Phil Hughes didn’t realize it until after the game, but he did not face a single left-handed hitter this afternoon. He knew he hadn’t thrown as many changeups as he would have liked, but it wasn’t until he was talking in the clubhouse that he finally realized the entire Houston lineup was made of right-handed hitters.
Hughes rarely throws his changeup to righties. The fact he threw even one this afternoon — Hughes said it wasn’t a good one, and Carlos Lee hit it for a home run — was partially because new catcher Russell Martin wanted to try some new things to get a feel for his pitcher.
“I was talking to Russell (before the game) and he was like, let’s just gather some information,” Hughes said.
So he threw one not-so-good changeup in an unusual situation, and it was hit hard. Overall, Hughes didn’t seem too upset about his three innings, five hits and three earned runs. One of those hits was a routine fly ball that was lost in the sun, and another was a double that was carried to the wall by the strong wind here in Kissimmee. That double, “really had no business being out there, but the two homers were hit well,” Hughes said.
This was an offensive day — the teams combined for 38 hits, the Yankees won 10-8 — and Hughes said he took some good and some bad from his second spring start.
“I thought that command-wise I was better today,” he said. “I was locating my fastball a little better. I didn’t throw as many changeups as I would have liked. The homer probably got me away from that. Curveball was inconsistent, but my cutter was pretty good today. I took some good things and some bad things away, and hopefully next time is a little bit better.”
Associated Press photo