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Postgame notes: “Figured this would be a good team to use it against”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Aug 28, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

By the time he came set, went into his delivery and threw his final pitch of the night, Phil Hughes had already shown his new weapon a few times, but it was perhaps most noticeable when Adeiny Hechavarria went down swinging to end the seventh inning.

Hughes got rid of his cutters earlier this season, and he scrapped his slider years ago, but tonight he used a sort of hybrid pitch to great effect in a game the Yankees badly needed a strong start out of him.

“I was working on a little cutter/slider hybrid deal in the bullpen and I figured this would be a good team to use it against because they have a lot of right-handed bats in that lineup,” Hughes said. “… I was just kind of messing around with it during catch, threw a few at the end of a bullpen one time and it was decent, so I just kind of started to mix it a little more in. In our scouting report meetings before today’s game, (Larry Rothschild) said, ‘Do you feel comfortable going to it if you need to? Not a whole lot obviously, but just something?’ I said, yeah. The first one was a 3-2 to Torrealba that I threw. After that, Russ and I found a few more spots to use it.”

Hughes made it clear that he doesn’t expect this to become a go-to pitch, but it’s something to keep hitters off his fastball in fastball counts. The cutter was supposed to be that pitch, but Hughes kept getting hurt with it.

“I was talking to Alex after the game and he said, a bad cutter is a BP fastball, whereas a bad slider at least does something,” Hughes said. “It’s a little bit offspeed. If I don’t execute the pitch, at least it’s something that’s not close to speed with my fastball. At least it’s maybe doing something. Even if it’s backing up, it’s going down or something like that. So, even if I don’t throw a quality one, the odds of it getting hammered somewhere are a little bit less.”

Hughes guessed he threw his slider/cutter fewer than 10 times in maybe five different at-bats, and he noted that the Blue Jays didn’t have had that pitch in their scouting report, which won’t be the case against the next team he faces. He’s still a fastball pitcher, with a curveball and changeup as his primary offspeed pitches. This just gives him a fourth pitch to mix things up now and then.

“I’ve relied on my fastball a lot more (lately), and certainly me throwing a few cutter/sliders is not going to alter that,” Hughes said. “I still need to make sure I trust my fastball and throw it aggressively. In every fastball count, I don’t want to have to throw this (hybrid) pitch. I still need to be an aggressive guy that throws a lot of fastballs, but Encarnacion’s worn me out the last few of starts and it was just something to show him. I didn’t get any outs against him with it, but it certainly had a few spots in the game tonight.”

• Russell Martin had a good way to describe the way Rafael Soriano pitched tonight. “Looked like there was a little anger,” Martin said. “He took it out the right way. Some guys that get angry kind of lose control but he was in control.” After last night’s letdown, Soriano pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts. Joe Giradri said Soriano’s stuff was as good as he’s ever seen it.

• Here’s Soriano: “I think tonight be the best day that I’ve had this year. I’ve got to come back tomorrow and do my routine. I’ll let (Girardi) know if I can pitch tomorrow. Maybe I need the day.”

• Dave Robertson and Soriano have each pitched three straight days. Girardi said Robertson is certainly not available tomorrow, but Soriano might be. Depends on how Soriano feels tomorrow. Robertson had never before pitched three straight days with the Yankees.

• Play of the night had to be Robinson Cano’s double play, right? Hughes actually had a rough sixth inning with two walks and two hard-hit balls, but Andruw Jones tracked down the fly ball to right and Cano leaped in the air to snag the line drive. Cano then fired to third base to turn a hard-hit ball into a double play. “Probably one (second baseman who can make that play),” Girardi said. “It’s an incredible play. I thought he had no chance at third, but it’s an incredible play at a crucial time. I wasn’t even sure if he was going to catch it to begin with, and then you get the double play, it’s icing on the cake.”

• Yankees starters are 9-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 13 starts at Yankee Stadium in the month of August, holding opponents to four earned runs or less in each of those starts.

