The Phil Hughes Era began with a loss last night. “Early Arrival to the Yanks Ends with Early Exit” announced the Times this morning. A cursory glance at his line isn’t too impressive: 4.1 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, a wild pitch, and a loss. On the other hand, he struck out 5, walked but one, showed an impressive arsenal, and was unafraid to challenge even the Jays’ toughest hitters. Some notes:
-Hughes had an easy time with the back end of the Jays’ lineup
-He had much more difficulty with Alex Rios, Frank Thomas, and, especially, Vernon Wells.
-His fastball, as noted by Orel Hershiser, can be a bit flat—a danger if not set up and located properly. He did, however, show a fastball that rided in on righties.
-His use of a straight change and the big hook to unsettle the timing of opponents was awfully impressive.
-1 of those runs should have been unearned, but Miguel Cairo was not charged with an error he deserved. A better bullpen job might have prevented another run from scoring.
We look forward to improvement in his future outings; certainly it was a promising beginning to what we all hope will be a spectacular career.
Our grade: B-