Already, a rubber game
Phil Hughes received some of the loudest cheers when the Yankees were introduced before Tuesday’s game, and it’s clear the fan base has high hopes for the youngest member of their pitching staff. It’s almost strange to say that just because Hughes’ demeanor really doesn’t lend itself to youth. He may be 21 but, to me, he carries himself like a veteran already.
Hughes gets the ball rolling on his 2008 campaign tonight in the rubber game of a three-game series with the Blue Jays. Will Jorge Posada appear in the lineup? Will Jason Giambi continue to resemble a dancing bear at first base? Stay tuned. I thought an excellent defensive first baseman — hi, Doug Mientkiewicz — would have caught the ball that Giambi fell into the photo box chasing, but when you throw Giambi out there, you’re basically hoping he’ll knock everything around him down and scoop throws, which he actually is quite adept at doing.
Lessons from yesterday — don’t steal from the Yankees and don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Mike Mussina looked just OK to me but I was impressed with his ability to spot his curveball, the Frank Thomas hit-by-pitch notwithstanding. If Mussina gives you three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings every time out, I think you have to take that. They won’t face A.J. Burnett every day.