No matter what way you try to spin it off, last night was a pretty terrible loss for the Yankees. David Phelps pitched pretty well in his first start of the season, but the offense gave no support, and the bullpen walked in three straight runs in the 8th inning.

The Yankees, overall, have been pretty terrible lately. They've lost five of their last six games, and the offense has not been a factor in very many of those guys, along with the fact that the starting rotation hasn't been too reliable, either.

Things won't be getting much easier for the Yankees in the upcoming week. They not only have the last two games against the Angels in this series, but after a Thursday off day, they open up a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, who have been one of the best teams in baseball this season.

The Yankees entered the week with a lead in the AL East, and with the division as close as it is, they could find themselves in last place by the end of the weekend if they keep this up.

Tonight's lineup against Los Angeles:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
  2. Derek Jeter SS
  3. Carlos Beltran RF
  4. Mark Teixeira 1B
  5. Alfonso Soriano DH
  6. Brian McCann C
  7. Yangervis Solarte 3B
  8. Brett Gardner LF
  9. Brian Roberts 2B

Pitching matchup preview:

Several players on the Yankees' roster have been struggling lately, but Hiroki Kuroda has probably been one of the worst. Kuroda gets the ball for the Yankees tonight, making his seventh start of the season, having lost his last two, including an April 25th start against this same Angels squad last week in New York.

As one of the two veteran pitchers in the rotation, Kuroda has performed far below the expectations he set last season with his very solid first half. He needs to step up, and this is the time to do it with his team in free fall mode right now.

The Angels will counter with left-hander CJ Wilson, who has a career 3.04 ERA against the Yankees and has given up two runs in his last 14 innings (two starts). In his last start, against the Cleveland Indians, he tossed eight innings of one-run ball.

Twitter: @GavinEwbank