An Aw-Phil Monday All Around for Yankees

Phil Humber and Phil Hughes combine to make it a bad one.

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011  |  Updated 7:41 AM EDT
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An Aw-Phil Monday All Around for Yankees

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To make matters worse, A-Rod realized he left the iron on at home.

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Ever have one of those days that make you wish you never got out of bed, called in sick to work and spent the day catching up with the antics of those delightfully real housewives of Omaha or wherever?

The Yankees had one of those days on Monday. Perhaps their light recent work schedule meant they were thrown by playing a game on three straight days or perhaps it had something to do with the change in the weather, but very little went right for the team.

It started in the afternoon when Phil Hughes' bullpen session was cut short after just 12 pitches. Joe Girardi called the session a "setback" and the pitcher will head to the hospital for an MRI on Tuesday.

There would seem to be something wrong beyond the vague dead arm syndrome given when Hughes was sent to the disabled list because pitchers usually don't lose the ability to throw hard without some injury as the culprit. The team is having his entire body scanned on Tuesday with the idea of possibly discovering something along the lines of an aneurysm that explains his problem.

With such bad news about Hughes, you'd think A.J. Burnett's performance would be enough to make the day a wash. Burnett threw eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball in his best start in ages, but it wouldn't be enough because Phil Humber was even better for the White Sox.

Humber didn't give up a hit until there was one out in the sixth inning and wound up combining with two relievers in a 2-0 shutout of the mighty Yankee lineup. Humber's run at a no-hitter likely raised some eyebrows in Queens as he would have joined the long list of former Mets who turned the trick while away from a team that's never had someone do it in their uniform.

Alex Rodriguez changed that fate, but the Yankee offense didn't have much else in it. Bad at-bats abounded with particular attention paid to the continuing anti-"Cocoon" performances of Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

One of the few Yankee hits was a sharply lined single to right by pinch-hitter Eric Chavez, the latest good plate appearance by the former Oakland third baseman. With Posada looking worse and worse, one has to wonder how much longer the public will be able to resist loud calls for Chavez to get some DH at-bats at the expense of a player who looks closer to Old-Timer's Day than Opening Day.

All of that would still probably be cancelled out by Burnett and the growing likelihood that he can be an effective pitcher this season, but Rafael Soriano decided to put a little icing on the cake. The erratic righty with the losing personality came in to pitch the ninth and promptly gave up a popup that fell just behind the pitcher's mound for a cheap single.

It was in a tough spot -- most pitchers don't like to field pop-ups off the mound and Jeter got a bad jump -- but it's hard to read Soriano's defiant refusal to even try to catch the ball with anything resembling a positive attitude.

All will be forgiven if he starts pitching well, but he's certainly doing a lot to build the negativity account in the early going.

Overall, it sounds like someone had a case of the Mondays.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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