Wang limp as Yanks fall to Sox again

Romine goes deep in Tampa win
2009 Draft: Thoughts from Day Two

When Chien-Ming Wang went on the DL in April, he had put up some epically bad numbers. He was 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA. He had allowed 23 earned runs on 23 hits and 6 walks in just 6 innings of work, and opponents were hitting .622/.667/1.027.

Since coming back from his injured whatever it was that hurt, he has been better. Unfortunately, “better” is a relative term. In five appearances spanning two starts and three relief stints, Chien-Ming Wang has thrown 15.1 innings, giving up only 11 earned runs on 22 hits and 6 walks. While he’s struck out 12, he has allowed 23 baserunners in those 15.1 innings.

The simple truth is that Chien-Ming Wang as a starting pitcher — now 0-4 in starts with a 25.14 ERA — is not giving the Yankees a chance to win baseball games. He’s not the best man for the job right now, and when his turn in the rotation comes around on Tuesday in New York against the Nationals, he should not be starting.

Tonight, Wang took the loss in a game the Yankees could have won. He lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. The damage could have been worse, and the damage could have been less. But in the end, Wang had nothing on his pitches after the first inning, and the Red Sox just pounded out line drive after line drive against the erstwhile sinker ball specialist.

For Wang, the game actually started off on the right foot. It took him 29 pitches to get through the first, and while he had no control of his sinker, it was sinking. He gave up a few signature ground ball hits and got into trouble when he walked a few Red Sox. He was, however, hitting the mid-90s on the gun and seemed to be throwing with downward movement.

In the second and third, though, nothing. It was all gone. His pitches in the zone were belt high, and his pitches out of the zone weren’t generating any swings. The Red Sox went to town, and while we can’t underestimate the impact of Nick Swisher‘s terrible play in the right field corner, Wang did not do his part. He was gone in the middle of the third.

At that point, the bullpen pitched about as well as could be expected. Phil Hughes threw one mistake, and Kevin Youkilis deposited it into the seats. It would end up being the difference in the game. Outside of that pitch, Hughes threw 3.2 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. If I am giving the ball to someone on Tuesday, it is Phil Hughes.

On the other side of the ball, the Yankees couldn’t get it done. They blasted three home runs, and Mark Teixeira went 4 for 5. However, A-Rod, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano were a combined 0 for 13. The team was just 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and left ten runners on base. They had the tying run in scoring position in both the 8th and 9th innings but couldn’t push it across. It seemed as though they couldn’t recover from a base running error by Swisher in the 2nd. It was just one of those nights.

After the game, the Yankees were at a loss for words. Joe Girardi said that he saw “bad counts” from Chien-Ming Wang, and with the Wanger throwing hard but with no control or ability, the Yankees are gasping at straws. When Kim Jones asked Jorge Posada what he saw from Wang tonight, he simply repeated, “I don’t know.” That’s how I feel.

Joe Girardi had David Robertson warming up in the first inning and yanked Wang as soon as the game started to slip away. It was too late, and after the game, Girardi wouldn’t commit either way to Wang. “I’m not ready to make that decision right now,” he said.

Yankee fans will spend the next few days debating this one. Mark Feinsand thinks skipping Wang would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel on him, and Marc Carig puts the odds of another Wang start at 50-50. Much like Jorge, I just don’t know.

Game Notes: The Yankees are now 0-7 against the Red Sox and haven’t beaten Boston since Mike Mussina notched his 20th win in September. If it’s any consolation, the Yankees are 34-18 against everyone else while Boston is just 28-24 against everyone else. There’s a double-edged sword here. When the Yanks’ luck changes, they could really pull away from the pack, but if the Yankees had managed to go just 3-4, they would have a comfortable lead over the Sox. Them’s the breaks.

Romine goes deep in Tampa win
2009 Draft: Thoughts from Day Two
  • Moshe Mandel

    I would give him one more start with an extremely short leash. Wang is pretty important to this club, and has faced Texas and Boston in his effort to straighten himself out. If he fails against the Nats, I would be the first to send him to the bullpen or minors.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      He’s out of options. They can’t send him to the minors without exposing him to waivers. As bad as he’s been this year, I think a team would claim him. I’m less sure of that now than I was two weeks ago, but it’s hard to argue with his past success.

      He’s either going to sink or swim against the NL’s worst team. I’m not so keen on watching him face the Marlins five days after that though.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Yeah, I meant more as a “OMG he’s still injured” type thing followed by a 30 day rehab assignment.

      • Jamal G.

        Hold on now, the reason the Nats are “the NL’s worst team” is completely and totally because of their pitching and defense; their offense is damn good – evidenced by their .338 wOBA which is 11th in MLB and 4th in the Senior Circuit.

        Cristian Guzman, Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham all swing a pretty good stick. Hell, even the Former U.S. Attorney General is putting up a line of .343/.426/.342 (OBP/SLG%/wOBA). Offensively, that club can compete with any team in baseball.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          The Nats ain’t chopped liver. That’s for sure. I fear that the Yanks are going to say, “Let’s let Wang face the last-place Nationals.” When Dunn slams some ball halfway up the seats in right field, they’ll be singing a different tune.

          • Matt ACTY/BBD

            Exactly what I was saying last night. I can see Dunn taking a hanging sinker a loooong, looooooooong way.

    • jonathan

      How much shorter does it get is the question, and do you really want to put another pitcher in a position where he could get lit up. It not like Wang is giving up homers, or hits he is getting hit, walking people…he has nothing. I think we have done all we can to get him going, I think he needs to go back to the pen and put his work in and earn it back.

  • k42

    the title of this post makes me feel dirty.

  • Conan

    Totally agree Ben. Although Wang didn’t ultimately lose this game – the lack of clutch hitting did, he definitely didn’t help the situation. If he stuck around, the game probably would have gotten out of hand.

    Start the kid and put Wang in the pen for long relief/spot start till he’s consistent. Yanks cannot give games away playing in a division like the AL East.

    Girardi and Posada’s reactions after the game should tell Yankee fans that the organization has no confidence in Wang right now.

    • BigBlueAL

      The fact that Girardi had the bullpen active in the 1st inning when the score was only 1-0 shows you even more so how little confidence they have in Wang.

      He has to go back to the role he had when he came back from AAA and hopefully get some more positive innings in relief in and Im sure sometime in the future he will be needed to start since there is no chance all 5 starters make all their starts the rest of the season. But the last thing he should be doing right now is starting when there are 5 much more viable options to start ahead of him at the moment.

    • Jeffrey

      I agree. Hughes should go back in the rotation and Wang back to the pen. Hughes was beginning to build some consistent starting efforts in the rotation, not to mention he’s pitched shutouts in 2 starts as long as he was in the game. Wang was actually pitching well out of the bullpen with a 2.25 ERA over 8 IP and had a slightly higher K rate as a reliever than as a starter this year. I thought his sinker looked his best coming out of the bullpen for whatever reason.

      I thought Wang was on an especially short leash in the game. Even giving up 3 runs, let alone 4 in a game can mean a loss to Boston. The game against Washington is a chance for Wang to really work on things if they decide to leave him in the rotation since the Nats have no quality pitching. Even if he is sucking they can leave him out there if the offense is producing.

      I know that option rule is probably there to protect the players so they don’t just get demoted for no reason after a period of service, but if it didn’t exist the Yankees could really help Wang by getting him back to being himself and building confidence. They really screwed up by activating him too early with the knee jerk reaction to Joba being hit by that ball.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      they scored 5 runs, yes they had chances to score more, but 5 runs should win you most games.

  • BigBlueAL

    On another negative note, Cano’s BA is down to .293 with his OBP at .328 which is the worst amongst all Yankees starters by far, including Gardner, Melky and Matsui who are at .346, .343 and .342 respectively.

    It may be time to put Cano back in the 7th or 8th spot, especially now with Posada back and Swisher swinging a good bat again.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Yeah, I love Robbie, and I get the balanced lineup thing, but it may be time to drop him below Jorge.

    • Conan

      I can’t stand watching Cano bat with runners in scoring position and 2 out. Especially when the Yanks are trailing. I find myself constantly cussing him out game after game.

      • Benjamin Kabak

        Here’s how the G-Chat between me and Joe went down right after he struck out:

        Ben: I hate watching Cano’s ABs sometimes.
        Joe: Seconded.

        That was a very very frustrating sequence.

        • Conan

          And mine was: If Cano ever got a clutch hit, I would shit.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Also, Melky’s OBP since May 5 is below .300. His “hot April followed by a cool everything else” pattern from 2008 is reemerging.

