DETROIT -- Clearly, this one stung, and you could tell because for a split second, it seemed as if Joe Girardi was about to go ballistic at an older reporter from Detroit who asked him a question about the Double Play-That-Wasn't in the sixth inning of today's 8-4 Yankees loss to the Tigers.
"Yeah?" the normally soft-spoken Girardi snapped at the guy, before collecting himself and admitting that he knew Vernon Wells was out on the play, but "I thought maybe we'd get a break."
Not too many of those for the Yankees today, but then again, they didn't make any of their own, either:
Mis-Hughesed: Phil Hughes was supposed to be throwing for the AAA SWB Rail Riders against the Pawtucket Red Sox today, but was pressed into service when Girarid realized he A.) had a depleted bullpen, and B.) desperately needed a win. But Hughes, who had thrown just a handful of simulation games and extended spring games against minor leaguers this March, came up short in the tank, surviving the first four innings with just one run but coming unraveled in the fifth against the powerful Tigers lineup.
"Obviously the 5th inning was a big inning, and I didn’t make pitches when I had to," he said. "That was that outing in a nutshell."
Robby Cannot: Not yet, anyway. After his transcendent hitting for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, Robinson Cano is looking like the guy who couldn't buy a hit in last year's post-season. Cano was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk today, appears to be chasing pitches, and his average is down to .111. For what it's worth, he's had just one hit since signing on with Jay-Z. "It just seems like his timing's a little off," Girardi said. "Seems like he's out in front. He's reaching for some balls."
Nunez a no-go: Eduardo Nunez is still so sore from being hit by a pitch in his right biceps on Friday he was unable to thjrow or swing a bat before today's game and may not be able to tomorrow, either. "Seriously, I never felt so much pain in my life," he said. His replacement, Jayson Nix, started off today's game by booting a grounder that led to the first Detroit run.
Wells said: Vernon Wells is shaping up as a great team spokesman, funny, easygoing and candid, three qualities not always in evidence in the buttoned-up Yankees clubhouse. Asked if Prince Fielder had stepped on his hand while outracing him to the bag on the sixth-inning double play, a smiling Wells said, "If he had stepped on my hand, I'd be crying."
And asked if he was surprised to have been initially called safe by first base ump Brian O'Nora, Wells said, "Yes. I was like, 'Oh-kaaaayy.' But then I saw (crew chief) Jerry (Layne) coming, and I could read his lips. So I was like, 'OK, I'm going back to the dugout.'"
Wells' second-inning home run off Max Scherzer gave him the team lead with two.