NEW YORK -- The sequel is almost never as good as the original, and the same goes for the second game of a doubleheader. Game 1 between the Yankees and Dodgers was entertaining and even dramatic in its conclusion. Plus, the home team won.
Game 2? Not so good. Phil Hughes got lit up early, the Yankees' bats went back into the deep sleep they were in for much of the West Coast trip and the Dodgers took a pretty easy, and pretty lifeless, 6-0 victory.
What it means: That the Yankees better get their act together over the remaining seven games of this homestand. Tampa Bay (four games starting tomorrow) and Texas (next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) figure to be a lot tougher than the mediocre Dodgers.
Aw, Phil: Phil Hughes allowed five hits in the first inning, one of them a surprising drag bunt by Yasiel Puig, but escaped with just two allowed runs after Adrian Gonzalez was unable to score from second on Jerry Hairston Jr.'s single under Jayson Nix's glove, followed by Tim Federowicz's double-play grounder that ended the inning. This season, Hughes' first-inning ERA is an unsightly 6.39.
Woe, Phil: After giving up a run on two doubles in the third, Hughes allowed two more runs in the fifth, on a hit batter (Puig) and RBI single (Hanley Ramirez) and a sacrifice fly (Hairston Jr.). The 10 hits Hughes allowed in the first five innings were a season high.
Adam, meet Yasiel: Adam Warren came in to relieve Hughes to start the seventh, and it was his misfortune to encounter Puig as his first hitter. On his first pitch, Puig launched a curveball into the right-field seats to extend the Dodgers' lead to 6-0. It was Puig's fifth homer in 16 major league games.
Puiggy good: Puig's Yankee Stadium debut went like this: 4-for-9, a home run, a double, a stolen base, an RBI, four runs scored, a couple of exciting plays on the basepaths and one daring throw behind the runner in Game 1 that would have been awfully embarrassing for the Yankees and Thomas Neal.
Heart of the Dodgers: ...is still beating. Their 2-3-4 hitters -- Puig, Gonzalez and Ramirez -- were a combined 14-26 today, scoring eight runs, knocking in six and hitting two home runs.
Hitless wonders: The Yankees had three hits, two of them infield singles, and had no baserunners after Robinson Cano's fourth-inning single until Nix got hit by a pitch with two out in the ninth, a span of 16 straight retired by Dodgers pitching. It was the sixth time the Yankees have been shut out this season.
Stretching the point: Cano, often criticized for not running hard to first, chose to run hard to second tonight, trying to stretch a fourth-inning single with Nix at first. Unfortunately for Cano and the Yankees, Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier has a gun and nailed Cano at second, costing the Yankees a crucial out. Although Nix got to third, neither Vernon Wells (fly out to shallow center) nor Thomas Neal (line out to deep center) could get the run home.
What's next: Now that the Dodgers' one-day visit is over, the Tampa Bay Rays move in for four games, starting with Andy Pettitte (5-4, 3.95) facing LHP Matt Moore (8-3, 4.12) Thursday night, first pitch at 7:05 p.m.