      • Conan

        Time to give Gardy more starts? Competition seems to motivate the Melk-man

        • The Artist


        • ChrisS

          Melky could possibly be lazy as far as concentration goes. He starts off making sure that this is going to the best season ever, he’s really going to focus all season long. Then as he has success, he starts slacking, losing focus, and swinging at garbage.

      • BigBlueAL

        Yeah but this season his shoulder injury could be a very viable excuse for his slowing down. He still at the least has shown the propensity to drive in runs, heck he was the only hitter tonight to drive in a run with a hit w/RISP.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          He strained his shoulder at the end of May. His offensive problems started at the start of the month. If he’s hurt, he shouldn’t be playing. The Yanks have the pieces to fill in for him if he has to be disabled.

          • Drew

            Alex Rodriguez. Hurt?

            • BigBlueAL

              Talking about Melky.

              • Bo

                Cano has big problems against real good late game pitchers. The real good pitchers really know how to pitch to him and he doesn’t make adjustments.

  • E-ROC

    That non-steal by Gardner still pisses me off.

    While I want Wang to succeed, I’m ready for the Phil Hughes era to begin. Maybe Wang needs a mental break given that his wife is about to have a baby any minute now. He should probably take that break. I just don’t have much confidence in Wang.

    The Nationals are nothing to sneeze at either with the way Adam Dunn has been hitting along with Elijah Dukes and Zimmerman. I can see them easily crush Wang’s mistakes.

    • kunaldo

      pisses me off too dude…why the hell is he pinch running if he’s NOT RUNNING

      • Bo

        That isn’t the first time that Gardner has stayed plopped on first when its an obvious running situation.

  • Ivan

    I really feel bad for Wang. Wang is ALOT better than this, and it’s just painful to watch him struggle like this. Right now the problem with Wang is his command with in the K-Zone and most of all his confidence is lil down as well and somebody struggle like Wang has, ur confidence would take a hit too.

    Nevertheless, Ben hit on the head, CMW is not helping this team or not putting up the solid results to help this team win and Phil Hughes should be given the ball every fifth day. Phil really made one huge mistake with youkilis homer but overall his performnce was very good. His FB was routinely hitting 94-95 MPH, his cutter was sharp and curveball was nasty. Hughes gives the yanks a much better chance to win than Wang rite now and really this helps Hughes to develop into that front-line starter we as yankee fans dream of.

    As for the Sox winning, look I hate the fact the sox is beating the yanks like this but look at this: they have beaten the yanks to a record of 7-0 and only have a 1 game lead in the division.

    Trust me guys, the yanks WILL WIN THIS DIVISION.

  • CG

    I would give him one more shot.

    Unfortunately it seems like some of this is on Swisher tonight as well. Bad baserunning gaffe and an even worse play in right. I would like to know what happened on that play, he must have just taken his eye off the ball.

    Nothing irritates me more than when the Yankees lose to the Sox because of bad fundamental baseball. It just makes the Sox look that much more together.

    I’ve got to say that Francona continues to out manage the Yankees’ skippers. Why they didn’t have Gardner steal is beyond me. I really expected a more aggressive style from Girardi . . . take some chances. It’s the kind of thing the Sox have been doing against the Yankees for years now. Make the other team make the play. Frustrating . . . but it’s still early in the season.

  • Conan

    No more starts till the Yanks need him in a pinch. The team doesn’t trust him and what about tonight’s performance deserved another shot? 9 base runners and 8 outs. Unacceptable. Subtract Swish’s gaffe and it’s still baserunner/out.

    Why start your 6th best pitcher? Doesn’t make sense.

  • Mike HC

    I believe that Wang will figure it out eventually. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long it will take him. His velocity has bounced around during the beginning of the season, and he obviously has to make some adjustments that will come with more innings. While the starts have not been good, I think there have been some positive signs that he will get it together. You can only wait so long considering Hughes is willing and able to take over that spot in the rotation. But I am not ready to give up on him.

    • Conan

      Oh, I’m with you, brother – I would love to see the Wangster turn it around. I just want to see him pitch an inning here and there out of the pen and some long relief till he regains his old form – or anything close to it.

      • bxpd

        I don’t think he can be righted out of the pen. He needs to eat innings, and because the Yanks truly screwed this up, he has to do it at the major league level.

  • John

    Man, the Sox are always getting breaks from us…

    I’m still waiting for the Law of Averages to show up

  • Hova

    Guys, God forbid any of the starters go down. What happens then? Do we have anyone down in the minors capable of being in the rotation? I hate speculating on trades, but is this something cashman has to consider given innings limits on joba/hughes and downfall of wang?

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Mike and I were just talking about that. Sergio Mitre is almost an option, and then, yeah, Kei Igawa.

      But don’t forget that Al Aceves can start too. The Yanks have seven starters on the active roster right now.

      • Ed

        Can you realistically expect much out of Aceves as a starter after spending over a month in the bullpen? By the time this would be a serious question, you’d probably be looking at at least 2 months in the bullpen.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          All I know is that if I’m picking starting pitchers, I’d rather have Aceves throw 4 innings than suffer through a Kei Igawa (or even almost another Wang) start.

          • Chris

            Considering Wang has not pitched 4 innings in any of his starts this year, I would certainly take 4 innings of Aceves over Wang.

            • AlexNYC

              I heard Phil Coke was a starter at the minors too.

  • Hova

    True, the gangster could start in a tough bind.

    So now Hughes and Wang switch places. For now bullpen is Mo, Aceves, Wang, Coke, Robertson, Veras, Tomko. Bruney and Marte will probably replace Veras and Tomko when they’re healthy.

    Combined with our starters, I can def live with that. How do you like them apples Francessa?

  • Dorian

    This is one of the biggest decisions the Yankees will make in the next few years. I do not envy Cash or Girardi in this process. There are legitimate arguments both ways. I just hope that they have more information than we do and make the right decision.

    Option 1: You banish Wang to the bullpen, forever destroying his confidence and turning the Yankee fans against him forever. Phil Hughes is ushered back into the rotation and continues to develop. Is Wang’s spot then guaranteed next year? Do you go out and sign a guy like Lackey? What about Ian Kennedy

    Option 2: You keep him in the rotation. You stunt the growth of an up and coming pitcher who is starting to show signs that he may be able to come close to the hype. You risk injury to your young gun. You risk instability in the rotation with an inconsistent pitcher who hasn’t gotten out of the 4th inning all year.

    Couple of other factors I don’t think anyone is concerned with. Their is a potential for division within the clubhouse. Their may be guys here who haven’t been here for the great Wang and just want somebody who will give the team an opportunity to win. Other old-time guys might think Wang deserves the shot.

    Dissension in the organization. There is always dissension in the organization but this could cause some heads to roll. Girardi’s job is on the line so that might affect his decision making.

    If I am Joe Girardi, I want Phil in the rotation because Wang gettin bombed in starts doesn’t help me keep my job.

    It’s a very tough decision and like I said before, I don’t envy it.

    • Hova

      Well said my friend. Its gotta be a very tough spot to be in. I think you could tell that Girardi is still in awe of this whole situation. But this is a now business, and you gotta go with the guy who gives you the best chance to win. 2006 and 2007 mean nothing at this point. New regime and a lot of new players who don’t care about what Wang did two years ago.

      Phil didn’t want to go to the minors and wanted to do whatever he could to help this team win. Now’s his shot.

    • Todd

      I agree and totally admire Ben’s take that he simply does not know. It is a tough situation.

      I also think that there is also a pink elephant in the room as it relates to Hughes. He has an innings limit this year. Wang is an established starter in his prime. The Yanks need Wang!

      And I believe that I am a minority of one on this one. But I do not think that Wang was absolutely bombed tonight. I saw three line drives–one of which should have been caught. The other hits were ground balls–one of which was an excuse me infield hit. With his velocity back, a few mechanical adjustments and we just might have Wanger back.

      But, I totally see the other side too as they simply can not live with these results. And now we have emboldened Sox fans with the friggin nerve to actually try to comment on the situation (see DJ below).

      • BigBlueAL

        I guess you didnt see Lowell’s HR, the backup Catcher’s ripped double to the wall, and Papi almost going yard to straightaway CF.

  • stuart

    the sux get breaks from us when swisher is a moron on the basepaths and gets doubled up on a play thatwas so obvious it was a joke..

    also the swisher miss catch was pathetic.

    the first run on the bay ground single thru the right side, I beleive arod needed to go for the ball and for some reason did not.

    as far as wangs psyche and feelings, tfb…I can care less he needs to pitch much much better and the yanks owe him zippo…they have treated him more then fairly……………..

  • stuart

    I meant left side…….

