LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees vs Red Sox 2008: Round 1

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yankees vs Red Sox 2008: Round 1

I've been so busy the last couple of days that I was beginning to wonder if I'd find the time to post to this blog before the week ended. Well, I just made it. It's a cloudy, foggy Saturday morning in the Bronx but it might as well be sunny and beautiful because my favorite Yankee two-hit the Red Sox last night.

Chien-Ming Wang needed only 93 pitches and faced two over the minimum 27 batters in a complete game, leading the Yankees to a 4-1 victory. Wang took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and, if Bobby Abreu had caught JD Drew's high fly ball to right instead of letting it bounced off the heal of his glove into the Sox Bullpen, the no-hitter would have continued. (Abreu has issues with walls. Just ask any Phillies fan.)

Wang looked just like the ace the Yankees are counting on him to be this season. Being a pitcher who pitches to contact rather than going for the strikeout, many New York fans and media alike like to say he's not a real ace. He doesn't have "swing and miss ability," as Michael Kay loves to say. Put that together with the bad posteasons he's had the last two years and you get no love for Chien-Ming Wang. The Yankees brass seemed to be in agreement: they refused to give the right-hander a long-term deal, and, adding insult to injury, won their arbitration case against him.

None of this bothered Wang, apparently. In Spring Training this year he worked hard with pitching coach Dave Eiland to perfect additional pitches to go with his turbo-sinker, and he practiced pitching inside. The work has paid off so far in this young season. He's 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA.

I think that, what I liked best about Wang's outing last night was his ability to adjust on the fly. In the fifth inning he left a lot of pitches up and the Red Sox hit a lot of loud fly balls deep into the outfield. Wang quickly adjusted, getting the ball back down for the rest of the game. If he can continue to do things like this, we might just see him as the starting pitcher in the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium in July. Go, Wanger.

The Lady

[Photo: AP]

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