For the second time this week, back spasms scratched Phil Hughes from a scheduled start. Girardi said that Hughes is walking around better than he was Saturday, but wasn’t comfortable putting him on the mound yet.

“In the long term, I’m not concerned about Hughsie’s health; I’m not,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I’ve had back spasms numerous times in my career, and they go away, and there’s no rhyme or reason why they come sometimes. A lot of times they’ll stay away for years. In the short term, we want him to pitch again, so that’s a concern.”

After the first game, Girardi said that Hughes went for an MRI and before the nightcap GM Brian Cashman said that the results showed inflammation that came from an injury originally suffered in 2004.

Cashman said that Hughes went for an epidural shot and if that results in him feeling better, he could make a start next week in Tampa Bay and then start or relieve in the postseason.

 

“The doc told me that it’s nowhere near as serious as it was back then, it’s just an aggravation of an old injury,” Cashman said. “If it was earlier in the season, we would just give him more time and it would resolve itself. But because the clock is ticking and October is right around the corner, we just decided to hit it with the big bang and try to put it behind him now.”

Remember Joba Chamberlain?

Chamberlain has been out for four months after undergoing Tommy John surgery and yesterday he played catch for the first time since his surgery.

And how was the news delivered?

It was delivered on Chamberlain’s Twitter feed @Joba_62. About an hour before the first pitch, Chamberlain tweeted the following:

“Big day for me! Playing catch for the first time since surgery! Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers!”

Romine impresses defensively

Austin Romine is regarded as better defensively than Jesus Montero and made some good impressions in the opener. Besides catching eight pitchers, including several that he was familiar with from the minors, he was the backstop for the first Yankee nine-inning win with that many pitchers.

Romine also threw out Matt Joyce trying to advance to second during an at-bat by Johnny Damon in the second inning of a scoreless game.

“He caught a lot of these guys, that’s the thing,” Girardi said. “He has caught Noesi, he has caught Valdes, he has caught Kontos but he looks comfortable back there. He has done a pretty good job of following plans too, so I was pretty pleased with the job he did.”

One-pitch Houdini act for Robertson

David Robertson continued to be stellar with the bases loaded. He has allowed one hit in 19 appearances in that spot this year. The double-play grounder he induced by Ben Zobrist was his third career one-pitch appearance and came against someone who was 3-for-7 lifetime off the righty.

“He’s been all over me in the past and he’s a real hard guy to get out,” Robertson said. “I knew I had to make a really good pitch. I got away with one I think but I’ll take it.”



Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.

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