  • DJ

    Allow me to chime in with a Sox fan’s P.O.V on this one. Wang just doesn’t scare anyone right now. My friends and I were thrilled to see Wang starting and not Hughes. Now, by no means am I saying I thought the game was an auto-win, but NONE of us thought Wang would get out of the fourth inning. I don’t care if we win or not, two straight nights of the Yankee bullpen pitching over 50% of the game? I’ll take that every day of the week, hands down. Putting more pressure on C.C., when he’s still trying to prove he can handle it? Sign me up. Sure, right now, it doesn’t mean much, it’s just one game, but long-term? Playing in New York is stressful enough. There’s more to this than just 3 baseball games. And as a Sox fan, the reports from this series are looking VERY rosy over here.

    • Todd

      DJ. Speaking for all Yankee fans, we could care less about a Sox fan’s perspective. Go Paark your caar in haarvaard yaaard and take your P.O.V. back to Boston. You are not welcome here!

      • Benjamin Kabak

        Todd: When Joe, Mike and I want you to enforce our rules and administer our site, we’ll ask. In the meantime, DJ’s very welcome here. He left a respectful comment offering up his view of the game tonight. He didn’t gloat about how the Red Sox have utterly owned the Yanks this year, and he actually had something to add. Which is more than I can say for your comment. Please don’t tell others they’re not welcome here. We make those decisions.

        • Todd

          Please lighten up. I am only kidding around. But I will not do that anymore, as requested.

    • ranger11

      Great. That’s all I needed. A Red Sox troll on a Yankee blog at 2 in the morning after all the crap that’s happened these past few nights. Thanks.

      • ranger11

        I guess that might have been too harsh. Just not in a great mood right now. Got to win tomorrow.

    • k42

      There isn’t “more to this than just 3 baseball games”. That’s where you’re wrong. If there were, Wang wouldn’t have gotten the start in the first place. It’s not exactly a secret that Hughes is pitching well at an increasingly consistent rate and Wang has been dreadful. Should this have been anything more than a June baseball game, you would have seen something different. But it’s not, so here we are. I’m not denying that these games feel more tense and emotional, but there’s another game tomorrow, and a series after that. Last I checked they all counted the same.

    • Brian

      As someone banished to Boston, lets not get ahead of ourselves here. Nice work, you beat a pitcher with zero confidence who wasn’t helped out much by Swish. Lets stop the “VERY” rosy crap. I was at the last 2 games, burnett got owned by Beckett, would Wakefield have beaten Hughes tonight? The knuckle ball looked pretty hittable. Can CC possibly match trade bait Penny tomorrow? We’ll see.

    • Drew

      Why on earth would a Sox fan be afraid of Wang right now?
      I couldn’t care less what your feelings are coming into a game. For me, it’s like Paps, when he comes in, I expect our comeback, you expect a win.
      Further more, no matter who we start, why would you be worried? You’ve won 7 in a row this year. I don’t understand the point to this comment. You should “expect” to beat Wanger, unfortunately too many of us drank your coolade and believed the same thing. Whether it is likely or unlikely, no one should “expect” to lose in your stadium. Many of us missed the memo on that though.

      • ranger11

        I didn’t really understand the point of the comment either except the Yanks are fucked and the Sox have reason to be optimistic at all times. I don’t know if that is great insight or not, but whatever.

        • Drew

          Word. I guess, they are confident. Also, Sox fans love roses. No shocker there.

          • ranger11

            The thing is that they didn’t always used to be this over-confident. What happened to them? Did they take steroids. When the Yanks were winning three in a row I was never that confident. Of course, I became a Yankee fan during the 80’s when at any moment Billy Martin could be hired or fired as manager or three of their best prospects could be traded away for either a Ken Phelps or Steve Trout.

            • Drew

              lol… you date back a little further than me. However, I agree, I have never been soooo over confident. Honestly, I see it as a positive. When we bring the ruckus, Bostonians will cry.

  • Drew

    Another Sawx game, another L.
    I spent nearly 3 months trying to get some of you on the Melky bandwagon. Now, I see you will never be pleased unless he hits .320 for the entire season. End of May, he hit .323, .328 if you go a game earlier. We are ten days into June. Now, the Melkman is back in his slump, he’s been on the downward slope, he is back to the Melky of old. He’s hitting teh .292! I love the blog but it’s like so many of you have been waiting for Melky to slump. I can’t stand it. Just imagine if the Melkman had some type of protection in the lineup (not Jetes).

    • Bo

      Melky is what he is. A solid 4th OF.

  • dkidd

    0-7 versus the sox is frustrating, but after spending a night at citifield watching the mets turn 20 baserunners into 4 runs and listening to “let’s go phillies” chants, all i can think is “thank god i’m not a mets fan”

  • Jill Santana

    Girardi should put Posada at 5th and Cano at 6th and leave it that way and not keep switching them around. The top four have gotten used to their batting order and the line-up afterwards needs to get settled in their positions. Cano can hit, but Posada is more likely to take advantage of all A-rod’s walks. I would maybe try Wang against the Nationals since the Nationals are not very good and it may not be an automatic loss for the Yankees no matter how bad Wang is. Wang could then have one more chance to prove himself. Hughes can bail him out again if necessary, but at that point, if Hughes has to, it would be time for a change in the starting rotation.

    • Bruno

      Nats can hit. Wang facing them doesn’t sit well with me.

      If aint broke, don’t fix it. There really was no need to swap Wang and Hughes in the first place. Hughes was pitching well, as was Wang out of the ‘pen. The ONLY reason I can think of was the innings limit, so eh. Hopefully Hughes gets back into the rotation now, and Joe G. uses Wang the way he was, for 2-3 innings at a time. This might keep him stretched out enough to spot start or take over for Joba/Hughes when said limit is reached.

  • JP

    On the team’s hitting with RISP, and the general complaining about offense, specifically offense against Boston, I will remain optimistic and say that it’s always darkest just before dawn. The Red Sox are good, but they are not as good, relative to the Yankees, as they are playing. Chances are obviously high that we lose the season series now, but I believe the Yankees are a better team and will win the majority of the remaining games. Hang in there, folks.

    Other notes: Wang needs to come out of the rotation. He needs to be the pitcher who is relegated to uncertain, inconsistent duties. He needs to pitch relief innings, mop up, etc. You cannot put a guy out there routinely who can’t get through three innings. Maybe he’s still hurt, maybe it’s psychological, but in any event if you’re going to make someone have to adjust and take what’s available, it should be the underachiever in Wang, not the guy who appears to improve steadily and be on the verge of becoming a top level starter in Hughes.

    Wang pitches bullpen, and as Girardi plans out the season with Hughes/Joba inning limits in mind, Wang can get spot starts in order to stretch out Hughes and Joba. If he starts succeeding late in the year, it will be the ideal time to slot him back in the rotation anyway. He’s past the magic Verducci age and has pitched 190-200+ innings before, so he can have a down year this year and train in the offseason and still come back as a full time starter next year. Having said that, I personally believe he’s finished as a starter; I think he’s the classic case of a pitcher without enough hit-and-miss ability to win consistently. His first year will probably have been his best ever. They can say what they want about his sinker being “flat;” I’m sure Hamels and Lincicum and Halladay can have a flat sinker for a game and still get through 5-6 innings.

    He’s just not that good a pitcher. Anymore.

    As for the offense, A-Rod looks to me like he’s hurting…I sure hope he can get out of his slump. I believe guys like Cano and Cabrera key off of ARod and Texiera. When Tex and ARod are both hitting consistently, the team scores runs, and pressure is off Swisher, Cano, Cabrera, and they can perform better.

    While not saying I “blame” ARod, I do think his slump is really hurting the team now, and I hope he isn’t playing with significant injury and slowing the team down. He looks very stiff in the field.

  • V

    I’m tired of how short-sighted and impatient Yankees’ fans are.

    • pat

      Heh, then stay off the internet, don’t read newspapers, turn off the radio, don’t watch tv, definitely don’t go to the stadium, it’s only gonna make you angrier. I’m with you though, sitting through these game threads and listening to the callers on wfan or espn radio gets incredibly frustrating with the amount of ridiculous stuff said. It really makes me embarrassed sometimes.

      • JP

        I didn’t think I was overly negative. I put a positive spin on hitting, and suggested that injury was messing up ARod.

        Sorry, but it’s just what I think about Wang. It’s not an emotional overreaction to anything; I have been saying this all season. It happens. Some pitchers just lose it.

        I’m a fan, and I’ll be overjoyed if he proves me wrong. I’ll eat crow openly. But the fact is he’s done nothing this year to suggest he can be an effective starting pitcher again. Maybe he can be an effective relief pitcher.

        • pat

          ah dude I wasn’t referring to you in particular, just these past few days have been tough in general.

