That was some performance tonight from Wang, eh? He mixed in change-ups, sliders, fastballs to keep the Mets hitters off balance. And nothing showed this more than Jose Reyes’ wild swing at a change-up in the 8th in which the speedy lead-off hitter screwed himself into the ground. Wang was, in other words, nothing short of brilliant.
For Wang, it’s been a long time coming. Now, that isn’t to say that he hasn’t been brilliant in his three years with the Yanks. But as Mike pointed out in the comments to an early post tonight, Wang’s minor league numbers showed a higher strike out rate. Yet, in the Majors, Wang has relied on his very effective sinker to become one of the game’s premiere groundball pitcher; his career 2.93 GB/FB ratio certainly puts Kei Igawa to shame.
But his Major League strike out numbers have been abysmal. His career K/9 IP is 3.58. Because of this, Chien-Ming’s critics have routinely predicted the ever-popular regression to the means for Wang. While some of the more astute analysts recognize that Wang’s stuff â€” and his mid-90s sinker â€” will lead to success even without strike out rates, others feel that it was just a matter of time before the league managed to touch up Wang.
While the detractors looked right after the righties first few starts this year, the Wanger has really turned things around since April, and he capped off a stellar few weeks tonight against the Mets. Wang recorded 26 outs tonight: 13 by ground, 0 by sea, 3 by air and 10 by strike out. That is, of course, a career high. Wang used his sinker, a great slider and an effective change-up to keep the Mets guessing and flailing all night.
We’ve seen signs of this rise in strike out rates all season. He fanned 5 Red Sox and 6 Angels a few weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see how the season progresses with Wang. He’s 6-1 over his last 7 starts with a K/9 IP of 5.4. That is a recipe for success.
Meanwhile, the Yanks head west with a 13-3 start to June. They’re 3.5 games out of a playoff spot and are playing like the juggernaut everyone thought they would. These are good times for Yankee fans.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.Â
Triple-A Scranton (8-7 loss to Charlotte)
Kevin Reese: 1 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Angel Chavez: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E (fielding)
Andy Phillips: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB – 4 HR in his last 11 games
Eric Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 K
Shelley Duncan: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Bronson Sardinha: 2 for 4, 1 2B – .323-.364-.677 in his last 8 games
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 4, 1 K – 0 for hist last 11
Chase Wright: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – 105 baserunners allowed in 79.2 IP this year
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K – 1 walk in last 8.2 IP after issuing 12 free passes in previous 15.1 IP
Not to steal Mike’s thunder or anything, but I’m listening to Joba’s start on the radio today, so I thought I’d jump in with some updates.
We’re currently in the bottom of the first — Brett Gardner started things off with a triple. In the top, Joba notched three strikeouts and hit a batter. I’ll keep it updated as the innings go by.
I don’t think IÂ can handleÂ another Tyler Clippard start; he’s been borderline abysmal. 18 ER andÂ 40 baserunnersÂ since he beat the Mets in his debut, a span of only 21 innings. I’d ratherÂ take my chances with Igawa…
I wrote that before I saw this. Great minds think alike.
Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Charlotte)Â
Kevin Reese: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Bronson Sardinha: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – 8 of last 9 hits have gone for extras
Omir Santos: 1 for 3, 1 K
rest of lineup: combined 0 for 20, 1 R, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K – Shelley Duncan got the RBI on a bases loaded walk
Matt DeSalvo: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K – 55 of 78 pitches were strikes (70.5%)
Edwar Ramirez: 1 IP, a bunch of zeroes, 2 K – 16.30 Kper9 this year
Jim Brower: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
What can I say about last night’s game?
Some good defense by the Mets and bad baserunning by the Yanks cost them their best shot at scoring, and Oliver Perez, a good pitcher, shut them down. It happens. I’ll take 9 wins out of 10 games every day. I ain’t complaining about that one.
The Good: Roger Clemens. 6.1 innings, 2 ER and 8 Ks against a good offensive team. Luis Vizcaino has thrown 4 scoreless innings in a row. That’s his second highest scoreless inning streak this season. I feel like a celebration is in order.
The Bad: Boston wins. Detroit wins. Yanks leave 5 runners in scoring position with two outs.
But, hey, we’ve got another one today. Let’s win it.
By the way, Randy Johnson is on the DL. For the second time this year. I still don’t miss him.
Triple-A Scranton (4-3 loss to Charlotte, walk-off style)
Kevin Thompson: 2 for 3, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SBÂ - 11 BB, 2 K in last 6 games
Kevin Reese: 2 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 CS – picked off first…twice
Andy Phillips: 0 for 4,Â 1 K – OPS still hovering around .900
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Eric Duncan: 2 for 4 – hopefully that bruised thumb that was bothering him all year (supposedly) is healed, and he’ll take off
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 3, 1 RBI
Steven White: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 9-6 GB/FB, 1 E (pickoff)
Ben Kozlowski: .2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – gave up a walk-off bomb to a guy with a .336 SLG
We’re on one helluva ride, folks. This actually feels a ton better than the 10-game winning streak back in 2005, because we played so much worse baseball for so much longer. This got to the point where many fans argued that “they haven’t shown us signs that they can put it together, so what should make me think that they eventually will?” Hell, I was at one time asking friends why I continued to bother watching. That’s bad.
However, it only makes sense that the Yankees would go through a market correction period, playing well better than anyone would have expected in order for them to be where they truly should at this point. While we were slumping in mid-May, many people cited the Yankees record in one-run games and their Pythagorean record as evidence that they’ll turn things around. By the end of May, many of those arguments were written off. All the sudden, they’re valid again.
The Yankees currently hold the third greatest run differential in the league. Since historical research shows that a team’s record heavily correlates to their run differential, you have to think that the correction will continue for a bit (maybe not in a string of consecutive wins, but certainly in a string of playing .700 ball). They’re 33-31 right now, with a Pythagorean record of 38-26. I’m not saying they’ll fulfill that expectation soon (in fact, given how they played in May, it will be exceedingly difficult to live up to their Pythag record — we’ll need as much good luck in the future as bad luck we had in the past).
(Also, for the record, Boston’s Pythag is 39-26. They’re coming back to earth, and we’re emerging from the depths. This is why we can’t get too worked up over the first two months of the season — though we already did and will continue to do so in the future.)