Wang's come in all shapes and sizes, but yesterday Chien-Ming Wang was nearly perfect. A packed Stadium crowd watched as Wang retired the Mariners in order, inning after inning. So transfixed was the Fox broadcast, that Joe Buck didn't bring up the Yankee's payroll until the 8th inning.
22 up and 22 down. 1 out in the 8th and 1st Baseman Ben Broussard up. Broussard will never be confused for Don Mattingly, but he's not as bad a hitter as his sub .200 average indicates. Jorge Posada called for a change up and told reporters afterwards that he regretted as soon as Wang let go of the baseball. The perfect game, no-hitter, and shut out were all gone in one fell swoop as Broussard sent Wang's pitch into the bleachers for a solo HR.
An appreciative crowd gave Wang a huge ovation, not only for his near perfection, but because he became the 1st Yankees pitcher this season to enter the 8th inning (he also finished it).
Former Yankee Jeff Weaver was on the hill for the M's and despite having a horrible season, limited the Bombers to 1 run over 5 innings. But Weaver returned to form in the 6th and the Yankees took advantage. Singles by Bobby Abreu (on a bunt) and A-Rod, and a walk to Jason Giambi loaded the bases. Weaver than hit Hideki Matsui to force in a run. Jorge Posada's single plated another as the bases remained loaded. But after retiring Robinson Cano and Doug Mientkiewicz, Weaver walked Melky Cabrera to force in another run. In a surprise move, Mike Hargrove left Weaver in the game. At least for one more batter. Derek Jeter singled home two more for a 6-0 lead and leaving Mariners fans second guessing their manager.
The rest of the day belonged to the hero of Taiwan and Chien-Ming Wang didn't let his countrymen down.