    • Bruno

      Such as?

      I’m with you guys as far as booing A-Rod etc, but this isn’t just one bad start by Wang.

  • Bruno

    On the bright side, Joba starts against the Mets on Friday.

    • Chris

      Yeah… the next three starters: CC, Joba, Pettitte. I’m feeling good for those games.

    • The Artist

      That will be fun.

      • Bruno

        CC vs Penny should end this 8 game Sox-skid.

        • The Artist

          Lets hope.

          The 0-7 really doesn’t really bother me all that much. If we beat them in the ALCS it will be meaningless. Its like like were getting blown out by a far superior team.

          • The Artist

            “Its NOT like”

            • AlexNYC

              Kinda sounds like when the Angels manhandled the Sox last year and got beaten by them in the ALDS.

  • JeffG

    I had a feeling that Wang would be done in by a very patient team. Did anyone expect him to be at full strength after two starts?

    I know its the Red Socks so it feels worse but the truth is it shouldn’t. They are good and he is working toward being good enough to be there too. The thing is, it takes time. He just isn’t there yet and if you expected him to be… well, you were betting on a long shot. In my mind it is much less of a long shot to think he’ll be good once he gets his legs under him.

    Try to remember it’s a long season and what matters is the team that we finish the year with. CC wins tonight and we are tied for first place with a 19 game winner readying to get back on track.

    • Bruno

      CC wins tonight and we are tied for first place with a 19 game winner hopefully readying to get back on track, even though he hasn’t shown that to be the case so far.


      • JeffG

        You’re right Bruno he should have been lights out by the second start from rehab after languishing in the bullpen… and he definately is throwing a lot softer than he was in the begining of the season.

        • Chris

          Do you really think the 3 appearances out of the pen somehow caused him to struggle? Yes he was coming out of the pen, but he pitched multiple innings, and did it on basically normal rest for a starter (4-6 days rest for each appearance).

          • JeffG

            Yes, I think he is not at full strengh thus buliding up his pitch count. He needed to do this in the minors so people wouldn’t be throwing losing it when he gets back to form.

            Ultimately if he returned strong enough to go 100-120 the pitches he throws around the 60 mark would look a lot better too. In essence we have him going through spring training in the majors.

            Not good but what do you expect?

    • The Artist

      I don’t disagree, but watching him take such a huge step backwards while your battling for 1st place is tough to take. To be honest, I don’t give a flying fuck about what’s on the back of his baseball card. He has to give the team a chance to win, or we need to get somebody else in there who can.

      There are guys who have lost it at young ages for strange, sometimes inexplicable reasons. Dontrelle is a recent example, Dizzy Dean is an old one who had a very similar injury. You have to take Baseball year to year at some point. If his ERA was around 6-7.00, I would be arguing for patience. I would have kept IPK and Hughes in the rotation last year when they were producing those results. But at 14+ it is simply untenable. Even since recently returning to the rotation he has allowed 9 ER in 7.1 IP, which is an ERA 11.40.

      His wife is pregnant? Give him personal leave. I think that’s up to 2 weeks.

      • JeffG

        Let’s just consider. He didn’t work his lower body in the offseason and he came into the year with bad, bad, stuff – most likely due to lack of conditioning as evidenced by 91/92 mph pitches.

        He goes down builds himself up and comes back throwing 94/95. The problem – it that he should have gotten all the way stretched out in the minors but the team’s brass fucked that up. Had he had bad controll in AAA nobody cares. The thing is he is tuning up in the majors and that isn’t the best case scenario but if there is one thing I believe in you don’t wast that asset due to a loss against Boston.

  • The Artist

    About the Gardner non-steal in the 8th. We all thought the same thing at the time, but lets look at the situation and see if it makes any sense.

    You have Hideki Okijima on the mound, a LEFTY with a funky delivery that’s tough to read and is also quick to the plate. You have a fast but very inexperienced base runner in Gardner pinch running at 1st base.

    Do I send him? No. Why put Gardner in? Because he can score on hits that Swisher can’t, and he’s a late-inning defensive upgrade.

    Why the bunt? Melky Cabrera is at the plate, who’s a good bunter and has been cold for the past month or so. You have Jeter and Damon coming up after Melky. The main thing you want is to stay out of the double play right there. That’s the game tying run and you’re on the road in the 8th inning. You play to win on the road, but you have to tie it up first.

    No problem with the bunt.

    • Bruno

      Steal 2nd, bunt him to 3rd.

      • The Artist

        Easier said than done.

        What if he gets picked off? Then all the people screaming about the bunt/non-steal would be screaming what an idiot Girardi was for sending him. Its easy to be a genius after the fact, you have to look at situations and see if they make sense. This one did.

        • kunaldo

          no way, stealing is the right move…dude can get a bad jump and still steal 2nd…and you have to take these chances…even ramiro pena took a chance(yeah i know, it was on a righty)…i’d have him steal in that spot everytime(even though he probably wouldnt be “mentally ready”)

    • JP

      Maybe…but I’m of the Earl Weaver school and wouldn’t bunt OR steal there. I say you don’t play for a tie game or one run in less than the 9th inning against a team like Boston. Leave Swisher in and see if one of those guys can get an extra base hit. Put some pressure on those pitchers by making them throw strikes to guys who can hit, instead of giving up outs and putting no power, no walk, slap hitting speedsters in there.

      What would we have been thinking if Gardy was up in the 9th trying to tie it or win it against Papelbon? I’ll take my chances with Swisher running and keep his bat in the game.

  • jonathan

    I am sorry but I think that if Hughes starts last nights game we win 6-4. Wang had nothing on is pitches after blowing through 30 of them in the 1st, Hughes actually got into a groove there and his stuff looked better as the game went on. My personal opinion on what the yankees should do…
    1) Try and pick up a relief pitcher, pef Huston Street
    2) Take a long look at Paul Byrd and Pedro, if we have a rotation of CC,AJ,Petitte,Joba,and Hughes there are 2 guys in that rotation that have innings limits. We are gonna need a vet or we can hope that Sergio Mitre is ready to roll…he looked pretty nasty at AAA

  • ARX

    Yesterday I said I was perfectly willing to grin and bear Wang’s ups and downs as long as they werent filled with 2 inning disasters. Well…I’m still in his corner. I’d still be wiling to bet that by the All Star break, he will right himself, but I’m not so confident that he’ll get the chance, if he doesn’t produce a quality start soon. I absolutely refuse to believe that a pitcher of his caliber is just done, with no hope of returning to form.

    • pat

      I’m with you 100%. It really seems like everything is up in his head. Unfortunately there’s not really any protocol on how to fix those problems so we just have to wait and see. People aren’t gonna like this but I give him one more start and if he blows that it might be time to get creative.

      • The Artist

        His wife is pregnant, give him 2 weeks personal leave and have him pitch simulated games in the meantime. He can build up his arm strength in side sessions.

    • The Artist

      So 2 inning disasters were too much for you to take, but 2.2 inning starts are OK?

      • pat

        I think he or she is saying that even though it was another 2 inning disaster he or she is still in Wang’s corner.

        • The Artist

          As I said earlier, if he was pitching to an ERA around 6-7, I could live with it. But he has simply not been giving the team a chance to win.

          • JP

            “…if he was pitching to an ERA around 6-7, I could live with it…”

            This should tell us all we need to know about CMW’s present and future as a front line starting pitcher. Wake up, folks.

    • jonathan

      I dont think he is done, for good…I do believe it is gonna take alot more than this season to get him right. While he was hurt is was essential senitary, he lost alot of strength and balance and he is not phyically where he needs to be. Hes not hurt but he is extremely out of pitching shape, I think he needs to be religated to the BP where he can come out firing for 1 or 2 low risk innings. He gets his work in, saves other people in the pen and plays a significant role. As a starter this season I think he is done, I think that with a good off season that he could be back to form next year.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think that few of us believed Wang was going to be good last night. I think that taking another loss seemed inevitable but to pull him would be to put our pitcher’s rehabilitation behind a win over Boston. I think they wanted to downplay the “feared rivalry” and play up the eventual success of CMW. But I’m starting to think that putting him in these situations is not good for him. He wasn’t happy in the bullpen but he’s not successful in the rotation.

    I feel sorry for Wang, probably more than I care about the loss. I think the “I don’t know” reverberates through the Yankees. I’d like to see him get it together but I think he needs to stay in the bullpen and work it out and let Phil take his spot for as long as necessary.

    The thing is that we could have won the game but didn’t. It was a matter of a few things most of which can be fixed.

