What follows is a scouting report of every pitch Phil Hughes threw last night, his tendencies against right-handed and left-handed batters, where he struggled and where he excelled, and why he should be the favorite to start Game 3 of the American League Division Series. It’s very long, so we’ll get after it as soon as you click Continue Reading.
Top of the First
Batter 1, John Jaso, LH. Pitch 1 is a 92 mph fastball that Jaso takes for a ball. Pitch 2 is another 92 mph fastball outside. On 2-0 Hughes throws Jaso another 92 mph fastball over middle of the plate, missing the spot (Posada set up inside), and Jaso takes it for strike one. On 2-1, Pitch 4 is another fastball over the middle of the plate that drifted up. Jaso fouled it off, taking the count to 2-2. On Pitch 5 Posada sets up low and inside, and Hughes leaves a 93 mph fastball up and over the plate, and Jaso grounded to Rodriguez for the first out. Batter pattern: 5 fastballs total, fastballs away, then fastballs in, but Hughes missed his spots.
Batter 2, Ben Zobrist, LH. Pitch 6 is a 93 mph fastball on the outside corner that drifted in more than Posada wanted and is taken for a strike by Zobrist. Pitch 7 is an 86 mph changeup(!) away, and Zobrist swung over it and missed. Hughes now had Zobrist 0-2 and drove a 94 mph fastball off the plate for ball 1 on Pitch 8. Pitch 9 is a 94 mph fastball up and away, fouled off by Zobrist. Still 1-2, Pitch 10 is a 76 mph curveball that bounced behind home plate, taken for ball 2. Pitch 11 is a 94 mph fastball low and inside, Zobrist checked his swing and took it for ball 3. Pitch 12 is a very good 95 mph fastball low and over the middle of the plate and Zobrist barely fouled it off. Pitch 13 is another good 94 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and up, and Zobrist fouled it off again. Zobrist is clearly unable to turn on the fastball, but on Pitch 14 Hughes decides to float a 74 mph curveball in on 3-2 and it misses for ball 4. Zobrist walks. Batter pattern: Changeup away to the LHB, mixing fastballs up and away and low and in.
Batter 3, Carl Crawford, LH. With Zobrist on 1st, Pitch 15 is a high 74 mph curveball that drops in for a strike. It was bold of Hughes to come back with the curve after missing with his two earlier options, he clearly needs to have it established as a possible option. On Pitch 16 Hughes challenges Crawford with a 93 mph fastball that misses its’ spot. Posada set up low and in, and the pitch drifted up and over the plate, but Crawford fouled it off. Now 0-2, the 17th pitch was a 94 mph fastball that was exactly where Posada called for it, up and in. Crawford made decent contact but couldn’t drive it out of the park and Swisher caught it on the warning track. Two out. Batter pattern: curveball first, fastballs inside on Crawford.
Batter 4, Longoria, RH. With Zobrist still on first, Pitch 18 is a 94 mph fastball over middle of the plate, fouled off by Longoria. Pitch 19 is a low 94 mph fastball taken for a ball. Pitch 20 is a 90 mph cutter that dove down, taken by Longoria for ball 2. This was the first cutter of the game. On the next pitch, Hughes goes back to the cutter and it dives down again but Longoria chases it this time and misses. Hughes now has Longoria 2-2 and goes with a 94 mph fastball on Pitch 22 that drifts over the middle of the plate. Fortunately, Longoria can only foul it off and is very late on the pitch. Hughes goes with a curveball on Pitch 23 and it dives down and away from Longoria but he chases it anyway and taps out weakly to Teixeira. Three out. Batter pattern: fastballs, cutters down, low curveballs.
Top of the Second
After a very long layoff in which the Yankees assisted the cause of elevating Shields’ ERA, Hughes returns to the mound to face Dan Johnson.
Batter 1, Dan Johnson, LH. The first pitch is a curveball that he leaves way up and Johnson takes for a ball. Like Crawford, Hughes chooses to attack Johnson with the curveball first. The next one is a changeup that tails away from the Johnson and nicks the outside portion of the late for strike 1, a very nice pitch. Now 0-2, Hughes goes to a high fastball up on Pitch 26 and Johnson is barely able to foul it off. Pitch 27 is an absolutely gorgeous 74 mph curveball that Hughes drops on the outside corner and freezes Johnson for strike 3. Johnson knew it, Hughes knew it, and the American people knew it. This was an extremely impressive sequence for Hughes. Batter Pattern: curveball, changeup away, high heat, low curve away.
