Joe Girardi must be buggin' out when it comes to figuring out his starting rotation. After last night's 9-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees manager blamed the game's turning point on a moth which flew into starting pitcher Phil Hughes' eye.
Hughes (4-5) delivered a 3-2 pitch to Josh Reddick-- a ball-- setting up Jason Varitek's double where Reddick scored the tying run.
The Yankees had finally showed some measure of success against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett and were leading 5-4 when the moth ball incident occurred. Hughes was even up 0-2 against Reddick before walking him.
If you look closely at the video, you can see a lone moth buzzing around Hughes' head before the fatal toss and the pitcher wiping something from his eye as Reddick jogs towards first base.
Yankees fans might recall Joba Chamberlain and the "midge" attack in Cleveland in 2007. Those little buggers swarmed the sweaty pitcher and were blamed for the Yankees loss to the Indians and early playoff exit. At least you could see the bugs covering Chamberlain that night.
"From what I heard a moth flew into his [Hughes] eye when he made the 3-2 pitch," said Girardi. "You can't stop it and can't get a redo."
Call it The Mothman Prophecies because it may be a prediction of things to come.
Hughes showed signs of improvement last night but his fastball, which started out at a crisp 95 mph, wilted to 91 mph before he was pulled in the sixth. It still looks like he runs out of steam.
The struggling Hughes may have just pitched his way out of the starting rotation-- and not because of the moth.
"I really didn't want to tell you guys that, but, yeah, a moth flew in," said Hughes. "That's when I yanked it."
The Yankees might want to invest in some bug spray tonight when A.J. Burnett pitches because there's sure to be a lot of flies-- some of them over the Green Monster, as well as, that other little pest called Dustin Pedroia.