Once thought of as the savior to this year's starting rotation, rookie Phil Hughes has struggled in his previous two starts giving up five runs in each outing.
On May 1st in his second-career start in the majors, Hughes had to leave after pitching 6 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball due to a debilitating left hamstring injury. The injury he sustained against the Rangers sidelined him until the beginning of August and severely hampered the Yankees chances of competing in the AL East.
Yesterday afternoon in Detroit Hughes lasted six innings and gave up four hits, three of them being home runs. To lead off the bottom half of the first Curtis Granderson ripped a line drive down the left field line that was mishandled by Hideki Matsui and allowed Granderson to score. His hit ignited the Tigers' offensive onslaught as shortstop Carlos Guillien blasted a two-run home run to right center field and slugger Marcus Thames hit his 15th home run of the season in the third inning.
The next several weeks will be critical in the development of Hughes as a big game pitcher and it will show the Yankees if he can be counted on to produce in the postseason.