Phil Hughes has been through plenty of ups and downs, but he’s never been quite this low. Tonight Hughes couldn’t get out of the first inning. He was facing one of the worst lineups in the American League, but gave up seven earned runs while getting just two outs. The result was predictable, a 12-2 loss to the Mariners that was the Yankees most lopsided defeat of the season. It was the first time the Mariners had scored in double digits. Hughes has made eight starts this season. In his first two and his last two – the starts when he’s struggled — he’s had a combined ERA of 14.17 with seven strikeouts. In his middle four starts, he’s had a combined ERA of 1.93 with 30 strikeouts. This time he walked two and allowed seven hits — including a grand slam by Raul Ibanez — before the Yankees went to their bullpen. Preston Claiborne was outstanding, but Brett Marshall allowed two homers in his big league debut to let the game get further out of hand. The Yankees got their only runs on solo homers by Vernon Wells and Chris Stewart. By the end of the game, Stewart was playing first base, Vernon Wells was playing second and Alberto Gonzalez was pitching. It was that kind of night.
Associated Press photo