LADY AT THE BAT: The Eyes Don't Have It: Phil Hughes Still Winless

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Eyes Don't Have It: Phil Hughes Still Winless

With Jorge Posada on the DL and Jose Molina getting the night off, Phil Hughes threw to a new catcher last night: Chris Stewart. It didn't make for a good battery. Stewart was constantly crossed up by Hughes and it led to the Tigers scoring 6 runs early, and the Yankees could not recover from it.

The first inclination would be to blame Stewart. After all, he has little Major League experience and he was thrown into the frying pan of calling his first Yankee game at The Stadium, rather than on the road. However, after the game, we got this from Hughes: he has night vision problems.

He's always had these problems but he was always able to pitch around them in the minors. Up here, they're bothering him. If I remember correctly, during his Sunday night start at Fenway a few weeks ago, Jose Molina was crossed up several times. Hughes has gone to an eye doctor several times but hasn't seriously considered wearing corrective lenses for the problem.

The night vision problems aren't the only reason for Hughes's 0-4 record and he readily admits this. He has to mix up his pitches more and locate them better. But, goggles or a pair of contact lenses certainly couldn't hurt. This makes me think of an old TV commercial that ran years ago here in the New York area, in which a man is trying to convince his female friend to get glasses. I'm going to remember that commercial every time Phil is on the mound now and I know I'll feel like yelling, as the man in the commercial did, "Get glasses, [Phil], get glasses! You will look good in glasses!"

The Lady

[Photo: AP/Kathy Willens]

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