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Young studs, early duds on the mound

Yankees starter Phil Hughes throws against the Red

Yankees starter Phil Hughes throws against the Red Sox in the first inning on Opening Day at Fenway Park. (Apr. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

BOSTON -- In a four-day span this week, I witnessed three horrible performances by three of the top young righthanders in baseball.

First, it was the Mets' Mike Pelfrey, who gave up seven runs (six earned) in two-plus innings to the Phillies.

Then it was Phil Hughes, who was torched for six runs in two innings by the Red Sox.

Finally, the Yankees lit up Clay Buchholz for five runs in 3 2/3 innings on Saturday.

Those three pitchers combined for 50 wins last season. So far in 2011, they have a combined 12.09 ERA.

One, or two, or maybe all three of them will bounce back and have a good season. Which one(s)? At this point, you'd have to pick Buchholz over the fastball-less Hughes and the confidence-challenged Pelfrey.

But when it comes to pitchers, especially young ones, you truly never know.

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