Tonight’s game had a playoff feel to it. Outside of the Yanks wheelin’ and dealin’, baseball’s two best teams were locked in a tightly contested contest. Nick Swisher’s first inning home run set the tone, but Phil Hughes’ sixth inning mistake to Matt Joyce proved to be the difference as the Rays edged the Yankees, 3-2.

Initial Reaction:

In a game where these two top offensive clubs only combined for eight total hits, the Yankees fell victim to one costly Phil Hughes mistake. With the Yankees up 2-0 and two runners on with two-out in the sixth inning, Hughes gave up a three-run home run to right fielder, Matt Joyce. This mistake was the difference in the game.

The Yankee offense was pretty stagnant tonight as only Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Nick Swisher recorded hits. The search for#600 will go into tomorrow as Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 tonight.

Positives From The Game:

High-Leverage Joba: A story that got somewhat lost in the scope of the game was Joba Chamberlain’s two solid innings. Hughes left after the sixth inning, giving way to Chamberlain. Joba threw two innings of hit-less ball. He struck out three. Baby steps, Joba. Baby Steps.

Hughes Minus the Jack: Phil Hughes was excellent tonight. Outside of the home run he gave up, he struck out six hitters while allowing only three hits.

Negatives From The Game:

Where’s the O?: Mentioned previously, the Yankees only mustered four hits against the Rays pitchers. The Yanks will have trouble winning if Mark Teixeira and A-Rod combine for a cool, 0 for 7.

Interesting Facts:

0 for 11: Thanks for showing up, Jorge, Curtis, Colin, and Brett

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will try to do something that the Tigers couldn’t do earlier this week against Matt Garza, Get. A. Hit.

Saturday, 7:10 PM, YES: Javier Vazquez (9-7, 4.54 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (11-5, 4.06 ERA)

Last Start:
Vazquez: Win, seven innings, two earned runs, five strikeouts (at CLE)
Garza: Win, nine innings, no hits, eight strikeouts (no hitter, vs. DET)

**Vazquez has won his last three decisions while dropping his ERA from 4.81 to 4.54 during that time frame.
**Garza has not lost since June 18th.