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Gameday Live 30: Yankees at Orioles


Gameday Live 30: Yankees at Orioles
May 9, 2009 (Newsday delivered by Newstex ) --

Stephen Haynes here to shoot the breeze with you... and stuff. So, let's get right into the useless pre-game blather.

You know when a win is a big deal? When it's made into a big deal that a team simply won. Thats something the Yankees had failed to do since May 1, dropping five straight before last nights 4-0 win. And its not often that a first-inning home run can make an ?oh, and item out of the leagues highest-paid pitcher, who had underachieved to that point, throwing his first shutout. But it did.

Perhaps Alex Rodriguezs comeback and his first-pitch shot was A-Shot in the arm (nickname pun yes, steroid pun unintentional), providing the spark the team needed. Still ? to flip that ol' Robert Frost line ? theyve got promises to keep and months to go before they sleep. At 14-15 and 4.5 games behind the Red Sox, they can't afford to have Rodriguezs return be just a Red Bull fix ? an immediate burst of energy followed by a period of lethargy. And Rodriguez alone isnt enough plaster of Paris to plug every hole (i.e. the inconsistency of the starters, the ineptitude of the bullpen and the offenses' struggles w/ RISP). So, yeah, months to go before they sleep.

Off topic, but of note

Ian Kennedy will have surgery on Tuesday to treat an aneurysm in an artery near his right shoulder. The surgery will be done by Dr. George Todd, who performed a similar operation on David Cone in 1996. Kennedy, 24, had been on the DL with what was thought to be a vasospasm in his right middle finger. The former first-round pick was 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA in four starts at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

Pitching matchup

Phil Hughes (NYY) vs. Adam Eaton (BAL)

After a good first outing ? six scoreless innings vs. the Tigers on April 28 ? Hughes struggled in his second start, giving up four runs in four innings against the Red Sox. He faced 22 batters, walking four and striking out two. And Hughes has some pressure on him today. If theres such a thing as momentum in sports, his performance will go a long way in the Yankees maintaining it. A poor start resulting in a loss and the good vibes from yesterday can quickly dissipate.

Small sample size, but Hughes has made three starts against the Orioles, going 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA. The win came in 2007 and last year he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings to them. Obviously, none of the Orioles has faced Hughes a whole lot, with Brian Roberts having the most at-bats (9), but theyve hit .317 off him. Nick Markakis has had the most success, going 4-for-8 with a walk and three RBIs. Aubrey Huff is 2-for-5 with three walks.

Eaton is 1-3 with a 7.18 ERA, opponents are hitting .304 off him and the right-hander has had just one game this season that would qualify as a ?quality start. Having spent most of his career in the National League, he doesnt have much history with the Yankees . Mark Teixeira has had the most plate appearances against him, going 5-for-8 with a double, a triple a homer, three RBIs and a walk. Nick Swisher is 2-for-4 with two home runs and Rodriguez is 2-for-3 with a homer.

Despite his struggles, Eaton has good stuff and good enough control. He features a fastball that can get up to the mid-90s, a slow, looping curveball and a decent changeup. His problem has been location and an inability to work out of jams. Opponents are hitting .359 against him with runners in scoring position.

If patterns and stats can be considered oracles (but they often aren't), this sets up to be a high-scoring game.

Newstex ID: 34789859


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 10, 2009

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