Too many pitches handcuff Phelps
The Yankees didn’t expect to get more than 90 pitches from David Phelps Thursday night in the rookie righthander’s first major-league start. Phelps fell into some high pitch counts and lasted only four innings in which he threw 85 pitches. Pitching in his home state of Missouri at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, the St. Louis native had about 30 friends and relatives in the yard, and he gave them a decent show.
It just didn’t last very long. Phelps was certainly better than the starter he replaced in the rotation – Freddy Garcia, who is now in the bullpen. Phelps gave up a home run to Mike Moustakas in the second but stranded a runner at second base later in the inning. The Royals got a run in the third, but again Phelps averted further damage by striking out Jeff Francouer and getting Moustakas on an infield grounder with two runners on base.
Phelps did not walk a batter and threw one wild pitch. He left the game trailing, 2-1, before the Royals scored two runs off Yankees relievers Clay Rapada and D.J. Mitchell in the fifth. The Yankees have to be encouraged by Phelps’ effort. Whether he gets another start may depend on when and if Andy Pettitte rejoins them. Pettitte is expected to make his next minor-league start in a Triple A game Sunday.