Batter 2, Dan Joyce, LH. Pitch 28 is a high 92 mph fastball that Joyce takes for ball 1. Pitch 29 is another 92 mph fastball that looks to have maybe caught the outside corner, but Hughes didn’t get the call and Joyce takes for ball 2. On Pitch 30 Hughes sticks with the fastballs and sends another 92 mph fastball over the middle of the plate, taken for a called strike. Pitch 31 is a 93 mph fastball that Joyce hit for a home run. Hughes clearly misses his spot here, as Posada set up outside and Hughes left the fastball right over the middle of the plate and down and Joyce didn’t miss. Batter pattern: after establishing his curveball and his changeup against other LHBs, Hughes goes all fastballs against Joyce and pays dearly when he misses his spot.
Batter 3, Carlos Pena, LH. Pitch 32 is a high running 92 mph fastball taken for a ball. Pitch 33 is a 93 mph fastball over the middle of the plate fouled off by Pena. Pitch 34 is a fantastic 85 mph changeup with great movement and tailing away from Pena for strike 2. Pitch 35 is a 93 mph running fastball from Hughes that Pena chased for Hughes’ second K. Batter Pattern: challenge Pena with the fastball, throw the changeup for strikes.
Batter 4, BJ Upton. In a one pitch at-bat, Hughes drops a 75 mph curveball that would have hit the outside corner had Upton not swung at it and hit as a fly ball to Swisher. Three out. Batter pattern: Upton, Longoria and Bartlett are the only RHBs in the lineup, and Hughes goes straight at him with the off-speed curve.
Top of the Third
Batter 1, Jason Bartlett, RH. He starts Bartlett out with an 88 mph cutter with little movement that Bartlett fouls off. Pitch 38 is a 92 mph fastball right on the outside corner, exactly where Posada called for it, and Bartlett swings and misses. Pitch 39 is another great curveball from Hughes that dives out of the zone and towards the dirt. Barlett tries to chase it but has no chance and is Hughes’ 3rd K. Batter pattern: Like Longoria, Hughes attacks the righty with the cutter and the curve and mixes in a fastball.
Batter 2, John Jaso, LH. Pitch 40 is a 93 mph fastball that misses the mark by a mile. Posada set up low and away and Hughes threw it up and over the plate. Pitch 41 is another good 85 mph changeup with tailing action away, but it misses the plate for ball 2. Pitch 42 is a 91 mph fastball that Posada wanted low and in but Hughes left up and Jaso fouled it off. On Pitch 43 Hughes goes to the curveball with a 74 mph offering. It had good break, but it was called a ball to run the count to 3-1. Pitch 44, Hughes runs a 92 mph fastball low and in on Jaso and he takes it for ball 4. Batter pattern: In Jaso’s first AB, Hughes went entirely with the fastball. Here he returns with the fastball but can’t command it well, while mixing in the changeup away and the curveball.
Batter 3, Ben Zobrist, LH. Pitch 45 is a 94 mph fastball that Hughes leaves over the middle of the plate despite Posada wanting it away. This is another “missed” pitch by Hughes and Posada goes out to the mound to talk it over. On Pitch 46, Hughes goes 93 mph fastball and is again unable to drive it to the outer part of the plate. Fortunately it was better than the previous pitch and Zobrist flies out to Granderson. Batter pattern: In Zobrist’s first at-bat Hughes mixed fastballs in and away, and complemented it with changeups. Here he is unable to drive the fastball away, leaving it over the middle of the plate, and is fortunate that Zobrist doesn’t make him pay.
