More foul balls for Hughes


After Phil Hughes‘ start against the Red Sox last Monday, Joe observed that the young righty was having trouble putting Boston’s hitters away with two counts, and I noted all the pitches the Red Sox were able to foul off (17 total). Well that problem continued again last night, when the Mets were able to spoil a whopping 41 pitches, the most by any pitcher in nearly five years. 41! They swung at just two of the nine curves Hughes threw, so book might be getting out on his fastball heavy (85.3% four-seamers and cutters thrown this year) ways, and the hitters are just sitting on it.

I’m far from an expert in this stuff, but maybe it’s time to start incorporating the curveball a little more, and maybe even (gasp!) the changeup.

Categories : Asides


  1. nesto says:

    I don’t know if he’s super confident in his fastball or what but there were so many times when he starts when I don’t know why they don’t use any of his other pitches other than his fastball and cutter. It’s an 0-2 count, throw the hook!

  2. I’m far from an expert in this stuff, but maybe it’s time to start incorporating the curveball a little more, and maybe even (gasp!) the changeup.


    • Also (as I wrote this AM), we can all agree now that this changeup narrative is complete BS, right?

      • Mike Axisa says:

        No, it’s there. I didn’t expect him to throw it much though. It’s just a fourth pitch. How often does CC Sabathia throw his curveball?

        • I guess, but he’s only thrown it 13 times and the way we heard about it, I assumed it’d be worked in more. I think I’m just annoyed that people pointed to this almost phantom pitch as the reason he won the 5th starter’s job over Joba.

          • TheLastClown says:

            No, besides MSM articles, I seem to remember fastball *and cutter* command in & out, up & down to be the primary reason Philly won the Job.(a?)

  3. Steve says:

    I’ve been posting these comments for the last 2 starts too. I couldn’t agree more. He’s got good stuff; and when he’s on, he’s got good control. The problem is he’s still in reliever mode where he can just use FB/Cutter to get by. Since he’s so fastball heavy right now, an effective change up would make him otherworldly.

  4. Kyle Farnsworth says:

    He obviously needs to make an adjustment since hitters know his MO. At least his control is fine, because that was the thing that drove me nuts last time he was a starter. He has dominate stuff, he just needs to adjust to the hitters since they adjusted to him. Hopefully Eiland is as smart as K-Long and fixes his problems.

  5. Kevin M. says:

    Can we compare his 85% fastball (includng cutter) rate to other starting pitchers? 15% offspead pitches seems incredibly low.

  6. Chris says:

    he needs to throw his off-speed stuff more, and learn how to mix it in. He’s getting very predictable.

  7. TheLastClown says:

    I think that Phil Hughes’ brutal, relentless, attack-with-the-fastball personality is tailor made for the bullpen.

  8. TheLastClown says:

    I respect that Hughes wants to get beat w/ #1 if he’s going to get beat at all. I’d rather this problem than the nibbling, the constant wasting of pitches, burying breaking balls etc.

    It’s going to be a see-saw, like with all pitchers. Remember years ago when Andy fell in love w/ the cutter & struggled as the league made adjustments?

    I don’t think that this is Hughes’ year, by which I only mean that we’re not going to see full-potential Hughes for another year or two. He’s going to dominate, he’s going to struggle.

    I’m also very pleased that he’s not getting deflated when he takes the bump w/o his best stuff. He’s getting through, and trusting the fastball. *maybe too much but whatevs*

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