Pitching, Not Throwing, Key Tonight for Phil Hughes

Via the NY Daily News:

“He forgot to pitch,” was the way the scout put it by phone Friday [talking about Phil Hughes]. “I got the feeling that he had so much success with his fastball against Minnesota (in Game 3 of the AL division series) that he fell in love with the idea of being a power guy.

“He’s got an above-average fastball and when he locates and uses his cutter and his curveball to help set it up, he can be effective against any lineup. But when he got in any trouble against Texas, either in bad counts or runners on base, his answer was to try to throw harder, and he stopped locating. You can’t beat anyone that way, especially that team.

“To me, he’s a poised kid who got caught up in the moment a little too much, and that can happen to anybody in the playoffs, especially on the road. I’ll be real surprised if he doesn’t do a better job of using all of his pitches, getting in better counts and going fairly deep into the game.”

I feel like this is a somewhat simplified version of what happened, but for the most part on the money. Hughes’s stuff was flatter than it was in Minnesota and that contributed as well. Also contributing was the fact that Hughes was on more rest that he’s generally accustomed to.

Still, his point is valid. Hughes should be able to adjust this time around and is likely to pitch a lot better this time around. He’s also on his typical rest tonight so even if his stuff isn’t so crisp, he should be able to keep the Yankees in the game better than he did his last time out.

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2 Responses to Pitching, Not Throwing, Key Tonight for Phil Hughes

  1. smurfy says:

    Phil said in an interview following game 2 that he didn't have a good curve in Minnesota, either. The difference there was his fastball had pizazz, he had command, and he moved it around effectively.

    Don't know what happened to his curve, but I saw him try one in game 2, and he looked like he was trying to steer it, didn't have good rythm and flow to the pitch, all forearm, and it was weak and in the dirt.

    I have hope his fastball reawakens tonight, and that that may be good enough.

    • smurfy says:

      In the first, Phil threw decent fastballs, two weak curves to Young, then very nice ones to Hamilton and Guerrero. It's 1 – 0, but I think he'll do well tonight.