• Hughes had back-to-back rough starts earlier this month, but he’s since lasted seven innings in three straight outings, allowing a total of three earned runs. “Sometimes you can have those bad thoughts going into your work days and then your next start and sometimes it can snowball a little bit,” Hughes said. “Especially after the April that I had, I felt like I really needed to bounce back from that and be able to do that. I think every time I’ve had a rough start, I’ve been able to either back it up with a good one or maybe two starts down the line have a good one. It hasn’t been the ideal year, but I’ve been able to bounce back from a few rough ones, which is all I’m trying to do.”

• That last strikeout in the seventh inning was the 500th strikeout of Hughes’ career.

• Steve Pearce went 0-of-2 with a walk and a run scored in his Yankees debut. “He takes a walk, he advances on a ball in the dirt, Russell does a good job with two strikes of getting him over, and then you get a sac fly,” Girardi said. “It was the little things that those guys did in the middle of the order that helped us win that game. We’re missing some guys that we usually put in against left-handers, Tex and Al, and those are some pretty bats and those are their spots. These guys did a nice job in that role today.”

• According to Elias, Pearce was the first player to hit cleanup in his first game with the Yankees since Glenallen Hill on July 24, 2000.

• Another day, another hit for Nick Swisher who’s now hitting .341 in 20 games since moving into the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Girardi said Swisher would likely remain in the No. 2 spot even after Teixeira and Rodriguez came off the disabled list.

• On the flip side, Andruw Jones is really struggling. “He’s a guy that we know can get really hot against left-handers,” Girardi said. “I think it’s important that we get him going and we’re trying. Andruw’s been through this before where he’s struggled and come out of it in a big way, and I’m hoping it happens. We still expect him to be productive.”

• Pedro Feliciano continued his rehab assignment a third of an inning with Double-A Trenton. It’s the first time he’s pitched on back-to-back days since his rehab started.

• Final word goes to Girardi: “If you’re going to make it to the playoffs and you’re going to make any noise in the playoffs, you have to have (consistent pitching). That’s the bottom line. The teams that pitch the best are usually the teams that are left over in October. Consistency is the important thing. CC had a great start in his comeback. Kuroda has been really consistent. Hughesy’s been consistent. Freddy’s been pretty good and Phelpsy’s done a nice job for us. For us to continue to try to get to where we want to get, we have to have that.”

Associated Press photos





63 Responses to “Postgame notes: “Figured this would be a good team to use it against””

  1. Yankee Trader August 28th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Nice summation Chad.

    With that it’s goodnight

  2. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    The pitch to Torrealba, the first cutter/slider Hughes threw was the best one of the lot. Exciting to watch Hughes evolve.

    Agree, Chad. Great stuff.

    ‘Night, YT.

  3. waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    The Red Sox did what was necessary. They were an organization in turmoil, saddled with bad contracts.

    Any fan should find it more exciting to have their team compete for a World Series than clearing out contracts and giving young guys a chance in the final month of the season to impress for next year.

    It’s humiliating for them. To have the 2nd highest payroll in baseball and be where they currently are. Exciting, it is not.

    Now, we’ve played without ARod for a decent portion of the season, and remain atop the standings. If we could have dumped ARod to the Dodgers, received the prospects that the Red Sox received from the Dodgers, and received a ML player of value, then that would have been exciting.

    But the Yankees, to dump players for the sake of dumping bad contracts is not exciting. The Yankees have been in the playoffs for the 16 of the past 17 seasons because of the way they do business. The baseball playoffs are a crapshoot. Once you get to the playoffs, it’s more about luck and streaks. I’d rather have the Yankees in the playoffs every year with a chance to win the World Series than do what the Red Sox did and were forced to do.

  4. Tar August 28th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I also agree, great job Chad.

    And goodnight everybody.

  5. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    waldo, you misinterpret my post. I am a big ARod supporter, but the idea of rebuilding a team is an exciting one theoretically. I am not advocating that we tear the team apart not comparing us to the RS.

  6. waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I guess it would be 15 of the past 16 seasons.

  7. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:38 pm


  8. waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    yankeefem, I apologize. Theoretically, it would be exciting and cool to rebuild a team using youth from the farm, finding out what you have, then going out into free agency and spending top dollar on your primary needs that put you over the top.

  9. blake August 28th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Delmon young just hit a ball down the line and I can’t even tell on replay if it was fair or foul…..

