Texas had won eight straight at home, hitting a collective.305 in the process. Hughes came in and locked them down, throwing eight shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and fanned six.
Hughes was at 101 pitches and had retired nine straight going into the ninth inning. But the ever-protective Yankees wouldn’t let him finish his gem. That’s too bad, but it’s fairly inconsequential. What’s important is that you saw a young pitcher unafraid to throw his breaking ball on 2-1 and 3-2 counts.
Here’s Hughes discussing his outing:
And Joe Girardi:
It’s not on the tape, but Girardi made it clear that he’s not thrilled with Brian Bruney for hiding the extent of his injury.
“You have to let us know exactly how you feel,” Girardi said. “Everybody has that competitive edge and no one ever wants to come out. I understand that. The thing is, you have to be smart about it. You have to be more forthright.”
A professional athlete has a responsibility to play when hurt but also a responsibility to admit when he is injured. Bruney is no longer a garbage-dump FA signing. He’s an important piece of what they’ve assembled. If he injured himself more last week by being stubborn and needs surgery, that doesn’t help anybody.
That all said, the Yankees have won 11 of 13 and have a night off in Texas with a night game tomorrow. Times are good.