Brian Matusz Matchups to Watch
Matusz has lost 12 straight decisions dating back to last season, but had his best start of 2012 in his last start against the Blue Jays, yielding only two runs in six innings.
Matusz has allowed 15 runs in 10 2/3 innings against the Yankees during his bad stretch, including four runs in four innings in his season debut on April 9.
Derek Jeter (.500, 11 hits), Mark Teixeira (.412) and Robinson Cano (.409)all have great numbers against Matusz, who is hurt by the absence of Nick Swisher, who was just 1-for-18 against him.
The issue that Matusz has is that their hitters are able to square up and make hard contact. He’s yielded 10 line drives in his last three starts the Yankees and allowed three home runs and two doubles on 18 fly balls.
Phil Hughes Matchups to Watch
Hughes has allowed six runs in each of his two home starts this season, though four of the ones against the Twins were unearned.
Maybe he’ll be the one who shuts down Adam Jones, who hit .333 with six home runs for the Orioles in April.
Jones is 4-for-22 against Hughes and hitless in his last 14 at-bats against him.
Nick Markakis has a history of giving Hughes trouble. He is 10-for-29 aganst Hughes in his career, including a homer, double, single in consecutive at-bats over two games last season.
New York Yankees
Cano Still Stuck on One Home Run
Robinson Cano finished April with one home run, his fewest in April since hitting only one in 2007. This is unusual for Cano. He hit eight home runs in April in each of the last two seasons.
Lefties have given Cano some trouble this season, tying him up with fastballs in and making him reach for breaking balls away. He’s made a dozen of his 26 outs against lefties on those types of pitches.
Look out folks, Jeter is slumping against left-handed pitching. We say that with humor intended: He’s 17-for-30 against lefties this season, but hitless in his last three at-bats.
The thing about being 17-for-30 against lefties is that you could go hitless in your next 26 at-bats against them, and still be hitting over .300.
Jeter has hit .300 or better against left-handed pitching in each of the last 12 seasons.
One other Jeter note as we enter the new month: His .296 career batting average in May is his lowest for any full calendar month