Holland Pitches a Two Hit Shutout over the Yanks
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- The two 26 year-old starting pitchers, Phil Hughes and Derek Holland, hooked up in an exciting pitchers’ duel in the final game of the three game set between the Yanks and Rangers on Thursday afternoon. Although neither pitcher pitched poorly enough to deserve to lose, Hughes was the losing pitcher.
Hughes, the winning pitcher in only one of his last eight starts, has been mentioned as the starter to be drooped from the rotation if Ivan Nova and/or Michael Pineda are added. Hughes’s performance on Thursday will make it more difficult to remove him from the starting rotation. After the contest concluded, Hughes spoke of the internal pressure he feels, “I put a lot of pressure on myself every time I go out.”
The first run in the game was scored in the third by Texas. David Murphy led off with a single. Jurickson Profar of Curacao walked, but Murphy was tagged out while rounding second. Engel Beltre singled in his first trip to the plate in the majors. Profar scored from third on a sacrifice fly to left by Ian Kinsler.
The only other run of the game was scored in the fifth on a lead-off homer by Profar. The top rated prospect in the majors this year according to Baseball America, Profar is the youngest player currently in the majors. Hughes, the man who surrendered the home run, commented, “You make a bunch of mistakes in the game, but that was the only one that hurt us.”
Hughes pitched eight innings, tied for his longest outing of the year. He only gave up five hits and one base on balls in his lengthy start. When questioned after the game regarding the lack of successful hitting by his Yankees teammates, Hughes put the responsibility for success on himself, “They’ve gotten a lot of runs for me in the past. I have to do a better job of keeping us in the game.”
The starter for Texas, Derek Holland, threw his sixth complete game in his years with Texas, everyone was a shutout. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi explained his success in the game, “He was ahead of our guys all afternoon. He attacked the strike zone.” Ichiro Suzuki led-off the game for the Yankees with a single to left and Austin Romine singled with two out in the second. The only other Yankee baserunner was Jayson Nix, who walked in the third. The two hits was the lowest offensive output of the season.
Derek Holland, who began the contest with an 0-5 mark against the Yankees and an 8.85 ERA was overjoyed by the win, “It’s huge. I haven’t had great success here, so to come into Yankee Stadium and throw a two-hit shutout was big, a big boost to my confidence.”
Girardi remarked, “We’re struggling right now. I think we’re capable of scoring runs, but time will tell.” Lyle Overbay, who was hitless in three at bats against Holland, said, “He was throwing a lot of first ball strikes. It’s tough to let those go. [For that reason] I think we were too aggressive on his pitches. We didn’t get deep enough.”
The Yankees now embark upon a seven game road trip, three games at Baltimore, followed by four at Minnesota.