Hughes returns to Detroit mound where he pitched June gem

Hughes pitched a complete game against Detroit on June 3.

If Phil Hughes were to rank his top regular-season starts from best to worst, he would place his complete game on June 3 in Detroit near the top of the list.

The performance was Hughes’s only career nine-inning complete game and he outpitched Justin Verlander in doing so. Hughes allowed a solo home run to Prince Fielder among four hits, but also struck out eight while throwing a career-high 123 pitches.

Now he just has to do it again — in quite possibly the biggest start of his career — with the Yankees in a 0-2 hole in the ALCS.

“I remember it actually started off slow in that start and it was a struggle for me to get going — almost similar to my last start against Baltimore,” Hughes said yesterday on a conference call. “I remember I got stronger as the game went on and I was able to command the ball a little bit better. So, hopefully [today] there’s a little of a similarity in the fact that I can command the ball and hopefully early and often. 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.”

However, there is a caveat. The next time Hughes pitched in Detroit, he allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings while throwing 102 pitches against the lineup he is most likely to face tonight.
Verlander was 5-4 after losing to Hughes in June, but since that point, he is 14-4 with a 2.43 ERA over 23 starts.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re facing,” said Mark Teixeira, who is 3-for-31 all-time against Verlander. “As a hitter, you want to face familiar pitchers, even if he happens to be the best pitcher on the planet now and maybe the best pitcher in the last 10, 15 years.

“The biggest thing is familiarity. We know what he will do to us. He will throw it 100 miles an hour; mix in a good curveball and a good changeup. It sounds like a tough job, but we have risen to the occasion before and are hoping to do it again.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter


Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…


The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.


Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…


Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.


'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.


New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!


James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…


True Detective


Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.


Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…


Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.


3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.


Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…


Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…


How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.


A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.