Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Wanger's Tale of Woe

Here's my recap of today's debacle for Baseball Digest.

Browns score 3 touchdowns…Wait a minute

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 14 1 1 4 0 0 1 1
22 25 1
NY Yankees
2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
4 7 1

WP - Carmona (1-2) LP - Wang (0-3)
HR - Hafner (4), V. Martinez (4), DeRosa (3), Sizemore (4), A. Cabrera (1), Choo (2), Teixeira (3), M. Cabrera (2)

Anyone who thought that the Yankees were embarrassed in their home opener couldn’t have known that today’s game would be far worse. The Cleveland Indians clobbered Chien-Ming Wang and Anthony Claggett to the tune of 14 runs in the second inning and went on to a 22-4 win.

It was the Yankees’ most lopsided loss since the Indians beat them in Cleveland, 19-1, on July 4, 2006. It was the worst loss at home since the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Yankees, 19-6, just 25 days later on July 29.

The biggest concern, of course, is figuring out what has gone wrong with Chien-Ming Wang. He was the Yankees’ most consistent pitcher for the last three seasons, compiling a 46-15 (.754) record along the way. After two horrendous outings that saw his ERA skyrocket to 28.93, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland hoped that Wang’s side work would pay off today, and for a very short time it appeared as if it had.

Wang breezed through the first inning, and Mark Teixeira gave the Yankees a quick 2-0 lead in the home half of the first with his third home run of the year against Indians’ starter Fausto Carmona. But the game quickly unraveled for Wang in the second inning.

Travis Hafner led off with a harmless squibber for an infield single. It would be the last softly hit ball in the inning. Jhonny Peralta followed with a single to left and left-handed hitter Shin-Soo Choo proved the baseball doesn’t take off only toward right field in the new stadium. Choo hit a long 3-run home run to left-center for a 3-2 Indians lead.

Wang retired Ryan Garko, but Ben Francisco followed with a double. Asdrubel Cabrera singled him in and back to back doubles by Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRosa increased the lead to 6-2. Girardi stuck with Wang in the hope that he could work his way out of further trouble. But a wild pitch and an RBI single by Victor Martinez drove Wang from the game to a chorus of boos (and maybe booze). Wang’s ERA actually increased to a mind boggling 34.50 (Sending fantasy owners into a tizzy).

Claggett, who was making his major league debut, fared no better. He allowed eight runs (and allowed an inherited runner to score) on nine hits over the next inning and two-thirds. His contribution to the second inning included a grand slam by Asdrubel Cabrera followed by a Sizemore solo shot. The game was only one and one-half innings old and the Yankees were already down 14-2.

The rest of the game couldn’t go fast enough, but unfortunately for the remaining fans, it took nearly four hours (3:49) to complete. The Indians hit six home runs in all and DeRosa and Cabrera combined for 11 RBI. The only other highlight for the Yankees was a 2-run home run by Melky Cabrera, who had also homered on Friday.

Game Notes

The Yankees will look for a split of the four game series on Sunday (1:05 pm EDT) when A.J. Burnett (2-0, 2.70) faces old nemesis (Possibly the only time in history a nemesis was a teammate), and newly goateed, Carl Pavano (0-2, 16.71).

The three home games have produced 17 home runs, nine by the Indians and eight by the Yankees.

Chien-Ming Wang’s
three game losing streak is the longest of his career.


  1. They should send Wang to see Harvey Dorfman, the famous sports psychologist who had helped Roy Halladay.
    And make Jose Molina his personal catcher.

  2. Couldn't hurt. The catcher doesn't matter. I'm glad they're skipping him this weekend.

  3. I think catcher does matter.
    Jose Molina is an excellent defensive catcher who is great at throwing out runners.
    With him behind the plate, Wang can concentrate on more on pitching.