The daily rainfall we’ve been getting lately is an appropriate backdrop for the dour mood among Yankee fans these days. In a game where Chein Ming Wang was pitching for his spot in the rotation, the Yanks could generate little run support against the unknown but talented lefty John Lannan. Local boy Lannan dominated, throwing strikes, keeping the Yankee hitters off balance all night and taking a 1 hitter with him into the 9th.
Wang did enough to get another start, but color me unimpressed. He threw first pitch strikes to 12 of the 23 batters he faced (52%) 54 of his 91 pitches for strikes (59%) and allowed 3 Runs, 6 Hits and 2 BB, totaling 8 base runners in 5 IP (1.60 WHIP). It was a step forward considering how bad he’s been, but wasn’t anything to get excited about. Girardi was measured in his post game comments on Wang, putting the blame for the loss on the inability to score runs but stopping short of declaring him the starter in his next turn in the rotation (Tuesday vs the Braves). Girardi wanted to watch the tape of yesterday’s game before making any decisions, which tells you he still has some doubts based on what he saw last night.
Phil Hughes on the other hand, continued his stellar work out of the bullpen. Allowing only 1 hit and striking out 2 in his 2 innings of work. He threw 16 of his 24 pitches for strikes, giving him the magic 66% B/S ratio we all look for. Michael Kay said something that caught my attention on the post game wrap, he thinks that Veras getting DFA’d means there’s a permanent spot open in the bullpen for Hughes. Cashman had tied Phil’s fate to Bruney’s return, but now with Veras gone there is the 7th inning spot open. I don’t think the Yanks view Aceves as an everyday setup man, rather more as a swing man who can fill multiple roles ala Ramiro Mendoza. Tomko and D-Rob are low leverage guys and Coke is your lefty specialist. That leaves the 7th inning open, and Phil has certainly done enough to win the job. Over the next few weeks, Phil should still stick around to back up Wang and make sure Bruney doesn’t wind up back on the DL as he did previously, but he may have pitched well enough to keep a spot in the bigs.
For the Yanks, it was a continuation of the sub par Baseball they’ve been playing since heading to Boston last week with a head of steam. Even in the games they’ve won lately, other teams have handed us the game due to errors (Castillo) or poor defensive play (Dukes) on balls that should have been outs. The only solid win was Sunday’s Santana game against the Mets. A wins a win, but they’re just not playing good Baseball lately.
NOTE: If you’re an I-Phone user, check out the new At Bat App for your phone. You can now access live, streaming video of a two daily scheduled games from anywhere you are. Sounds very cool, and if anyone has it already I’d love to hear some reviews on it.
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