Phil Hughes said he’s never been one to watch a ton of video between starts. Some guys love to watch it, some stay away from it, and Hughes falls in the latter category. It will be Larry Rothschild who tries to break down last night’s debacle.
“Larry looks at all the video,” Hughes said. “I don’t like to look at the negative stuff because it just pounds it in my brain, it seems like. I don’t think I was that far off mechanically or anything; it didn’t feel that way. I’m sure tomorrow when I sit down with Larry, he’ll have a couple things in his head to talk about. I had a couple really bad starts to start the season and I was able to figure that out and go. I’ll give myself a couple days, get a good bullpen in and move on.”
What else is there to do? Hughes has always been full of ups and downs, but it’s hard to think of greater extremes than what we’ve seen this month. On May 4, Hughes went eight scoreless against Oakland. He gave up four hits, struck out nine and walked two. Last night, he couldn’t get out of the first inning. He struck out none, allowed six hits and got just two outs.
“I feel like I’ve (been able to grind with bad stuff) sometimes,” Hughes said. “But there are other nights where it feels like everything you do is not working and not happening. That’s where nights like this happen. Hopefully this is a 1-in-100 type thing. I remember I’ve had bad nights where I’d get 12 outs or something, but I don’t think I can remember having an outing like this before. It’s tough to swallow, but it happens to everybody. No one’s going to feel sorry for you, so I have to throw my bullpen in two days and move on.”
It does seem like all pitchers have absolutely awful outings from time to time — Joe Girardi talked about catching a similarly brutal start by Andy Pettitte many, many years ago — but last night was unthinkably bad, and it came from a pitcher who’s known for his inconsistency.
So how does Hughes try to move one?
“I’d like to just get back to three starts ago, not really worry about what was bad about this one or what was bad about that one,” he said. “Just clear my head of these last two and go forward, really get back to what I was doing. Hopefully that clicks. I felt my side last time was pretty good, and warming up (last night) was pretty good. Just kind of forget about this one as quick as I can.
“But it’s tough. I don’t think I’ve had a worse start in my career, so it stings a little bit.”
Associated Press photo