Thursday, April 22, 2010

Phil Hughes

The legend of Phil Hughes--and my unabashed man-crush on him-- continues to grow. Last night, the 23-year-old pitched seven innings of no-hit ball, his second flirtation with a no-no in his young career. Although he lost his no-hit bid in the top of the 8th inning, Hughes announced to the rest of the league that he's figured out this whole pitching thing. 

Lest I be accused of falling prey to the curse of the small sample size (it was, after all, one game), consider this: Since June of last year, 62.5 total innings pitched, including the playoffs, Hughes' ERA is an outstanding 1.325. During that same time, he struck out 81, while walking 20, one of whom Hughes intentionally awarded first base. Yes, Hughes racked up these numbers as a reliever, but they tell an interesting story. By pounding the zone, the previously tentative Hughes has hit his stride, so to speak, as a pitcher. 

I said it before and I'll say it again: Phil Hughes is the real deal, exactly what the Yankees front office and scores of Major League talent scouts promised.  

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