  • In the Shadows of Fenway

    I was at the game last night sitting behind home plate. Wang bounced three pitches warming up before the first inning and one that Posada had to jump for. He couldn’t even throw strikes warming up. In the second he flatened his sinker out to throw strikes and got crushed. He needs to spend some time in the minors working on his mechanics. If it was good enough for Halliday…

    • JP

      Halladay was a young man when he went back down to be schooled. Halladay strikes guys out.

      I keep reading this stuff about the team “screwing up his rehab” and him needing to get back to full strength, etc.

      Some philosopher guy once said the hardest thing to do is see what’s in front of your eyes. He’s not a good pitcher anymore. Period. I’m not saying he couldn’t maybe figure out a way to be a good pitcher…guys like Jamie Moyer come to mind, or he could be an example of someone who fails as a starter but becomes effective in the bullpen. Maybe I’m overstating it and he could be a reasonably effective, 5th starter/innings-eater type guy.

      But the days of Chien-Ming Wang pitching 200 innings with an ERA at or less than the league average are over. Period.

      He was told not to work out his legs. Well, ok, so maybe he lost some strength in them in the off season. But he did have an entire spring training to work on it. He is throwing in the 90s. He’s had plenty of time to heal, and to work. He’s a young man, it’s not like he should be at 50% of his former effectiveness because his leg muscles are at 90%.

      It’s very seductive to think about him being a stopper, a 19 game winner. If he were at that level now, with CC, Joba, and Pettitte (and Burnett, potentially), you are talking about an incredible pitching.

      But it isn’t going to happen.

      How bad does he have to be before people accept this?

      • pat

        But the days of Chien-Ming Wang pitching 200 innings with an ERA at or less than the league average are over. Period.

        Why? Because you said so? Because he’s had a few terrible starts? That’s absolutely friggin ridiculous. Just because you put Period. at the end of an opinion does not make it fact.

        • JP

          I never said it was fact. Of course it’s ‘opinion.’ That’s what blogs are.

          But I’m not saying just to hear myself talk. Look at his frigging record for crissakes! He’s atrocious.

          Look back…he was hit very hard in the 2007 playoffs. In 2008, he started very poorly and, although his W/L was good, he was pitching poorly. He had 2-3 good starts before the injury, but basically it has been nearly 2 years since we’ve seen anything resembling consistently dominant pitching from CMW. He has poor control. He is a sinkerball pitcher, but hasn’t been able to make the ball sink consistently at all this season. He doesn’t have other pitches that are “plus” type pitches that make batters miss.

          We’re not talking about a pitcher with 5-6 seasons as a front line, dominant starter. We’re talking about a guy with a poor K/9 ratio who piled up very good W/L records on a good team. He was highly effective and occasionally dominant for 2 seasons. He has been progressively worse since then.

          If he can be salvaged, great. But don’t hold your breath…not because I say so, but because his record suggests it.

          • Tampa Yankee

            “In 2008, he started very poorly and, although his W/L was good, he was pitching poorly. He had 2-3 good starts before the injury, but basically it has been nearly 2 years since we’ve seen anything resembling consistently dominant pitching from CMW.”

            Through his first 9 starts in 2008 CMW was 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA and that includes a 4 inning 8-ER performance. Then he had 4 straight starts of 5+ ERs followed by 7.1 inn 1-ER performance (W) and then the Houston game where he got hurt (6 inn 0-ER, W) to finish at 8-2 4.07 ERA.

            While he wasn’t “dominant” he still has pitching well before last year’s injury.

            • JP

              Ok…so I had it backwards. But I remember last season he was, at some point, “unexplicably” bad and struggling. I thought it was at the start of the year. But it doesn’t change my “thesis.” If anything, it sort of makes more sense. His decline started to show up on his 10th start last year, and with the exception of the Houston game, he has been anywhere from bad to abysmal since.

              • V

                And your ‘thesis’ is, what? That batters have just caught up to him? That his not missing bats is why he’s sucking?

                You’re ignoring the part that ‘good Wang’ hits his spots, and ‘bad Wang’ misses, badly? It’s just because he doesn’t strike enough people out?

                His K/9 since coming back from the DL is right around 9, both as a starter and reliever, lol.

                • JP

                  My thesis is that he’s on a career trajectory in which his best seasons are behind him. Yes, I’m basing much of that on his K/9 rate.

                  Your “lol” comment about his k/9 rate means nothing…you’re logic is flawed. Having an average or high k/9 rate doesn’t guarantee you’ll be an effective pitcher. That’s not what I said, or implied. I said that data suggest that pitchers who are successful with a low k/9 are unlikely to remain successful for very long. This is exactly the profile of CMW.

                  It is interesting that his K rate is up. Maybe the reason he’s striking out more guys is that he’s forcing the issue, or having to adapt. His sinker isn’t doing the job on it’s own–he’s not getting batters out with it consistently. So he’s throwing more breaking pitches and changeups and is getting Ks, but he can’t control these as well. He is maybe overthrowing his fastball/sinker, and is struggling with control…who knows…

                  The point is, right now, he can’t function as a starting pitcher.

                  I’ll keep rooting for him, however they use him – I’m a Yankee fan. But I’m not putting any money on him, that’s for sure.

                • V

                  And you ignore my whole flipping point.

                  The league didn’t catch up to him. He’s missing his spots.

                  When AJ misses his spots badly, he gets hammered. When CC misses his spots badly, he gets hammered. When Joba misses his spots badly, he gets hammered. When Hughes misses his spots badly, he gets hammered.

                  Your thesis gets an F.

                • JP

                  You’re not making any point. Most every pitcher has a bad game if they miss their spots. But not all. Burnett threw a no-hitter walking 9.

                  Saying “he’s missing his spots” is essentially no different from saying “he’s pitching bad because he’s pitching bad.”

                  I’m not sure I accept what you’re saying, either; the critique on him wasn’t only that he was wild. It was that his sinker was flat in the second inning and got hammered.

                  You are arguing on a different level. I’m not interested so much in what specifically he’s doing, pitch wise, every game. I’m interested in the trends, the overall result. Whatever the route he’s taking, he’s getting hammered. I’m not saying I know exactly how it looks or why it happens, but pitchers, for whatever reason, sometimes flame out and lose effectiveness. Wang fits the mold of one such type of pitcher: a guy who has success with low k/9 rates, as he did in 06/07.

                  I don’t understand how you or anyone can be so steadfast in defending a pitcher who has been so incredibly awful this season. We’re not talking about someone, like Burnett, who has had a few good outings, one dominant one, and who, with lousy control a week ago, still went 7 innings and kept them in the game. Other than a couple of decent relief innings, what, exactly, has CMW shown that suggests he’s even a half decent major league pitcher right now? He’s basically Kei Igawa right now, and I don’t remember a groundswell of support surrounding him.

                  What matters is the team winning, and it ain’t gonna happen with CMW in there, at least not now.

                • JobaWockeeZ

                  I don’t understand how you or anyone can be so steadfast in defending a pitcher who has been so incredibly awful this season. We’re not talking about someone, like Burnett, who has had a few good outings, one dominant one, and who, with lousy control a week ago, still went 7 innings and kept them in the game. Other than a couple of decent relief innings, what, exactly, has CMW shown that suggests he’s even a half decent major league pitcher right now? He’s basically Kei Igawa right now, and I don’t remember a groundswell of support surrounding him.
                  Are you kidding me?
                  Why are we defending him? Because he was a 19 game winner! We know Wang can be good. But right now we’re basing his career over 5 starts after is season ending injury. I don’t know why the hell Kei Igawa should be mentioned in this arguement. Kei Igawa will never becomes good whereas Wang has a chance.
                  Do people even want a pre-2009 Wang back? He needs to start more so he can improve.
                  This team canot win with CMW in there? 4 runs in 2.2 innings. Fine pull him out, the offense should be able to pout up runs. They didn’t.
                  So start Wang again. The patience level towards this is virtually nonexistant.

                • JP

                  “Why are we defending him? Because he was a 19 game winner! We know Wang can be good. But right now we’re basing his career over 5 starts after is season ending injury. I don’t know why the hell Kei Igawa should be mentioned in this arguement. Kei Igawa will never becomes good whereas Wang has a chance.
                  Do people even want a pre-2009 Wang back? He needs to start more so he can improve.
                  This team canot win with CMW in there? 4 runs in 2.2 innings. Fine pull him out, the offense should be able to pout up runs. They didn’t.
                  So start Wang again. The patience level towards this is virtually nonexistant.

                  I am tempted to give up…but I won’t. We don’t “know Wang can be good.” All we know is that he was good, 3-4 years ago, and was good for some of his starts over a year ago. This is what we’re arguing about.

