Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No need to panic over rough Hughes start

So what if Phil Hughes was rusty yesterday?

No starting pitcher likes his routine disrupted. And Hughes wasn't just pushed back a day, he was pushed back 10 days. So it wasn't surprising that he was off his game last night, giving up seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in what was easily his worst start of an otherwise fantastic season.

That doesn't mean the New York Yankees were wrong to skip his turn in the rotation. On the contrary, I think skipping a start here and there is a better plan than pulling him after three or four innings, like they did with Joba Chamberlain last year. And it's all for a good cause: protecting a future ace pitcher from getting hurt.

The only concern is whether the bad start will cause Hughes anxiety the next time the Yankees try to skip him for his own good. But it seems like Hughes is taking everything in stride, saying it is “nice to know that the organization has my interests in mind.”

"No, not at all," Hughes said when asked if the skipped start was an excuse for his rough start. "I just didn't throw well last night. The extra rest was great I thought. I came back stronger and felt really good. I just didn't get out there and really execute my game plan."

Hughes doesn’t seem to be panicking at all about his bad outing. Neither should we.

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