This one was forgettable right from the first pitch. AJ Burnett’s first offering of the night was a 94-mph four-seamer up in the zone, and Jimmy Rollins did what good hitters should do with that pitch: He put it into the people. Burnett’s next pitch didn’t fare much better, as Chase Utley took a 96-mph pitch in the shoulder. Burnett would escape the inning without giving up another run, but the rest of his outing was disappointing: six innings, ten baserunners, five runs. He did strike out seven, but that’s like saying the beat-up old car has a pretty sweet radio.
In the bottom of the first it looked like the Yanks would have their way with Brett Myers. After having a pitch thrown behind him, Derek Jeter shot a hard single into left. Johnny Damon reached base on a fielder’s choice, and appeared to be on his way to scoring the first run of the game for the Yanks when Alex Rodriguez doubled down the left field line. Instead, the Phils executed a perfect set of relay throws, and Damon was thrown out at home without even touching the plate.
After that, the Yanks had no answer for Myers. He retired thirteen of the next seventeen batters he faced before A-Rod took him deep in the bottom of the sixth. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira also touched Myers up for solo shots later in the game, but it was too late. The Phils had already busted the game open against Chien-Ming Wang, who returned to action for the first time in over a month.
Unfortunately, Wang didn’t look too great in his return. He was still elevating his sinker and struggling to throw anything for strikes, and the end result was seven baserunners and two runs scored in three innings. Sadly, last night’s outing lowered Wang’s ERA to 25.00 and his WHIP to 4.00. Yikes. The Yanks now have to figure out what the best course of action is for Wang, because he can’t be sent to the minors since he’s out of options and doesn’t have enough service time to voluntarily go down. Their options are basically a) another phantom DL trip, b) keep working him as a long man out of the pen, or c) just stick him back in the rotation and pray for the best. I’m guessing they’ll go with B for the time being.
Like I said, it was a forgettable night for the Bombers. Their nine game winning streak was snapped and they were dominated by a pitcher who came into the game with a 4.50 ERA and an NL-leading 12 homers allowed. The good news is that the Yanks will send two southpaws to the mound against the lefty-heavy Phillies’ lineup the next two days. Andy Pettitte takes on the rookie and fellow lefty JA Happ tomorrow afternoon. Let start another winning streak, shall we?