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Phil Hughes' debut goes about as good as one could hope

Apr 16, 2010, 9:35 AM EDT

Phil Hughes 2.jpgSure, he could have thrown a three-hit shutout and fanned 11, but that wasn’t realistic. As it was, the winner of the most over-hyped competition for a fifth starter’s slot in baseball history was respectable against the Angels last night: Two runs in five innings and change, striking out six.

He walked too many guys — five — and gave up a home run to Hideki Matsui, but (a) he had enough run support to survive the walks; and (b) giving up a home run to Hideki Matsui in his return to Yankee Stadium is probably one of the most easily-pardonable sins imaginable.

And about those walks: as the guys at River Ave. Blues point out this morning, Hughes may have been getting squeezed. Check out the pitch chart. Those little green blocks at the bottom of the zone are strikes that were called balls. This is a continuing theme, of course.  It was Jerry Layne doing the squeezing last night.

That aside, Hughes’ start has to be a really encouraging sign for the Yankees. They won the World Series with three decent starting pitchers last year. If Hughes’ debut form holds for the year, they’ll have five.

  1. Jonny5 - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    For a guy who is so angry about the Yanks and Sox and their long games. West was squeezing the plate as well in Philly, the guy was lining up inside and still calling inside strikes as balls to lefties. Wheeler is blind and dumb and he saw it. Wheeler is so dumb he asked if Tyler Clippard changed his number, it seems he must have forgot everyone had on 42 yesterday. BTW West’s neck has a beer belly.

  2. Fizzy - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    It’s only good if one was a (God forbid) Yankee fan. Those of us that don’t embrace all that is evil would want a totally different outcome for Hughes and the Yankees.

  3. Big Harold - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    “It’s only good if one was a (God forbid) Yankee fan. Those of us that don’t embrace all that is evil …”
    That’s reigning World Series Champion Yankee fan to you Sir.

  4. DiamondDuq - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Craig, I know you’re still on the Javier Vazquez train after having such a wonderful season last year for your beloved Braves but after your article about him being booed the other day that wreaked like that of a parent defending their indefensible child and your “they’ll have five” comment today you could stand to be a little less fanboy-ish about it. If Hughes’ debut holds to form for the remainder of the season they’ll have 4 decent starting pitchers and a guy who has yet to prove he can pitch in the spotlight of NY.

  5. DiamondDuq - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Craig, I apologize. I just came across your posting about your radio appearance where you admitted defending the indefensible, only this time it appears to be on a blog rather than the courtroom.

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