Sports Outside the Beltway

Wang solid, Hughes not: Yanks second loss to Cleveland

Outside of a 1st inning bomb by David Dellucci, Wang was sharp, allowing 4 baserunners in 4 innings with 4 Ks (a lot for him). His sinker moved well despite iffy command. He got most of his Ks on a great slurve (85-88 MPH) that had a lot of downward action.

Rivera followed with a scoreless inning. He threw at least one changeup – the frequency and command of the pitch indicates to me that he will throw it in real games.

Phil Hughes, however, had another sub-par outing. After getting a quick first out, Victor Martinez battled him, fouling off pitch after pitch until he lined an outside fastball to LF. That must have unnerved Hughes because after that: Walk, Double, Sac fly, Walk. He was even worse his next inning, allowing a leadoff triple, a sac fly, and a walk. He was pulled for T.J. Beam who induced a GDP. Hughes did have good command of his low 90s fastball, but struggled with his curve and changeup command. It was obvious he didn’t have enough confidence in his offspeed pitches to get strike 3 on them so he overused his fastball, and the hitters were sitting on it. A few months in AAA should do wonders for him.

The Yanks were rallying in the 7th when speedy CF Brett Gardner singled to right and stretched it into a double. Unfortunately, he was called out when he was clearly safe. The ump was apparently blocked by the SS – how can professional umpires not be in good position to make the call? Maybe it was that 10th donut he had for breakfast.

Jose Tabata had some at-bat in the 9th inning. He worked the count to 3-2 (taking several close pitches) before driving an outside fastball over the RF wall. He has a quick, powerful swing, and showed impressive strength hitting an opposite field HR. The announcers kept incorrectly calling him a 19-year-old. Tabata won’t turn 19 until August.

4-3 Cleveland (the Yanks have just 2 losses this spring, both to the Tribe)

Pavano is starting tomorrow vs. Boston. Rasner and Ohlendorf will follow him.

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