I shouldn't necessarily be saying that Phil Hughes embarrassed the Yankees today, but his efforts were not enough as he allowed three runs in six innings which qualified him for a quality start. However, the quality start statistic means so much when you are on the losing end of a game. In Hughes' case it was the Chris Nelson home run that allowed the game to get away from him. Before the home run to Nelson in the fourth inning, Hughes had only given up five hits and struck out five batters. Hughes' loss today is the eleventh for him on the season in a year where he is looking for a big contract from a Major League team. If Hughes knows what he is doing, he would take a qualifying offer from the Yankees to show that he is better than 4-12 with a 5 ERA. However, there will be a team, and probably more than one, that will be open to giving Hughes the big contract he wants. Hughes has been on the wrong side of close games more often than not this year which has contributed to his very high loss total. on the flipside of that, whenever the Yankees score for him, Hughes promptly allows the tying and go-ahead runs to score.
A positive spin for the Yankees is that they were able to win two straight series against the Tigers and Angels. Both teams have the ability to play very well, and one of them is a favorite to reach the World Series. If the Yankees keep winning series they shouldn't have a problem with gliding into the wild card race. Things won't get any easier for the Yankees this weekend as they head to Boston for a crucial three game series against the red hot Red Sox. Struggling Andy Pettitte will take the mound tomorrow night and Felix Doubront will pitch for Boston in the opening game of three. Again, if the Yankees can take the series from the Red Sox they should be in good shape to get the second wild card. They also have a shot to re-enter the division race. In the case that they get swept or drop two out of three, all of their efforts over the last week will have been wasted as the games come off the calendar.