“One of Dusty’s best pitches is his changeup,” Hillman said. “He didn’t use it. He left a fastball out and over the plate.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. You have read that quote correctly. But wait a minute, let's go back. Dusty Hughes, a rookie junk balling LHP, was brought into the game to face Joe Mauer the preceding inning. He retired the soon to be MVP on a 65mph sidearm curveball. He then retired the lead-off hitter (another LHB) to start off the next inning. He started this AB off by falling behind 3-0 throwing offspeed pitches in the dirt. Pitching coach Bob McClure had to intervene to make a come back to 3-2 in the count possible - an intervention that should-be Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven speculated on the Fox telecast most likely had to do with imploring Dusty to use his fastball. Sure enough, he came back with two fastballs to fill the count out at 3-2 before throwing a slider for the out.
For reasons unbeknownst to the baseball world in general, Royals manager / strategist / luminary Trey Hillman determined it would now be a good idea to leave Dusty in to face the right handed hitting, home run machine that has been Michael Cuddyer. With the game on the line. With the multi-year multi-million dollar right-handed relief pitcher Juan Cruz standing in the bullpen ready to go.
Obviously, this did not go well. Dusty fell behind in the count 2-0, throwing two pitches that appeared to be offspeed well out of the zone. He then served up a 'get me over' fastball to get himself back into the count - a fastball which was promptly blasted off into the left field seats with a force so tremendous that before poor Dusty could turn around to look, some obnoxious Twins fan was already cradling the ball like it was the first born child of Joe Mauer.
So back to what Trey Hillman saw. He saw Dusty Hughes, a rookie, pitching in the seventh major league game of his career, throw a fastball to try to get back into a count after being admonished by his pitching coach to do just that. Of course, the fastball got crushed - and all Trey could say in the postgame was... You should have thrown a changeup. That stupid Dusty Hughes, he just should have used his changeup - after all, it is one of his better pitches.
Now, why didn't he think of that?
Trey Hillman. Winning his players over. Sticking up for them, telling it how it really is.