Chien-Ming Wang will make his first start since April 18th today, following three progressively better relief outings in which he knocked 18.43 runs off his ERA. Six innings of three run ball today would trim close to another three-and-a-half runs off that mark. Wang says he’s good for about 80 pitches, so six innings seems like a best case scenario today, maaaaaybe seven if the sinker’s really on. If it’s not, well then expect to see plenty of Al Aceves because Phil Hughes is unavailable until tomorrow.
I’m not going to lie, at first I was disappointed in the move to swap Wang & Hughes, but clearly it’s the right thing to do. As good as Hughes has looked of late, a healthy Chien-Ming Wang definitely gives the team a better chance to win. Of course the key is health. If Wanger isn’t right, Hughes will slot right back in to the rotation, but for now he’ll help shore up another hole. Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus wrote a piece for ESPN today explaining why this was the right move for the team, and I recommend you give it a read. It’s stuck behind the Iron Curtain of Insider though.
The weather doesn’t look too pretty, but it sounds like they’ll be able to get this game in. The almighty Derek Jeter saw his 16 game hitting streak come to an end last night, so now’s as good a time as any to give him a little breather. Here’s the lineup:
Swisher, RF – .346-.457-.577 in his last 9 games
Melky, CF – .280-.302-.360 in his last 14 games
And on the mound, Chicken-Wing Wang. (/McCarver’d)
Oh, and AJ Burnett has been suspended six games for throwing at Nelson Cruz the other night. Burnett has filed an appeal and is eligible to pitch until the hearing is complete.