Look at that picture. That’s Phil Hughes, and he looks like he means business.
“I didn’t want my season to end on that last start,” he said.
Game 2 would have been a bad way to end a good year. You expect some up-and-down moments from a 24-year-old starter, and so far the postseason has given both extremes from Hughes. Outstanding in the division series. No so good in the ALCS.
Joe Girardi said the extra rest might have played a role in Hughes’ command problems during that Game 2 start here in Texas, but Hughes kind of shrugged it off. In his mind, it seems, he should be able to make a pitch no matter how many days have passed. Hughes also shrugged off his workload. He’s thrown far more innings this year than at any other point in his career, but Hughes said he’s noticed no “wear or fatigue.” Hughes also shrugged off the enormity of the postseason.
Not to oversimplify it, but it always comes down to making pitches.
“I had just as much if not more adrenaline in my first start against Minnesota, and that certainly wasn’t the problem (against Texas),” Hughes said. “It was just being very predictable, and throwing a lot of fastballs, and hitters counts that were mistakes. (That) is what it boils down to. Have to do a better job of that, and I’m confident that I will.”
Associated Press photo