If you were itching to start tearing your hair out about a member of the Yankees, you got what you wanted during Friday afternoon's 9-6 loss to Boston.
Phil Hughes was awful for the second straight start and the Red Sox knocked him out of the game in the second inning on their way to their first win of the season. Hughes gave up six runs, walked two and generated no swings and misses in his short day of work.
That means the alert level is up to DEFCON 4 on Hughes after he struggled in his season opening start against the Tigers. The big issue continues to be the lack of velocity on his fastball, which topped out in the low 90's on Friday.
Without more speed on the heater, Hughes's breaking stuff isn't fooling any hitters and the Red Sox teed off on almost every one they saw. Dustin Pedroia crushed a homer over the Green Monster in the bottom of the first to take away the momentum generated by a two-run Yankee start and things got even worse in the second inning.
Three straight singles started the inning, all of them hit well by batters having no trouble squaring up to Hughes's pitches, and three more helped plate five runs before the inning mercifully ended on a Kevin Youkilis baserunning mistake. The Yankees have eschewed calls for drastic measures with Hughes, but you wonder how long they can resist trying something when Hughes offers nothing but disaster on the mound.
The good news is that the Yankees might be more inclined to give Bartolo Colon a shot as a starter. Colon was very sharp in relief, allowing the Yankees to tie the score at six before ultimately giving up a run in his third inning of work.
Colon wound up going four-and-a-third before handing the ball to Boone Logan to face a pair of Sox lefties in the seventh. Logan's only job on the team is getting lefties out, but he gave up hits to both David Ortiz and J.D. Drew to account for the final bulge.
Logan's been awful this season, but he isn't the one who is going to be ripped apart in the press for the next few days. That will be Hughes, whose issues will be parsed by every person in New York but there's really only one solution to his problems at this point.
He's got to throw a better fastball if he's going to have any success as a starting pitcher and the Yankees don't have enough pitching depth to afford him much of a chance to find one before looking elsewhere for help.