Phil Hughes was one of the first players to his locker after tonight’s disappointing loss in Anaheim. He took a breath, turned around and started answering all of the inevitable questions.
“Very disappointing,” he said. “We did a great job tonight, fighting back and getting in the game. I just had one out to get and I couldn’t do it. Marte did a good job coming in and getting the first two. I’ve been in that situation so many times this year. It’s disappointing for us to get back in that game and pretty much to blow it on my shoulders.”
Hughes walked Torii Hunter, but when he was facing Vladimir Guerrero, he threw a terrific curveball to go ahead 1-2. At the time, Sam and I started talking about what to throw next. We agreed on either another curveball down or a fastball up. Way up. Jorge Posada practically stood when he gave Hughes a fastball target, but the pitch was belt high, down the middle.
“Trying to be a little too fine to Hunter,” Hughes said. “Then got ahead of Guerrero and tried to come up and in on him and left the ball pretty much in the middle. He didn’t get it good, but he got it just enough and in the right spot.”
Some of this one falls on A.J. Burnett as well, and if you talk to Burnett, he seems to think all of it falls on him. Those four runs in the first inning came on 12 pitches, then he was terrific through the next 20 hitters before allowing back-to-back singles to start the seventh.
Was he surprised the Angels came out swinging so early in the count, early in the game?
“The whole game surprised me a little bit,” Burnett said.