One of the overlooked things in the Yankees 10-1 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night was Phil Hughes‘ 8th inning outing which was one of the better ones of the year.
Hughes looked vintage as he threw mostly 95 mph fastballs that had more than 12 inches of vertical break and curveballs that dropped a full 10 inches. He was spotting everything well too as he threw nine strikes out of 13 pitches and he struck out two.
It was a stark contrast to the pitcher we normally see, a guy who can barely control or sustain a 92 mph fastball that’s as straight as an arrow. He also improved his aggressiveness and has forgotten his poor cutter and non-existent changeup.
The Cabrera at bat was especially impressive as his fastball had significant movent to it and he spotted four pitches low and away before blowing a 95 mph high fastball by Cabrera to get him swinging. The guy who has had trouble finishing off hitters all season, easily took down one of the best in the game.
It was just one appearance from Hughes, but it was a very promising one. He is still behind David Robertson and Rafael Soriano on the bullpen depth chart, but he gives the Yankees a better option than Boone Logan and maybe even Cory Wade if Hughes can show consistency in the role.
Way too early to say that he has regained his ’09 form, but it was an exciting start. After dreading all of his appearances this year I find my self not being able to wait until his next.