was sent for an MRI. But it’s hard to blame the Yankees for being careful with the best player in the game.
UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.: The Yankees are making a very smart move by using Wang on Sunday instead of Tuesday. Consider these stats:
Wang is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA this season on turf and 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA against Toronto. He gave up eight runs in 2.2 innings against the Jays on Aug. 8.
He is 2-0, 3.46 against Kansas City this season.
It’s well worth manipulating the rotation with the days off to put him in a good position to win. This also lines him up to make an extra start on Sept. 29. Starting him on Tuesday would have cost him a start at the end of the season.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: Phil Hughes has done his job, holding Seattle to two runs over six innings. Big start for him. Now the Yankees have to pick the kid up and score a couple of runs. Then it’s Joba and Mo time.
UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: I would be a lousy manager, I guess, because I would never ask a slugger like Shelley Duncan to put down a bunt. But he got it done.
A-Rod is now tied with Mel Ott for 19th place in history with 511 homers. It’s amazing how many guys he has blown by this season. At this point, the MVP race is over. Magglio Ordonez is having a heck of a season but not like A-Rod.
UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: A-Rod will get the Willis Reed treatment and Joba will be celebrated for his first win and continued domination. The offense went off again, etc.
But for me, the most important part of this game was the performance of Phil Hughes. He’s 21 and has had a turbulent season. Bad spring training, brief AAA stint, rushed to the majors, a near no-hitter, two serious injuries, a dominant rehab stint and then struggling for the first time in his career. Tonight just may have been the most important start of his career and he delivered.
Hughes will get lost in the shuffle tonight, that’s just how it is. But as the Yankees move forward, what he did tonight was huge.
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Somebody tell the Mariners that just because they have all those pitchers doesn’t mean they have to use them.