The silver lining from tonight's ugly 5-4 loss to the Orioles was that Phil Hughes, so brilliant last week in Oakland when he almost threw a no-hitter, felt lousy tonight.
"I was out of whack," he said.
That said, he allowed two hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings. Good pitchers aren't going to feel at their best 30 times a year and part of what separates the really good ones from the average ones is the ability to grind out decent starts without their best stuff. Joe Girardi felt that way but, and maybe this is a good sign as well, Hughes wasn't particularly interested in giving himself credit for giving up just one run while not feeling great.
"I just have to trust my stuff a little bit more," Hughes said. "I just have to know my stuff is good enough and just attack the strike zone and not nibble as much as I was early on."
*** David Robertson was not pleased with himself after hitting a batter and allowing three straight hits in the sixth.
“I got ahead a couple times and when I had an opportunity to get someone out, I just didn’t make the pitch,” said Robertson, whose season ERA increased to 10.80. “You don’t make pitches, guys are going to hit. This is the big leagues and balls are going to get hit hard when you leave them in the zone.”
*** Derek Jeter had what at the time didn't seem a costly error but it came back to bite, booting Ty Wigginton's grounder to start the eighth. With the help of Jorge Posada's throwing error on a steal attempt, Wigginton scored later in the inning to make it 5-2. The Yankees rallied in the ninth to cut it to 5-4.
“It always hurts anytime you make an error and the guy ends up scoring,” Jeter said. “Obviously doesn’t feel good but it’s just one of those things.”
As for the Yankees' approach against the Orioles, a baseball-worst 3-16 coming in, Jeter said it's the same across the board.
"Usually when we're playing teams it doesn't really make a difference what their record is because they usually get up for us," Jeter said. "Whether it's the beginning of the season or late in the season when you play teams that are out of it, they do the same thing. So you can't really concern yourself with what teams' records are because we know they [the Orioles] have a good team, we know they're capable of scoring some runs. So, no, that has no bearing on our mindset."
The Yankees are back at it tomorrow night as CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.00) takes on Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 3.46).
Also, we'll have a Live Chat here tomorrow morning at 10:30. Feel free to stop by.