The Yankees were in a slump that although it was only April, was sending shock waves all across the Tri-State area. After being swept by the Red Sox, which included the now infamous slap to the face known as Ellsbury stealing home plate on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, and then not being able to hit Justin Verlander, who last year and this year has been hit more times then a pinata, in a loss to the Tigers had sent the Yankees and their fans into pandemonium.
Not to fear….PHIL HUGHES IS HERE. (Cue the Superman music)
After the Yankees let him go down to the minors and let Joba pitch in the starting rotation, which he shouldn’t be, the Yankees watched as Chien Ming Wang went from bad to worse and they had to call up the big Texan to take his spot.
Phil Hughes is a pitcher that everyone had high hopes for a few years back, he had a no hitter into the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers, in Texas mind you, before a leg injury during the game derailed him for the year. Then the next season, he was thrown under a ton of pressure by Brian Cashman after he didn’t pull the trigger on the Johan Santana deal and told anybody who would listen, and the NY media loves to listen, that Hughes was going to be a huge part of the plan.
He failed early on, got hurt, and a Sidney Ponson and Dan Giese later, the Yankees ended up missing the playoffs for the first time in a non strike year since 1993, in the final year of the Old Yankee Stadium no less. It was fair to say that Mr. Hughes had a lot on his plate heading into spring training this season.
He excelled during the Spring and had people believing in him again, that he was the real deal and was a bright spot for the Yankees in the future. Of course that future just happened to be on April 28th in a near half empty Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.
Hughes would pitch six shutout innings against the Tigers, and once the Yankee bats exploded to the tune of a 10 run top of the seventh inning, Hughes, who had thrown 99 pitches, had earned his first win since 2007.
“He looked really good,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said he took Hughes out because of the length of the New York seventh. “He had his legs under him tonight.”
Phil Hughes has alot to learn about being a major league pitcher, especially being 21 years old and pitching for the New York Yankees. He will have his moments of greatness and failure and his job is to make sure the greatness is reached and the failure is minimal.
“I feel like I’m back to where I was a couple years ago,” Hughes said. “I just wanted to pitch well and earn another shot.”
Phil Hughes earned his shot last night and all the Yankees and the fans want now is for Hughes to finally become Superman.