Batter 4, Carl Crawford, LH. He starts Crawford with a a good 74 mph curveball on the outer portion of the plate that Crawford fouls off. On the next pitch he goes with a very nice 93 mph fastball over the middle of the plate that Crawford swings and misses on. Hughes then goes back to the curveball on 0-2, but it’s wild and almost hits Crawford for ball 1. On Pitch 50, still up 1-2 on Crawford, Hughes tries to throw the 94 mph fastball low and away but misses too far low and Crawford takes for ball 2. Now 2-2, Hughes stays with the fastball and misses in, running the count full. On Pitch 52, Hughes again misses with a 93 mph fastball in and Posada can’t handle it. Crawford takes first base as a walk while the ball goes to the backstop and Jaso advances to third. This is scored a wild pitch, but looked more like a passed ball. Batter Pattern: In his last at-bat, Hughes went with the curveball first and then the fastball. Here he starts with the exact same pattern, but instead of going with the fastball again on 0-2 he goes back to his curveball. He then tries to reestablish the fastball, but cannot command it well and Crawford works a walk.
Batter 5, Evan Longoria, RH. The situation is now 1st and 3rd with 2 out. He starts Longoria with a looping curveball over the middle of the plate that Longoria raps to the left side of the infield. Jeter can’t get to it and it squeaks through. Honestly, a quicker shortstop might have converted that to an out, as it wasn’t particularly well-struck. Batter Pattern: He mixed fastballs and cutters in the first at-bat, but went straight to the curveball on the first pitch of the count here.
Batter 6, Dan Johnson, LH. Pitch 54, another slow curveball that Johnson takes for ball 1. Pitch 55, an 84 mph changeup that runs away from Johnson, although it is probably his worst changeup of the night. Johnson grounds out to Teixeira, inning over. Batter Pattern: Hughes sticks with the offspeed stuff, the curveball and the changeup, as he did in the first at-bat.
Top of the Fourth
Batter 1, Matt Joyce, LH. The first pitch of this at-bat is a 75 mph curveball that Hughes drops on the outside corner for strike one. On the next pitch he throws an 85 mph changeup with no control that dives down in the box for ball 1. He returns to the changeup on the next pitch, and it moves away from Joyce for ball 2. On 2-1 he drives a 92 mph fastball to the outside corner for strike 2. Now Hughes is working quickly, and goes for the strikeout on Pitch 60 with a curveball, but he misses badly and almost hits Joyce in the left leg. On 3-2 Hughes goes back to the changeup and misses outside again and Joyce walks. Batter pattern: Obviously, Hughes changes things up this time with Joyce. Last time around, he went exclusively with the fastball and paid when he missed. Here, he throws far more offspeed stuff and doesn’t trust his fastball to Joyce. Unfortunately, he can’t command the changeup or the curveball well enough and walks Joyce.
Batter 2, Carlos Pena, LH. On Pitch 62 Posada sets up inside and low and Hughes throws a perfect 94 mph fastball to the glove. Pena ropes it down the first-base line but it’s foul. Now 0-1, Hughes throws another 93 mph fastball over the middle of the plate, Pena swings through it for strike 2. They now have Pena down 0-2 and Hughes tries to drive a 93 mph fastball in on Pena but leaves it over the plate and Pena fouls it off. Still 0-2, Hughes tries to get Pena to chase a low curveball away but he doesn’t and takes it for ball 1. On Pitch 66, Hughes throws the same pitch to Pena and he takes it again. Now 2-2, Posada sets up inside for the fastball, and Hughes misses in with a 93 mph offering, running the count to 3-2. On Pitch 68, Hughes tries to throw a fastball in on Pena but it drifts in. Pena is confused and freezes and it’s a called strike three. Batter pattern: Last time they faced Pena they challenged him with fastballs and threw the changeup for strikes. Here they get ahead with the fastball and then try to get him to chase a curveball, before returning to the fastball. Hughes is establishing a clear pattern with left-handed batters, working the fastball in on the hands of the lefties and otherwise driving it away, while throwing a tailing changeup away from them. Being able to drop in a curveball is an excellent weapon.
Batter 3, BJ Upton, RH. Now with a man on and one out, Hughes starts Upton out with a fastball on the outside corner that Upton fouls off. On Pitch 70, he goes in on Upton again with a 93 mph fastball and misses for ball 1. The next pitch is a good 93 mph fastball low and towards the outside corner that Upton fouls off. On Pitch 72 he goes with an 89 mph cutter that moves away from Upton and they get him to offer at it. He taps it weakly to Hughes and they get the force at second (botching the double play). Batter Pattern: Last time through, Upton swung at the first pitch, which was a curveball. Here they are using the same approach they used in Longoria’s first at-bat, which is to pressure Upton with the fastball and get him to chase the cutter. It works. Interestingly, they went with hard stuff against Longoria in his first at-bat, while using a curveball first against Upton, and then promptly reversed that they second time through the order (throwing Longoria a curveball first and going with hard stuff against Upton).
