What a difference a day makes. Tuesday night’s game was kind of a snooze, but tonight’s? I was on the edge of my seat every second.
From the first inning, it was clear that Phil Hughes had it going. He worked quickly, threw strikes, had good velocity, looked determined. The A’s batters went down, one after the other (well, except for a walk), and before I knew it, it was the seventh inning – and Hughes hadn’t given up a hit. Would he throw a no-hitter? Would he? My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty.
Into the eighth we went. Hughes got out #1. Big sigh. Then up came Eric Chavez, Oh, no! His stupid chopper back to the mound bounced off Hughes’ chest and he made it to first for an infield single. What a way to break up the no-no! Bummer!
The Yankees offense, by the way, wasn’t exactly teeing off on Ben Sheets. He gave up back to back triples to A-Rod and Cano (yes, triples!), and an RBI ground out to Posada, but that was it. So when Hughes started to falter in the eighth, the Yanks were only up 2-0. Joba allowed one of Hughes’ base runners to score for 2-1. I felt my throat close up at that point.
But the inning ended without further damage and the Yanks provided some insurance in the ninth (huge single for Gardner, scoring Granderson to put us up 3-1). Then came Mo.
Normally, I figure “game over.” But Mo – shockingly – gave up a single to Sweeney, then he hit Suzuki. He looked sort of annoyed by the whole thing and promptly got down to business. The A’s didn’t score, the win was preserved for Hughes and the Yankees’ consecutive series streak is now at five – which hasn’t been matched for the franchise since 1926.
Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira still aren’t hitting, Randy Winn may never get a hit, and the A’s fans and their “Yankees suck” chant were obnoxious, but who cares. The night belonged to Hughes. He was brilliant.