My story on tomorrow will be on the bullpen, specifically the ease with which Phil Hughes has assumed that late-inning role. It’s not a stretch to say that is one of the most important developments of the season to date.
Give a listen to Mariano Rivera here:
He says about six times how much he loves the work Hughes is doing and how confident he looks. The veteran players are impressed with how Hughes has handled himself since he was taken out of the rotation. He has pitched in any role, done his job and not called any attention to himself.
I never got riled up about Joba Chamberlain pumping his fist. But it is nice to see a 23-year-old act like a veteran out there.
In talking to Hughes, he thinks the biggest thing is that he is staying healthy and getting out big league hitters consistently. He has never been able to do that before.
Here is Hughes, talking about his new role:
The Yankees have won eight straight on the road for the first time since 1998. We all know what happened that year.
This team isn’t going to win 114. But they’re 51-34 after 85 games. That’s six games better than last season.
Since you asked: Jonathan Albaladejo was awarded the belt by commissioner Johnny Damon. This is the first time Albie has held the title. It’s funny how fired up the guys are about that.
Nick Swisher had on a beige pinstriped suit with a black shirt. He looked like an extra in The Untouchables.