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October 21, 2010

Phil Hughes


Q. Can you talk about watching CC yesterday and the way he bounced back; were you in the dugout charting pitches?
PHIL HUGHES: No, I was in the bullpen. Obviously he did what we needed him to do. We could not afford to lose another game, obviously, and we needed that win and he came through for us. You know, judging by Game 1 and then how things didn't go our way, or his way, and then obviously Game 2, where it was the same story for me, it's encouraging to see that bounce-back outing and hopefully I can have something similar.

Q. How do you react when you have a rough start like that? Is it your nature to motivate yourself more or just bury it and then move forward?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, obviously coming back, you know, I'm facing the same team again, and something's got to change. I've got to execute my pitches better.
I have to make some adjustments and that's the key. I think whoever makes the adjustments is going to come out on top. You know, I'm just thrilled to have this opportunity again. It wasn't guaranteed I would have, you know, another start in the series, and I'm just happy to be able to pitch tomorrow and turn in a better start than my last one.

Q. You talk about adjustments. When a guy is locked in the way Josh is right now, what challenges does that present to you?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, he's a tough hitter. My first start, I walked him three times, I think.
Obviously, I hope that's not the case again. I just hope I make better pitches and there's not a bunch of guys on base when I am facing him. That's the biggest thing, nobody on and two out and he's up there. Just try to avoid the dangerous hitters in their lineup and when you do have to face them, make quality pitches.

Q. You've maintained all year that when it comes to innings and how you feel, you've been physically good, but it is getting to a point where you've thrown 40 more innings than you ever have; how are you feeling physically and how strong do you feel, and is there any kind of wear on you?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, I certainly haven't noticed any wear or fatigue or anything like that. Coming into the season, I wasn't sure how my body was going to react to throwing that many innings. To be perfectly honest with you, I feel great and when you come out and you have the adrenaline of a big playoff game like these are, any little aches and pains or whatever you have go away. That's the nice thing about this point in the season, you are out there and every time you take the mound you feel a hundred percent. It's just about calming those nerves and executing pitches.

Q. When you look back, you mention the adrenaline, do you think that might have worked against you, the emotions, is it the time between starts? Can you pinpoint why you were not normally as sharp?
PHIL HUGHES: Just execution, fastballs up over the plate, very hittable pitches. I had just as much, if not more, adrenaline in my first start against Minnesota and that certainly wasn't the problem.
You know, it was just being very predictable and throwing a lot of fastballs and hitters counts that were mistakes, is what it boils down to. Have to do a better job of that, and I'm confident that I will.

Q. You saw CC pitch yesterday, with essentially the season in his hands and now you take the baton now. How do you view that; is it a challenge to embrace, or maintain your tunnel vision?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, it's definitely a challenge. Like I said, I'm very excited to be given this opportunity again. I don't want to -- I didn't want my season to end on that last start. And so I look at this as a great opportunity to go out there, and obviously we have a lot of work to do. It's not like we are in the driver's seat here. We are still in this series and we have to win tomorrow, and that's the bottom line.
And I feel good going into it, and I think the rest of the guys in the clubhouse feel the same way.

Q. Can being back on regular rest help?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, certainly. I mean, you know, I had a bunch of rest in between the Minnesota series and this one, but I had, I think, the same amount of rest between my last start of the season and going into the Minnesota series.
So, yeah --

Q. Might it have been too much?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, really, it's hard to say. I haven't pitched on short rest and I've pitched on long rest a lot of times this year. Some have been good. Some have been bad. It's just about what kind of work you do on the side to make sure it's quality, and just go out there and just execute.
With the more work I have on the side in between, it helps, and now that I'm on more of a regular routine, it can only help. So hopefully that's the case.

Q. Your counterpart on the Rangers traveled a circuitous path to get to this point, and your path has been more direct, can you talk about the path you've traveled to get here and did you expect to be in this position at the start of the LCS?
PHIL HUGHES: Not really. Just try to take it a day at a time to be honest. Just coming in the Minor Leagues, you have a great opportunity in this organization to win, and that was kind of the approach I always took of, what can I do to help this team and help this organization. And whether it was last year in the bullpen or this year as a starting pitcher, I've just tried to embrace it and not try to do too much.
Because you know, we have a lot of other really good players in that clubhouse and as long as everyone just does their job, you know, we'll be fine. That's kind of the approach I've always taken is just to help us win in any fashion, and you know, it's worked out so far, and you know, hopefully I can deliver tomorrow.

Q. Do you learn more from watching a start by, say, A.J., because he's a righty versus, say, Sabathia, just how to deal with the hitters?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, I mean, obviously if it's CC or Andy going, they control the left-handed bats very well and for a right-hander, usually that's the opposite. But right-hander to left-hander, this is a very dangerous lineup anyway you want to look at it. It's more about making good pitches and executing them rather than the matchups game with righties and lefties.
Obviously they are going to tweak their lineup a little bit because I am right-handed, but for me, you look at this lineup and they can hurt, you know, whoever is out there throwing.
So you know, you just have to, like I said, make quality pitches, execute, and if you can do that, with our offense, I think I'll be fine.

End of FastScripts

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