So what's happened while I've been away so far? Hmmm. Anything big? Oh yeah, there's that Andy Pettitte injury. And Phil Hughes had a bad outing against the Angels. That's the All-Star Phil Hughes. That's the Phil Hughes that had 11 wins before the break. It's the Phil Hughes now that he's had one bad start in the second half, it's time for the Yankees to start shopping for another pitcher.
Why is it when the Yankees try to get Cliff Lee they are trying to corner the market on pitching and its not fair to the other teams, then when a pitcher goes down, the same people who thought the former are thinking the Yankees need insurance to make another World Series run? Just because Hughes second half didn't get off to a sparkling start, doesn't mean he can't win another 11 games in the second half. Why can't he?
In his first eight starts this season, Hughes was 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA and a BAA of .202. The strikeout-to walk-ratio: 49 K's and 18 BB's. His last nine starts he is 6-2 with an inflated 5.11 ERA and the BAA went up considerably to .286. The strikeout-to walk-ratio is still good though: 44 strikeouts and just 13 walks.
So he's 11-3 with an ERA under 4. Hughes only problem? Spoiling us early on with the low ERA and being unhittable. What does that mean in New York? Elevated expectations. Win every time you step on the mound. Don't let the other team score. I don't know how many times I have to say this, but here we go again. "The baseball season is full of peaks and valleys. It's 162 games. Pitchers get anywhere from 30-35 starts if healthy. They are not machines. They are humans. If you get queasy, don't get on the roller coaster ride that is the baseball season."
I am banking on Hughes being fine. I am not worried about this Yankees team. I also think A.J. Burnett will have some big starts down the stretch too. I don't think the Yankees need to bring the baseball world to its knees with a BIG trade for a BIG arm. They can utilize their farm system. See Mike Axisa's column for River Ave. Blues. Good job out of him.
They still have the best record in baseball. They are still in first place. You know the funniest thing? The Yankees are the only first place team, with the best record in the game, that if you were to paint a picture of their fan base, it would be a bunch of people ripping their hair out, running towards a giant red panic button. I would not be in that picture. A) I have no hair to pull out. B) I'm not about to panic.
Okay back to vacation.