A Baseball Weblog

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hughes' gem

Last night, Phil Hughes pitched the game of his life for the Yankees. In the company of his parents, he went 7 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit, one run (allowed to score by Joba Chamberlain), and two walks, while striking out ten. His no-hit bid was broken up by an infield single by Eric Chavez to lead off the 8th inning.
Hughes was dominant the whole game. After walking Daric Barton in the 1st inning, he retired 20 straight Athletics before allowing the single to Chavez. I found it interesting that he didn't throw a single changeup in his appearance, and there weren't a whole lot of curves, either. Overall: 54 four-seamers, 33 cutters, and 14 curveballs. When I wrote about Hughes in November, I mentioned that he was throwing fewer curveballs than I had anticipated, and that seems to be carrying over to this year, at least so far. Of his ten strikeouts, here is the breakdown:

Total CalledSwinging


Apparently, Hughes is really loving his fastball. And why not? He got 9 swings-and-misses off of it yesterday out of 28 total swings --- that's a .321 whiff rate, which is more than double the league average for fastballs (somewhere around .14). Granted, the A's don't exactly have the most potent offense, but Hughes generated whiffs on his fastball at a superb rate last year as well.
The Yankees obviously have to be elated about a performance like this. Hughes, himself, said that his fastball command was "the best it's ever been."

Gameday PITCHf/x data is from MLB Advanced Media; it can be easily accessed via this tool.

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