For the second outing in a row, Phil Hughes struggled. Against the Cincinnati Reds last Friday, Hughes gave up four runs over 2 2-3 innings, while recording two strikeouts. Against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight, Hughes gave up seven runs (six earned) and seven hits over four innings. He struck out three, walked two and allowed three home runs in the Yankees' 12-9 victory. He checked in at 77 pitches for 48 strikes.
The wind was acting up, with gusts reaching over 40 m.p.h. After a solid start to the spring, however, Hughes has come back with two stinkers.
Here is Hughes' reaction via Peter Abraham:
He said that he was overstriding on the mound because he was trying to throw too hard. “Even though it didn’t look it, the last few innings were better,” he said.
Hughes said he typically does not pitch well in spring training. “I wish that wasn’t the case but it seems to be,” he said.
At least Hughes recognizes what caused him trouble, so hopefully he can work on this with pitching coach Dave Eiland.As for the offense, the Yankees scored 12 runs. Jorge Posada hit a two-run home run in the second inning. He finished the day going 3-4 with three RBI. Bobby Abreu went 2-4 with two RBI. Alex Rodriguez went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Hideki Matsui went 2-3 with a double while playing left field.
Billy Traber gave up two unearned runs in his one inning of work. He also allowed a hit and a walk. LaTroy Hawkins worked a perfect inning, and Kei Igawa pitched a scoreless inning despite allowing two hits and a walk.
The Yankees, behind Ian Kennedy, will travel to Dunedin, Fla. to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Brett Cecil will get the start for Toronto.