“I wasn’t super pleased with the way I went about my game plan today,” McHugh said after the game. “I made a couple of pitches that I thought were pretty good .... against a team like that where seven of the nine guys are hitting .300, I’ve got to be smarter.”
McHugh is now 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts this season, although he's walked just one while striking out 11 in 11 1/3 innings this season.
For what it's worth, McHugh threw strikes and didn't walk anybody, but he just didn't execute his pitches well - the quality of his strikes were poor no matter what he threw. His curveball was kind of lazy and he hung a lot of them over the middle of the plate. But it was his fastball location which hurt him in the third inning in particular. He threw a fastball right down the middle to Joe Kelly who smoked it for a leadoff double, Matt Carpenter smoked a fastball down the middle all the way to the wall to drive Kelly in, and both Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina smoked pitches for hits which were located up and over the plate as well. As he said, the Cardinals have a formidable lineup, and so the margin for error is very small. It's not to say he needs to try and be perfect, but McHugh isn't going to get away with an 88-90 mph fastball down the middle of the plate against any team in the league, let alone the Cardinals who are third in the league in runs scored and batting average.