  10. igotid88 August 28th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    And he’s going to face them 2 more times. So he need that slider-cutter.

  11. waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    What the Yankees have to do is rebuild on the fly.

  12. Against All Odds August 28th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    What the Yankees have to do is rebuild on the fly.


    That’s what they have been doing over the past few seasons

  13. waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Im not sure that they have.

    The only youth the Yankees have to show are Robertson, Gardner, Cano

    An injured Pineda, an inconsistent Hughes, and an injured and inconsistent Nova.

  14. igotid88 August 28th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

  15. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    “Your best pitch right now is the fastball,” Soriano said Rivera told him. “Why you have to throw so many sliders?

    I see a future Yankee team with Mo as PC and Alex as HC.

    waldo, no worries. I agree. Just wish we had some young position players to integrate or/and off the bench. Can’t even get overly excited about Sept. call-ups because no one but Nunez will get a shot to contribute. Love to see Adams get a shot in a support role at some point.

  16. Against All Odds August 28th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    waldo geraldo faldo August 28th, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Im not sure that they have.

    The only youth the Yankees have to show are Robertson, Gardner, Cano

    An injured Pineda, an inconsistent Hughes, and an injured and inconsistent Nova.


    That’s the point they have been rebuilding on the fly and the results have been mixed to say the least.

  17. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Although “inconsistent” is kind of par for the course with most young pitchers. I am excited about what Hughes and Nova are doing, even with the bumps in the road. Although I’d love to see Nova revert to his better command as per last year.

  18. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I wouldn’t call Cano, Gardner and Robertson “youth” exactly. How about young enough and in their primes? Gardner, though is a question mark, going forward. He can’t stay healthy.

  19. UnKnown August 28th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Huuuuughes coming up huuuuge. We knew that he couldn’t give up more than a one or two tonight and well he only gave up one.

    Good to see Sori TCB in the 9th.

    Found this article from Harper taking Soriano to task about not speaking to the media last night. Not sure what really to think of it.

    Anyways that is a great win. CC on the bump tomorrow. Hopefully Hawk’s Sox can beat Buck’s Birds as well.


    “But he’s always been considered a bit of a diva. Both Braves manager Bobby Cox and Rays skipper Joe Maddon had issues with Soriano when he played for them, and then there was the moody vibe he gave off during his first year with the Yankees, when he came over as the defending AL saves leader and wound up pitching the seventh inning.”

  20. yankeefeminista August 28th, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Is Kemp all right, id?

  21. igotid88 August 29th, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Yankeefem: Knee contusion.

  22. yankeefeminista August 29th, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Harper’s an idiot. Soriano won’t be able to handle the glare? Did he miss Soriano closing for the Rays? Does he understand that Soriano has great stuff? Just seems like writing a story to create a narrative that doesn’t exist. And comparing him to Mo? Just silly.

  23. igotid88 August 29th, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Joe Giglio ?@JoeGiglioSports
    According to Elias, Steve Pearce became the first player to make his Yankees debut and bat cleanup since Glenallen Hill on July 24, 2000.

  24. yankeefeminista August 29th, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Thanks, id re: info on Kemp.

  25. Nick in SF August 29th, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Ahhh, Glenallen Hill. Thanks, I was wondering about that earlier this afternoon.

  26. Niblick August 29th, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Since the end of the dead ball era, has any pennant contender playing a meaningful game ever had a 5th place hitter with a BA of .195?

    Is there anyone more pitiful than Russell at the plate?

  27. Bronx Jeers August 29th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Personally, I don’t care if a guy like Soriano bolts after blowing a save. Harper says he’s not Mariano? Yeah no sh*t Sherlock.

    He’s pitched great this season. Blown saves happen. They always suck. He was upset. There’s not a hell of a lot to say.

  28. waldo geraldo faldo August 29th, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Maybe Soriano just needed a day to gather his thoughts. Good for him. Screw the media and their arrogance that they’re owed an interview.

  29. NYYanksFan August 29th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    A-Rod really seems to know how to speak pitcher. Andy and CC have both said he’s great to talk approach with, he talked to Logan last year and now Hughes mentioning talking pitching with him.

