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After suffering his fourth loss in five starts this season last night against the Tigers, Phil Franchise fell to 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA.

Is it time to demote him to the minors? I don’t think it is. My brother Trevor commented last week that he should be taken out of the rotation.

Do I think the Yankees will make the playoffs this season? More likely no, but I won’t be surprised if they did. For the big reason of the development of Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy, the Yankees need to be patient. R.E.A.L.L.Y. patient.

I take every Hughes and Kennedy loss in stride, knowing it’s part of their development and adjustment to the majors. But at what point will the towel be thrown in?

It depends on how much Hank will take. The Yankees have a plethora of reasons why they should keep on going like this — namely injuries. A-Rod just went on the DL for the first time since 2000. Jorge’s on the DL as well. The Yankees have had numerous players suffer from various setbacks.

Courtesy of PeteAbe, there have been nine Yankees (not including Chamberlain’s bereavement leave) on the injured list. That’s why Hank and Cashman need to be patient. They should be fortunate the Yankees are close to the top of the AL East, especially at how pitiful Boston and Toronto are playing. (Plus the Yankees are perennial slow starters except for the 1998 season.)

Hughes has had an excellent minor league career. Yes, he nearly pitched a no-hitter last year (so did Buchholz for that matter, but he actually pitched one), and he won a playoff game last year. This is his first full year in the majors and he is the youngest pitcher in major league baseball. Give him a break. I’d rather have him lose 10 games and improve his learning curve than be sent back to the minors. It won’t do him any good to go back — let’s say until June — and work on his confidence. I say give Hughes one more month. The same with Kennedy.

Joseph at RiverAveBlues had this same discussion earlier today, and I am inclined to agree with his views. Looking at the comments, people say we should have gotten Santana instead. They cite the time it will take to develop the pitchers (Kennedy, Chamberlain, Hughes — give them 2-3 years). By then, the lineup will be in its late 30s (Jeter 37, A-Rod 36, Posada 39 for starters), but we have a young squad also waiting in Melky, Cano, Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, and others in the minors. These players will accompany the departing payroll monsters and give us a chance to get to Sabiatha and Teixeira.

The bottom line? Let Hughes learn on his own, but give him guidance and support to master pitching at the majors.

The Yankees salvaged the last two games of a series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

After losing two nailbiters in the first two games by a score of 6-4 and 4-3 on Friday and Saturday, the Yankees rebounded the last two games to tie the season series.

On Friday, behind a tough Pettitte loss by a Jhonny Peralta homer, the Yankees were not able to muster much offense other than two homers by Giambi (more on that later) and one by Matsui.

Saturday saw no different as Ian Kennedy did satisfactory but a base loaded single in the bottom of the ninth gave the Indians the victory. It was I-Ken’s best outing of the season so far, but did not earn the Yankees a win.

Sunday was baseball at its classiest performance — a pitcher’s duel as last year’s Cy Young award winner and future Yankee starter C.C. Sabiatha went toe to toe with Chien Ming Wang. Wang came out the winner, becoming the first AL starter to go 5-0 this season. Sabiatha allowed only one run, the deciding factor of this game, with a homer to Melky Cabrera in the sixth inning.

Last night’s victory was as sweet as it was with a 5-2 defeat of the Indians behind solid pitching by the Moose.

Notes to consider
1) A-Rod is still bothered by his strained quads.
2) Jorge Posada may be lost for 30 days or 4-6 months or the entire season.
3) Giambi is offensively getting better, but he isn’t out of MY doghouse yet.
4) The younger guns continue to get better at pitching, but the Chamberlain bullpen/rotation debate isn’t over yet.
5) Rivera is 8-8 in saves this year with a 0.00 ERA. Who could ask for more from baseball’s eminent closer?
6) The Yankees were on a seven-city road trip the last three weeks, playing 18 of 20 games away from home (gee, thanks, Pope Benedict!). They escaped from MLB’s most grueling month of any team with a 14-13 record and only one game behind first place.
7) Re: #6 – it’s pathetic to see that Tampa Bay, Boston, and Baltimore are tied. That’s how poor the AL East has been this month. Boston has lost 5 straight and Tampa Bay has won 6 straight (including 3 from Boston).

The Yankees return home for several series this week, a three game series vs. Detroit Tigers and this weekend a series against the Seattle Mariners. I’ll be at the Saturday Seattle game!

After a rain delay costing a strong start by Phil Hughes, I think the Yankees escaped with a 2-1 series win over the White Sox.

The White Sox had been the most productive team offensively in the majors and the Yankees came into town to  stop that.

In the first game, Chien Ming-Wang pitched an effective game, earning his 50th major league victory in only 85 starts. That’s the best since 1986. Does anyone still not think he’s an ace? It couldn’t hurt to have Abreu hit a grand slam. Boy, is he off to a hot start (minus that 0-5 night the next night).