                  He’s throwing 94. He says he feels fine. With all the technology, all the pitching coaches, trainers, strength coaches, do you seriously think they’d be pitching him, at all, if they thought he had a legitimate injury or was not physically ready and rehabbed? People are thinking backwards; they are saying “gosh, he’s so awful, he must not be right, physically.” No; if he wasn’t right, if there was any credible evidence or other reason to believe he wasn’t ready, physically, to be pitching, don’t you think he’d be on the DL right now?

                  All of this talk about his “needing to get work in” and what not is just conjecture, guessing. What he’s doing is pitching horribly. That’s it. So why argue about starting him? Use the players who can pitch effectively, and use him in a secondary role. When an opprotunity comes up, or he earns another chance, fine, give it to him. But for now, I say you don’t put a batting practice pitcher out there every 5th game because you remember his great sinker from 07.

  • Mike R. – Retire 21

    Anytime you have Wang and 4 balls something is just not right.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops


  • Will

    What kills me is that I was watching the game on ESPN last night and in literally about 30 seconds Rick Sutcliff showed a video comparison of Wang “then and now” to point out exactly what’s wrong — the lower leg kick, not pushing off the back foot, striding too far, opening up his shoulder too much. Is it possible that he’s noticed something Eiland hasn’t? Or is Eiland trying to relay this info to an unreceptive Wang?

    • Rob in CT

      I’m pretty sure they know he’s doing things wrong mechanically (intermittantly), and he knows too. Fixing it – repeating his proper delivery – is apparently hard.

      There were times before the foot injury that he would get out of whack and get hammered, but he usually fixed it after a start or two. This time it’s worse.

      He was throwing ~94 again, so the velo’s back. That’s something, I guess.

      • Will

        Earlier in the season they talked about his arm slot being messed up and that affecting the break of his pitches, with the sinkers flattening out and whatnot, plus the weakness in his legs (his hips don’t lie). It seemed like his “stuff” was pretty good last night, just not the location.

        To complicate matters, to me Wang has always seemed to be worse from the stretch, even before the foot injury. Going from what feels like a 20-second full windup to a quick push off the rubber in the stretch is hard enough, and if he’s not confident in that push off the right foot, and the runners on base are messing with his head, well, that’s bad news.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      That clip they showed of 2009 was during the Cleveland game. He is not pitching the same now as he was then, he’s throwing harder and keeping the ball down. His mechanics are not still screwed up like that. I thought the comparison shots were typical lazy ESPN analysis.
      I think Chein-Ming is very close to being back to his normal self, he just needs to work on honing the location of his pitches now.

    • hamburger helper

      “Or is Eiland trying to relay this info to an unreceptive Wang?”

      Maybe Rafael Palmeiro has some advice for him.

  • Will

    Unrelated to the game itself, but the other thing that killed me about last night’s ESPN broadcast was during Rick Sutcliff’s “keys to pitching” segment where he talked about 3 qualities that make an effective closer. He was talking about Rivera, Hoffman, and Papelbon, and referred to them as “three of the all-time greats” and “future hall of famers”. Papelbon!?!? Hate… Papelbon… so… much…

    (Though, typical insipidness aside, I still prefer O’Brien/Sutcliff to any of the other ESPN broadcast crews.)

  • JP

    Can we start some C-jobber threads? Maybe he should get a workout as a 7th-8th inning guy?

  • V

    My question is this – ignore the start to the season, when he pitched injured. Pretend it didn’t happen. Pretend he started the season with two outings of 4.2 IP, 5 ER and 2.2 IP, 4 ER.

    Are we talking about bumping him out of the rotation to languish in the bullpen?

    The Wang at the beginning of the season was not a major league pitcher (and the Yankees botched that one up badly). The Wang of today is still essentially in spring training, and, unfortunately, he can’t work it out in the minors. Pitching side sessions and 2 IP bullpen sessions ain’t going to get it worked out.

    We were willing to ride out ARod’s horrible slump to start his season, but not willing to give Wang another outing? Heck, forget the Nationals (who actually have a solid offense), the Marlins are a free-swinging team he should do well against.

    • JP

      “…ignore the start to the season, when he pitched injured. Pretend he started the season with two outings of 4.2 IP, 5 ER and 2.2 IP, 4 ER.

      No. But I can’t make it an unqualified “no,” because there really is no proof he was pitching injured. Wasn’t it a pretty strong suspicion that the hip adductor weakness thing was sort of a fudged, ruse to get him on the DL in order to get him rehab time? Are we supposed to think he spent an entire spring training and nobody noticed his “injury,” and he was allowed to make 3 starts with this injury?

      The Wang at the beginning of the season was not a major league pitcher (and the Yankees botched that one up badly).

      That’s a possibility, yes, but the longer this goes on, the more it looks like he’s just lost it somehow, and you can’t blame the Yankees for botching his recovery. A healthy man under 30 who is working out as a pitcher is working his legs…anything he lost from an offseason of not doing resistance training on his legs certainly should be regained, at least in part, by this time. It’s not like he had a stroke or something.

      The Wang of today is still essentially in spring training, and, unfortunately, he can’t work it out in the minors. Pitching side sessions and 2 IP bullpen sessions ain’t going to get it worked out.

      I disagree that he’s still in spring training, but even if he is, how much longer are we going to stick with someone who is terribly uneffective? We do want to win this season…he should go to the bullpen.

      I’m all for giving him another shot as a starter if someone else in the rotation fails or if you have to shut down one of the youngsters, or, if none of that happens, then next season for sure. But for the moment, I’ve seen enough. He was effective twice from the bullpen, so let’s see if he can be useful there on a regular basis.

    • Rock

      This is not little league… everyone does not get ice cream. give him another outing? to what end? when is another outing going to be enough? Maybe his rehab in the off season was botched, it was certainly a panic move calling him up from assignment too quickly… but at this point you just can’t keep giving him chances when you have Hughes that has done all that has been asked and more and puts this team in a much better position to win games. With the pen being a weakness, we certainly don’t need a starter who cant go more than 3 innings out there… I don’t really care if it’s his “spring training” or not, its hurting the team.

    • Reggie C.

      Even free-swinging ballclubs punish dead-straight 95 mph FBs. Nothing last night demonstrated that Wang is capable of having prolongued success against a ML team. This ballclub cannot win with Wang taking the mound.

  • Axl

    Listen, I hate to beat a dead horse and CONTINUE to keep saying “I told you so”…but there’s a trend here. I’m all for getting Wang on the right track too…but he’s just not ready…for whatever reason. He stinks…purely and simply. I called it…and like everything else…everybody thought I was “crazy”…but yet again…Axl “The Prophet” was right. Girardi threw Wang to the lions naked…with absolutely nothing…and everybody is acting surprised of the outcome.

    I’m not a big fan of Girardi’s managing this year. Like everybody else on this blog, everybody is too acceptable and tolerant to dumb decisions that could have been easily fixed using common sense. “Wang was never good at Fenway Park when he was at 100%…so let’s replace Phil Hughes who has been head and shoulders above him…and put Wang into Fenway Park at 40%!!” As a result, we’re not 0-7 against our most heated rival and are now no longer in 1st place. All because our beloved manager lacks common sense.

    Yeah, he’s out of options. Ok? Why did we take him off the DL? None of the “updates” on Wang while he was on the DL were anything to brag about. Nobody could even say anything about his sinker. They saw decent results using simulations and AAA scrubs and saw mediocrity and brought him back prematurely. There’s that common sense again.

    He showed improvement from his first few starts?? Is that what I’m actually hearing in here?? Man O’ Man, these rose colored glasses are brighter and more blinding than I thought…Look what you’re comparing this to!!! If I went out there last night and pitched…the outcome would have a very good chance to be “better” than Wangs first starts. His first couple of starts were literally the bottom of the barrell. So even if he gave up 6 runs in the 1st inning as opposed to his usual 8…that’s still technically “better than last time”. But it still F’ing sucks. That’s like a congratulating a murderer who previously murdered 6 people for only murdering 4 this time around. Regardless, it’s still awful and no congratulating should be given at all.

    Listen, I know everybody tries to stay upbeat in here and ignore logic and reasoning as much as possible…but sometimes you have to wake up and smell the roses here. Face the music.

    The worst part is that some of these mistakes that are becoming so frequent…are so obvious to the naked eye…I can’t even fathom how a professional manager who played the game as a catcher could not see them. Wang makes more money than Hughes…so he MUST go into the rotation and Hughes has to go to the pen? Regardless of performance?

    Anyway, I forgive people easily…so when you all apologize to me and tell me that I was right all along…I’ll forgive you all for being incompetent. Don’t worry. While I don’t know what it’s like…I can only imagine…and therefore I am empathetic towards you all.