  30. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 29th, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Yanks are so lucky to have Sori – and so are we!


    I heartily endorse Phil Hughes as the 4th starter in our postseason rotation. If that changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.


  31. tomingeorgia August 29th, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Morning, Folks,
    Good game to watch last night, with highlights being Phil Hughes and his new pitch, and Cano’s highlight reel DP. CC will be sharp today, and we start to get on a roll going into September.

  32. blake August 29th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Great win a must win……Hughes really stepped up and so did the pen.

    I do wonder what the game tells you more about though…..does it tell you that Romero might be finding it with a good performance …..or does it tell how weak the Yanks lineup is right now LHP.

    I will say it looks like the Os are betting on the latter given that they just picked up two LH starters……I dont think thats at all a coincidence given that they have a ton of games against the Yanks in September that coukd decide the division.

  33. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:04 am


    CC needs to take care of buisness tonight, and White Sux need to avoid being swept.


  34. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Yanks have built back a 5 game lead against the Rays but the Os are still hanging in there despite having a negative run differential …….have to win today and then take care of business this weekend.

    Hopefully we can get some helo from the ChiSox who dropped thr first 2 games of their 4 game set wirh Baltimore……if the Yanks win today and Chicago wins today and tomorrow to.split the series then Yanks go into Friday with a 5 game lead.

  35. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:08 am


    That’s the ticket alright.

  36. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:08 am


    Os and ChiSox play tomorrow too….Im hoping thr law of averages gives us a split

  37. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Reinforcements arrive at the Fort over the weekend.

  38. ButtSmacker August 29th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Hughes was great last night, just what the Yanks needed.

    Offense again looked awful vs a lefty starter… I think it’s time to play either Ibanez or Chavez even against lefty starters instead of Andruw Jones who is both a liability at the plate and in the field. There really are no signs of life from Andruw, surprising how bad he has been this year given how strongly he finished the season last year.

    Considering the current injuries, CC on the mound, we’re facing another lefty, and that it’s a day game after a night game I think we are almost assured to get Russell Martin @ DH today, oh joy. Hopefully CC can go at least 8 strong today.

  39. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Good morning Blake and Tom-

    As of the 19th, my last issue of USA Today Sports Weekly righties were hitting .286 off Saunders, .325 off Wolf

  40. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:10 am


    The White Sox are fighting for their lives to be in 1st in their division.

    Think they want to be swept ?


  41. Bronx Jeers August 29th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I will say it looks like the Os are betting on the latter given that they just picked up two LH starters……I dont think thats at all a coincidence given that they have a ton of games against the Yanks in September that coukd decide the division.

    Let’s hope Andruw Jones is just playing possum. :wink:

  42. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Hughes finally has figured out that he needs more than 2 pitches to reach his cieling.

    Hallelujah !

    What took ya’ so long Phil ?

    I thought you were a smart kid.

    Oh well, better late than never.

    P.S. Try the split someday. You’ll like it.


  43. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:16 am

    “As of the 19th, my last issue of USA Today Sports Weekly righties were hitting .286 off Saunders, .325 off Wolf”

    Problem is the Yanks only have 2 good RH hitters dight now…..

  44. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Interesting that Girardi made no mention of Ivan the Great.

    I wouldn’t forget about him if I were you Joe.

    There’s fire in his belly and plenty of talent there.


  45. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Its time to stop playin Jonesy……they have waited all season and its just not happening…..make a trade…..try Adams…

  46. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Hughes pitched a terrific game last night.

    Why has it taken Hughes so long this season to use his other pitches? Too stubborn?

    Why does the opposing teams bottom of the order, always seem to do the most damage against the Yankee pitchers? Last night it was Adelney Hechavarria batting ninth, getting his 1st career homerun. Do the Yankees need to hire more analysts and have the pitching coach and that days catcher spend more time on learning the weaknesses of the lesser known players?

    And what is inside Soriano’s cap, tht he has to look at it before throwing a pitch?

    Inquiring minds want to know! :)

  47. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:19 am

    You all keep focusing on the O.

    Can’t say I blame ya’.

    There are some issues.

    Trouble is there is nothing coming other than A-Rod and whatever they can find in the minors.

