Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hughes hurls gem to end Yankee slump

Phil Hughes put in another masterful performance tonight right when the New York Yankees really needed it.

Although they got a good game in the first half of the day-night doubleheader from Javier Vazquez, they still suffered their third consecutive loss in the matinee. But Hughes stepped up to put an end to the Yankees' mini-slump with seven innings of no-run ball, mixing and perfecting locating his fastball and curve.
The righty got into trouble in the fourth inning with the bases loaded, but got a strikeout and a pop up to get out of the jam. Hughes had impeccable control, striking out eight batters with only one walk. He managed to lower his ERA to 1.38 from 1.69, which was already second best in the powerful American League.

“He just made a lot of quality pitches,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I think we saw him grow up a lot last year and it’s carried over to this year.”

I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but Hughes has been worthy of all the praise, pitching like a true ace and stopper. Hughes might be the person least impressed by his 5-0 start. “It’s too early for that right now,” the pitcher said. “I’m not really looking at what I’ve done so far. It’s all about how we finish. There are still a lot of games ahead of us and that’s the focus right now.”

But the way he's pitching, 20 victories isn't out of the question.

“This guy is developing into one of the top pitchers in the league," YES Network analyst Ken Singleton said.

No kidding!

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