Phil Hughes seems to be taking steps forward. He made an in-game adjustment after a shaky two-run, three-hit first inning and allowed just three hits over his final seven innings in this 4-2 win over the White Sox. He retired 16 of his final 17 batters.
“I think he made some mistakes with the location of his fastball and then he corrected it,” Joe Girardi said.
“The more they get out there, they understand how to make adjustments.”
After a 1-4 start, Hughes is up to 9-6. He’s 8-2 with a 3.34 ERA since May 6, lowering his overall ERA from 7.48 to 4.29. He said he has been more aggressive with his fastball and changed the angle on his breaking stuff, making for better location.
“I don’t think I’ve pitched well enough to be at nine wins so far, but it’s nice when you have this offense backing you up,” Hughes said. “It’s been a steady progression. I’ve pitched better.”
But the first innings have become a concern to him. It seems he gets overhyped for his starts, leading to early struggles. He talked to Larry Rothschild about it after this one.
“I tried to talk to Larry afterwards that I’ve got to do something to manage that a little bit, have some adrenaline but a happy balance, settle those emotions a little bit,” Hughes said. “Once I settled down a little bit, I was able to hit some more spots and work the count the way I wanted to instead of the way they wanted to.”
Robinson Cano said he will try to defend his Home Run Derby title with his father Jose pitching to him again. Cano appears ready. He homered for the second straight game. He has homered in nine of his last 14 games and has 20 now for the fourth straight year.
“He’s comfortable,” Derek Jeter said. “… When you’re feeling like he does right now, he’s really tough to pitch to.”
Cano is the AL derby captain. He said the announcement of the team selections will come Monday.
Jeter will be a 13-time All-Star. He sat out last year to rest after chasing his 3,000th, but he said he’s looking forward to going this time.
“Anyone who tells you it gets old is lying to you,” Jeter said. “It’s an honor.”
Besides Curtis Granderson being voted in for his second straight start, CC Sabathia was picked. But he’s on the DL and said he won’t be pitching. He does plan to attend the festivities, though. He also said he hasn’t been feeling pain in his strained groin and plans to play catch Monday.
Raul Ibanez got injured during the game and was headed for New York Presbyterian to be checked out after suffering a lacerated lip and a broken front tooth. He hit his face on a bench in the dugout while trying to avoid a foul ball.
So how does Chad Qualls fit into the bullpen picture after today’s trade with the Phillies?
“He’s a guy that can get up to 95 mph, somewhat of a power guy, a sinker guy, tough on right-handers,” Girardi said. “We mix and match a little bit here. So we hope he’s really effective for us.”
Infielder Matt Antonelli was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. But another move has to be made to make room on the 25-man roster. You would think D.J. Mitchell or the struggling Cory Wade could be the candidates.