Phil Hughes Stats to Watch For
Hughes is coming off his two best starts of the season, winning both games while posting a 2.51 ERA and 11-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Only twice before in his career has Hughes won at least three starts in a row, and he hasn't done it since June 2010. Also, if Hughes can deliver his third straight quality start tonight, he'll match his career-best streak, which he did three times during his 2010 All-Star season.
Early in the season Hughes struggled to put away batters. In his first four starts, opponents were 8-for-20 with five extra-base hits after an 0-2 count, tagging him for an unsightly .750 slugging percentage and 1.179 OPS. Since then, he has allowed just three hits and gotten 14 outs after an 0-2 count.
Despite his recent success, Hughes is still prone to giving up the long ball. He has allowed nine homers in 36 innings this season and at least one in each of his seven starts. That matches the longest such streak to start a season by a Yankee in the Live Ball Era, a feat also achieved by Tim Leary in 1990.
Hughes has pitched well against the current Blue Jays lineup, holding them to a collective .211 batting average and .597 OPS in his career. He has been at his best when facing Adam Lind, who is just 4-for-22 versus Hughes and has struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances.
He has also been able to shut down Jose Bautista, who has just three singles in 12 at-bats against Hughes. Hughes has consistently worked away from Bautista, throwing 60 percent of his pitches to him on the outer third of the plate, and recording all three of his strikeouts on pitches to that location.
Drew Hutchinson Stats to Watch For
The 21-year-old rookie is perhaps most famous (or infamous) for allowing the much-anticipated first homer of the season to Albert Pujols on May 6. Like Hughes, Hutchinson is also coming off the best start of his season, having thrown six innings of one-run ball at Minnesota on May 12.
He has had a lot of trouble pitching from the stretch, allowing a .362/.426/.553 line with runners on base compared to .231/.286/.369 with the bases empty. In his most recent start, however, he held the Twins to just one hit in seven at-bats with men on base, though he did walk three batters.
Hutchinson has been nearly unhittable the first time through the lineup (.167 BA), but has really struggled to get outs after that. The second, third and fourth times through the order he has yielded 25 hits and gotten 45 outs (.357 BA) while recording nearly as many strikeouts (8) as walks (7).
Stat of the game
This will be the first time the Yankees have seen Hutchinson. No need to jump off the ledge, though, Yankees fans. Over the last two seasons, the Yankees are 20-5 in games started by pitchers they have never faced before, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.