Batter 4, Jason Barlett, LH. Barlett swings at the first pitch, a 75 mph curveball, and drives it straight back up through the middle for a single. Batter Pattern: same thing as Upton’s first at-bat and Longoria’s second at-bat – offering a slow curve on the first pitch to righties.
Batter 5, John Jaso, LH (note, this is the third time through the order). Hughes starts Jaso with a 74 mph curveball on pitch 74. Gameday registers it as a strike, but it clearly looks to be a ball on TV and is called as such. Pitch 75 is a changeup that is supposed to go away from Jaso but cuts back in for a ball. This is not a good changeup. Now down 2-0 to Jaso, Hughes throws a 91 mph fastball well off the plate for ball 3. On 3-0 Hughes throws a good fastball over the plate for a strike. He stays with the fastball on the next pitch and drives it over the plate, but it looks a bit outside and is called a ball. Watching the pitch it seems that it could have gone either way, although Gameday clearly marks it a ball. Batter Pattern: The first time through he went with all fastballs, and then tried to mix in curveballs and changeups the second time when he failed to command the fastball. Here, he struggles to throw a good changeup at all, and is struggling to hit the strike zone again. It wouldn’t be fair to say that Hughes has lost his command, though. Even though this was the second walk of the inning, Hughes was around the strikezone.
Batter 6, Ben Zobrist LH. Hughes now has the bases loaded. With his first pitch he throws a cutter that dives down and is taken for a ball, although it looks like a strike. The next pitch, Pitch 80, is a 93 mph fastball that Hughes leaves a bit high but Zobrist offers at it anyway and grounds out to Teixeira. Inning over, crisis averted, Philbert is the man. Batter pattern: Despite walking in his first at-bat after Hughes couldn’t command his fastball and changeup, Zobrist is aggressive the second time in a row against Hughes, pouncing on a fastball. He’s unable to do damage, though.
Top of the Fifth
Batter 1, Carl Crawford, LH. The first pitch is a 91 mph fastball outside. On the next pitch, Hughes is supposed to go away with a fastball but leaves it over the plate. Crawford doesn’t make him pay and grounds it to Teixeira.
Batter 2, Evan Longoria, RH. With Pitch 83, Hughes throws a high cutter that looks like a strike but is called a ball. The next pitch is a cutter that moves away from Longoria and was called a strike, although it looked more questionable than pitch 83. Now 1-1, Hughes leaves a 92 mph fastball that Hughes left up and over the plate and Longoria fouled off, late. The next pitch is a very good cutter, down and over the plate, that Longoria can barely hit. Again, this was a great pitch. On the next pitch he throws another rising fastball that was supposed to be down and away, but Longoria just fouls it off. Pitch 88 is a high fastball at 94 mph, Longoria doesn’t offer at it. Now 2-2, Hughes sticks with the fastball and throws a hard 92 mph fastball that cuts in on Longoria, and he dives out of the way. The count is now 3-2, and on pitch 90 he throws a splendid, splendid cutter that ends up over the middle of the plate for strike 3. This was a gorgeous pitch by Hughes. Batter pattern: this was the same pattern he used with Longoria in the first at-bat, mixing fastballs and diving cutters. He avoided using his curveball here, despite throwing it on the first pitch in Longoria’s second at-bat, preferring to use the cutter as the put-away pitch.
Batter 3, Dan Johnson, LH. Pitch 91 is a 75 mph curveball that bounces behind home plate and Johnson takes low for a ball. The next pitch is a 92 mph fastball on the inside corner taken for a called strike, perhaps generous call. On the next pitch he throws a great changeup with late action tailing away from Johnson for called strike 2. Pitch 94 is another changeup this time a bit lower. It certainly looked like it got all of the plate as it cut away from Johnson, and Hughes thought so too, but it was called a ball. Pitch 95 is a very similar pitch and Johnson fouls it off. On the next pitch he throws a 74 mph curveball that Hughes bounces like Pitch 91, Johnson checks his swing but doesn’t go around. Pitch 97 is a 92 mph fastball that would have been a strike, up and in on his hands, Johnson can only foul it off. Hughes is working strictly on the corners now. Pitch 98 is another great changeup tailing away from Johnson, who reaches out and taps it to Cano for the third out. Batter Pattern: Hughes did a great job working in and out with his fastball and curveball, never left anything over the plate and threw 3 changeups, all of them solid. He clearly likes to throw Johnson the changeup away.
