Instant Analysis: With Wang out, C.C. on the radar


As the Yankees and the Astros finish up this formality of a baseball game, the score is 11-0 in the 7th inning. While, barring an epic collapse, the Yankees will go a season-high four games over .500, the big story is Chien-Ming Wang.

Through five innings, Wang was rolling. He had allowed no runs on six hits and three strike outs. He hadn’t issued a base on balls and thrown 51 of 71 pitches for strikes. In the top of the sixth, he had to run the bases, and while attempting to score with two outs — a dicey move with the Yanks’ moving up 4-0 on the play — he pulled up lame and had to be helped off the field. The Yankees have yet to announce the injury and are saying it’s a right foot problem.

The Yanks could go on to win this game 30-0, and it wouldn’t matter because losing Chien-Ming Wang would be a huge blow to this team. He’s been nearly untouchable over his last two outings and seemed to be reestablishing himself as the Yankee ace after a tough month of May.

This type of injury is exactly why Interleague Play as an attendance gimmick can harm a team just bad luck. Wang — and the rest of the AL pitchers — are not always used to run the bases. They don’t need to spend as much time as NL pitchers worrying about hitter and running; they can instead focus on pitching. So when an AL pitcher has to run the bases, everyone holds their collective breath, and accidents — freak ones, in this case — happen.

The Yanks now in a bit of bind; they’ll have to rely on Joba, Pettitte and Mussina with Rasner’s holding up the back end and an Ian Kennedy, shaky early on, on the horizon but still a week or two away. You can bet the C.C. Sabathia talks will heat up, and if the injury to Wang is serious, the Yanks will have to explore that option. They’re finally rounding into form; they’re narrowing the Wild Card gap; hopefully, this won’t knock the Yanks — now looking like a good team — down.

Categories : Injuries


  1. Yankee Fan says:

    That’s a good point, but instead of scrapping interleague play, why not just have both teams use DHs. This will keep the owners looking for more attendance happy and it will take away the risk from AL pitchers running the bases.

  2. Harry says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better; this is definitely a devastating blow to the Yanks. I just hope that this doesn’t effect the C.C. sweepstakes because I DO NOT want the Yanks to acquire him. He’s a great regular season pitcher. He’s not a big-game pitcher. Ironically, had Wang not stunk up the joint in Game 1 of the ALDS, the Yanks probably would have won the game as C.C. was getting knocked around. It would be foolish to trade a bunch of our prospects for a 3-month rental & the chance of

  3. greg says:

    That’s just ridiculous to say that Wang isn’t conditioned to run the bases, I’m sure he does plenty of running and this is just a random injury. You can’t blame interleague play for this, running around the bases is not a difficult thing to do that causes a lot of injuries.

    • Ben K. says:

      Just to clarify, as I wrote in the game thread: I also don’t mean “conditioned” in the “in shape” sense of the word. They don’t train to run the bases with the same intensity as NL pitchers do.

      But yes, freak accidents happen. That’s way more likely.

      Keep in mind that this is pretty much my thoughts as this injury unfolded.

    • Mike A. says:

      Agreed. It was a freak thing. Girardi had this team running marathons during ST, saying they lack conditioning is a lame excuse. Sorry Ben.

  4. Guiseppe Franco says:

    True or not, Interleague Play is here to stay.

    We can complain until our faces turn blue, but it’s not going anywhere.

  5. A.D. says:

    While I agree that interleague play isn’t that great, and instead the AL teams should play each other more, in the end Wang didn’t hurt himself sliding or swinging a bat, he was running, something he does everyday, he should be able to run the bases without hurting himself

    • 2708 says:

      Looking back and what I read elsewhere, it seems Wang hurt himself going into second. I can’t remeber whether he slid but he looked awkward. I think maybe after running around third he aggravated any minor tweak and that caused something. I dont think it has to do with just running.

