Chris Capuano returned from the disabled list to face the New York Yankees. Apparently the rest was good for him. Capuano entered the game with a 1.515 WHIP and a 5.50 ERA. He was giving up 10.1 hits per nine innings and 3.5 walks per nine. All the Yankees could manage against him were three singles and no walks in six scoreless innings and then managed only one more base runner via a hit by pitch against two relievers. Phil Hughes continued his home Mr. Hyde act and gave up ten hits and a hit by pitch in six innings of work and gave up five runs on the way to a final score of 6-0. The tone of this one was set in the first inning and once that frame was over, the game was effectively over. Hughes reached a 1-2 count on lead-off batter, Skip Schumaker, and then promptly left a fastball in the middle of the plate for a sharp single. Yasiel Puig then set down a perfect bunt for a base hit. Hughes again got to a two-strike count on Adrian Gonzalez and threw another fat fastball for another single that plated Schumaker. The conga line continued as Hanley Ramirez singled to a wide open second-base hole created by Robinson Cano playing Ramirez up the middle. Puig scored. Four straight hits to start the game by Hughes and two runs were already in. Andre Ethier flew out to Ichiro Suzuki for the first out but then Jerry Hairston, Jr. hit a seeing-eye single to load the bases. Catcher, Tim Federowicz then hit into a double play to end the threat.
Hughes had given up two runs, but had gotten out of a bigger jam and that seemed to give the Yankees a chance against a weak-armed pitcher like Capuano. But again, the tone was set in the first inning. Brett Gardner looked at two straight 86 MPH fastballs right down the middle and then, of course, swung and missed at a sweeping slider out of the strike zone. Jayson Nix also looked at a meatball right over the plate before making an easy out. Cano then grounded out weakly to first.
It appeared that the Yankees had a plan to try to make Capuano work since he usually struggles with command and would have a limited pitch count. But that plan worked against them as they would wait through fastballs to get behind in the count and then either strike out (four times) or hit weak contact. It was one of those games where the Yankees could have played seventeen innings and never score a run. Naw, that could never happen. Wait...
The Yankees did have one chance in the fourth when the were still only down by a 3-o score. Jayson Nix led off the inning with a single. Robinson Cano then laced a ball into the right-center gap but Andre Ethier cut the ball off nicely and then threw a rainbow to second to just nab Cano trying to get a double. The replay appeared to show that Cano's foot got the bag before he was tagged. But nevertheless, the out changed the inning and with a runner on third with one out, Vernon Wells and Thomas Neal made sure Nix died there with a pop up and a long out to center respectively.
Meanwhile, Hughes continued to throw bad pitches at the worst times. Two doubles led to a run in the third. A hit batsman, a stolen base, a single and a sacrifice fly led to two more runs in the fifth and the Yankees were going nowhere. Hughes would pitch one more inning and Adam Warren mopped up the last three innings. The only knock on Warren's outing was a long, opposite field homer by phenom Puig.
Vernon Wells was again invisible in the double header. It is probably pointless to point out that after his zero for eight performance in today's double-header, in Wells' last 21 games, he has the grand slash line of: .103/.112/.127 and has been on base all of ten times in 89 plate appearances. He has walked once and has one extra base hit. To see his name in the lineup and at cleanup, no less, is a daily astound moment.
Zoilo Almonte did get his first Major League at-bat in the ninth as a pinch hitter. It was encouraging to see him hit a smash the opposite field, but the ball was hit right at the third baseman to put him out.
The Yankees did managed to split the double-header, but boy that was a limp second game.
It was nice to see you, Donnie Baseball.