The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of a struggling season once again in 2014, but there is a significant reason for hope. Forget the influx of prospects expected to arrive in 2015, the fact of the matter is the Twins lineup is not in a dire situation as is. For Minnesota, it all comes down to pitching. While it has been less than stellar this season, there has been big bright spot.
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Although Hughes has had a bit of a scuffle over the middle of the summer, for two-thirds of the season, he has pitched like an elite level All Star and the ace of the Twins staff.
In the month of August, Hughes is 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA and a 34/2 K/BB ratio. As impressive as that line is however, Hughes has done something even more unbelievable this season. In 2014, Phil Hughes has pitched to the third best strikeout/walk ration in the history of Major League Baseball.
Bret Saberhagen owns the record, posting an 11.00 K/BB ratio in 1994. To this point in 2014, Hughes has a 10.13 K/BB ratio. He has tallied 152 strikeouts while walking only 15 batters. Those numbers are absolutely incredible.
Hughes has benefited significantly from getting ahead in counts, pounding the strike zone, and throwing first pitch strikes. For the Twins, those three concepts have been difficult for pitchers in recent years. Short outings are a by product of long counts and getting behind batters, Hughes had bucked that trend.
Look for Hughes to continue his dominant season, there is no reason to believe he won’t. As 2014 comes to a close look for Hughes to zero in on the record. Should he record 13 more strikeouts and get to 165 before walking another batter, he would find himself tied with Saberhagen at 11.00.
The Minnesota Twins are back on the field tonight at 7:10pm from Kauffman Stadium.