Phil Hughes is still several weeks away from rejoining the Yankees, but he moved one step closer to returning to the mound by playing catch prior to last night’s game against the Red Sox.
Hughes told George A. King III of the New York Post that he felt “good” after making 30 throws from a distance of 60 feet. He is expected to play catch again today and tomorrow before being reevaluated. Hughes has also been cleared to resume weight lifting and arm strengthening exercises.
The Yankees placed Hughes on the disabled list on April 15 with what was technically termed as right shoulder inflammation. The cause of his velocity drop remains a mystery, but his arm has responded well following a recent cortisone shot. Still, he’s unlikely to return to the Yankees until mid-June.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.