    • JP

      I agree that he’s terrible and must go to the pen. I’ve been saying the same thing.

      But more and more, I don’t think it’s an issue of a botched rehab from a foot injury, or “rushing” him, or whatever.

      I think …. well, everyone knows what I think by now.

    • V

      Please find a bridge and jump off it already.

      • Axl

        Why would I do that when there are less important and useless people in the world, like yourself, who would actually be doing a service to society…

      • JP

        Sarcasm? I hope so. Your passionate support of a starting pitcher whose effectiveness, this season, as a starter, is on the level of such luminaries as Kei Igawa, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Veras (and that’s being generous; the last two were at least successful in some of their outings) is mind-boggling. Do you want the Yankees to win?

        • Axl

          Finally, somebody with a pulse…

  • jsbrendog

    its gotten to the point where wang almost inspires kei igawian feelings of fear when he takes the mound

    • JP

      Nice. Yes, it’s eerily similar.

  • JimT

    Some Yankee fans are contending that the Yanks would have won last nights game if Hughes had started. One even stated that they would have scored 6 runs and won 6-4. That’s some trick when a different starting pitcher effects your runs scored. But I don’t think that Hughes was all that impressive last night. Giving him his due he did strike out 5 batters, but he was given some really wide strikes on the left handed batters. His fastball wasn’t overpowering, his curve was sloppy at times and he hung a few that the Red Sox batters missed. Hughes gave up 2 ER in 3 1/3 innings, not exactly dominating. He was better than Wang, but Wang didn’t set the bar very high.

    A quick question, since I didn’t listen to the Yankees radio broadcast, did John Sterling call him Youk-a-lishist after his HR?

    • Rock

      I have no idea what would have happened if Hughes started… but he would have had to have been really shitty to give us a poorer outing than Wang did no? I want the starter starting that gives this team the best chance to win… right now that is not CMW. Call it short sighted, but its not just that he may lose his 1 start every 5, collectively what are <3 inning outings going to do this pen? How many chances does he get? When do you make the call. What if he goes 3ip with 3 or 4 ERs against the Nats, is that good enough.. this could go on forever.

  • jsbrendog

    for everyone prophesizing doomsday. calm down. seriously. this team is only a game out of first place with series ocming up against the mets (or whats leftof them) the natinals, and the fish. we will be back in first place or tied by the end of this run. every team has problems

    • doug711

      I agree. The Yankees WILL win games against the Red Sox. If the Yankees can keep the division race close throughout the season the wins they are due for will come when the race is close. Hopefully by then there wont be question marks in the rotation

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      Bingo. If I told you in March that come June 10, the Yankees would be 0-7 against the Sox but still only one game out of first, I think you’d take it.

    • JP

      Yes. The team is fine. Wang, not so much. He may be nearing a personal Waterloo, and there’s no need to subject the team to this any longer.

  • Jim M.

    Put me in the “Give him one more start” camp. You can’t build up confidence, arm strength or control by sitting in the bullpen. The man won more games the last two seasons than just about anyone else. If the Yanks are a little patient with him, it will pay off long term.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Wang won 8 games last year. He’s now two seasons removed from his 19-game effort and he hasn’t recorded a W in over a year. If the object of baseball is to win games, Wang just doesn’t give the Yanks a good shot to do that right now.

      • NHYankee62

        If they give up on Wang now, what’s the rotation look like for the stretch run/playoffs?

        Especially with both Joba and Hughes having innings limits!

  • jsbrendog

    obv the answer here is to put clemens i steinbrenner’s box

  • Bo

    You cannot send him back out there to start. Sends a terrible message to the team that plays to win every game. It’s a give up with him out there and a bullpen killer most of all. They are 2-6 in his 8 appearances so far here. One win was in mop up duty of a 9-2 win and the other he gave up 5 runs in less than 5 innings and they came back and won.

    He belongs in the minors but since he cannot go there he needs to be the mop up man/long reliever. He can join Veras.

  • YankeeScribe

    Bold prediction time:

    Boston will not go undefeated against the Yanks this season

    • Axl

      That is bold, I’ll tell you that. The way we’ve been playing against them all year…which is now a nice large sample size of 7 games…is mind boggling and extremely embarrassing. If we can go through several winning streaks…additions of superstar players…etc…as well as go weeks and weeks between games…and STILL perform the same like we WANT to lose? That’s almost defying all probable and statistical odds here…

      So if it’s been going nicely like that over the span of 2 months, several positive additions to the club…without any progress? What’s to convince us otherwise?

  • Axl

    The fact that there is a “give Wang one more start CAMP” is beyond ludicrous. Has everybody gone mad? And what if he fails and does miserable AGAIN? Give him ANOTHER start to “build arm strength” and everything else we ASSUME is the issue??

    He can build just as much arm strength mopping up innings in the bullpen. The guy isn’t even lasting 3+ innings on average. He can pitch that in a nice mop up spot or even a few innings here and there if needed at any other time. I don’t think starting him against another teams effective starter(anybody is effective compared to Wang right now) makes any sense at all. We’re basically starting off at an extreme disadvantage…giving the other team AT LEAST a 4 run lead with 2 or 3 innings cut off the boards for a handi-cap. This is worth running out there start after start because we have ASSUMPTIONS on what his issues might be??

    Somebody get me some advil…

  • matthagggs

    Who knows about Wang. I still think he can return to form, but really who knows. There were a few small flashes but they can’t send him out there every fifth day at this point (master of the obvious).

    Practically speaking, Yanks are off this Monday. Factor in that it is supposed to rain like hell here tomororow, and that Wang’s wife is due any day now, and it doesn’t sound like Wang and his spot will be needed to start a game any time real soon.

    Considering Burnett’s numbers when he doesn’t start every fifth day (Moose like), and that you want CC to have the ball as often as possible, they should use four starters this time around.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    There have been many ballplayers over the years who washed out after an injury. The sad thing about CMW’s injury is that it’s one that should never happen to an American League pitcher. We should just let our pitchers take strikes in interleague play unless they’re CC or Joba who both like to hit. But I think that the amount of interleague play is ridiculous anyway and it’s craziness that CMW was hurt and may be washed up because of it.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Dating back to Wang’s final few starts last year, he has an ERA north of 9.00. This decline started before his injury, but the long layoff seems to have exacerbated it.

    • JP

      Interesting comment about injuries. Bill James wrote a good article on Fidrych in the last Historical Abstract. People used to say that if Fidrych hadn’t injured his arm in his second season with the Tigers, he might have been a HOF pitcher, blah blah blah. James argued that Fidrych, having hada lousy k/9 ratio in his 20-game win, rookie season was unlikely to have ever been a great pitcher, and probably would have had a short career.

      This was a brilliant article in which he painstakingly reports his research on pitchers with low k/9s, showing how, in general, they may start their careers well, but they usually end quickly, and poorly. It’s really impressive to read. There are exceptions but they are very rare. Lew Burdette was an exception.

      My first reaction to the article was “that’s stupid. What about Tommy John, and Greg Maddux?” Well, as James points out, John and Maddux both had k/9 rates at or slightly above the league average. People tend to react to this idea as if it’s saying “you need HIGH strikeouts to be a good pitcher.” That’s not what it’s saying. It’s saying “you can’t have LOW strikeouts and be a good pitcher for very long.”

      Wang’s k/9 went up in 2008 compared to his previous 3 seasons (5.1), but it was still below the league average, which has been over 6 for the last 15 seasons in the AL. I wonder if this just “happened,” or if the team tried to teach him other pitches so he could get more strikeouts?

      Another interesting point – that might disprove my blowhard predictions about Wang – is that much of the data James mined was from past eras when k/9 was much lower than today. Ks are at an alltime high now. Wang’s 06-07 k/9 was average for the 1940s and 50s, and was much closer to average for 70s and 80s pitchers than to today’s averages.

  • Matt S

    For the love of God can someone pass this memo on to Eiland.

    4/11/2008 vs Boston – 9IP, 1ER, 2H, 0 walks

    6/10/2009 vs Boston

    His release point is moving a FOOT! Baseball is game of inches. A inch more inside for a strikeout, an inch adjustment on the bat for a HR. Yet here is Wang moving a whole foot on his release points. This really points to Eiland not being able to fix him.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      “His arm slot is all over the place. Sometimes it’s too high; sometimes it’s too low. With varying arm slots you can’t command the baseball,” pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “When he’s doing his work in between starts and in the bullpen before the game, it’s there. But he doesn’t take it out to the game.”

