Phil Hughes Stats To Watch For
In his most recent start on May 22 versus the Royals, Hughes mixed up his pitches, throwing curves and changeups 41 percent of the time, which was his highest rate of non-fastballs/cutters in a start since 2009.
The Royals were hitless in six at-bats ending in a changeup and the six outs he recorded with the pitch are his most in a single start over the past four seasons. This season, opponents are just 5-for-26 (.192) against his changeup, a huge improvement from last year’s .333 mark.
Hughes has really struggled to get righties out this year, which could be a problem against an Angels lineup that typically starts no lefties and two or three switch-hitters. The Angels are 18-15 versus right-handed starters but just 6-10 versus southpaw starters this year.
Righties are hitting .345 against Hughes this season and are 11-for-30 versus him in his last two starts. He’s held lefties this season to just a .204 average, including one hit in 17 at-bats over his last two starts.
The longball has been a problem for Hughes this season as well. He’s given up 11 home runs total and one in each of his first nine starts. That's the second-longest such streak at any point in the season by a Yankee righty, behind a 10-start streak by Jack McDowell in 1995.
Jered Weaver Stats To Watch For
Weaver has been nearly unhittable at home this season, going 4-0 with just three runs allowed in 32 2/3 innings (0.83 ERA) and an anemic .328 opponent OPS in four starts.
However, he’s had trouble against the Yankees in his career. His 4.79 ERA in nine starts is his second-highest versus any team he’s faced more than once and his .476 slugging percentage allowed is his highest versus any AL team.
Most of those forgettable outings came earlier in his career. Last year in two starts at Angel Stadium against the Yankees he gave up just three runs over 15 innings (1.80 ERA) and struck out 19 batters.
Raul Ibanez has been a nightmare for Weaver during his career. The lefty has tagged him for a ridiculous .519/.606/1.037 line in 27 at-bats, but the last time he faced him was 2008. That’s easily the highest BA, OBP, slugging and OPS that Weaver has allowed to any batter he’s faced more than 15 times.
Weaver also won’t be happy to see Alex Rodriguez at the plate, who has hit five home runs off him, more than any other player against Weaver in his career. However, the most recent homer came in 2009, and last year Weaver struck him out twice in five at-bats.
Yankee Offensive Stat to Watch For
The Yankees offense has struggled in the clutch this month. They hitting are .164 with runners in scoring position in May and haven't had more than two hits in that situation in their last 14 games.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak since the 1992 team also had a 14-game streak. The last time they had a longer streak was in 1981, when they went 19 straight games without more than two hits with runners in scoring position.