Hughes allowed three more home runs — a bugaboo throughout his career — and allowed four earned runs despite striking out a career-high 10 in a 4-1 loss. It was the seventh time in his career he’s allowed three home runs in a game and 24th time he’s allowed two or more. His ERA rose to 5.63 at home for the year and the home runs were numbers 16, 17 and 18 allowed on the season.
In his seventh season in the majors, Hughes is still just 27 but has been pretty predictable over the past few years. He allowed a whopping 35 home runs last season with a 4.23 ERA and 1.26 WHIP and is well on his way to an almost identical performance in 2013 with 18 home runs, a 4.57 ERA and 1.29 WHIP at the break.
Over the past few weeks, there have been trade rumors surrounding Hughes, and they certainly make sense. Hughes struggles in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium as a fly ball pitcher, but his ERA could dip below four in a pitcher’s ballpark. As a more-than-serviceable starter Hughes clearly has value, so if the Yankees find the right match they could get some much-needed help for their slumping lineup.
As for said lineup, it continues to disappoint. The team is 9-4 this month but has scored more than two runs just twice in their last seven games, notching just one run in four of those games. Derek Jeter was able to return for only one game, and while some help should come after the All Star Game in the form of Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Francisco Cervelli and possibly Alex Rodriguez, the team would greatly benefit from a solid right-handed bat in return for Hughes.