A-Rod 5-5, Hughes Tosses 8 Shutout Innings
Alex Rodriguez came into the game with 10 hits and 7 home runs. Today he worked on his average.
A-Rod went 5-5 with two doubles and drove in four to lead the Yankees to a 11-1 drubbing of the previously surging Texas Rangers. We all knew it was a matter of time before A-Rod starting hitting for average. Steroids or no steroids, he is too talented a hitter to be kept down for long, and today’s outburst is a good sign that the A-Rod we all know and love is back.
More importantly, Phil Hughes looked dominant, throwing 8 effortless shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk against a dangerous Texas lineup that leads the league in home runs. Hughes’ only test came in the second, and he passed with flying colors. Hughes gave up a lead off double to Nelson Cruz, hit Hank Blalock, and then went 3-0 on Marlon Byrd. Dave Eiland came out to talk to the young righty, and probably told Hughes to trust his fastball, because Hughes struck out Byrd looking on three straight heaters. Hughes went on to strike out the side and never looked back.
Hughes was ahead of almost every hitter. His fastball was 92-93 and he was locating it with devastating effectiveness. He threw his breaking ball for strikes, for strikeouts, and always came back with the cheese when he needed to. It was an extremely encouraging start for the for the 22 year old, who hadn’t lasted past the 5th inning since his first start against Detroit back in April.
Not that the Yankees needed such an outing from Hughes, not the way they pounded Ranger pitching. The Yanks jumped on Matt Harrison early and often, blasting the starter with 11 hits and 7 runs in only 5 innings. Anna Benson’s husband didn’t do much better in relief, surrendering 6 hits and 4 runs in 3 innings. His consolation prize is pictured at left.
You couldn’t ask for much more from the Yankees, bats, arms, or otherwise. Brian Bruney is back on the DL with persisting elbow problems, but the way the starters are throwing, the Yanks can do without him for a while. Joba faces off against Kevin Millwood tomorrow night, who somehow has a 3.12 ERA. Nolan Ryan may be helping turn around the Rangers pitching staff, but it didn’t show today. Hopefully the Yanks will show more of the same tomorrow.