      Anyone know whether Wang might have hurt his foot stepping on the bag? Maybe when he stepped with the corner of his foot that caused it? Either that or when he rounded third the switch from dirt to grass caused something.

  6. Chris says:

    I respectfully disagree. Pitchers are professional athletes and should be able to run the bases. They aren’t expected to hit well, or even really bunt well. But running is an essential part of every sport, and if you can’t do that well then it’s tough to consider yourself a professional.

    Pitchers do running frequently, Wang included. This is the type of injury that could have happened to Oswalt as well – just because he plays in the NL doesn’t mean he is a better runner. And if he is, then Wang is the one to blame, as he should condition himself to at least be able to run. Since I believe he does, I chalk this up to a freak injury – one that could have happened to any pitcher, AL or NL.

  7. Greg G. says:


    No offense, but I think you’re reaching here. In the 10+ years that Interleague Play has been around, how many AL pitchers have suffered injuries due to running the bases? I bet not very many.

    I didn’t see the play, but my understanding was that it was even contested. This wasn’t a “should I go from 1st to 3rd on a single?” play where baserunning skills would be necessary. He was running home.

    I just put this in the “Shit Happens” bin, and move on.

  8. Ben K. says:

    Ok. Ok. I’ve updated the post to reflect this new thinking. Now that I’ve had time to think it out, I agree. This is a freak accident. It has nothing to do with conditioning. I’m still not a fan of a pitcher running the bases when they aren’t used to doing it.

    • YankeeJosh says:

      There could be nothing more terrifying for a Yankee fan than seeing their ace pitcher running the bases at full speed. I don’t blame this on conditioning, but I think this is again a poor choice by Bobby Meachem. Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor, and keeping your pitcher healthy seems to me to be a bit higher priority than scoring a 5th run at the time.

      • what are you smoking?! he got hurt halfway home… limped home and scored without a play. i’m sorry you cannot blame meacham here–wang had time to moonwalk home. he got hurt. freak accident. end of story.

  9. Harry says:

    Losing him to FA after the season. I remember reading an article about Sabathia in Sports Illustrated(if I remember correctly) last year & he was saying about how it’s a miracle that he doesn’t get injured every day at his weight & how hard he has to work just to stay at his current playing weight. He’s logged a large amount of innings the last few years, including about 257 or so last season. Please Yankees, don’t trade for him or sign him.

  10. Ben K. says:

    Ok. I’ve completely rethought this argument. And the shout out goes out to the commenters. I liked the feedback and thought it through some more.

  11. fucnluc says:

    Have some blogger integrity and keep your original entry in full form. You shouldn’t just delete and edit things to please your readers, it results in lack of respect. If you’re going to change your opinion then make a note at the bottom of the post, but messing with the original material is ultra lame.

    • Nefarious jackson says:

      I disagree with you completely fucnluc, it takes a big man to admit he might’ve been wrong and change his mind — There are FAR TOO MANY BLOWHARDS on the net who are loudmouth assholes sticking with opinions even when evidence is presented to them that they are wrong…(Fatass Mike and the angry Mutt come to mind)…. I applaud Ben K

    • Greg G. says:

      Because Ben rethinks his argument in a post labeled “Instant Analysis” (and notes the major changes in strikethrough font) he lacks “blogger integrity”?

  12. Ivan says:

    Good Ben at least unlike some people comback and thought of what you said. Hey what happen to CMW was one of those shit happens situations.

  13. Eric says:

    If they would have traded IPK and Hughes for the better pitcher, Santana, in Nov this wouldn’t even be an issue right now.

    • whozat says:

      Yes. But then we’d have the issue of having given a 7 year contract to a pitcher who lost 3-4 MPH off his fastball before he even started a single game for our team.

      Would you really trade THAT problem for this one?

