Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Yankees [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
First Pitch: Hughes hoping to sleep better

By Andrew Marchand

BALTIMORE -- Since lasting only two outs against Seattle last week, Phil Hughes has been awake in bed a lot trying to figure out what happened.

It was the worst start of his career, so it was tough to push it out of his mind and fall asleep at night.

The 12-2 loss ended with a shortstop, Alberto Gonzalez, pitching and an outfielder, Vernon Wells, playing second. Hughes put the Yankees in that position, which was embarrassing for him.

"It is tough, any way you slice it," Hughes said.

For Hughes, it is not complicated. He has been very good this season when he can pick up early strikes with his fastball. When he can't, he has been lost. When watching video, there is nothing that sticks out in his mechanics on the days he has it and the ones he doesn't.

But Hughes said he can't be too jazzed up, as he was for the Seattle start. Plus, when he doesn't have the good fastball, he needs to lean more on pitches like his changeup and throw it for strikes early in the count.

His manager found a way to take away some positives from last week.

"I expect a much better result," Joe Girardi said. "It happens to the greatest pitchers. The one thing is, he wasn't overworked his last start so he should be pretty fresh."

On Monday, a large group of reporters surrounded Hughes' locker. Hughes noted that he had not done one of these big pregame gaggles with the media in a while. That is what happens when your line is seven earned runs on six hits with two walks and no strikeouts.

You sleep less and talk more.

UP NOW: All the news from Monday night's comeback win in Baltimore. Plus, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are making progress.

ON DECK: Hughes (2-3, 5.88) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 4.58). I'll have you covered. Clubhouse opens at 3:35 p.m. ET

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Would you ever consider making Hughes a reliever again?