The Joba Rules’ descendents, the Hughes Rules, meant Phil Hughes was pitching on nine days’ rest. He wasn’t sharp, leading to questions about the “Rules” and the Yankees skipping his last start. The 24-year-old righty gave up a season-high seven runs and a career-high 10 hits in 5 2/3 on the way to the 7-4 loss to the Mariners. It snapped his 10-game home winning streak, which had been tied for the longest active run in the majors with CC Sabathia.
Hughes said the rest didn’t throw him off, that it was a command problem, especially with his cutter. He also said that he supports the innings limit. The Yankees haven’t said what the limit is, but the speculation has been running at 170 to 180 innings. Hughes, according to Joe Girardi, will stay on turn for the his final two starts before the All-Star break, which may not be a break for Hughes, since even with this loss, he’s 10-2 with a 3.58 ERA.
“We understand all our fans want to win and we want to win, too,” Girardi said. “But where would be without him right now? We could be in trouble. We don’t want to take that chance moving forward.”
Cliff Lee, on the other hand, showed why teams would like to trade for him if the prospect price is right. This was free agent-to-be’s third straight complete game. This was his second complete-game win at the new stadium, including Game 1 of the World Series last Oct. 28. He’s the only opposing pitcher to do that here.
“I like pitching here,” Lee said.
The 31-year-old lefty actually walked a batter, Jorge Posada in the second, stopping a streak of 144 batters faced without issuing a free pass. Lee has walked five guys all season — in 95 2/3 innings.
“I’m a Mariner until they tell me otherwise,” Lee said. “I’m going to continue to help the Mariners win every time I take the mound.
Lee also said about the potential for a trade: “It’s out of my control, so I don’t even worry about it.” …
Mark Teixeira extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a ninth-inning double. …
Curtis Granderson had two of the eight hits off Lee, the first time he has had two hits against lefty pitching in a game since Sept. 16, 2009, when he was dressed as a Detroit Tiger. …
Wednesday night, it’s Javier Vazquez vs. Felix Hernandez. That’s it from here tonight.