Dan Johnson Needed Two Pitches To Beat Hughes And The Yankees
Added by Gregg Snyder on September 16, 2010.
Making his first start in nine days, Phil Hughes was dominant for four innings. Perfect actually. He wouldn’t be perfect on this night. In fact, he wouldn’t even get his team a victory, thanks to Dan Johnson.
The Rays designated hitter who spent last season playing in Japan needed two swings to carry his team to their second win in three games against the Yankees.
Third baseman Evan Longoria led off the fifth with a single off Hughes. Two batters later, the Yankees starter made his first mistake. Johnson belted a two run home run to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
The Yankees would fight back after an acting session by shortstop Derek Jeter. Rays reliever Chad Qualls threw a pitch. All you saw at first was Jeter immediately grab for his wrist and appear to be in severe pain. The Yankees captain was quickly checked out by manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan.
The next batter, Curtis Granderson, drilled a two run home run to put the Yankees ahead by a score of 3-2. Replays showed the pitch to Jeter never touched him. The ball hit directly off the knob of the bat. So, at this point, the acting job by Derek Jeter allowed the Yankees to take the lead.
Phil Hughes would come back out for the seventh inning. Since he looked so dominant outside of that one pitch to Johnson, it was hard to argue with Girardi’s decision to leave his young starter in the game.
Rays DH, Dan Johnson
Again with a runner on, Johnson crushed a Hughes offering over the right field wall for yet another two run home run. The Rays now led 4-3, the games final score.
Hughes would go 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on just four hits. He struck out five. Outside of the two pitches to Dan Johnson, Hughes pitched an excellent game. Those two pitchers however were enough for the Rays to top the Yankees who went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
The second home run for Johnson was his sixth in his career against the Yankees in just 54 at bats. The loss puts the Yankees a half game back in the American League East.