Game 26: The quest for .500By
We can bemoan the Yankee pitching as much as we want. We can blame bullpen management or poor starting pitching. We can blame bad weather and freak injuries. But all of that pales in comparison to the real problem.
The Yankees, folks, are just not scoring any runs. They are ninth in the American League — and 16th overall in baseball — with 113 runs scored. That figure puts them behind such power-packed offenses as the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s. What is more mysterious, however, is that the Yankees are fourth in the AL with a .772 OPS. They’re just not getting their hits when it counts as we saw yesterday. That will change, but for now, we just have to grin and bear it.
Today, the Yanks face a familiar foe, one they saw last in the ALDS and one many think could be in pinstripes next year. C.C. Sabathia, who pitched a fairly pedestrian game 1 in the ALDS against the Yanks last year, will take the mound for the Indians. He’s 1-3 with a 10.13 ERA, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. In his last start, he threw six shutout innings against the Royals, walking two and striking out 11.
The Yanks counter with their ace. Chien-Ming Wang is 4-0 with a 3.94 ERA. But his last two starts have been a bit rocky. Against the Red and White Sox, Wang threw 10 innings, giving up 11 earned runs on 19 hits. Over that stretch, he’s walked five and struck out seven as his ERA climbed from 1.23 to its current 3.94. A solid start from Wang against a team that seemingly took batting practice off him in October would do wonders for the Yanks.
Hideki Matsui sits for the second straight day. He’s 0 for 9 in his career against Sabathia. No word on any potential call-up for Darrel Rasner. He’s set to start today for Scranton in Syracuse, and if he goes today, he won’t be ready to pitch again for another four days.
Update 1:03 p.m.: As per Suzyn Waldman — what a lovely soundtrack to my shower, by the way — Jorge Posada is a scratch from the lineup today. After he gunned out Grady Sizemore yesterday, he seemed to be wincing a bit. I hope this isn’t a setback from his shoulder problems. Everyone moves up, and Molina’s hitting 9th.