Dave Eiland coached Phil Hughes in Double-A. He coached him in Triple-A. Now Eiland is coaching Hughes in the big leagues, and last night he saw perhaps the finest – and certainly the biggest – start of Hughes’ career.I don't think anyone, even Eiland, was expecting seven shutout innings from the 24-year-old. What a way to make you postseason debut as a starting pitcher.
“It’s very gratifying,” Eiland said. “I’m very proud of him, and that was the first thing I told him. It’s a team game and he stepped up. He’s well on his way to being what we all thought he was going to be.”
“We saw how strong he was, and in his last couple of starts in the regular season,” Eiland said. “I’ve been saying it for years, he’s mature beyond his years, and I think a lot of it goes back to his upbringing, his parents and the way they brought him up. He’s a just a consummate professional. He’s only 24 but I have a lot of respect for him and look up to him by the way he handles himself and goes about his business.”
“…He challenged hitters. Here it is, hit it. That’s what he has to do. That’s who he is. That’s what I saw.”