Tagged: Chien-Ming Wang

Pitching Is Outstadning, Offense Still Blows

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It was a pretty uneventful game today.  I actually napped through most of it.  When you have a 7-month old sometimes that’s going to happen no matter how hard you try to stay awake.  So this recap will probably not be too in depth.
Wang was absolutely outstanding.  It was great to see how effective he could be while throwing something other than the sinker.  He’s definitely the team ace and he showed it today with his performance.  Want to stop a losing streak?  Call 1-800-4WANGER.
I didn’t see the tail end of the game so I missed the performances of Joba and Mariano.  I did catch the post game show and was able to read some recaps and they dominated as expected.  Chamberlain came in and got the Yankees out of a huge spot in the 7th.  I give a lot of credit to Girardi for not being afraid to use Joba in big spots prior to the 8th inning.  I’m just thankful he recorded the outs on very few pitches because the last thing any of us wanted to see was Kyle Farnsworth come out for the 8th.  And Mo looked like typical Mo.  12 pitches, 10 for strikes, 2 ks and a save.  Vintage.  He’s been pretty dominate so far this year also.  If the Yankees can hold a lead through 6 or 7 innings, they’re going to win a lot of ball games.
Surprisingly, I was awake to see the Yankees score their only runs considering how futile the offense has been.  They did a little better today racking up 9 hits but the only scoring came off of 1 swing of the bat when Matsui went yard.  They’re starting to show a little bit of life and they’re due for an explosion.  I like Matsui batting ahead of Cano in the lineup.  I think it makes more sense and I think it will benefit both at the plate. 
Considering how things went today I’m glad I slept through most of it.  I would have liked to have seen Chamberlain and Mo pitch, but what can you do? 
Moose gets the ball tomorrow and he better pitch a little better than he did in his first outing.  A repeat performance won’t be good enough if the offense continues to sputter.  Moose is one of my favorite pitchers and I think he’s going to have a bounce back year.  Hopefully, it starts with tomorrow’s outing.  The Yankees bats should be able to get to Rays starter Jason Hammel.  Considering how the offense has been a series split and a 4-3 record wouldn’t be a bad start to the year.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Offensive Woes Continue, Yankees Need New Manager

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I keep expecting the Yankees to have an offensive breakout and so far my wishes have gone unfulfilled. Just when you think they’re standing on the verge of getting it on, they digress. They’ve had their chances and have shown some signs of life, but by and large they have collectively stunk up the joint. A-Rod and Abreu have been the only real consistent performers and even they have come up short in big spots. Is it me or do they sometimes make mediocre pitchers look like Cy Young? I can understand not racking up a lot of runs against a trio like Halladay, Burnett, and McGowan, but come on, they can’t knock around Andy Sonnanstine and Edwin Jackson? I know it’s early. I know the season is only 5 games old. It’s just puzzling to watch. It doesn’t seem like they’re playing their game. They’re not seeing pitches and working counts. It seems like they’re being aggressive at the plate and it’s not paying off. I’ve seen a lot of long swings. I have to disagree with a comment John Flaherty made about Shelley Duncan’s plate appearance with the bases loaded. He mentioned he was seeing good swings from Shelley. I’m not sure what game he was watching because I couldn’t disagree more. Duncan tries way to hard to crush the ball. He seems totally off balance and he never seems to have his feet where they should be when his swing is over. We need base hits in those big spots. Keep the line moving and the runs will come. We don’t need 6-run homers.

I thought Pettitte pitched alright all things considered. His only real mistake was the pitch that Gomes hit out. Shelley Duncan didn’t do anybody any favors by throwing the ball into left field. The Yankees are going to suffer dearly if they can’t get a first baseman that can make the throw to second base. Yesterday, Giambi almost did the same thing but lucky for him Jeter was able to hold the bag while making the catch. It wasn’t a great outing by Pettitte but he looked pretty good out there. He kind of burned out there around the end of the 4th. Understandable considering his shortened spring training. The real question is how will Andy feel tomorrow? Fingers are crossed that he feels good.

How about that Brian Bruney? He looked real good, striking out 4 over 2 hitless innings. Brian Bruney’s success as major league pitcher will entirely depend on his ability to keep the ball over the plate. If Bruney has good control, he’ll dominate. His struggles have always revolved around poor control. He’s got great stuff and I think he’ll do very well this year. Shedding 20 pounds didn’t hurt.

