May 13, 2010

Hughes leading in triple crown categories

It was tough to describe just how good Phil Hughes has been this year in words, so I opted to use numbers instead.

Yankees wins leader: Phil Hughes (5)**
Yankees ERA leader: Phil Hughes (1.38)*
Yankees strikeouts leader: Phil Hughes (39)
**Tied for the league lead, *Leads the league

The 23-year-old right-hander has come a long way since last year, when he went 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA as a starter. At 5-0 this year, he’s four wins short of tying Whitey Ford’s record for most consecutive wins starting a year at his age.

There were still questions about whether Hughes was going to be a starter or reliever this offseason. Hughes has answered those questions in such a big way that they’ll never be asked again.

The scary thing is he seems to be improving after each start he makes. He’s gone seven innings in each of his last three starts, but his strikeouts have gone 6-7-8.

The art of working out of jams is something Hughes hasn’t had to worry about too much yet this year as most young pitchers do. Why? Because he rarely allows multiple runners on base at the same time, as evidenced by a .92 WHIP and a .243 batting average against.

Oh, and the only homer he’s allowed this year in 39 innings pitched (equivalent to his strikeout total) is Hideki Matsui — in his first start of the year.

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