From Sam Borden (LoHud):
As I said on Twitter, Phil Hughes ducked the media after walking two to lead off the eighth. Dave Eiland said Hughes tried to be “too perfect,” but expressed confidence the team will continue to utilize him in the same role. “Sure, why not,” Eiland said. “He’s had a heckuva lot more good outings than bad. We’re not going to throw the towel on him yet.”
At this point, “Sure, why not,” doesn’t really inspire much confidence nor does it sound at all convincing. Perhaps the Yankees would be better served piecing together a bridge to Mariano Rivera through matchups rather than set roles related to innings, with Damaso Marte and Phil Coke against lefties and either David Robertson, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain against the righties. Not only has Hughes lost his death grip on the 8th inning, specifically, but he has lost his grip on high leverage innings in general, therefore, the situation must be altered for winning’s sake.
I’m also not averse to calling upon Mariano Rivera for multiple six-out saves. Hell, bring him in every night. Why not? Let him rest in the offseason. To some, that comment may sound somewhat icy, but abusing his golden arm for a few games is likely necessary to win right now. You have to conserve his arm, of course, however, if the Yankees bullpen chucks every lead into the trash or fails to keep the games close, then he won’t see any time during the series.
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