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Pitcher Phil Hughes chooses MLB record over $500,000 bonus – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 29th, 2014 by Ian

Pitcher Phil Hughes chooses MLB record over $500,000 bonus
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Last week we told the story of Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes and his chance to cash in on a $500,000 bonus if he pitched 210 innings this year. Hughes chances of reaching the bonus were dampened by a rain delay a couple of weeks ago which forced him to move back a day in the rotation and it meant he had just one game to reach the required innings instead of two.

Hughes started for the Twins on Wednesday September 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and it looked like he was going to go the full nine innings and hit the bonus. But believe it or not, his chances were once again shot down by rain as the game was delayed for over an hour in the eighth inning. This meant manager Ron Gardenhire pulled Hughes after the delay and went to the bullpen for in the ninth inning. Hughes was stuck at 209 and 2/3 innings and needed just one more out to hit $500,000.

However, Gardenhire felt bad about the situation and told Hughes he could pitch once more before the season ended on September 28 if he wished and he could leave the game after recording just one out. But Hughes turned down the offer and the chance to put half a million dollars in the bank and said he didn’t think it was the right thing to do given the circumstances and considering that the team didn’t have a shot at reaching the playoffs.

Hughes won the game on Wednesday and finished his first season in Minnesota with a record of 16-10 along with an earned-run average of 3.52. He has already cashed in on $500, 000 in bonuses as he was given $250,000 for pitching 180 innings and then the same amount when he reached 195 innings. His salary for 2014 is also $8 million so he’s not hurting for money. Hughes said he wouldn’t want to pitch once more and risk getting injured, but it seems there’s also another reason why he didn’t want to pitch once more this year.

Hughes finished the season with 186 strikeouts and amazingly walked just 16 batters all year long which means he set a new Major League Baseball record in the strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63. The old record was set back in 1994 by Bret Saberhagen of the New York Mets when his ratio was 11.00. Hughes must have realized that if he recorded just one more out this season he would reach the $500,000 bonus, but if he walked a batter and didn’t record a strikeout he wouldn’t have set the new strikeout-to-walk ratio and his name wouldn’t have gone into the MLB history books. He also became the first pitcher in the modern era to walk 16 or fewer hitters and pitching a minimum of 200 innings.

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