UPDATE: The Yankees are pushing Hughes back a day and going with Andy Pettitte instead. Which, OK, if you think a day of rest will cure everything that ails Hughes.
4:16 PM: Phil Hughes last pitched on Monday and, after accounting for the Yankees off-day, would be scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Orioles. But not so fast:
Holding him out would be the acknowledgement that Hughes simply hasn’t been getting the job done. He has failed to complete six innings in six of his ten post-All-Star break starts. Heck, five of those didn’t even go five innings. In that time he has complied a 1-6 record with a 5.05 ERA and has given up 61 hits in 51 and two-thirds innings.
The Yankees might have been closer to playoff contention if half their roster wasn’t injured for the bulk of this season. But not punting a start most times Hughes took a turn would have been helpful too.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.