MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The rain dripped off the brim of his cap as Phil Hughes walked off the mound.
An hour-plus delay meant the last start of his first season for Minnesota was over. That half-million-dollar bonus stayed one out away. He still earned a nice prize: the major league record for strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Hughes struck out five without a walk over eight innings, and the Twins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon.
“I was very aware of it, yeah, but some things just aren’t meant to be,” said Hughes, who would’ve been paid $500,000 for reaching 210 innings. He finished with 209 2-3, having already triggered a pair of $250,000 bonuses for reaching 180 and 195 innings, on top of his $8 million salary.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Hughes would’ve returned for the ninth on a dry day, but the 66-minute delay ended that. Gardenhire also said he wouldn’t try to get Hughes in any of the team’s last four games at Detroit. Hughes didn’t seem to mind.
“Finishing that out today is a pretty cool way to do it,” he said.
Hughes had been aware of his chance at the record, too, for the last few weeks. Every three-ball count created some anxiety.
“You can’t just lay pitches down the middle,” he said.
Hughes (16-10) finished his first year with the Twins with the same number of wins and walks. With 186 strikeouts, his 11.63 ratio became the best of all time for pitchers with a qualifying amount of innings. Hughes beat Bret Saberhagen, who had 143 strikeouts and 13 walks for the New York Mets in 1994 for an 11.00 ratio.
Hughes allowed only a sacrifice fly by David Peralta in the sixth. --------------------------------------------------------
Listened to his post-game interview, and you could tell he wasn't happy. Towed the company line? Yes. Happy? No. They had better bring him in for one more out, maybe Sunday afternoon perhaps?
Originally posted by JimBob Skeeter Listened to his post-game interview, and you could tell he wasn't happy. Towed the company line? Yes. Happy? No. They had better bring him in for one more out, maybe Sunday afternoon perhaps?
They offered him the chance...and he turned it down.
That seems so obvious to anyone but Lou. I got a kick out of Greenberg (of Mike and Mike fame) harping on this this morning. He's pushing his 'hold your best starter back for Game 5 because you have to win it anyway' theory.