Despite the outcome, last night was scary. It seemed that there was a potential disaster around every corner, with Wang stranding five men in the first two innings — both times after easily recording the first two outs of the respective inning. He threw just 57 percent of his pitches for strikes. He gave up seven hits and three walks in his six and a third innings.
Such is the cost of a new approach. And for the Red Sox, against whom Wang had piled up a 5.05 ERA prior to last night, it was a necessary adjustment. That didn’t make the torture of sitting in the stands any less, but in the end it paid off.
He used over 18 pitches per inning last night, as opposed to a hair under 14 per inning last season. Even more against the Wang norm, he recorded nine ground outs to five fly outs (1.80 ratio), whereas last year his ratio was 3.06. He still has a 2.42 ratio this year.
The night wasn’t all about Wang, though. It was about Giambi hitting a monster blast. It was about Alex giving the Yanks an early lead. It was about Cano putting together a hitting streak. It was about Damon not looking washed up. It was about getting two-out hits with men on. It looks like the offensive wheels are turning again.
This is nice, because the pitching is ready, too. Roger will be back in a week (hard to believe), and Phil Hughes officially began his rehab stint yesterday, meaning we’ll see him back in roughly four weeks, give or take a few days. Until then, the Yanks have Tyler Clippard and/or Matt DeSalvo to plug the dam.
Mussina vs. Tavarez tonight. Hey, A-Rod, listen up: Tavarez is going to go high and tight on you. Don’t freak out like a little girl when he does.
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