New York Yankees and Joe Girardi Are Delusional About Phil Hughes

Harold FriendChief Writer ISeptember 1, 2011

Joe Girardi Thinking Hard About What He Will Say to the Media
Joe Girardi Thinking Hard About What He Will Say to the MediaGreg Fiume/Getty Images

It becomes more ridiculous daily. The rationalizing is disgusting.

Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees refuse to acknowledge the fact that Phil Hughes' performances make one want to puke. They are delusional about Phil Hughes.

Does Girardi seriously believe that Hughes can help in the playoffs?

Last night's comments illustrate that Girardi and Hughes have created their own reality.

Hughes pitched 5.2 innings. Boston got to him for eight hits, two walks and six runs.

After the game, the Yankees thought that Hughes had shown improvement. Yes, that's what they said.

It would be difficult not to show improvement over Hughes' last start against the "powerful" offense of the Oakland A's. On Aug. 25, Hughes lasted 2.2 innings, giving up six runs and seven hits.

Against Boston, he again gave up six runs, but hey, he worked 5.2 innings this time. That is better, isn't it?

The Yankees said that Hughes had made progress. Girardi told the media that Hughes had pitched better than his line indicates.

"I thought he threw the ball pretty good," Joe Girardi said. "You're going to look up and he's going to give up six runs, but I thought he pitched better than that. I thought [Hughes] got back on track, but this is a dangerous offense."

Girardi was supported by others who thought that Hughes did have decent stuff, but what is significant is that even that wasn't enough to prevent him from being ineffective.

A reporter for had the audacity to write "Yet 5.2 innings of eight-hit ball may not be enough to keep Hughes in the rotation."

Yes, and except for the East Coast, Hurricane Irene didn't do much damage to the United States.

Hughes' comments were even more revealing.

"They're strong up and down," Hughes said. "They're kind of like us. They're going to wear you down and make you battle. Any given night, they'll jump on any mistake you make."

Then he gave it away: "I can't really control what happens."

Isn't it a pitcher's job to try to control what happens? He is supposed to do his best to prevent the other team from scoring. This season, Hughes' best is bad.

Phil Hughes is 4-5 with a 6.75 ERA, a 6.4 ERA+ and a 1.550 WHIP. Does anyone believe that any manager in baseball could consider giving him a playoff start?

There has been speculation that Hughes might pitch out of the bullpen in the playoffs as the "seventh-inning man." Girardi had better use the last month of the season to find out how Hughes adjusts.

The fact that there are now "seventh-inning men" reflects on how the game is managed. No, the game has not changed, but the way it is managed has changed radically.

Did David Cone, David Wells, Orlando Hernandez, Roger Clemens or Andy Pettitte need a "seventh-inning man?"

The Yankees must go into the playoffs with CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova as their starters. Having either Hughes or his pal A.J. Burnett start might not produce pretty results.