A few minutes ago, in the YES lead-in to the first pitch of tonight’s game, David Cone, on Phil Hughes, said that that Hughes’ problem this season has been the second and third time that he’s faced batters in a game – meaning that’s when he gets hit. Not trusting Cone (Sorry David!) I decided to check the stats at Baseball-Reference.com – and, guess what? Cone was right. See the following for Hughes, to date, this season, in terms of what batters do after seeing him once in a game:
PA BA OBP SLG BAbip 1st PA 37 .233 .324 .300 .269 2nd PA 33 .407 .515 .556 .478 3rd+ PA 13 .538 .538 .538 .538
That’s tattoo-city after the first time through the line-up, indeed. How about last season? Here are the numbers:
PA BA OBP SLG BAbip 1st PA 118 .192 .316 .343 .250 2nd PA 117 .273 .308 .436 .299 3rd+ PA 71 .238 .314 .365 .250
Now, that’s much better. This suggests that whatever is happening this year is hopefully a blip type thing. It shouldn’t be a conditioning issue – after all we’ve heard about Phil really being in shape now. Perhaps it’s a pitch selection thing? At the least, it’s something for Girardi, Eiland, Hughes, Posada and Molina to think about…and maybe try something new.