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BOSTON ? The televisions in the visitors clubhouse at Fenway Park were tuned into the Rays-Orioles game Thursday afternoon, but judging by the Yankeesâ€™ casual interest level, they could have easily been showing a Royals-Twins matchup ? or a Seinfeld re-run, for that matter.
Rather than obsessing over the results down at Camden Yards, the Yankees were preparing for their final game this season at Fenway Park.
â€śItâ€™s on the TV,â€ť Derek Jeter said when asked if he was monitoring the crucial AL East contest. â€śI wasnâ€™t locked in on it, but it was on the TV.â€ť
Thatâ€™s the way they should be looking at it.
Who cares what the rest of the division does? The Yankees still control their own destiny, and quite frankly, thereâ€™s no excuse for them not to win the American League East at this point.
Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes delivers in the first inning against the Red Sox Thursday night.
Phil Hughes wasnâ€™t thinking about the Orioles ? and he certainly wasnâ€™t thinking about losing ? when he took the hill against the Red Sox.
Hughes, who continues to be a consistent contributor despite a bumpy start here and there, delivered one of the biggest performances of his career, throwing 7.1 shutout innings to lead the Yankees to their second straight win ? their first winning streak in nearly a month.
â€śWe knew (Baltimore) won, but you canâ€™t put any more importance on this game than the next,â€ť Hughes said. â€śWe just have to go out and worry about ourselves, not worry about what theyâ€™re doing or anything like that. Just go out and win moncler bady jacket every game we can control.â€ť
The Yankees have been waiting patiently for one of their starters to step up and take charge, something Hughes has done lately. Heâ€™s 4-2 with a 2.29 ERA over his past six starts, bouncing back from two rough starts to assume the team-lead with 15 victories.
Even after blowing a lead in a loss to the Orioles at the Stadium on September 2, Hughes came back and beat the Birds five days later,buy moncler coats Cheap Moncler Jackets Outlet Online (39), then twirled a gem against the beleaguered Red Sox on Thursday to keep pace with Baltimore.
â€śItâ€™s important because of where we are and what weâ€™re fighting, trying to do,moncler nederland Cheap Moncler Jackets Outlet Onl,â€ť Joe Girardi said. â€śWe need him to continue to pitch well down the stretch. Heâ€™s pitched in the playoffs; heâ€™s been through this and he knows what he has to do.â€ť
The Yankees know they have their work cut out for them. There is no hotter team east of Oakland right now than the Orioles, who finished off a three-game sweep of the moncler jackets online Rays Thursday afternoon to put the pressure back on the Yankees.
Hughes didnâ€™t show any nerves, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before finally giving up a hit in the fourth after the Yankees had given him a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning. Hughes, whose boutique moncler paris 33 home runs allowed are the second-highest total in the AL, kept Boston in the park all night.
Hughes is still only 26, but heâ€™s been through pretty much everything a pitcher can face since being drafted in the first round in moncler coats for women 2004, dealing with injuries, success, failure, a move to the bullpen, a move back to the rotation and a disastrous 2011 season that caused some to wonder if he would ever become the steady rotation moncler coats for men presence the Yankees have expected him to be.
That experience helped him moncler bubble coat handle the pressure of Thursdayâ€™s start, one that could have resulted in the Yankeesâ€™ first day as a second-place team since June 12 had things gone the wrong way.
â€śTo be honest, the atmosphere was a little dull in here for the first time in a long time because of the way the Red Sox season has gone this year,moncler coats on sale Cheap Moncler Jackets Outlet,â€ť Hughes said. â€śIf anything, it just felt like a normal game.â€ť
Thursday marked the 100th start of Hughesâ€™ career. Heâ€™s now 45-33 in those games, winning nearly half of his starts ? the measure Mike Mussina often used to determine the success of a season. Hughes has won 15 games in 29 starts this season; not bad for a guy that had to fight for a spot during spring training.
â€śPhil did exactly what we needed him to do,â€ť Jeter said. â€śHe threw strikes, he worked quick and he shut them down so this was a big win for us and a big performance by him.â€ť
A few more could be the difference in winning the AL East or watching the playoffs on TV.