Phil Hughes has been Mr. May for the Yankees
One strong positive to have come out of a miserable May for the Yankees is that Phil Hughes has re-established himself as a force in the New York rotation.
He pitched another six stellar innings on Tuesday night, helping the stagnant Yankee offense to a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Their 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position was just enough, thanks to Hughes.
He struck out seven batters and walked two, and achieved positive results for the fifth consecutive start. After pitching to a 7.88 E.R.A. in April, his May mark is 3.45.
He did allow a home run, something he has done in every single start. But his walk and strikeout rates, both good predictors of future performance, are extremely good, with fewer than 2.5 walks per nine, and nearly a strikeout per inning.
CC Sabathia is obviously the number-one starter, but no one has made an airtight case for himself yet as number two. Andy Pettitte could be that guy, but he's just back, and it's a long season.
If Phil Hughes has a couple more months like May, the discussion might be over.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
R.A. Dickey matched his win total through August 29 of last season, striking out 11 in a 3-2 Mets victory. He actually pitched slightly better in 2011, in terms of his own stats, so the win total is as much a comment on how the Mets are playing as anything else.
With Mike Woodson's return as coach now a formality, the Knicks have turned to getting value from their second-round pick in next month's N.B.A. draft. The team is bringing in Scoop Jardine of Syracuse and Tu Holloway of Xavier, both of whom would be potential backups for Jeremy Lin. Scott Machado of Iona wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
Deron Williams addressed ceaseless speculation about his future by holding a media availability to state definitively that he hasn't decided yet.
Rutgers fullback Joe Martinek is attempting to become Giants fullback Joe Martinek.
Ahead of Game 5 in the Rangers-Devils series, New York coach John Tortorella appealed to a higher power for more offense. God probably appreciated the brevity.
Thierry Henry is cleared to return for Wednesday night's game, but field conditions couldlead the team to hold him out. The Red Bulls also found out they'll be heading to Charleston, S.C. for next week's U.S. Open Cup match.