Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hughes makes progress despite loss

Phil Hughes lost the game last night, but he looked good doing it.

Sure, the loss was tough, but manager Joe Girardi was pleased with the way Hughes pitched, calling his outing outstanding. In fact, everyone around the New York Yankees was impressed with the way the youngster responded to being skipped in the rotation. He looked unbeatable in the first four innings, mixing his pitches beautifully and attacking hitters.

“It was an important game and he pitched extremely well,” Girardi said. “I liked the way he pitched.”

But Hughes ran into trouble in the fifth and then in the seventh with bad pitches to Dan Johnson that the first baseman slammed for a pair of two-run homers. It was the only damage the Tampa Bay Rays were able to do, but it was enough to win the game.

"Obviously it was a negative because we have to win the games, but there were some positive things I can take away for my next start," Hughes said.

The problem Hughes has is that when he makes mistakes with location, he pays not with base hits but with home runs. If he can learn to limit the damage, he's going to be unstoppable. But Hughes made progress in last night's loss, which is most important because the Yankees are going to need him in the playoffs.

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