Long Ball Killing Phil Hughes
By Brennen Rupp
Phil Hughes made 32 starts last season for the Minnesota Twins. In those 32 starts he gave up just 16 home runs. This season he’s made four starts and he’s already given up 6 home runs.
Last night Hughes found himself in a pitchers duel with Felix Hernandez. Hernandez was spectacular, pitching a complete game shutout. It was King Felix’s first complete game win since 2012 against the Twins.
Hughes wasn’t too shabby himself. Hughes went eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out nine batters. Both runs came off solo home runs.
Is it time to push the panic button if you are Paul Molitor? Not yet, but at the moment his hand is hovering right over the red button.
Hughes pitched well enough to keep the Twins in the game. If they were going up against another pitcher, the offense may have been able to manufacture enough runs to get Hughes his first win of the season.
Hughes also got off to a slow start last season. He finished the month of April with a 5.14 earned run average and gave up three of his 16 home runs.
What is troubling is that Hughes has a history of giving up home runs in bunches. He gave up 59 home runs during his final two seasons with the New York Yankees. Was last season just an anomaly? Through four starts it sure seems like that’s the case.
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