Well, Chien-Ming Wang’s first start of the season was a success when looked at from one angle (6.1 innings, only threw 81 pitches and induced 12 ground ball outs) and a failure when viewed from another (The Yanks lost, again, 6–4 to Tampa).
Let’s take a look at it from the optimist/pessimist points of view:
- The Yanks were just swept in back-to-back series.
- They’ve dropped five games in a row for the first time since May 2005.
- Derek Jeter left the game in the middle of the first after getting hit on the thigh with a pitch.
- Wang gave up 4 earned runs in 6.1 innings.
- Farnsworth looked like crap, again.
- Mike Myers, whose only reason for breathing is to get lefties out, gave up a grand slam to Carl Crawford.
- The Yanks held leads of 1–0 and 3–2 and gave them both up.
- Bruney had to come in for the 55th consecutive game.
- Torre made a questionable call in the decisive 7th inning. Wang gave up a broken bat single to Dioner Navarro, then a double to B.J. Upton. Torre elected to pull Wang here. Not completely unheard of. He got drilled with a line drive the inning before, but he’d only thrown 81 pitches. Vizcaino came in, intentionally walked Rocco Baldelli and then tried to induce a double play from Brendan Harris. This is a sound strategy. The problem is that Torre took out the best ground ball pitcher in the league to put it into motion. If that was the route he was going to take, Wang should’ve stayed in the game to pitch to Harris. He gave them the best chance to get out of the inning without giving up the lead.
- Down by two runs in the top of the ninth the Yanks sent up Cano, Melky and Doug. If any of them reached, Cairo would’ve come up. There really is no depth on the bench at all.
- The Yanks are now 8–11, and in dead last in the A.L. East, behind the Devil Rays.
- This was only a two-game series, so I don’t count it as a real sweep.
- Wang delivered exactly what the Yanks needed. He pitched into the seventh, threw only 81 pitches, and could’ve gone further.
- Proctor got his second day of rest in a row, a rarity.
- Henn wasn’t needed either.
- Matsui looked good tonight. A long homerun and a clutch RBI single in the eighth to bring the Yanks within two.
- Mo almost had a save situation (OK I’m stretching now)
- Pettitte goes tomorrow. If he can give the Yanks 7 innings, the pen should be completely rested. (assuming Bruney, Vizcaino and Farnsworth aren’t needed)
- Only two days until we get to see Phil Hughes in pinstripes.
- Things could be worse, we could be Miami Heat fans.
Player of the Game: Hideki Matsui, 2 for 4, 2 runs, 2 RBI and a bomb.