Friday, April 16, 2010

Phil Hughes passes first test

Phil Hughes showed glimpses of why the New York Yankees have such high expectations for him, passing his first test as the fifth starter with a solid performance.

The youngster started last night's game by overpowering the first three batters, with a weak pop up sandwiched by two strikeouts. He had some problems with his command, walking five batters, but got outs when he needed them, keeping a solid Los Angeles Angels lineup at bay.

The most important thing was that he kept his nerves under control. Hughes seemed a little frustrated about giving up a home run to Hideki Matsui with a pitch right in the middle of the plate, but he settled down to get the next three outs, helped by a nice defensive play from his second baseman Robinson Cano.

After pitching Hughes walked off the mound to enthusiastic, well-deserved cheers from the home crowd.

This outing made me eager to see more of Hughes the starter. We know there will be growing pains as he learns how to be a big-league starter. We don't expect him to pitch this well every time out, but as long as he's showing that he's making progress living up to his potential, we'll be happy.

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