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New York Yankees: Don't Give Up on Phil Hughes Yet

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14:  Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees talks with catcher Russell Martin #55 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the home opener at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Bill FordCorrespondent IIIApril 16, 2012

New York Yankees right-handed starting pitcher Phil Hughes certainly got roughed up the other day in a 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

As expected, the fans have now begun to rough him up, as well.

We all know that he had a solid 2010 season, and then lost it in 2011, much of which was due to injuries.

Hughes then performed well in spring training in 2012, which led to high expectations for the regular season. Everyone feels let down by his two starts so far.

He acknowledged (via MLB.com) that he threw too many pitches across the middle of the plate, creating many opportunities for the Angels to hit him and to get some home runs.

"I felt like my stuff was pretty good. I just wasn't locating. There were a couple that hurt me really bad. I was hitting the glove but not necessarily in the spots I wanted to."

Hughes battled the Angels in a duel against pitcher C.J. Wilson. Even with the mistakes that he made, and the opportunities that he gave the Angels to hit, it wasn't entirely his fault.

The Yankees never came to life at the plate. Bats were fairly silent compared to the Angels. New York had a few opportunities with men on base in a few innings, but they were unable to follow through and bring runs in.

Hughes had little support from the team. He can't be held entirely responsible for the loss.

Before Yankees Universe turns on Hughes and demands that he gets the boot from the starting rotation, understand that he has only pitched in two games so far.

Yes, every game is important, but he isn't the only Yankees pitcher who has suffered losses this year.

Hughes needs to work on his pitch location, but he has the strength and stamina to be on the mound. He has greatly improved over the last year, and he will learn from his mistakes against the Angels. He may very well surprise all of you who have given up on him already.

A couple of rough games doesn't mean that he will fail all season long. Don't give up on him just yet.

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