“Let him start,” I said of David Huff. “He can't possibly be any worse than Phil Hughes. What’s the worst that could happen?” As it turns out, it could get pretty bad.
Taking the mound in place of the struggling Hughes, Huff actually managed to make New York Yankees fans wish that Hughes had started instead.
“I was terrible,” said Huff, who took the loss after permitting nine runs in the Yankees’ 13-9 loss to the Boston Red Sox Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. “To come off what I've been doing here and to have that happen today, it’s just embarrassing on my behalf.”
Huff looked good early on. He struck out the first two batters of the game, and then he got Dustin Pedroia to ground out to second base to end the top of the first. He was pitching well, attacking hitters, and getting ahead in counts.
But then the man who had only given up two runs in his first 16 innings with the Yankees, crumbled. He gave up a two-run home run to Mike Napoli in the second, and a three-run home run to Johnny Gomes in the third. In total, Huff dished nine runs (all earned) on eight hits in just 4.1 innings.
“I started off aggressive, and then I started getting too fine, I started nibbling,” Huff said.
Just like that, the Huff experiment was over for Joe Girardi and the Yankees. His next scheduled start is for Thursday in Baltimore, but Girardi wouldn't commit to whether or not Huff would be the guy taking the mound for the Bombers on that night.
As bad as Hughes has been, you have to wonder if the Yankees put him back into the rotation after skipping just one start. After all, Hughes would be the only option for Girardi if he decided that one-and-done with Huff is going to happen.
If you don’t remember, David Phelps is still hurt and just threw a bullpen the other day for the first time in a couple weeks, Michael Pineda might not show up this season, and Vidal Nuno is still somewhere in Florida dealing with a groin problem.
Brett Marshall, who was a starter for the Yankees in Triple-A Scranton this season, and gave up just one run in 4.1 innings Saturday, is a possibility, but I can hardly see that happening.
Overall, my response to Huff's garbage outing Saturday is this: So what? He was facing the Boston Red Sox, who have put up over FIFTY runs over their last four games. His next likely start would be against the Baltimore Orioles, while still a good team, aren't the Red Sox.
Come on, Girardi. Give him one more chance. If he screws up on Thursday, then I’ll give you the OK to bring back Hughes.
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