Placing Joba Chamberlain between CC Sabathia and Chien-Ming Wang in the rotation was a great move by Joe Girardi. After all, Chamberlain still has some kinks to work out in his delivery, causing him to be inefficient from time to time. This means high pitch counts early in the game, leading to an earlier bullpen appearance. By surrounding him with two proven workhorses, Girardi theoretically placed less strain on the bullpen. Unfortunately, things haven’t quite worked out that way.
Wang has thrown just 4.2 innings over his two starts this year, meaning the bullpen has had to pick up 13.1 innings. That’s not good, especially since Joba has 10.2 innings in his starts. All the sudden, the bullpen workload is mounting. Wang has spent the week working on his mechanics, with the specific purpose of getting his sinker low in the zone, rather than at that belt-high level that so many hitters love.
In 21.1 career innings against the Yanks, Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona has struck out 11 and walked eight, a good sign for the patient Yankees. He’s also allowed 10 runs and 22 hits, and has a 4.22 ERA. He made just one appearance last year against the Yanks, lasting five innings and allowing three runs, walking five. Wang has 33.1 career innings against the Tribe, striking out 21 to 11 walks, allowing 11 earned runs for a 2.97 ERA. Before his injury he started twice against Cleveland last year, throwing seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts the first time.That’s the Wang the Yanks are going to need today. Even his second appearance — seven innings, three runs — would help out a ton.
And on the mound, number forty, Chien-Ming Wang.