With the wind blowing out in Clearwater, Phil Hughes allowed three home runs this afternoon. The last one was a two-run walk-off by Wilson Valdez, a guy with one major league home run in his career.
The home runs told the story of the game, a 9-7 Phillies won, but they didn’t tell the story of Hughes. The first home run was legitimate — in fact, it was crushed — but the others carried over the wall, and Hughes otherwise allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out six through 4.1 innings.
“I felt really good with all my pitches,” he said. “It just seemed like every fly ball that was hit out there was either going to hit off the wall or leave the yard. I threw probably the best changeups I’ve ever thrown. Probably the first strikeout I’ve ever gotten with a changeup. It’s hard to swallow the three home runs and say I was happy with the way I threw, but I really was.”
Joe Girardi called this the best Hughes has thrown all spring, and Hughes said he’s simply going to wait for the Yankees to make their decision about a fifth starter. Girardi said that decision could come as early as Thursday morning.
“I’ve done all I can do,” Hughes said. “We’ll just have to see where they want to go from here… I feel like I’ve worked hard to get myself to this point where I can be a successful starter.”
Here’s the Hughes audio.