Down the stretch last year, Phil Hughes helped beat the Red Sox with a six-inning start at home, then he got a win out of the bullpen in Boston. But Hughes doesn’t remember those outings.
“Really, the only start I remember here is the last one earlier in the year,” he said. “It wasn’t good, so I want to certainly improve on that one an get a little revenge at the same time.”
With first place on the line — and possibly his rotation spot on the line — Hughes will start tonight’s second game of this three-game set. He’ll start it as a much different pitcher than he was on April 8, when he allowed six runs in two innings in Boston. It was the worst of his ugly April outings.
“It’s a lot different for sure,” Hughes said. “I didn’t have good stuff at the beginning of the year, and now I’m certainly not pitching with what ultimately I know I have, but it’s certainly a lot better than the beginning of the year. I have the mindset of going out, being aggressive, attacking hitters and just leave it all out there and see where it winds up.”
How hard is it to block out the fact that the Yankees are trimming from six starters to five at the end of this week?
“It’s easy,” Hughes said. “I just go out there and pitch. I’m not thinking about anything else, so that makes it a lot easier on me. I don’t have to try and worry about the other circumstances that go along with it, just go out there and focus on every pitch I throw.”
Associated Press photo