Yanks Top Houston 4-1

Chien-Ming Wang continued the excellent string of strong starts the Yanks have gotten from the rotation, going 5 and surrendering just three hits, a run, and no walks while getting two K’s and 10 ground outs to keep things close until the bats awakened.  Wang yielded the only run the Astros got in the first when Jason Smith tripled and Carlos Lee singled him in.  The Yanks scored two in the seventh and added two more in the ninth.  Cano was 2-4, Molina 2-3, Eric Duncan 1-1 with 2 RBIs in the ninth, Melky tied the game at one with an RBI ground out, Austin Jackson was 1-1 and scored twice, Teixeira was 1-2 with a walk, Swisher 1-3, and Berroa 1-3 with the go-ahead RBI.

The bullpen locked things down.  Coke notched the win with a one-hit sixth with a K.  Tomko continues to impress, himself allowing a hit in the seventh.  Veras struggled with his control, walking two but avoiding anything costly in the eighth, and Albaladejo secured the win with a 1-2-3 ninth.  As I’ve discussed numerous times, starting pitching should make a big difference with the 2009 Yanks, as long as the staff is healthy.  They’ve dominated the last five games, with the projected rotation allowing just 8 hits, 2 earned runs, and 2 walks in the last 19 innings with 16 K’s, according to Pete Abraham.  Today was a classic example of the importance of an ace hanging tough, with Wang keeping things close and the bullpen shutting the door the rest of the way on one run.  Four runs in this situation was more than enough and, although it took until the seventh to gin up the offense, that might be what we can expect from this year’s Yanks rotation.  I love the offense and think it’s vital to the Yanks’s success, but I’d have no problem if the Yanks won a lot of tight, low-scoring games as a result of good pitching.

There are many ways to win games, and good starting pitching needs to be right at the top of the list for a change this season.

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 9:51 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This sounds great! Our number 2 starter. If this continues CC Wnag then AJ are going to be tough and start to wear people down. Then suddenly its Petite and then Joba. Never a day off for the opposition. If someone goes down Phil and Ian are looking good. This is a major step up from last year

  2. Amen to that, swedski. Amen. This staff has the potential to constantly put the pressure on teams, with the putative “back end” being Burnett, Pettite, and Joba. Most teams would take that as their TOP three, rightly so. It’s a good point about Hughes and Kennedy. Hughes in particular has shown a lot of maturity, and has rounded out his repertoire pretty impressively. I’ll hand it to Kennedy, whom I bashed for his misplaced confidence last year. He’s been pretty good this Spring, and I think the guy was just trying to buck himself up last year after his dismal outing in Anaheim. It just came across as detached and a bit arrogant. But the kid can pitch when he’s focused, and has piled up the strikeouts this Spring. I feel better about them this year than I did last year, when they appeared to be over-matched.

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