May 2, 2012 12:00 AM
" Tuesday night provided an easy way to understand how bad things have gotten for Phil Hughes.
After giving up four runs and two home runs in 5.2 innings of a 7-1 loss to the Orioles, Hughes was able to honestly say that he pitched better than he has all season. He was right, although you have to wonder what kind of future there is with Hughes if his best stuff produces outings like that.
In an attempt to make life easier on himself, Hughes stripped things down to the two pitches he used when he was coming out of the bullpen. It was just fastballs and curveballs all night, which resulted in better-looking pitches without solving all of the issues that were contributing to Hughes' dismal results.
On the top of the list is Hughes' habit of giving up home runs. The Orioles scored their first three runs on the two longballs, which means that Hughes is now giving up 2.9 homers per nine innings.
That's not a sustainable way to pitch "
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