The second game saw Moose at a vintage best as he pitched seven strong innings and Mo got his 6th save. Mo’s ERA is still at 0.00. Jorge was sizzlin’. 4-5 with 3 doubles.  After Jeter got off the bench and played in Baltimore last weekend, he was hot. Jorge’s back, and he’s hot. Does that mean A-Rod will be hot in Cleveland this weekend?

LaTroy Hawkins still sucks donkey balls. Seriously. His ERA became 11.17. Can we get Darrel Rasner or Edwar Ramirez back here?

Last night’s game showed promise for a chance of a sweep of the White Sox (first since 2002), but thanks to Mother Nature, that did not happen.  Phil Hughes (who has been the subject of criticism and praise lately) was spectacular in two innings of 23 pitches. Then the skies opened. After 51 minutes, it wasn’t worth the price of an arm. Ross Ohlendorf came in, pitched one strong and one weak inning. Then came back Donkey Balls man, who again sucked. At least his ERA went down to 10.03.

Joba got his first major league loss last night. The White Sox scored a run off him in the 9th inning. It’s better to get that first “milestone” out of the way.

This weekend the Yankees head to Jacobs Progressive Field. On the mound tonight is Pettitte. He’ll be gunning for his fourth victory of the season.

The Yankees salvaged a possible sweep and a possible fourth straight loss with a very strong pitching performance from the best left hander on the Yankees rotation. Wait. Andy Pettitte’s the only left hander worth mentioning.

Pettitte kept the Orioles to only one run in seven innings, helping the Yankees win 7-1.

After watching the game on Friday personally at the Yards, I was impressed with Hughes’ performance. If not for Giambi or A-Rod’s errors, the game would have been closer. I-Ken wasn’t good at all yesterday. Giardi did a good thing today separating Hughes and I-Ken to a day between them, inserting Pettitte in between. This gives the Yankees rotation a nicer spin with Wang, Moose, Hughes, Petts and I-Ken in that order.

With an off day tomorrow (finally, about time), the Yankees will go to Chicago to face their old teammate, Jose Contreras, who is 1-1 on the season. Wang will try to build on his “W” column with his fifth start of the season.

In all, Pettitte was the only bright spot of the trip to Baltimore. Jeter was good, and so was Chad Moeller (Posada to first base, anyone?) . Hughes was okay, I-Ken needs more work.

Lets hope we can win a couple from the White Sox, who are doing not so badly themselves. They have an awful Twins, dismal Tigers, and inconsistent Indians to content with.

You’ve seen the MasterCard “Priceless” commercials.

Well here’s mine:

Tickets to beloved Yankees game at Camden Yards: $84

Food, water and beer: $29

Parking: $25

Peanuts, beer, and water: $12

Watching Phil Franchise and the Yankees: Priceless

But their loss last night was not so priceless. The Yankees were keeping the game close until the 6th and 7th inning when they self-destructed, losing to the O’s 8-2. There were quite a few (and I am being soft here) Yankee fans there. One thing I noticed is that there are many A-Rod and Jeter jerseys out there. There are also Matsui, Rivera, Giambi and Posada jerseys. But, I saw MANY Joba jerseys. This guy hasn’t even pitched one full season in the majors and he’s already got a cult following. He wasn’t even at the game last night.

Giambi’s error in the third inning had me fuming. I could have caught it. You don’t put your glove on your side, you put your body in front of the ball. I’m just glad he didn’t miss another one in the 7th inning and fielded it carefully. Moron.

A-Rod wasn’t better with his fielding either. At least we’ll compensate with his hitting. Last night it wasn’t there, but it’ll count.

I never knew Edwar Ramirez was such a beanpole. I saw him snagging flies during BP and he’s so skinny he could fit into a PVC pipe.

Speaking of BP, I nearly caught two A-Rod homers into the left field viewing area. Two other guys got there faster and another hit ball landed like four feet away but a guy with a glove was there first. If I had caught a foul (one landed 8 rows up from me) or a BP ball, it’d have gone to a little boy or girl (or Leah if she goes to a game with me).

The seat I had was the very first row in the club section. Nice — food delivered to your seat and perfect, clear views of the game and prices that were not so bad. I definitely enjoyed my game. Alas, we lost.

But, Pete Abraham sums it up nicely. I am not one to give up or think that Phil Hughes is doomed or should go back to the minors. He DID pitch well for 5.1 innings. He pitched with good velocity and good control. He’s doing well compared to other pitchers of his age when they were that young (Clemens, Schilling, Johnson, Maddux, etc.).

I think the Yankees will bounce back tonight (against the O’s again at 7:05pm).

Overall, a nice way to end my work week by watching my beloved Yankees in person!

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