Top of the Sixth
Batter 1, Matt Joyce, LH. Joyce had homered and walked Hughes. Pitch 99 is a 92 mph fastball on the outside corner taken for a ball. Pitch 100 is another fastball that would have been a called strike, but Joyce popped up to Cano. Batter Pattern: in his first at-bat, Joyce saw nothing but fastballs and ended up taking one deep. The second time through, Hughes was more timid with the fastball and ended up walking Joyce when he had trouble commanding the secondary stuff. Here, he isn’t afraid to come at Joyce with the fastball again, and it works.
Batter 2, Carlos Pena, LH. Pitch 101 is a 91 mph fastball that Hughes leaves over the plate, similar to the one Joyce hit out. Pena pulls the trigger but just misses, and flies to Swisher. This was a mistake pitch, one you can get away with up 3 runs. Batter Pattern: in the past they challenged Pena with fastballs and threw the curveball and changeup away. He didn’t give them a chance to do that here.
Batter 3, BJ Upton, RH. Hughes starts Upton with a 92 mph challenge fastball down the middle and high and Upton swings and misses. He repeats this with Pitch 103 and Upton can’t catch up. He stays with the high heat on the next pitch, and misses. Upton takes ball 1. Pitch 105 is another hard fastball in on Upton and he takes it for a ball. Pitch 106 is yet again a fastball, this one on the outside corner that Upton swings through. All fastballs for Bossman Jr. and he can’t hit any of them. Batter Pattern: first time through they offered Upton a curveball, and the second time through they mixed fastballs and cutters and got him to chase the cutter. Here, perhaps now that Upton sees that Hughes can throw a solid cutter and is expecting something a bit softer, they simply pound him with fastballs and he can’t catch up.
Top of the Seventh
Batter 1, Jason Bartlett, RH. Pitch 107 of the evening is a 91 mph tailing fastball that drifts up and over the plate and Barlett fouls it off. A better hitter would have done more with it. Pitch 108 is an 86 mph cutter that stays up, instead of down as Posada wanted it, and Barlett drills it through the right side for a hit. Batter Pattern: like he did in the past, he relies on the cutter and the fastball to the righty.
Batter 2, John Jaso, LH. Facing Jaso for the fourth time, Hughes offers a 91 mph fastball tailing away from Jaso and missing for a ball with Pitch 109. Down 1-0 with a man on first, Hughes throws a 91 mph fastball that was supposed to go to the outside corner but drifts towards the middle. It is called a strike, and is a dangerous pitch. Now 1-1, Hughes throws a 73 mph curveball on Pitch 111 with good break that ends up low for ball 2. Pitch 112 is another high fastball down the middle of the plate, 91 mph. Jaso swings and it looks like he may have broken his bat because he makes subdued contact up the middle and Cano fields it and takes the force at second. Batter Pattern: Hughes continues mixing the curveball with the fastball to Jaso and is able to keep him off-balance.
That’s all she wrote for Sir Philbert.
Against right-handed hitters, Hughes took a few different approaches. At times, he would drop a curveball in on the first pitch, and got balls in play when he did. Other times he would mix his fastball in and up on the right-handers, and get them to chase his cutter down in the zone. This worked exceptionally well. To left-handers, Hughes would mix his fastball in and away, and often chose to throw a changeup that tailed away from them or threw curveballs in the dirt or on the outside corner. At times he was too fine or simply lost command, but overall his pitches were very difficult to hit. Of his four hits, one was a home run on a misplaced fastball, two were hits that made it through the infield on first-pitch curveballs, and the last one was off a cutter with bad command. Hughes was a tough customer for the Rays. His use of the changeup to lefties and the way he got righties to chase his cutter means that he is able, at times, to throw four quality pitches. Despite the walks, it was a relatively good outing from Hughes and I would certainly feel comfortable if he were the starter of Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees