Tonight's game brings us one of the most highly anticipated debuts in recent Yanks history, the last one probably being none other than shortstop/deity Derek Jeter. Phil's promotion to the Yanks has caused quite a stir
amongst the fans and the media and all eyes will be on him tonight, scrutinizing his every pitch and waiting to see how he reacts to the immense pressure (and expectations galore
) he'll surely be feeling.
Even though he's only 20, he has already proven himself to be a rare talent, and I don't think there is a question of whether he is physically
capable of being successful with the Yanks. My concern is not the number of Jays he'll strike out tonight, but how he will react when one inevitably gets a big hit off him or if he gets himself into a tight spot with the bases loaded.
Will the knowledge that the Yankees have lost the last 5 games on account of their pitching make him fearful that he won't be able to get them a win either? Worse yet, will the expectations from the crowd at Yankee Stadium overwhelm him? In my opinion, I can envision tonight's game going either direction:
- Proving that the "mature" description he has received is indeed true, Phil pitches 7 solid innings. When he gives up a hit or two, he remains calm and gets himself out of trouble. The Yanks win the game, and Phil uses a fake ID (since he is only 20...not that I condone such obviously illegal behavior) and goes out on the town with the rest of the team to celebrate.
- He starts out well, striking out a few and receives a ton of cheers. Then Sal Fasano smacks a homer off him in the 3rd and the humiliation overtakes his confidence, leading him to serve up 4 additional homers and thus beating Chase Wright's record from last weekend. After the embarrassing loss (of the game and his confidence), Phil uses that fake ID to purchase some malt liquor and drowns his sorrows back in his hotel room.
As usual, the Yankees Chick is remaining cautiously optimistic
at this point. It is unfortunate that our pitching staff has been reduced to a pile of injured rubble, but it will be fun to get a sneak peak at Phil at this early stage. Let's cross our fingers that A-Rod belts a homer tonight to give the Yanks an early lead and take the pressure on Hughes down a notch. Or two... A-Rod can handle that!
Labels: farm hands, injuries