The simple facts are these: The Yankees have lost 7 of their last 12 games and trail the Red Sox by 7.5 games with 32 games left to play.
The division race is probably over. The Yankees will start to pile up wins again but the Red Sox have too much pitching to collapse that much.
So now the wild card race becomes paramount. At the moment, it looks like this:
New York 72-58 – 2.5
Detroit 70-60 – 4.5
The Mariners play at the Rangers tonight. The Yankees figure to be three out with 32 to play. It’s a hole, but hardly a deep one given Seattle’s schedule.
If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, their 8-21 record in road games decided by one or two runs will have a lot to do with it.
Phil Hughes wasn’t lousy. Four hits, one walk and six strikeouts in six innings isn’t lousy. But he made mistakes against Marcus Thames and Carlos Guillen he and the Yankees couldn’t recover from. Jim Leyland used his bullpen perfectly.
Here’s Phil Hughes:
Derek Jeter said he expects to play tomorrow night. By the way, it’s ridiculous that MLB would have the Yankees play a night game on the road before heading home to play the Red Sox while Boston last the day off and will be in New York resting.
UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: The Hughes audio is fixed. Sorry about that.