Phil Hughes was absolutely dominant on Wednesday night against the Oakland Athletics. He had his best stuff of the season, possibly his career, last night as he came ever so close to no hitting the A's.
Hughes' control was terrific. His stuff was electric. The young pitcher took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up an infield single to Eric Chavez on a ball hit up the middle that went off Hughes' forearm. Hughes could not find the ball in time and Chavez was on with the A's first hit of the night.
Entering the eighth, Hughes had only given up a walk to Daric Barton in the first inning. The night seemed easy for Hughes. He used mostly a fastball and cutter all night. That shows how good his command was. Hughes only threw a couple curveballs, which were very good as well.
As great as Hughes was and as close as he came to a no hitter, that's not what stood out to me as I watched this game. The part that stuck with me happened when the pitcher left the game with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the eighth inning.
As Hughes walked to the dugout, he tipped his cap and looked up into the stands. In the stands were his parents. That moment took me back to my days of high school ball when at least one of my parents attended every single game. That's right, they never missed a game.
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