      • 2708 says:

        Also, we would lose Wang in the trade. If I remember correctly, there was a small period of time like a day or two where the Yanks put both Hughes and Kennedy on the table the Twins did not bite. They were looking for the Sox to up their offer or the Mets. Later, when teh Sox pulled out, the Twins came back to the Yankees asking for Wang, Kennedy, Marquez, and another prospect. So, had we made a trade we would trade a 19 game winner, for an ace. The trade would have made us really regret it along with a major contract liek Whozat said

    • A.D. says:

      Wang being hurt would still be an issue, we’d still be loosing our #2.

  14. devin says:

    lets just say for arguments sake that we do put a call in to mark shapiro what is it going to cost us to get cc in pinstrips? maybe a package with some kind of mix of tabata, curtis, gardner, horne, marquez, ohlendorf, robertson?

  15. Eric says:

    How can any Yankee fan bash inter league play?

    We have the best record since it started.

    • Mike A. says:

      Seriously. The more interleague games the better. Can’t get me enough of these cheap and easy wins against NL teams.

    • mustang says:

      I love inter league it gives us husbands a chance to party with the guys in NL stadiums sorry I meant a chance to see our team in NL stadiums.

  16. fucnluc says:

    Greg G. Absolutely. Well, only if you want to be taken seriously. If you don’t want to be taken seriously then continue to chop posts to serve the general opinion of your audience. For instance, somebody who first reads the post now without reviewing the comments might think that Ben was just making a sly joke about how interleague play is a gimmick. Not that, in fact, he flip flopped his opinion. Journalists generally make what are called “edits”, “corrections”, or “editor notes” if they have a change of heart or made a mistake in their post. Otherwise it’s just mass hysteria. This wasn’t a big deal, but perhaps you should nip it in the butt if you want your work to be anything but a third rate joke.

    • Eric says:

      Posters like you belong on Lohud and not in a civil environment like this.

      • Mike A. says:

        Easy. He’s allowed to post his opinion. He’s not attacking anyone personally or being a troll, he’s just saying he doesn’t agree with what Ben did.

    • Greg G. says:

      But he DID make “corrections”. If you, or any other reader is unsure of why, then read the comments.

      But don’t challenge his integrity.

      By the way, allow me to edit your post: it’s “nip it in the bud“, not “nip it in the butt”.

  17. Ricochet says:

    I’m so tired of the argument against AL pitchers hitting and running because they are pro athletes if they can’t handle do such things then they shouldn’t be playing. There are 70+ year men playing softball and they hit and run plus most pitchers where also great hitters and positions players so there is no reason for the babying and in fact thats probably the problem.

  18. fucnluc says:

    That’s fine. I see theres a nice band of loyalty here, unfortunately loyalty can clog common sense.

    I thought I made my opinion known rather civil, I refrained from juvenile lolspeak such as “stfu” but clearly wasn’t returned the favor.

    I’ll move on now, but for the record I have nothing against Ben. It could have been Ghandi or Jesus and I still would have said that it’s lame. Criticism is way undervalued.

    • Greg G. says:

      For the record, I felt that I returned that civility. (can’t speak for the others)

      I just disagree with you.

    • mustang says:

      ” I see theres a nice band of loyalty here,…..”
      You have no idea.

      • Eric says:

        That band of loyalty and civility is why most of us come here and share ideas.

        • mustang says:

          The problem is sometime when commenters disagree with the thread people take it as a shot on the site or the guy’s work. And believe me the shots back sometime are personal and not civil.
          I think I’m loyal to site I come here to get most of my Yankees’ information. However, I sometimes disagree with some postings that doesn’t mean I don’t like the site or make me a troll (I finally found out what that meant, no thanks to Ben LOL).

  19. nmc says:

    Verdict on Sabathia? I still think we stand pat and make a low offer for a rental. And if I can think that, so can Cashman. We’ve got plenty of starters: Moose, Pettitte, Joba, Rasner, Hughes, Kennedy. all -CAN- pitch at the major league level (though maybe not Rasner for long). Even if Wang is out for a couple months, we can survive without CC. maybe it’s even better as it solves our glut at SP.

    that’s not saying that I don’t want CC. he’s awesome. an excellent pitcher. I just don’t want to get him out of “desperation”, because, honestly, there’s no need for “desperation”.

