With a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics late last night, the New York Yankees Chien-Ming Wang improves his season record to 7-2.
Wang was stellar. Despite allowing the leadoff runner to get on base in all but two of his seven and a third innings pitched, the big righthander gave up only one run with the aid of four double plays.
That's Chieng-Ming Wang baseball, and it was exactly what the Yankees needed last night.
Wang began the season a perfect 6-0 after his first seven starts, but had been unable to record a victory in his previous six games. His last win was back on May 2 against the Seattle Mariners.
The brass can breath a sigh of relief, as Wang, a huge part of this Yankees rotation, finally looked like the pitcher that has won 19 games in each of the last two seasons. With regained control and confidence in his turbo-sinker, along with a sharp slider, Wang and the Yanks look to start heating up out West.
In a low scoring affair that included two hit batters, one for each club, and a balk by Oakland starter Dana Eveland, the Yankees climb over the .500 mark once again. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 17th save, and Jose Veras recorded two outs for the hold.
Hopefully, the strong pitching will spill over into tonight's game with Darrell Rasner taking the hill.
One thing the Yankees have had this season is strong starting from Wang, Andy Pettitte, and Mike Mussina. The trio are now 21-11 in their starts this year, with Pettitte slated to hit the mound late Thursday evening.
Rasner too has pitched very well, despite a 3-3 record he sports a solid 2.58 era in his six starts this season.
While phenom Joba Chamberlain works on getting his arm stretched out for going deeper into games—he was up to 78 pitches going four and a third innings his last outing—the other Yankee starters need to continue to provide quality starts to keep a struggling bullpen well-rested.
With newly appointed set-up man Kyle Farnsworth apparently ailing, figuring out who to put in games between the starter and "Sandman" Rivera has become a riddle for manager Joe Girardi.
Yesterday it was Veras, who will it be today? Or tomorrow?
With less than two months before the trade deadline, it's fair to say General Manager Brian Cashman should be looking into this problem before it gets any worse. Then again, if the team starts to win games left and right, the problem hopefully will take care of itself in the process.