      Yeah, I think Eiland knows.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        so his legs are fine, his arm is fine…EVEN HIS HIPS ARE FINE…but his brain is broken.

        he had his stuff (mostly) in one and two inning spurts (dont say it), but when he starts, it falls apart completely.

        sports shrink anyone? Arod has one on speed dial im sure…

      • Matt S

        Eiland said it’s too high or too low. According to PitchFX his vertical release point hasn’t changed. It’s his horizontal release point which has drastically changed. Shoot that e-mail over to Eiland that it’s horizontal not vertical.

    • JP

      Are the data in those scatterplots affected by where the pitcher stands on the rubber? Just wondering.

      I noticed that he seemed in the last two-three starts to be coming more directly “overhand,” which I guess is reflected in those charts in the lesser number for horizontal realease point. WOuld that be correct? The less negative your horizontal number, the more directly overhand you are pitching? Or not? I would assume more overhand would aslwo show up as a higher vertical, although we don’t see that, not dramatically, anyway.

      I thought more directly overhand was better for getting breat and sinking actionon pitches. Interesting.

  • Axl

    So where do we go from here? We have an ineffective Wang, a severely inconsistent and expensive AJ Burnett, and then 2 young pitchers who show promise but also at times look pitiful (Joba and Hughes). Joba gets the results…but his WHIP is absolutely terrible. Sabathia seems to be taking form finally (after his own inconsistencies at the beginning – or are they consistencies since its the same story every year? hmm) Pettitte gives up about 3-4 runs per game…very consistent…but if we don’t score more than those 3-4 runs per game then we lose. (innings fluctuate…although the runs, regardless, seem to stay constant)

    So when we take a step back…we see that 2 veteran pitchers who are already pretty much established and know what they’re doing are consistent…while the younger newer guys (along with Burnett who has his own issues) don’t seem to be able to get over the hump and be as consistent as we’d hoped or expected. Thus concluding that Dave Eiland’s job as a whole is utterly pointless.

  • gxpanos

    This is asinine. All these “THE YANKS DONT OWE WANG ANYTHING!” comments are the best. The Yankee organization DOES owe Wang something–the most important thing: a chance to regain his form. They told him not to exercise his legs in the offseason (By the way: seriously? There was nobody they could call about rehabbing a Lisfranc? Really? The NEW YORK YANKEES couldnt find an expert to answer questions about the injury?); they brought him up when he could still be down making AAA starts.

    Now, nobody can know what would have happened if blah blah blah. But seriously, in our everyday lives, if we had given someone awful, awful advice, would it be fair to then be like, “COME ON! DO BETTER!” What if a teacher taught a kid that 2+2 is 5, tested him on it, and then wondered why the kid didnt know that 2 and 2 is 4?

    The Yankees DO owe Wang. They owe him an entire offseason of leg strengthening exercises and 2 or three rehab starts. Both of those things are impossible. Thus, I would say they owe him 2 or 3 more starts. In the big leagues. And some intensive BP sessions, with Long Eiland and General Joe and maybe Nardi looking on as well, getting his release point right.

    And, finally, this isn’t all about who owes whom. Wang at his best gives the Yanks a better rotation than the present one. They need each other. It’s in the best interest of the club THIS YEAR to give him a few more starts. Yes, this year. It’s worth the risk; if he’s God-awful in those two or three more starts, and even I’m convinced (JobaWockeez too–he’s nuttier than I am in his Wang support!) that he can be of no help, the three losses were worth the risk. Because the reward is a top-2 guy.

    • JP

      gxpanos – so if Wang works his legs in the offseason and re-injures his foot, what then? Why is it assumed that telling him not to work his legs was bad advice? The only reason that fact was unearthed was in conjunction with the iffy “adductor weakness” injury to justify a DL sting, and, I think, the interests of a pro-Wang sportswriter.

      People keep saying “they botched his rehab!” I just don’t see this. I realize that athletic conditioning is a science and that you have to watch what you’re doing, but didn’t the guy pitch in spring training? Hasn’t Wang said, repeatedly, that he felt fine and was ready? Isn’t he throwing the ball 94-95? If it’s just a matter of being “stretched out,” shouldn’t he still be effecitve for a few innings?

      This is all wishful thinking by people who are convinced, against all evidence, that this guy is just going to go right back out and reel off a bunch of 19 win seasons.

      When you see a starting pitcher do this poorly, it is usually not going to correct itself in a short time. This does not look like someone who just needs a little more work. It looks like a guy who, for whatever reason, has forgotten how to pitch, or whose body won’t let him do what he did before the injury.

      He was effective a couple of times in the bullpen. I say keep him there. You can’t decide what to do in a vacuum; it depends on the rest of the staff, but if all things were equal and Bruney and Marte returned, I’d be in favor of another “faux” injury and long DL stint while he tries to rebuild from the ground up. He’s not qualified to be an MLB starter right now.

      • gxpanos

        I’m just repeating what’s been reported (sheepishly) by the Yankees: they didnt know much about the injury, and Wang should have been rehabbing his legs. I mean, if he re-injured it, he re-injured it. That’s a danger in any and all rehab.

        What I meant was that they botched his rehab start time in the minors when Joba got nailed by that ball. He had thirty days and he got like 9 (and only 1 start) or whatever it was before they called him up.

        You keep saying things like “against all evidence” when the evidence is 21 innings. SSS.

        You or I or Cashman or Eiland have no idea how long it would take to straighten him out. I don’t, however, think it’s possible that he’s “forgotten how to pitch.” Think about how ridiculous that statement is. Perhaps there’s a mental block with his plant foot. It seems more likely that he cant repeat his release point. That seems to be a solvable problem, if given the proper time to work through it.

        I’d love a faux injury. I think if it’s at all possible to DL him, they should do it. It would get him the 30 days of AAA starts back.

        I mean, it’s hard to argue against someone like you, who is so convinced that he’s done. I’m not saying 2 starts will magically cure him. I’m saying there’s at least a decent chance he can get it back to some degree. I also think he’s been screwed by the organization and they owe him time and attention as a result. Your reply amounts to: “NO! NO MATTER WHAT THE YANKEES DID OR CAN DO, WANG CAN NEVER PITCH AGAIN.” If that’s your view, we probably shouldnt be arguing, because we’d be at cross-purposes.

        • JP

          That’s a great post. I love debating, and your post is the only one I’ve seen here so far that argues against my assertions in a logical, reasoned manner. You make alot of sense, and maybe (hopefully), I’m wrong.

          I see what people say about the 9 days v. 30 days on his recent DL visit. But I have to wonder, why is it that he was allegedly “ready” to start the season, but 3 starts later we’re supposed to believe he’s in serious need of strength rehab? To me, the chain of events sounds more like that of a pitcher who, despite appearing ready physically, is inexplicably ineffective. The DL and the minor league work is simply a cover story, allowing the team to stash him somewhere in hopes that he can work it out. AT least that’s one way of looking at it.

          I am convinced of my position and stant by it, based on what I’ve seen so far. But I have no problem changing if the situation changes,. Let’s hope it does, for the better.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            The problem with both of your arguments is we dont know what we dont know (holy crappy cliches batman).

            We don’t know what the Yankees aren’t telling us.
            We don’t know what Wang really feels physically (and I would argue, neither do the Yankees, since apparently this is the year of Yank Pitchers not being completely honest about their physical conditions).
            We don’t know if there is any residual pain.

            MOST OF ALL…
            We don’t know what’s going on in his head…is he afraid to plant his foot hard? Has he lost all of his confidence? Has he been talking to this Francessa guy? Has he forgotten how to pitch?

            and i got a guest commentator to respond to your:
            I don’t, however, think it’s possible that he’s “forgotten how to pitch.”

            Chuck Knoblauch thinks it may be possible to forget how to pitch.

            • JP

              Again…good points. No problem with any of that. I’m stickin’ with my story for now, but when Wang shuts down Boston in October and pitches 8 innings of 1 run ball in the ALCS, I’ll gladly eat crow.

  • Len

    On the bright side, Wang’s strikeout rate is way, way up. This is encouraging.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      heh, i hope thats not a side effect of ‘this guy is the sux, and i’m gonna tattoo this ball…’

  • AfromNJ

    Damn I love baseball.

  • NHYankee62

    June 11th, 2009 at 3:33 pm
    The best thing to do is keep Wang in the rotation. The main reason is that I believe the Yankees will need Wang to be himself (a solid #2 pitcher) to have a shot at winning it all this year. This is based on a few main factors:
    1. Hughes and Joba both have innings limits that will come up around late August or early September.
    2. AJ Burnett is not exactly mr. consistency.
    3. That leaves CC and Pettitte.
    This team needs Wang to turn it around. Focusing on the big picture they need to give Wang the necessary starts in June to have a good rotation for the stretch run and playoffs.

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