Tagged: Chien-Ming Wang

Wang makes progress, Mo makes history, Yankees make it five in a row


Wang making progress with each start…

A couple of noteworthy things about Wang’s start yesterday. First of all, without attempting to manage the team, I believe he could have lasted another inning (he was taken out in the sixth, with a man on first and one out, only 85 pitches under his belt), making it six, and thus his longest start/appearance of the year. Secondly, he gave up the least runs he has all season (in a start), limiting the incapacitated Mets offense to a two run effort. He induced the most ground balls he has all season (a signature aspect of his game when he was winning 19 a season) with 13. Finally, he simply gave up the least hits he has of any start this year, even more reassuring considering it was his lengthiest appearance. 
Mo makes history…
A quick congratulations to Mariano Rivera, who, as his career dwindles, has cemented himself as the greatest closer to ever play the game. It was even sweeter last night because he dominated the batters with his trademark cutter, which just mowed down a very quiet Mets lineup. 
Yankees make it five in a row…

Finally onto the important part of the post. I couldn’t be more reassured by the wins that the Yankees are now posting. I believe that they are in fact better-looking performances by the entire Bomber squad than the walk-off hysteria they perpetuated in May. 
The first mark of this quality is in the pitching; Since June 24th (5 games), the Yankee pitching has let up an outstanding 10 earned runs, 30 hits, and only 3 home runs. In other words, in the past five games, they’ve posted a collective 2.00 ERA. Now you can’t ignore the starting pitching, but it’s also due to a significant contribution for the middle relief. It’s extraordinary to see how the middle relief of the Yankees have pulled together since early into he season. Amongst the now essential Aceves, Bruney, and Hughes, is Dave Robertson, who was a no name as late as May, putting up a 2.70 ERA. He’s part of the continued trend of successful Yankee youth.
Now the pitching is basically the same as it was around eight days ago, when the Yankees were seriously slumping. The obvious is difference is that; the Yankees are no longer slumping. To make it clear the jump they’ve made (starting with those last two games in Atlanta), they were hitting .212 from June 17th to June 23rd. From June 24th to yesterday, the Yankees average has jumped to .283 (with an interesting 8 more runners LOB as a team. Probably because of the increased runners on base in the first place).
So with all the numbers aside, you have to consider the following; The Yankees have heated up against the Braves and Mets, two weak-hitting teams. The Yankees regained confidence will find a buffer in the harder-hitting AL teams it faces as we head into July 
And with that, I thank the baseball gods that interleague play is over,
and bid you Good Night. 

Wang’s best start of the year, the offense’s worst

(taken from NY Daily News

Wang’s best start of the year

It’s not saying much, considering his past starts (not worth posting the numbers), but it was a serious step. The stats were mediocre; 5 innings, 3 ER. But this is one of the cases where stats don’t quite tell you everything about the pitching performance; 
First of all, everyone who watched/listened to the game are aware of the blown call at first by the ump, top of the 5th. Willie Harris was clearly out at first base on a ground ball. He was called safe, and ended up scoring. The worst part about this entire incident, obviously, is that the Nationals one by this one run. 
Secondly, a good sign from Wang was that 10 of the 15 outs he delivered were ground balls. Four of the six hits Wang gave up were soft grounders that found the gap That was his signature from his 19-win seasons, the sinker/fastball induced groundball. Let’s hope that it bodes well for the rest of Wang’s season. 
The offense’s worst start of the year

This wasn’t the offense’s statistically worst start of the year, but considering the pitcher they faced, it seemed to be. 
I don’t have much to say on this one. I don’t see the point in speculating about the never-seen-before-pitcher-syndrome, because it appears that that’s what everyone else is talking about, and you can find much more in-depth analysis with them. All that I can say is that the failed rally in the ninth was a real heartbreaker. It’s funny how nearly all of our walk-off wins come via a combination of Johnny Damon and the young guys on the team. So when Damon launched the line-drive homer out of the park in the bottom of the ninth, and Gardner proceeded to steal second and third, it was looking like one of the walk-offs from earlier this season. 
The part that got me was that A-Rod took the walk. You can’t complain about a walk – A-Rod albeit a low average, has a .379 OBP. But it just struck me that he could’ve managed to get a deep enough fly ball to score Gardner if he was looking for the right pitch. Anyway, that’s an insignificant complaint. Cano had an excellent AB to follow, fouling off 96, 97 mph pitches. But just tough luck with the grounder. 
You can’t walk-off all of them.
Extra Note(s): 0-3 w/ RISP

Runners Left on Base, Chien-Ming Wang

Runners Left on Base
Wang is an isolated problem, but LOB is not. The entire lineup is suffering. And it’s making the different in about every single game, with the Red Sox battles being no exception.
Yesterday, the Yankees left on 20. But what’s even more eyebrow-raising is the average LOB against the Red Sox this season (not including the 11-inning game, in which the Yank’s had 31 LOB, and Beckett’s masterpiece, no one got on anyway): 
19 per game
Another astonishing number is how the Yankees have been hitting with runners in scoring position (including the extra-inning game and Beckett’s game with this one):
10 for 71, or BA of .140

The Yankees will not beat the Red Sox until they perform considerably better than these numbers during the game. Although, to be honest, sometimes it takes that 1 in every 7 hits to win a ballgame.
Topic: Chien-Ming Wang

I believe in the magic of baseball. Every fan does. But I perhaps stretched the magic when I thought that the reason Wang’s start last night would work was because it just seemed so bleak.

If only baseball was that magical. But as yesterday proved, it isn’t always. At least not for the Yankees. Over 2.2 innings pitched, Wang gave up four earned runs. That’s not as bad as his first three starts – the most nightmarish pitching performances so far this season (I hate to remind people; six innings and 23 ER). It’s not a good start by any standards, but it could serve as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Someone in Yankees management thinks so anyway, because it appears Wang is set for his next scheduled start.
It’s worth imagining the rotation with the return of 2007-style Wang. Obviously, it would be good. BUt what’s important is it would relieve the pressure of Burnett and Sabathia to be godly aces. Who knows how well that would affect the performance. But it would also give Joba Chamberlain a chance to grow. With that breathing room in the rotation it would become one of the most important seasons of Joba’s career.
Side Notes
Notice the 3 HRs launched by men in pinstripes last night. Looks like the New House isn’t the only house we can launch them out of.