By Sweeny Murti
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In the middle of HOPE Week, Phil Hughes gave the Yankees a little more hope as they get closer to the trading deadline. Hughes gave up nine hits, but just two runs to a Seattle team with the worst batting average in the league and, oh yes, had lost 17 in a row.
Hughes was more disappointed than anyone after he couldn't make it through the fifth inning of a 17-7 win over another offensively challenged Oakland team last week. But listen below to Hughes after Wednesday's effort against the Mariners, and you can tell how much more pressure he is putting on himself right now. This was for intents and purposes his fourth start of the year, and he's trying to show mid-season form. It's just not there yet:
Hughes is still a guy who has pitched well for the Yankees when he's healthy, and right now he is healthy. He will have to make big strides very quickly for the Yankees to feel a little more confident going into the postseason. But there is time for that.
Even if the Yankees aren't able to wrestle away another starting pitcher before Sunday's trade deadline, they do have enough pitching to get through the 162-game regular season. Trouble is they might not have enough to get through a seven-game series against good offensive teams with better starting pitching (e.g., Boston).
But some head-to-head victories against the Red Sox next weekend would make everybody feel a little better, I'm sure.
P.S. Do yourself a favor and check out some of the uplifting stories that are part of the Yankees HOPE Week. HOPE stands for Helping Others Persevere and Excel, and its a great initiative for community involvement that includes every Yankee player and coach during the week.
Do the Yankees need to deal for an arm? Give us your thoughts in the comments below...
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