    The Pitching is what is going to decide the Yankees fate IMO.

    They need to get that Ro working consistently and stabilize the Pen.

    I’m afraid the rest is noise.

  48. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:20 am


    Even weak or inexperienced hitters can mash bad pitches.


  49. ButtSmacker August 29th, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Assuming I have to play Martin @ DH today my lineup would be:

    Ichiro – LF
    Jeter – SS
    Swisher – RF
    Cano – 2B
    Pearce – 1B
    Granderson – CF
    Nix – 3B
    Martin – DH
    Stewart – C

  50. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:25 am


    Another question. Why do the Yankee bats go to sleep after scoring a “few” early runs and then let the opposing pitcher off the hook, while not scoring often later in the game?

  51. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:30 am


    Because the Yankees tend to score runs via the long ball, and because the O has not been at full strength consistently.

    I’ve said all along, with a chorus of others, that the Yankees need more high contact, gap type hitters to balance them out.

    They also need a lesson in situational hitting taught by another great
    Japanese star.

    That will be for next season.

  52. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:32 am


    I’m looking over AL righty bats that might have gone unclaimed by teams and the pickings are slim:

    Shelley Duncan-worse than Jones but not by much
    Jeff Francoeur
    Jeff Mathis

  53. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Right handed bats From the NL:

    Jason Bay
    Alfonso Soriano
    John Mayberry Jr
    Ben Francisco

  54. 86w183 August 29th, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Morning people!

    I’ve always liked Francoeur and he can play RF so that wouldn’t be a bad pick up. He has some power and his career OPs versus LHP is a solid .827.

    Hughes has long been stubborn about his change up and I think he realized after his last debacle that he HAD to do something different. So far, so good giving the Yanks a solid top three. Starter # 4 for post-season is wide open with Phelps and Garcia healthy, Pettite and Nova mending.

  55. MG August 29th, 2012 at 8:40 am

    are those of you who want Ibanez in the lineup against both righties and lefties actually watching the games?

    he’s helped the Yankees this season but is in an awful slump-2 for his last 26 with 9 K’s.

    what is troubling is that he’s striking out at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the season, it’s about 2.25X more.

    he hits less than .200 against lefties for the whole season, playing him every day against all pitching just isn’t an option for the Yankees down the stretch.

  56. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    “he hits less than .200 against lefties for the whole season, playing him every day against all pitching just isn’t an option for the Yankees down the stretch.”

    Nope….but the real problem is that the other end of that platoon isnt hitting much better vs lefties…..and thats really the only thing hes on the team to do.

    Hurry back Alex and Tex

  57. MTU August 29th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I’m not a big stat guy as most of you know but here’s something to think about :

    The Yankees Pen has dropped to 7th out of 14 in the AL.

    The SP has slipped a bit too post ASB. Some of that is injury-related but not all.

    Yankees O is 6th out of 14 but that hasn’t changed pre vs. post ASB.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Gotta go.

    See ya’ later.

  58. 86w183 August 29th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    One would think Cashman’s comments will keep the Yankees out of the Melky conversation this off-season. That is unless Melky would take one year of “4th OF” $$$$ to re-establish himself.

    I am now convinced Swisher WILL be re-signed.

  59. ButtSmacker August 29th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Jason Bay lol.

    It’s funny to hear Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson constantly say on The Fan that Bay might be valuable to them moving forward in an OF platoon.

    2012 Bay Splits:
    VS Rigties – .172/.228 /.323/.551
    VS Lefties – .123/.247/.215/.462

    Believe it or not Bay is actually worse VS lefties this year.

  60. Yankee Trader August 29th, 2012 at 8:45 am


    Have been talking about the overexposure of the pen for over a month.

    Have a great day.

    New Post——————–>

  61. blake August 29th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Anybody think it was a coincidence that Bobby V thdew Aceves out there for a 2 innings save (which he blew) last night?

    Valentine trying to prove a point?

  62. 86w183 August 29th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Ibanez is worn out. Shouldn’t play any more OF. Dickerson needs to be added Saturday.

    Running out of time to add a RH bat for the post-season, but don’t know what’s out there.

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