Sunday, May 6, 2012
KANSAS CITY—Phil Hughes brought more than just an extra-zippy fastball with him as he returned to the mound for the seventh inning on Sunday. He seemed to be carrying a few extra ounces of his manager’s trust.
Hughes’ strong effort earned him a chance to head back out and wrap up an impressive day of work in which he made a big lead stand up for a 10-4 win over the Royals that figures to keep him in the Yankees’ starting rotation.
I just finished watching my DVR of the game, and Hughes looked the best he’s looked all year. He was hitting 95 in the 7th inning and was actually somewhat efficient for most of the game, getting through several innings with fewer than 20 pitches. I’m still not sure he’s going to end the year as an effective member of the starting rotation, but over his last four starts he’s walked 4.4% of the batters he’s faced while striking out 21.1%. A ratio like that is generally an indicator of someone who can be a successful pitcher, even if his 7.52 RA over that stretch disagrees.
The lineup looks a lot better with Nick Swisher back in it, and hopefully he’ll be joined by Brett Gardner soon, and then maybe the Yankees can move out of fourth place.
Previous entry: Yankees (14-13) @ Royals (9-17), Sunday, May 6, 2012, 2:10pm