Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chien Up (Postgame Notes 10 June 2008)

What struggles for Chien Ming Wang?

Tonight, Wang looked every bit the ace that he is supposed to be for the Yankees. It was a vintage Wang performance, with a working sinker and four double plays in 7.1 innings, the last one coming while Oakland had the bases loaded with only one out.

Wang tonight looked as though he had never had a bad stretch or even a bad game; the Yankees staked him to a 2-0 lead in the first, and he never relinquished it. Even though the first seven lead-off men were able to reach base, Wang did not run into an inning with more than one man on base at a time until the seventh inning. In some sense, it seems fitting that Joe Girardi pulled him after retiring the lead off man in the eighth.

Wang threw only 83 pitches all game, which makes Girardi's move to Veras in the 8th inning questionable, though one can argue either side of the issue.

Mariano Rivera found himself pitching for the fourth game in a row, and outside of a hit to Carlos Gonzalez, he looked as though he was pitching on five days' rest.

The Yankee offense showed some vestiges of the offense that lead the league last year with a plethora of walks, but outside of the first inning, they were unable to drive in any of the runs--Melky's home run in the top of the ninth came with no one on base.

Still, the Yankees were able to score enough to win the game plus one, which was more than enough for Wang.

One pressing issue, though, has to be the bottom of the Yankees' line up--after Jason Giambi, the Yankees had Wilson Betemit, Robinson Canò and Melky Cabrera--the first two of whom played (offensively, at least) as though they were automatic outs. While Betemit is not expected to be a great offensive star, Canò is, and the longer Canò's struggles continue, the more worried the Yankees have to be. When Canò is hitting, the entire complexion of the line up changes.

Still, the Yankees are back to over .500 and in a three-way tie for third in the division (okay, so technically they're tied for last, but that's not the point).

I understand that West Coasters need their evening games as much as us East Coasters, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy the ten pm start time. At least it happens a maximum of what, nine times a season?

1 comment:

  1. I listened to the last part of the game on the radio. Suzyn and John were raving about how great Wang was. Did sound like the "old Wang" - getting DPs and throwing his sinker.

    After the game Suzyn interviewed Alex and he said that last night was the best Wang pitched all season.

    Rebecca - when the Yanks win it makes the 10PM start time so much nicer!