I know Wang was scheduled to pitch, and I know I saw the big Taiwanese man tossing from the mound. Why is it, then, that his pitching line looks absurdly abnormal?
8.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 0 HR, 13-3 GB/FB
I’ll keep the Wang material to a minimum, since Ben has it pretty well covered (as well as many of our commenters). As Mike pointed out, he was a strikeout guy in the minors. He relied on the two-seamer over the past two seasons because, well, it worked. But now that he’s developed more, he’s starting to mix in the rest of his arsenal, making the two-seamer even more devastating.
Hitters say that they know the two-seamer is coming, but still can’t hit it solidly. Just imagine what it would be like, then, to not know it was coming. Imagine having to be on your toes, because a 95 m.p.h. heater might come in just above your belt. In that case, the two-seamer would eff you up even more. You might even swing at it and miss.
(Aside: Last night, Jon Miller referred to Wang as being 26 years old. I know the unbearable Suzyn Waldman assigns him this age, too. Not sure what the YES crew says about him. But Baseball Reference has him being born on March 31, 1980. Doesn’t that make him 27? Anyone? Bueller?)
Other than that, some dude named A-Rod hit a home run, and the Yankees plated eight runners. They did a good job of tagging El Duque early, knocking out seven hits and two homers through 4.2 innings. Everyone in the lineup contributed at least one hit. Even Cairo contributed an RBI double.
Gotta say, Cairo isn’t killing us as much as I would have thought. That’s not to say he’s a season-long solution at first base. But you can’t fault Torre for riding the Cairo wave for now. Since June 3, he’s hitting .295/.319/.340. Those aren’t stellar numbers, but that’s about the best we’re going to get from Cairo. Might as well take that while he’s hot and use the interim to find a second-half replacement.
The strangest part about last night was that the Yanks walked a total of once. It worked, of course, but rare is the game you see the Yankees rack up so many runs with so low a walk total. But hey, we take wins of all varieties ’round these parts.
Yanks take their second of three straight Mondays off, followed by a trip out to Colorado. Mussina vs. Josh Fogg on Tuesday. Rumor has it that Jorge will get another day off from behind the plate, but will play first that game. I like the idea, though I’m sure Jorge could use two straight days off.
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