Game 11: Yankees vs. Orioles
Busy day today at Yankee Stadium, as most of the pre-game buzz revolved around Pedro Feliciano’s injury and what that might mean for the Yankees’ bullpen going forward.
But there’s also a lot of focus on Phil Hughes, who has gotten off to an awful start this season and has exhausted himself talking about his missing velocity. Hughes’ fastball may be a few clicks shy of where it was last year, but more concerning to the Yankees is that his command has been off as well.
“Velocity is important, but the location and changing speeds is even more important than velocity,” Joe Girardi said. “There’s a lot of guys that throw 95 [mph] that get whacked around because they don’t locate. I wasn’t getting so caught up in it. It comes down to locating the ball and changing speeds.”
Girardi said that it was possible the continuing questions about Hughes’ velocity might have gotten into the young hurler’s head. His fastball was hovering around 88 to 90 mph instead of the 93 to 94 mph the Yankees would like to see.
“Sometimes when you’re worried about, ‘They’re asking me why I’m not throwing hard, when’s my velocity going to come?’, that gets in the back of your mind,” Girardi said.
Hughes has kept the Orioles off the board, at least through the first two innings. Here are the lineups:
Brian Roberts 2B, Nick Markakis RF, Derrek Lee 1B, Vladimir Guerrero DH, Luke Scott LF, Adam Jones CF, Mark Reynolds 3B, Matt Wieters C, Cesar Izturis SS
Pitching: Jake Arrieta RHP (1-1, 8.68 ERA)
Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Russell Martin C
Pitching: Phil Hughes RHP (0-1, 16.50 ERA)