Thursday, August 3, 2006

Wang Grounds Jays to a Pulp

Extends coreless streak to 17 innings in 7-2 win

When the Yankees acquired Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks they thought they had picked up a pitcher who could go out every 5 days and dominate. That hasn't been the case, but someone else right under their noses has done exactly that. Chien-Ming Wang threw his 2nd consecutive dominant start, blanking the Blue Jays for 8 innings in a 7-2 Yankees victory. Wang threw 94 pitches in oppressive heat so manager Joe Torre decided to go to the bullpen for the 9th. Troy Glaus broke up the shutout with a long 2-run home run off Ron Villone, his 28th, into the blackened section in centerfield. By then the game had already been decided.

Derek Jeter jumped on a Ted Lilly pitch in the 3rd and drove it into the bleacher in right-center for his 8th HR of the season. The score stayed that way until the 6th when the Yankees busted it open. The rally almost didn't get off the ground though. Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with a base hit towards the left field foul line. Seeing that the left fielder Frank Catalanotto had a long way to get to the ball, A-Rod jetted towards second. The only thing was Catalanotto's throw was already waiting in the glove of 2nd baseman Aaron Hill. A-Rod pulled up short on his head first slide to move his body away from Hill's glove. He then reached around with his right hand to touch the base ahead of Hill's tag. The play generated laughter in the Yankees dugout and ignited the Yankees bats.

Jorge Posada followed with a long home run into the left field seats for a 3-0 lead. It was Posada's 13th home run of the season. A single by Craig Wilson and a ground rule double by Melky Cabrera gave the Yankees 2 runners in scoring position with one out and knocked Lilly (9-10) out of the ball game. Dustin McGowan entered the game and immediately walked Miguel Cairo to load the bases. Johnny Damon followed with an RBI single and Jeter walked to force in a run to push the score to 5-0. Reliever Scott Downs came on to strike out Bobby Abreu, but A-Rod picked up his 2nd hit of the inning, a single off the glove of shortstop John McDonald, that plated Damon and Cairo and blew the game open.

Wang (13-4) started out shaky, partly because of the tight strike zone being called by home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman. Wang rarely shows emotion on the mound, but stared in at Dreckman several times as he issued 3 walks in the 2nd inning. After that Wang had the Jays pounding his hard sinker into the ground to the tune of 16 ground ball outs. He also did not walk another batter after the 2nd and struck out 3.


Chien-Ming Wang's 13th victory tied him for the team lead in victories with Mike Mussina. Wang also extended his winning streak to 5 games. In those 5 games he has thrown 43.2 innings (8 per start), has a 2.47 ERA and a 1.19 ratio.

Carl Pavano threw a simulated game off the Yankee Stadium mound yesterday and still hopes to return before the season is over.

Craig Wilson made his Yankees debut and went 2-4 while making several good plays at 1st. Bobby Abreu, who had gone hitless in his 1st game in pinstripes, was 2-5.

Corey Lidle makes his Yankees debut this afternoon in the finale of the 3 game series at 1:05. Rookie Shaun Marcum goes for the Jays. Thankfully the Yankees don't face the Phillies the rest of the year. Lidle's parting remarks questioned the Phillies player’s hearts. Most of the Phillies were upset by his words, especially Arthur Rhodes who reminded everyone that Lidle was a scab back in 1995.

Robinson Cano is expected to play one more game for the GCL Yankees today before continuing his rehab stint with the Double-A Trenton Thunder.

Yankees #1 prospectPhilip Hughes threw 5 scoreless innings in Trenton's 5-1 loss to the Reading Phillies last night. He allowed 2 hits, walked 2 and struck out 8, and didn't figure in the decision.

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