  20. mustang says:

    YES is calling Wang’s injury a foot sprain.

  21. Ben K. says:

    I actually agree with what fucnluc says. I should have added a note on the bottom and let my original post stand. We’ve only done one or two “Instant Analysis” posts, and they’re something of a work in progress. I’m keeping everyone’s feedback in mind as we look ahead. Hopefully, we won’t have too many more situations arise where we need to analysis something as season-changing as an injury to Chien-Ming Wang.

  22. Adrian-Retire21 says:

    I think the Yankees should go after like a Randy Wolfe pitcher.Someone you can get cheaper in prospects and the Padres unlike the Indiasns are basically done contending.

    And we need another starter because these pitchers are a hamstring away from missing 2 months.

    Get CC for just money not prospects.

  23. pete says:

    damn there’s a ton of negative energy considering we won the game 13-0, are 3.5 games out of the wildcard, 4 games over .500, cano had a pretty good day, damon continued to rake, jeet got a couple of hits, joba’s at full strength as a starter, etc. etc.
    If Pettitte builds off his last outing and continues to pitch well, and Joba continues to pitch well, and the offense continues to improve, then we will do better in the next month or two than we have the last month or so, wherein pettitte and wang bothed pitched like kei igawa, and the offense scored -2.3 runs per game, and we still went over .500. Plus, if it is a “sprained foot,” I wouldn’t think it that serious of an injury – a month, two tops. If kennedy and rasner can pitch ok, and hughes can get back on track with a few rehab starts, then we may actually have something substantial to look forward to in August. Plus, if we do make the playoffs, and wang is with us, he may not have the same problems he had last postseason, when he said he was leaving his pitches up because his arm was “tired.”
    Actually, scratch that cacauphony of ifs. This sucks.

  24. Mike @ NYYU says:

    The price for CC just went UP with the Wang injury.

    I want Bronson Arroyo anyway.

  25. Haggs says:

    I’m kinda with Ben’s original post.

    Wang looked like a complete spaz when he went from first to second and ended up safe when Tejada dropped the ball.

    Then, as he’s rounding 3rd, Cano is waving for him to “get down”, but changed his mind and threw up the “no need to get down” sign, which is what Matsui was doing right next to Cano.

    I doubt if this contributed to the injury, but wtf is Cano thinking about?

    And running sprints and running for conditioning purposes is way different from running the bases. The stopping and the starting, the thinking about sliding, rounding the bag, etc….

    It’s a wonder more AL pitchers don’t hurt themselves on the basepaths. Maybe it’s because none of them get on base.

  26. Count Zero says:

    I would honestly be surprised if Cleveland gave up CC anytime before the ASB. They’re seven back in the L column in a division led by a mediocre team. If they get hot at all, they can still win the ALC.

    Trading CC is throwing in the towel, so I would think they’ll wait till they are clearly out of it.

  27. Phil McCracken says:

    I’m not sure “shaky” is the word I’d use to describe Ian Kennedy. That would imply that Kennedy has had good starts, which he clearly has not.

    I’d be interested to see what type of package could be put together for Sabathia considering Joba is off limits, as is Phil Hughes who is on the DL so it doesn’t matter anyways.

    The Indians would rather get 2 draft picks then a trade centered around Ian Kennedy. At this time the only guy I could see the Indians having interest in would be Jackson.

  28. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    I blame Captain Cluch. What the hell is thinking getting a base hit in that situation? Just trying to pass Pete Rose on the hit list. He is so selfish.

  29. [...] wrong way. Would this have been avoided without Interleague Play as I had originally proposed in my instant analysis? Probably. But we have to remember that this was still a freak accident. Hate Interleague Play as [...]

  30. [...] I first posted my instant analysis on Chien-Ming Wang’s injury on Sunday afternoon, I pointed my finger at the inanities of [...]

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