10/15/2012 5:32 PM ET
Oct. 15 Phil Hughes off day interview
Q. Phil, just generally speaking, how much pressure do you feel on your shoulders to produce tomorrow night given the circumstances of where the team is and the pitcher that you're going up against?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, I mean, there's always questions that come with every start, and I don't really feel like I can, you know, sort of feel any added pressure just because of the circumstances. I just have to go out there and pitch, that's all it boils down to, not really worry about being down 0-2; that Verlander is on the mound; that we don't have our captain.
Those sort of things are going to be wasted energy, and all I really want to focus on is the Detroit Tigers lineup and doing the absolute best job I can do.
Q. Phil, if I can follow up on that. Did you enjoy the pressure that comes with this kind of start? CC is a guy who says in these situations I want the ball, get on my shoulders and I'll carry you. Do you like that kind of circumstance?
PHIL HUGHES: I do. You're going to get a little more adrenaline from that. Obviously we don't want to go into the series over there down 0-2, but there's nothing we can do about that now. I just have to, like I said, go into Detroit, put together a good start and trust our guys are going to score some runs.
But, yeah, to answer your question, I do enjoy that. I do enjoy that pressure and the opportunity, and I'm looking forward to it.
Q. I am just wondering if you pitch different at all knowing it's probably going to be a low scoring game.
PHIL HUGHES: I don't think so. The game plan that we have going into it is to shut down the team as best we can. So that doesn't change. I'm trying to throw up as many zeros as I can.
So it doesn't really affect it either way. I try to go out there, like I said, and throw the best game I can and trust that our guys are going to score some runs. And obviously Verlander is a great pitcher, but he is human and we know we can score off him. I just have to do a better job than he does.
It's going to be a challenge, but, like I said, I'm looking forward to it.
Q. You pitched twice against the Tigers this year, Phil, and one went really well, one not so well. Do you take anything from either one of those games more than the other?
PHIL HUGHES: I remember one, it was a complete game in Detroit and I was feeling really good, had good stuff. And the other one, I think it was fairly recently after that, and, you know, I take away from that one that my command wasn't as good and I was kind of scuffling it down a little bit.
So I think, I mean, you can't really look at those two starts and take a whole lot away from them coming into this start. I just have to hope that I have good stuff and good command and attack the strike zone like I normally do, and I think we'll have some good success.
Q. With the way you pitch, because you have seen these guys, is there any mystery here? Is it just you executing what you normally try to do? Or do you try to mix anything up?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, we have our reports and we have certain things that we're going to try to attack with them, and I don't think that really changes. You can't just...obviously from at bat to at bat, when guys see you multiple times, you want to change things up.
But as far as the game plan goes, it's pretty similar. It's just a matter of execution, like you said.
Q. Phil, what did you think of Joe kind of standing by you there when he was asked whether he might go to CC on short rest down 0 2 and he stuck with you without hesitation? Does that do anything for your confidence? Did you need to hear something like that?
PHIL HUGHES: Yeah, it's nice to know the manager of the organization is behind you. And, like I said, it's a great opportunity, and I feel like if we can win this Game 3, we'll have a good chance with CC going. So it's nice to have that and have that vote of confidence, but I am still going to have to go out and execute.
Q. Phil, I know you said that the June 3rd start really isn't relevant for you, but what do you recall most about that day? If you are ranking your starts this year, I would imagine that that's pretty high up there on the list. What do you recall most about that afternoon?
PHIL HUGHES: I remember I actually started off a little bit slow in that start, and it was kind of a struggle for me to get going, almost similar to my last start against Baltimore. And then I remember I got stronger as the game went on and I was able to command the ball a little bit better.
So hopefully tomorrow there's a little bit of a similarity in the fact that I can command the ball and hopefully command it early and often.
So it's a tough lineup and I'm going to have to be on top of my game, but I have confidence that I will be, and I look forward to it.
Q. You said before you trust that your offense will score some runs, and I know you have no control over whether they do or not, but when you are watching your offense go through this kind of a period where it is really a struggle every single night, how surprising is that? You know any pitcher can shut you down on any given night, but to even go through it for essentially seven straight games in the playoffs, how difficult is that to watch?
PHIL HUGHES: Well, it has been a struggle. Obviously we are not used to it. As a pitcher sitting on the bench, I am not used to
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