Sunday, July 14, 2013

Even the Twins Give Hughes the Blues

The Yankees entered Saturday with a 5-0 record this season against their opponent, the Minnesota Twins. Their record against the Twins since 2009? 26-7. That doesn't include their playoff victory that year on the path to their 27th World Series title. The Twins have been eliminated from the playoffs by the New Yorkers in 2003, 2004, and 2010 as well. The Yankees have treated the Twins like every day is Cindo de Mayo and the Twins are a pinata that the team has continually busted open with a 42 oz. bat.

None of that mattered yesterday when Minnesota won their first game of the six played this season. Phil Hughes pitched an outstanding game, tying his career high with 10 strikeouts, but with this Yankees lineup you cannot give up runs. Phil Hughes did just that as he was once again haunted by the long ball. Three of them to be exact.

Hughes have up an early blast to Trevor Plouffe to tie the game at 1-1 after Robinson Cano had provided an RBI single in the 1st inning. Rookie Sam Deduno allowed six hits and three walks in seven innings, but the Yankees failed time and again to get another run on the board.  Perhaps the worst moment came with runners on the corners and two outs in the 4th.

Zoilo Almonte broke from first in an attempt to steal second base. Vernon Wells headed for home as soon as catcher Ryan Doumit's throw attempted to cut down Almonte. The rookie then made a rookie mistake - instead of stopping short of second base to allow Wells to score, Almonte slid in to the bag and was tagged by out Pedro Florimon, well ahead of Wells reaching home plate.

It was one of the best chances the team would get as Deduno and the Twins relievers kept the Yankees runners stranded at first base. Cano 1st inning hit was the only one in a measly four chances with runners in scoring position (RISP).

With the game still tied in the 7th, Doumit lined a home run a couple of rows deep in right field to put the Twins ahead for good. Hughes' day ended when he surrendered a 2-run shot to Florimon in the 8th. For a team struggling to score runs, a three run deficit is too much to come back from.

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