Ohlendorf looked good also. He’s got some nasty stuff. I was surprised Aybar took him yard. I’m not even close to lumping Ohlie in the same boat as Farnsworth and Hawkins. If I’m Joe Girardi I’d look to use guys like Bruney and Ohlendorf in close games. The bridge to Mariano should start with Bruney, Traber and Ohlendorf and not with Hawkins and Farnsworth. Maybe Hawkins can work his way up that pecking order, but Farnsworth? Never.

The Yankees are lucky to be 2-3. Their record could very well be 0-5. Tomorrow isn’t going to be a walk in the park as James Shields gets the call for the Rays. The Yankees should be able to hit him, but if they don’t, Wang better be on his A-game. He’s the ace. He’s the stopper. He’s the guy that’s supposed to stop losing streaks.

Oh yeah: Fire Rob Thomson! Get well soon skip.


Well Worth The Wait

Man it’s good to have real baseball back. Don’t get me wrong. I love Spring Training but it can be sooo boring. Nothing beats Opening Day! Unfortunately for me, my 7 month old son Cooper chose tonight to throw a huge fit at bedtime. It was bad enough I had to pause the game after Wang got the 1st out to help give him a bath and then help put him to bed. But the little guy picked tonight, of all nights, to go absolutely berserk after finishing his nighttime bottle. We think he’s teething. And I only minded a little. I love the little guy.
God bless DVR. I finally caught up to live action at about the midway point. I would fast forward and watched each pitch. I didn’t think the Wanger was overly sharp but he was definitely good enough. He had his work cut out for him going up against Doc Halladay but he rose to the occasion and pitched a solid 7. Getting Rios to whiff was huge. And what was up with all the broken lumber? It was like watching Mariano out there. The defense definitely stepped up big for him. Melky made 2 great catches that could have turned things south real quick. He just missed making a 3rd stellar catch. I’m so glad that the Yanks didn’t deal him (or Hughes and Kennedy) for Johan. He’s great with the glove and his arm is just outstanding. You wouldn’t get that from Damon. And Giambi! Dude is like a cat out there. It was quite the opposite of last year. Didn’t Jeter make 2-3 errors and if i remember A-Rod dropped a pop up in foul territory? We didn’t see that today. I guess these guys like Chien-Ming more than they do that scrub Pavano.
A-Rod and Abreu looked real good at the plate but Melky’s at-bat against Halladay was the highlight of the night for me. I think it went 11 pitches and we all know how it ended up. It wasn’t a bomb but he hit it far enough. Did I mention already that I’m glad they didn’t trade him? And who would have thought you’d see great baserunning by Jason Giambi? He stops in the baseline and instead of a DP we get runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. If he hadn’t done that A-Rod likely doesn’t score the go-ahead run. Am I giving the big G too much credit? Was it great baserunning or a crappy play by Eckstein? Since I’m a Yankees fan, I’ll call it good baserunning.
Joba rules. I don’t really need to say anything more about that but what kind of blogger would I be if I had no comments. I think he was a little amped up when he first took the hill and got a little too excited when he had 2 strikes on Rios. I was worried for about half a second and then I thought to myself “Joba rules.” Then he picks up 2 huge Ks. Wells looking and the Big Hurt swinging. You gotta love it. I know I do.
I was extremely tempted to throw my remote at the TV after Jeter, Abreu and Giambi all grounded out weakly, wasting Damon’s leadoff triple. But then I realized it’s a nice TV, so I threw it at my wife instead. Hit her pretty hard too. April Fools.
Enter the Sandman. I get chills every time they show him walking through the bullpen doors with his back to the camera. I have a little 3 inch McFarlane figure of him on my desk at work. If you haven’t seen it it’s a miniature version of the big one, which is Mo walking through the bullpen doors. I have it turned around so the 42 is facing me. There’s a signed photo that Steiner sells of him walking through the doors but I’m not made of money so I’ll just stick with my little 3-inch toy. Mo looked great. Vintage Mo. Very fitting that the final opening day in the old Stadium ends with Mo picking up the save.
It was a day late in coming but it was well worth the wait. Solid game all around. 7 innings from the starter. Joba. Mariano. Yankees win! Thaaaaaa Yankees win!
Take it away Frank.