Does it matter who pitches the eighth inning?

by Glenn Giangrande


The developing Phil Hughes\Brian Bruney eighth inning saga should be irrelevant. Someone get the media to take the pedal off the gas!


Joe Girardi sent the press into a tizzy on Friday by simply having Hughes record the final two outs in the second-to-last inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jays. Surely that must mean Bruney is finished in that role,



Why should it matter to anyone outside of the Yankees clubhouse who gets outs in specific innings other than the ninth? Call me when there’s a change at closer and Mariano Rivera is wrestled from his throne by Father Time. In a perfect baseball world, bullpens would be interchangeable, with relievers having the capacity to succeed in any situation, perhaps with the exception of long relief since pitchers who generally throw in the late innings tend not to be stretched out for that kind of work.



Bruney is clearly going through a rough patch. Heading into the July 4th matinee with Toronto, he had allowed five walks in his previous four appearances after giving up none over his previous 11. The three hits he surrendered versus the Mariners on June 30th almost doubled his season total. Should the fact that Girardi made a common sense decision and used his most effective reliever to get a couple of big outs in the 8th be treated as a major story?


Hughes. Bruney. Aceves. Coke. Robertson. Marte, wherever he is and whenever he returns. Whoever is throwing the best should get the late inning chances, and the press shouldn’t treat every appearance as if the pitcher was moving a mountain.


  1. theyankeebabe

    I totally agree…Whoever is pitching better at the time should have the job.. whatever is best for the team !!!


    I’m not concerned with Bruney vs Hughes, What we need to do is worry about how many games we are going to lose with Cano hitting in the 5 hole? Robbie just can’t hit with potential RBI’s on base. It’s like he’s scared. When bases are empty, cano will hit all day long for average, get a guy on base, and there goes a soft grounder to second, and a toss to first and the Yankees are grabbing their gloves and hitting the field again. Robbie doesn’t run any thing out, refuses to hit with runners on base, and he tends to take plays off in the field.
    So why isn’t Matsui hitting in the 5 hole? Swisher for that matter, Swisher K’s a lot, but he does fly out a lot too. so we have a chance to score a run or at least to move the runner a base. Arod will be walked all game and not see pithes as long as Cano is the 5 hitter. Girardi needs to wake the hell up, or resign and allow a real manager to play us to win…


    Experiment failed, Joba back to the pen.

    Hughes is a starter, who needed confidence and to stay healthy, he has now shown his ability to pitch to big league hitters.
    Joba continues to look confused and stuff dissapoint, He may have four pitches but they all look average at best, as a starter.

  4. yankeexx

    Agreed it does not matter who the bridge is as long as the bridge is strong. If that means interchanging pieces than so be it. Bruney will get his mojo going again. Seemed it declined after that Krod bruhaha. Hughes has the eye of a tiger as a reliever. If the Yankees did not win today than say no to Joba as a starter chants would heat up but it was great to see the team pick him up and also Bruney the last time.
    I have a question….how much of Joba’s downfall deals with him being stubborn against Posada’s calls or is it just location. Sometimes youngsters can be stubborn. To me it feels like pitching ADD on the mound. He loses concentration and his face shows it.

  5. yankee7777

    Just a general comment?Wasn?t it nice to watch a game without Michael Kays constant babble. He is a nice enough guy but his knowledge of baseball is very limited.
    Do other Yankee fan note how there is less talk when any other combination of announcers is on?
    And also what a treat not to hear the pitch count after almost every pitch.

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