Results tagged ‘ Phil Hughes ’
Phil Hughes said that he had a few sleepless nights after the worst start of his professional career, a nightmarish outing last time out against the Mariners in which he surrendered seven runs and was not able to escape the first inning.
“You lay in bed and you think about things; what could have gone differently for you and what you could have done better,” Hughes said. “It’s tough. It’s tough any way you slice it. I’m looking forward to taking the ball [tonight] and hopefully getting back on a good streak.”
Hughes said that he found in his bullpen that he was on the side of the ball a little bit, which was causing his fastball to run back over the middle of the plate. Hughes tends to pitch up in the zone anyway – he’s a fly ball pitcher and that lends itself to home runs at times – so he really must hit the corners to be effective.
“It’s all fastball command, really,” Hughes said. “The days that I’ve had good command of my fastball, I’ve been able to work everything off that. Those have been the good ones. The bad ones, I’m falling behind and trying to figure something out.
“When the fastball is there and I’m locating it, I have a good chance to be good that day. If not, I think I need to do a better job of recognizing that earlier and throwing more off-speed pitches to try to counter-balance that.”
Miguel Gonzalez has the starting nod for the Orioles, and the action gets underway tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Phil Hughes threw 26 pitches of live batting practice this morning on the main diamond at George M. Steinbrenner Field, saying that he felt good and it was exciting to finally be facing real hitters.
“I was a hair off with my command, but I sort of anticipated that, having not been in a somewhat adrenaline-filled pitching scenario,” Hughes said. “Other than that, I felt great. I felt like the ball was coming out pretty good, so that’s a first step.”
He reported no issues from the bulging disk that sidelined him earlier in camp. Hughes’ next outing will come in a simulated game on Monday and he believes there is still time to be ready for the Opening Day roster.
Hughes, 26, was 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 32 starts with the Yankees last season and was arbitration eligible for the third and final time.
The deal is worth $7.15 million for Hughes, who is entering an important year as he could be a free agent after the season. The right-hander earned $3.2 million last season.
New York has three arbitration eligible players remaining; pitchers Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan and David Robertson.
The Yankees have not gone to arbitration since 2008, when they defeated pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in a hearing.
10/15/12: Phil Hughes, Mark Teixeira and Jayson Nix discuss what they need to do to be successful in Game 3 of the ALCS
NEW YORK YANKEES
Q. You pitched a pretty good game against this team about a month ago in their ballpark. What do you remember about that game specifically, and what do you take from that going into tomorrow?
PHIL HUGHES: I remember it was probably the first or second game that I really used my slider quite a bit, and I think that could be a big pitch against this team that really likes to hit the fastball. So yeah, I mean, it’s a tough lineup. Obviously tomorrow is going to be a big game, either playing to stay alive or playing to move on.
I remember it was a good atmosphere over there, and it’s going to be the same tomorrow here.
Q. You had a tough series against Texas a couple years ago in the postseason and didn’t start last year. How much have you been looking forward to getting back out there in the postseason start and trying to redeem yourself a little bit?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, it’s a great opportunity. Like I said, last year was a disappointing season, and the year before that, pitching a good game against Minnesota and not then pitching at all against Texas. I’ve been looking forward to this, and it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be, like I said, a good atmosphere here and something I really look forward to.
Q. Can you characterize your year, what you were happiest about, what you may not have been happy about?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, I was happy with the way I was able to rebound from some tough starts, and that was something that we really emphasized on, just not letting things snowball and get out of control when they were bad. Obviously some things I was disappointed with. I had a bad start to the season, had some bad starts mixed in. But looking at the positives, I felt like I was able to get the ball every five days and give us a chance to win as much as I could.
Kind of an upanddown season, but you can’t really look at the regular season when it comes to times like this. You just throw that out the window and just try to do the best job you can.
Q. We talked during the season about properly harnessing your adrenaline and controlling it in the early innings. Does that become more of a challenge in the playoffs?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, it can be, definitely. Obviously, it’s something that, you look forward to these big games, but at the same time you are going to have that little adrenaline boost and control that and make sure you get a good couple innings underneath you, and then the nerves will settle a little bit and you can kind of focus on pitching. But it’s going to be a challenge, and hopefully just come out of the gate throwing strikes and then things will settle down from there.
