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Hughes erases bad memories

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The Rangers must wonder how he ever allows a run. In two starts (spaced 25 months apart) against Texas, the Rangers haven't scored one run off Hughes (in 14.1 innings).

This is a taste of what kind of potential he has. Unlike his 2007 game, he did allow a hit (three in fact), but shut out Texas over eight innings. Hughes threw just 101 pitches against the swing-happy Rangers, and was pulled after the Yanks had built an 11-0 lead.

The turning point in Hughes' day came in the second (with the Yanks up 2-0), when a double and a hit-batter put two runners on with none out. He was behind 3-0 on Marlon Byrd, but came back to strike him out. He pretty much cruised after that.

Hughes didn't even have his A stuff - it was closer to B+ stuff. He had good curveball command, good fastball command and decent cutter command. By my count, he didn't throw one changeup (though Pitch F/X disagrees). Imagine when his changeup improves and he throws it as well as his other pitches!

The stellar outing lowered Hughes' ERA nearly two runs - from 7.06 to 5.16 (which is lower than A.J. Burnett's).

Not to be outdone was A-Rod, who went 5-5 with two doubles (raising his batting average from .189 to .259).

 

- Did anyone notice that Hughes refused to shake Joe Girardi's hand when he told him he was done? I understand that Hughes was extremely disappointed to not be allowed to complete the game, but you still have to shake your manager's hand. There must have been initial frustration when Girardi extended his hand, and Hughes is still only 22, but he should have made a point to do it later (perhaps he did and I don't know about it).

Regardless, it was the smart decision - Hughes will have plenty of time to throw complete games in his career. Though Girardi naturally wants his starters to log innings and 'learn' to pitch deep into games (especially the young guys), what if Hughes overthrows a curveball (like he did back in '07 in the very same ballpark) and tears his hammy?

 

- Brian Bruney is headed back to the DL after feeling pain in his elbow during a basic throwing session. David Robertson is on his way to Texas.