First Pitch: Huff gets his chance

September, 7, 2013
9/07/13
6:00
AM ET
NEW YORK -- When Joe Girardi informed David Huff he'd be starting Saturday against the Red Sox, the manager kept his message brief.

"He was like 'hey, you're starting Saturday, don't change a thing.
Just keep doing what you're doing,'" Huff recalled Friday afternoon.

Huff will look to follow his manager's advice when he makes his first start as a Yankee in a critical game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Girardi said he expects Huff to give the Yanks about 90-100 pitches.

"To me it's just another start," Huff said of facing Boston. "I'm not going to try and play it up to anything different. Because when that happens I probably end up being a little more fine with my pitches instead of just attacking the guys."

The Yankees claimed Huff on waivers in May after he struggled at the beginning of the year with Cleveland. Huff started 52 games with Cleveland dating back to 2009, and he last started a game for them on Oct. 3, 2012.

Huff has pitched quite well out of the bullpen for the Yankees this season as he enters Saturday with a 1.13 ERA spanning 16 innings. In his last appearance on Sept. 2, he threw 5 2/3 inning of one-run ball against the White Sox.

"It's that old saying, hard work pays off, and it's definitely true in this scenario," Huff said.

The lefty said the key for his success has been getting ahead in the count and attacking hitters, as he said he tries to put away batters in four pitches or less. He knows that will be a tough task on Saturday against a patient Boston team that knows how to grind out at-bats.

With the Yankees losing in grueling fashion the last two nights, they need a huge performance from Huff on Saturday to get them back on track. He's confident heading into his biggest outing as a Yankee to date.

"About as confident as I'm going to be," Huff said.

UP NOW: Andrew Marchand wrote about Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain's epic meltdown. Mike Mazzeo has the updates on David Robertson and Boone Logan. I touched on the game-tying grand slam that Ichiro Suzuki almost caught.

ON DECK: The Yankees and Red Sox meet in the third game of the four-game set when Huff faces John Lackey (8-12, 3.22 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. Marchand, Mazzeo and Ian Begley will have you covered from the Stadium. Thanks for reading.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146