Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pyrrhic Victory (Postgame Notes 15 June 2008)

Everything good you can say about the Yankees after today's game--and, in a 13-0 blowout win to complete a sweep of Houston and climb to four games over .500, there's quite a bit of good--has to be tempered with what looks like a serious injury to Yankees' pitcher Chien Ming Wang.

In the sixth inning, Wang, an AL pitcher who was 0-8 with 6 strikeouts in his career before today, attempted to bunt over runners on first and second with one out. The bunt--which looked like it came off the bat of someone who had never been taught how to bunt--was such that the Astros could make a play to nab the lead runner at third base, but not in time to get Wang at first.

Thus, after Johnny Damon reached, Wang was at second with Derek Jeter at bat and two out. At the time, the score of the game was 3-0 Yankees, a lead that would be hardly be insurmountable, so when Jeter laced a single to right field, there was little doubt Wang would try to score from second. As he hit the midway point between third and home, however, he pulled up lame, and while he was able to score, he had to be helped off the field and could not make it down the dugout stairs on his own.

Even though the Yankees would go on to score eight runs that inning and send eleven men to the plate (all with two outs), it was hard to be able to truly enjoy that inning because of how important Wang is for the Yankees. What's worse, is that the injured foot is the push off foot, which likely means more recovery time.

That said, despite the injury the Yankees did have an excellent game, as a 13-0 blowout would suggest. The offense was clicking on all cylinders--even the struggling Robinson Canò had a bloop double, and the team combined for seven walks and 16 hits. Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada had long home runs, and the Yankees' bullpen--Ross Ohlendorf, Edwar Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins and Dan Giese all combined to complete the shut out.

UPDATE: On the postgame, Joe Girardi has stated that Wang sprained the top of the foot and will need more tests. He said he did not know about the DL, though it seems highly unlikely Wang will avoid it.

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