Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chien-Ming Wang = God, Yanks Win 1-0

When I was at the birthday party yesterday I had a conversation with a Red Sox fan about the two teams and the game in general. I had brought up the point that the 2 teams had pretty similar pitching staffs. Inexperienced youngsters (Hughes, Kennedy, Buchholz, Lester), aging vets (Wakefield, Mussina), great #2 starters in Dice-K and Pettittea, and perennial Cy Young award winners in Beckett and Chien-Ming Wang. Pretty fair assessment I'd say. He agreed for the most part but said that Wang was not an ace. Come on now. He's an ace if there ever was one. And with today's performance, I think we can officially put to rest any talk that Chien-Ming Wang is not a certified ace.

Wang's performance today was awesome. 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 walk, no runs, and 9 Ks. Yes you read that right. 9 Ks! The "soft-tosser" whiffed 9 and even struck out the side. He continued to mix his pitches very well. Early in his career there was talk that hitters would eventually figure him out and he'd start to tail off. He's got a wide array of pitches in his repertoire and he's keeping opposing hitters off balance. He used to live on his sinker but now he can get you out with a slider, a splitter, his fastball. You name, he can throw it and he can throw it well. He gave the Yankees exactly what they needed. He threw a lot of pitches through the first 2 innings but was able to battle through it. the bullpen basically got the day off. Chamberlain hadn't pitched in 2 days. Mariano hadn't pitched in 3 days. No tired arms there. Wang moves now to a perfect 5-0 and should be considered one of the early front-runners for the Cy Young. I know it's early, but he's that good.

Joba and Mo were perfect, as expected. If the Yankees can get though 7 with the lead, you can basically out it on the board, assuming of course the ball goes to Joba then Mo. Mo has done a total 180 from his start last season. Still perfect. Still Mo. Congrats to Mo on career save #450.

I love watching pitching duels, more so than I do blowouts. They're much more exciting to watch. Every pitch could be a game changer and you're almost on the edge of your seat hoping that your guys can keep it up. C.C. Sabathia pitched a great game today. He's seemed to bounce back from his horrible start. He'll look pretty good in Pinstripes next year.

The offense doesn't even deserve mention today. What else is new? It all came on 1 swing of the bat. The Melk-man goes yard with his team-leading 5th HR. Who would've thought 26 games into the season Melky Cabrera would be team's best power hitter? Sabathia definitely deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Yankees hitters down. But CC's performance withstanding, the Yankees offense is still struggling. The worst part today was watching A-Rod and Shelley Duncan whiff with Jeter perched on 3rd. They have to start hitting with RISP.

Tomorrow's finale in Cleveland finally ends a crazy road trip. 18 of the last 20 games will have been on the road. A 14-13 record, or even a 13-14 record isn't too shabby when you look at the big picture. You'd have to think it'll only get easier from here. Unfortunately, it sounds like they'll have to do it without the services of Jorge Posada. He was a late scratch today and the NY Times is reporting that Jorgie has a tear in his shoulder. I'm sure it's true, and it usually is when this type of news breaks, but the Yankees have yet to confirm it. Joe Girardi in his post game interview mentioned he's not sure how they'd know that considering Posada hasn't had an MRI yet. Good point, but I'm still sure it's true. Girardi definitely made it sound like Posada is going to miss some time. not good for an already struggling offense. Hopefully Chad Moeller clears waivers because I don't think the Yankees have any major-league ready catchers down on the farm. I wouldn't be surprised if Moeller gets claimed now that this story broke. If you're the Yankees you obviously want to keep this under wraps as long as possible. Thank God for Jose Molina. That could prove to be the best offseason move the team made.

My man Moose gets the ball tomorrow. He's pitched alright so far. He seems to do well whenever Wang does well ahead of him. He finally gets to match up against a lesser caliber pitcher. This year he's thrown against Josh Beckett (twice), Javy Vazquez, Jason Hammel and AJ Burnett. With the exception of Hammel, those are all top of the rotation starters, something Moose is not. Tomorrow he matches up against Aaron Laffey, who has just over 50 career innings pitched under his belt. It'll be the Yankees 1st look at Laffey and that could cause problems for the Yankees' struggling offense. Should be another interesting game. A series split would be nice.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,