Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Check

The King of New York, Chien Ming Wang took the mound in hopes of continuing the recent stretch of Yankee dominance, and extending his own scoreless inning streak. That task would prove difficult as the defending World Champion Chicago White Sox had us on their own home turf, leading the Major Leagues in runs scored and home runs.

Wang struggled to find his groove in the game, allowing hits on a number of balls that recently have gone his way. That's going to happen, and there will always be starts like this for the game's best pitchers. Good offenses hit good pitching sometimes. Otherwise, you'd see Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana go 35-0 every year.

The Pale Hose had Wang in check, but they couldn't get checkmate until Mariano Rivera gave up the tying homer in the 9th, and Scott Proctor gave up the game in the 11th. The game had a number of positive signs for Wang, despite his unusually high pitch count and ineffective pitching. Get ready for this.....Are you sitting down? Wang featured a 12-0 GO/AO ratio in the ballgame. His location may have been off on a number of occasions, allowing good hitters to get on base, but he still only walked 2 and kept the ball on the ground.

Some people are pointing the the pop up behind 3rd that A-Rod missed just prior to the Jermaine Dye walk-off hit. Yeah....he should have caught that probably. The thing is, you can't get on him too much as he was 3 for 3 with 2 walks, a homer and a stolen base. The Yankees should never have been in that situation. The fault for the loss falls squarely on Mariano Rivera's shoulders, and he'd tell you the same. It's no big deal. It's going to happen. The Red Sox lost, so we caught a break.

The other two guys who kind of choked up and deserve a little flak are Jorge Posada with an 0 for 5 including a big bases loaded double play to kill the rally at one run in the 8th. Bernie Williams catches a little heat for his incredibly weak at bat pinch hitting for Jason Giambi. If you're going to look that bad Bernie, you gotta take more batting practice or something. Your only role on the team at this point is pinch hitter. Learn to do it well, please.

The day also featured the latest outing for AA phenom Phil Hughes. Guess how he did? Yup, he was lights out again. He pitched his requisite 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, a run, and struck out 6. He's been getting a lot more press lately, including this article from MLB.com a couple of days ago. He's looking better and better all the time. Let's hope he continues this into his 2007 stint in AAA and makes it tough for the Yankees to keep him there for long. Way ta go kid!

Daisuke Matsuzaka also took the mound today. He faced the Orix Buffaloes and went 5 strong innings, throwing 88 pitches, and striking out 4. He allowed an uncharacteristically high 8 hits and a walk in those 5 innings, but only gave up 2 runs. For more details, check later for a complete recap at Matsuzaka Watch.

That's all for now. Good luck tomorrow Yanks.