Fly Balls Given Up by Phil Hughes Hurt New York Yankees
New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes’ inability to get ground balls inhibits his chance of getting out of jams when opposing teams begin to put runners on base. This trait reared its ugly head again when the Yanks faced the Toronto Blue Jays tonight.
After Alex Rodriguez tied the game at two with a home run in the top of the fifth inning, Hughes came back out on the mound to throw what the Yanks hoped would be a stopper inning. Hughes did the opposite of that, and couldn’t even get out of the bottom of the fifth.
With one out in the inning, the top of the order came up for the Jays to face Hughes for the third time. After a double and a single, there were men on first and third with one out. This would be an ideal time to get a ground ball for a chance at a double play.
Instead, Hughes allowed a long fly ball which was misplayed by Ichiro Suzuki, and the same situation was in place except the lead was lost. Hughes then allowed a double to score another run and put men on second and third. After an intentional walk to load the bases, another ground ball situation ensued.
But, of course, he allowed a fly ball for another sacrifice fly that ended his night, going 4.2 IP, giving up five runs — a mediocre start.
The Blue Jays have been the Yankees’ whipping boys this year, losing 12 of their 13 meetings. They’ve had poor pitching and bad defense all season, and the Yanks have taken advantage of their deficiencies. But Hughes couldn’t keep the ball in the infield tonight, and the Yankees were the ones who were exposed. I
t’s just another frustrating night for a pitcher who has had a less than memorable season in his walk year, and now that every game is a must win in order to make the playoffs, it’s even more of a stain in his forgettable season.