Things could be a lot worse right now. The Yanks are still 41-26, still in first place, still have the best record in baseball. At this time last year they were slumping as well. They had just beaten the Marlins 5-1, but were 38-29, three games out of first place. It took two more losses to Florida and a shutout in Atlanta to inspire Brian Cashman to visit the team. And we all know what happened from there.
This team is certainly as talented as last year’s version. They shouldn’t be losing three straight to the pitchers they faced. They shouldn’t have scored only four runs in those three games. But that’s how it goes sometimes. The whole team is uncomfortable, perhaps no one more than the guy who leads it all off, Derek Jeter. He has often said that he doesn’t slump, but rather that he sometimes feels uncomfortable at the plate. You can tell that’s the case right now. He’s squirming as he waits for the pitcher to deliver. He’s 4 for 29 since the start of the Houston series.
The Yankees aren’t panicking, though. They’re sending out the regulars in an attempt to stanch the bleeding against Mike Pelfrey and the Mets. I’m sure Phil Hughes wants to make the most of his return match after failing to put away Mets’ hitters last time.
Derek Jeter is out with a sore heel suffered running down the last night, so here’s the new lineup:
And on the mound, number sixty-five, Phil Hughes.