Q. Does starting Game 4 impact your confidence at all versus pitching if you were selected for Game 2 or Game 3?
PHIL HUGHES: It really doesn’t. I mean, you make the argument that these games later in the series mean more. I look at every start, every opportunity that I have as a challenge, and I don’t really focus on where I’m lined up or anything like that, just go out and do the absolute best job I can and not focus too much on the circumstances, just focus on every pitch I can possibly make.
Q. Who in their lineup is your toughest atbat and why?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, you know, with Markakis out, he was one of them. I’ve had a he’s one of the longest hitter guys on the team so I probably have the most experience with him. But other than him Adam Jones is always a tough atbat, Chris Davis having a breakout season. There’s not really one guy you can point to and say he may be the toughest atbat. They have guys up and down that lineup that can hurt you. You get one guy out but there’s still eight guys you’ve got to go after. I just have a good game plan and try to execute every pitch.
Q. A few minutes ago Joe Girardi told some of the writers that win or lose tonight you’ll be starting tomorrow’s game rather than bringing CC back on short rest. How does it feel that he has the confidence in you to put you out there potentially in an elimination game?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, like I said, tomorrow we’re either going to go on or we’re going to survive. I don’t really think too much into it. Like I said, I don’t really focus on the circumstances, just if I’m given the opportunity go out and pitch as well as I can, and that’s really it. Whether I was given the opportunity or not, I’ll be prepared for it, and that’s really all I can do.
Q. Results aside, do you feel like this has been a growth year for you? You’ve adjusted your approach, you’ve added a pitch, sort of sharpened the stuff that you had. Does it feel from the start of the season until now that you’ve taken a step up in your growth as a pitcher?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, I think so. Maybe a little bit. Obviously last year was disappointing and I would have liked to have built on 2010. But I just look at every year as a different path. Obviously this postseason is going to provide its challenges, but like I said, I don’t really think about what I’ve done this year or in years past, I just kind of focus on what I can do for this team or this opportunity.
Q. You mentioned those appearances in Texas two years ago. Is there anything you can draw from those two starts against Texas, or do you try to just put those starts out of mind?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, I try to forget about them. You don’t really want to linger on the negative. But every postseason start and things like that is an experience and something I can learn from. But it’s a different team, different lineup, and I think I kind of know what to expect going into this, and that’s something I can certainly learn from.
But every start, every team kind of provides their own difficulties, their own challenges.
It’ll be nice having a little bit of experience going into this, but as far as drawing anything from their team specifically, it’s kind of its own new experience.
Q. There’s been a lot of talk about facing the same team these 20 times and all this stuff and how much you guys know about the Orioles and vice versa. How is that for you? What’s your perspective on it?
PHIL HUGHES: It’s hard to say. I mean, they see more, we see them more. It’s all back and forth. I think everybody has got their reports, scouting reports and things like that. But you certainly know their guys just from playing in the division all year, especially down the stretch like you mentioned, playing them so often.
But I think as long as you feel confident with the game plan we have going in, there’s really no advantage either way. We just have to it’s going to come down to who executes, and that’s really all it is.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Time to pack it up here in Port Charlotte, where Phil Hughes was the clear story of the day. Hughes looks “night and day” from where he was in 2011, according to Joe Girardi, and Russell Martin can hardly believe he is catching the same guy from last spring. Hughes has a 2.02 ERA in 13 1/3 innings and is giving the Yankees no reason to envision a starting five without him.
“I don’t put a lot into Spring Training, just because some guys have really good springs and some guys have really bad springs,” Hughes said. “For me personally, I’m happy to have some success and throw up as many zeroes as I can. Obviously I wasn’t perfect today, but it’s still pretty good, so I was encouraged.
“… I just try to go out every five days and pitch as well as I can. That’s really it. I don’t try to think too much into it; I have no control over that. I just try to get my work in and do the things that (pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) asks me to do, and try to get better every day. I try to throw as many zeroes as I can.”
Girardi said he likes the fire Hughes seems to be showing, and isn’t concerned that the rotation crunch – seven men for five spots, if you count Andy Pettitte – could be pushing him.
“I think it’s important because every day is a competition,” Girardi said. “You can’t ever take your job for granted in this business. These are the things that I want to see. I want to see him compete and know, hey, someone wants your job. It’s not just the seven guys that we’re talking about now, there are some young guys that want some jobs too. I think it’s healthy.”
What went right: Hughes made just one bad pitch, a cutter that didn’t cut for a home run, and allowed two runs in five innings. He was most pleased with his changeup, estimating he threw about 15 of them in his 73 pitches … Justin Maxwell got another hit. He’s up to .435. Dewayne Wise is at .476. … Clay Rapada pitched a scoreless sixth. Cesar Cabral got the win and struck out six in two innings, permitting two hits. He has struck out 11 batters in 8 1/3 innings. … Mike O’Connor got a save with a scoreless ninth.
