Phil Hughes Loses Again
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 16- A very large crowd of 44,682 came to a matinee of Thursday with the hope and possibly even the expectation that the recently reconstituted Bronx Bombers, that scored 27 runs against the Los Angeles in the past two games, would win and sweep the four game set.
The faith of those hopeful fans was not rewarded as the Yanks scored four runs, three in the final inning, too little certainly and almost too late. The Yanks hit safely in all nine innings, but did not score in seven. On the other hand, the Angels scored eight, more than enough to achieve an easy victory.
Phil Hughes, the Yankee starter, did not pitch poorly. He yielded only six hits in six innings, but three resulted in runs off Hughes. Rookie J.B. Schuck led off the contest with a single. After stealing second, he scored on a single by Josh Hamilton.
Erick Aybar began the third with a double. After two were retired, Hughes surrendered his 23rd home run, 17 at Yankee Stadium, in his 23rd start of the season to Chris Nelson. To add insult to injury, Nelson was briefly a member of the Yankees in May and the home run was his first of 2013.
After the game, Nelson spoke about the at bat, “I started off with a strikeout [in inning #2] and had to make adjustments. I just battled my way back [from a 0-2 count].”
The three runs were sufficient for Hughes to earn the loss, his 12th of the season. The right-hander lost his last five decisions and eight of his last nine. He has been especially ineffective at home. He has a mark of 0-8 and an ERA of 7.46 in his last nine starts at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankee relievers in the eighth, Shawn Kelley, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain, poured gasoline on the fire that had already started as they collectively gave up an additional five runs that inning.
The hero of the game for L.A. was Nelson, who hit his second homer of the game in the eighth with the bases filled. His five RBI was a career high for a single contest. Of the game, he remarked, “I really enjoyed it.”
He also reminisced with reporters of his short time as a Yankee this year, “I enjoyed my time here. It was a great experience for me.”
Mike Scioscia, the manager of the Angels, was pleased but not surprised by the progress Nelson has made with his team, “It’s a great day for Chris, both offensively and defensively. He’s got some pop. Hopefully, it’s a sign of more to come. I think he’s getting acclimated.”
“Yankee killer’ Mike Trout continued his offensive against the Yanks. He raised his hit streak to 12 games against them. He reached base three times with a double, walk and was hit by a pitch to raise his on base streak to 37 consecutive games.
Yankee second sacker Robinson Cano raised his hitting streak to 10 games and his 2013 batting average to .300 with three hits during the game.
Alfonse Soriano who hit four homers and drove in 13 runs in the previous two games, did not lessen his batting success. He hit safely four times in five at bats and knocked in a run. When asked about Soriano, the opposing manager joked, “We kept Soriano in the park.”
The Yanks now travel north to Boston for a three game weekend series. They return to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday for a four game set with Toronto.