Yankees officially eliminated from playoff contention with loss to Rays

 

Elimination day began with manager Joe Girardi reflecting on the tenure of Phil Hughes, someone who was so highly regarded that the Yankees would not include him in potential trades for Miguel Cabrera or Johan Santana.

That was after the 2007 season, when Hughes made his major-league debut. The idea was he would be the first All-Star starting pitching prospect developed and retained by the Yankees since Andy Pettitte.

Hughes was an All Star and an 18-game winner three years ago, following up a tremendous stint as a setup man for a World Championship team. But even though the 27-year-old is entering the prime years of his career, Hughes is likely headed toward being a former Yankee following a disappointing season that ended with last night’s 8-3 loss to the Rays. That, coupled with Cleveland’s win over the White Sox, officially eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention.

Hughes isn’t the sole reason the Yankees were officially eliminated last night. There are others, and the Yankees will have plenty of time to reflect upon what went wrong.

“He’s done a lot of really good things for us,” Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate that this year didn’t turn out the way we wanted for him but hopefully as a player, for Phil, that he takes something from this year and finds a way to get back on track.”

No matter what the final result was for the Yankees Wednesday, they were facing elimination when Hughes gave up the go-ahead run on a sharply hit single by David DeJesus with none out in the third. The Indians held a 2-1 lead at the time, which grew to 4-1 on a two-run homer by former Yankee Nick Swisher.

Hughes’ final line of a lost season was three runs and seven hits in two-plus innings. He was gone four batters into the third and when he walked off the mound following his final 51 pitches of the season the crowd sounded indifferent.

It marked the 14th time Hughes failed to finish five innings this season, something no Yankee has ever done and something that nobody has done since Sean Bergman for the 1995 Tigers.

“It’s tough,” Hughes said. “It’s definitely tough. It’s hard to think about right now.”

In the end, an absurd amount of injuries did in the Yankees. They suited up a franchise-record 56 players but nobody was prepared to use that as an excuse for missing postseason.

“I don’t think that way,” closer Mariano Rivera said. “We have to do our best. I think we did our best the whole year.”

“I’ll never think that way,” Girardi said. “I don’t care who the guys are in that room. When you put that uniform on, you’re a big-league player and I believe you have a chance to make the postseason and when you don’t make it, it’s disappointing.”

The game plodded on slowly and Evan Longoria officially sent the Yankees out of their misery with a long home run over the left field wall that made it 6-2. On the next pitch, David DeJesus homered and as Girardi came out to get David Huff out, there was little booing.

By the time the Yankees made things remotely interesting for fans, the Indians had a 7-2 lead. The Yankees had two out and the bases loaded for pinch hitter Lyle Overbay but just as he walked, the Indians closed out the game and at 10:15 p.m. last night the Yankees were officially eliminated.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.