What went wrong: Not much, really. Nick Swisher is going to be down for a few days with the groin issue, but he’s expected to bounce back after receiving treatment all day at Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees left nine on base (four by Raul Ibanez, who is hitting .059 with two hits in 34 trips), and Chris Dickerson made a throwing error.
What they said: ”That’d be nice. I’d take a 10-year contract, too.” – Hughes, on if he’d like a guaranteed rotation spot in the future.
What’s next: Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and the Yankees will meet the Red Sox for the second time this spring on Thursday, making their first trip to the new JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., for a 7:05 p.m. ET contest that will air on MLB.TV. Right-hander David Phelps will make his first start and fifth appearance of the spring, with ace CC Sabathia pitching instead in a Minor League game in Tampa, Fla. The Red Sox will start right-hander Aaron Cook.
Phil Hughes popped up at the Yankees’ Minor League complex on Monday, telling reporters that he has added muscle to his frame in hopes of rebounding from a disappointing 2011 season. Hughes said that he weighs about 240 pounds, but it’s a firmer 240.
“It’s body composition more than anything — I replaced some weight with muscle,” Hughes said, according to the New York Daily News. “I didn’t lose like 40 pounds, but I feel a lot better and hopefully it’ll pay off.”
Other early-arriving pitchers tossing on Monday included Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, David Robertson and Cory Wade, according to reports.
Phil Hughes shouldn’t be thinking about going back to the bullpen, despite his success there at times during his career. At least, that’s what Brian Cashman told reporters on Monday.
“I think he’s a starter,” Cashman said. “I know he can pitch out of the ‘pen, but I don’t look at him as a reliever. Never have. I know with any quality arm, whether it’s CC [Sabathia] or A.J. [Burnett] or [Ivan] Nova or Hughes or now [Michael] Pineda, you can run them out there into the ‘pen and they’d look pretty special. But it’s not something you want to do.”
This might be a good time to mention the name Joba Chamberlain … but, nah, there’s plenty of time for that down the road.
Phil Hughes was at his locker when the clubhouse opened to reporters this afternoon. He said that his back is feeling better after yesterday’s epidural shot and he is hopeful that he’ll be able to throw a bullpen this weekend, preparing for a start against the Rays at Tropicana Field next week.
“I can’t change what’s gone on; I just have to make the most of what’s left,” Hughes said.
It’s a fitting conclusion to a trying season for Hughes, who was an 18-game winner last year but is now just hoping to finish with an ERA under 6.00. He’s also looking to serve some role on the playoff roster, be it as a starter or a reliever.
“Whatever was going to go wrong seems like it has this year,” Hughes said. “The postseason can turn around a lot of bad regular season stuff.”
Hello once again from Yankee Stadium, where it has turned into a cool and pleasant evening and the Yankees are welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays to town for four games in three days. It gets started tonight with Wade Davis and Ivan Nova facing off.
Some quick updates for you:
- It looks like Francisco Cervelli may have played his final game this season. Joe Girardi acknowledged that he isn’t sure when Cervelli could come back, since he is still feeling concussion symptoms.
- Isn’t it funny that the Red Sox (and their fans) may spend much of this week rooting for the Yankees to take care of business against Tampa Bay?
“I’ll bet they are,” Mariano Rivera said. “It doesn’t matter. We still have to do our job. It doesn’t matter if they’re pulling for us or not. We still have to do our jobs. I definitely know they’re pulling for us.”
- The tentative plan is to have Phil Hughes start tomorrow’s first game, assuming he’s OK after his bout with back spasms. CC Sabathia would start the night game.
- Prior to Tuesday’s game, Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyers threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The first living Marine to receive a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, Meyers received the award at a White House ceremony on Sept. 15 for his heroic efforts during battle on Sept. 8, 2009 in Ganjgal Valley in which he saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers, in addition to 23 Afghan soldiers.
Here are tonight’s lineups —
September 20, 2011 – Yankee Stadium – 7:05 p.m. ET (MY9/MLB Network, WCBS 880 AM)
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Johnny Damon DH
Casey Kotchman 1B
Matt Joyce RF
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS
Pitching: Wade Davis RHP (10-9, 4.41)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Pitching: Ivan Nova RHP (15-4, 3.81)