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Posts Tagged ‘Hughes Rules’

After Phil Hughes’ tough outing last night, chatter on twitter, sports talk radio and in some media circles, was that the Yankees were at fault for his poor outing. References were made to the Yankees “ruining” Joba and skipping Hughes one start could have similar effects. Sorry, I’m not buying it. Hughes, as he said himself simply had a bad start. It happens. It had nothing to do with the few extra days rest (which over the long season will be a benefit not a detriment). Coming into last night’s game Hughes’ overall numbers on the season were excellent (10-1 3.17 ERA/1.1 WHIP). However, a closer look at his numbers, indicate that over his last 7 starts (prior to last night), he has been trending downward. During that span, starting with his outing against Boston on 5/17, Hughes has pitched: 43.1 IP, 46 H, 23 ER, 11 BB, 39 K. That’s an ERA north of 4.50 and an ugly WHIP. Throw in last night’s bad start versus the worst offensive team in the American League and there is cause for concern.

Looking at some underlying numbers, the one thing we saw again last night, as we have seen with Hughes for most of the season, is that he is ineffective pitching with RISP and is at his worst with 2 outs and RISP. For instance, batting average against (BAA) Hughes this season with the bases empty is .208, with RISP it jumps to.322 BAA, and with 2 outs and RISP it’s an astronomical .469 BAA. Granted these numbers are based on a small sample size, but is something to keep an eye on moving forward. Hughes is only 24 years old and is experiencing his first season in the major leagues as a full-time member of the rotation. As he gains experience, he’ll make adjustments, improve in this area and bounce back from his current downward trend. But until that happens don’t fall prey to the knee-jerk reaction and blame the Yankees for imposing “rules” as the reason for his poor start. Instead chalk it up to a young pitcher experiencing the normal ups and downs of a long season. What do you think? Do you blame the “rules” or the player?

You can follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

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