I literally am not sure what to say about Wang’s third straight disastrous start, yet another game in which he absolutely could not get batters out.  He looks worse than Kevin Brown did in 2005, and his ERA is an astronomical 34.50 after three putrid starts.  I’ve never seen anyone pitch worse over three starts; ever.  I hope that the Yankees, by putting him on the DL, sending him to a psychologist, conducting an exorcism, or praying for divine intervention can rectify the two-time 19-game winner.  He can’t be sent down since he doesn’t have options.  I know it’s three starts, but I am honestly worried, and not just about how bad he’s been, but long-term.  I am honestly questioning whether or not he’ll be similar to pitchers such as Ankiel, who could not find the strike zone anymore, but for the opposite reason.  Wang does nothing but litter the strike zone with eminently hittable pitches, and I honestly don’t know what they can or need to do to straighten him out.  Please tell me that this talented, decent guy won’t simply fade into ignominy.  It’s clearly mental now, if it had not been before, and who knows if there is something physically wrong with him.  But the Yanks need someone else, such as Hughes, to pitch and pitch effectively in his place. This is intolerable.

I won’t spend too much time on the 22-4 wretch, in which the Indians scored 14 runs in the second to set the major-league record for the most runs scored in the second inning, and the Yankees the franchise record for most runs and most hits (13) allowed in one frame.  I’ll just add a few thoughts:

*The new Yankee Stadium is an absolute airport, with 8 more home runs hit there today, and not all of them to right.  The ball is just sailing out.  It’s like Coors Field East.  The open design of the concourses may well be contributing to all the homers, inadvertently providing a jet stream. Honestly, I’m not sure I like it, even before the walloping today.  Doesn’t it exacerbate what we hoped would eventually end in this steroids era, the preponderance of and reliance upon homers?  There is more to the game than home runs.  Who knows, maybe things will calm down in the new digs, but it’s a scary sign that in April, well before it gets hot (though it was warm in The Bronx today), the balls are sailing out with ease.  Is there a humidor for the balls somewhere in the cavernous new place?

*Poor Anthony Claggett, who was just called up and got shelled in relief of Wang, allowing eight runs earned on nine hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 IP.  It’s not his fault.  The Indians had one of those days, Wang had just warmed them up with lots of BP, he’s not a long man but was left in by Girardi to absorb innings and the beating, and he needs time to mature as a pitcher.  Honestly, given the circumstances, I would have brought in a veteran to take the beating, since Claggett didn’t need his confidence shattered.

*On that note, why the Yankees have 8 relief pitchers on their roster and not one of them is a long reliever is beyond me, and an absolute disgrace.  I felt that way before today, but this lumping just made that all the more plain.  The short-man carousel can’t continue at this rate after Wang’s messes, and the occasional and understandable difficulties that others will experience.  They need a long man, for crying out loud.

*If I were the Yankees, I’d be steamed about today–steamed enough to chew glass.  Two of the three games in the new ballpark have been abject embarrassments, today far worse than the grand opening collapse.  This can’t sit well with them, especially the hard-nosed old guard and some of the newer and tougher players.  Posada must be spitting mad.

*This is the fourth time the Yankees have allowed ten or more runs in a game–two of those with Wang starting, one that was Opening Day, and Thursday’s collapse via Veras and Marte.  Thankfully Burnett and Lefty have been excellent.

*Amidst all this turmoil, Melky is quietly having a decent start–.294/.368, 2 HR, 4 RBI.  I’m still not convinced he can adequately fill in long-term for Nady and JD, but it’s encouraging that he’s accepted the challenge of last year’s demotion and the eventual loss of his job and played fairly well.

*Take heart–the Yankees are 23-10 since the start of 2002 in games following losses by at least nine runs.  Also, the Yankees twice lost badly to Cleveland–22-0 on August 31, 2004, and 19-1 on July 4, 2006–and won both games afterward–5-3 on September 1, 2004, and 11-3 on July 5, 2006.  They will bounce back, and frequently have before.


Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 7:24 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh jeezus, I forgot all about Kevin Brown.. those were not pleasant days, lol..
    I don’t think I like the way the jet stream the stadium has provided either J.. the Yanks must have a long reliever now that this anomaly is essentially proven.. the ball will fly in the stadium, and there are sure to be a lot of blowouts.. I’m hoping the majority of them will be with the Yanks leading the parade..
    A loss tomorrow will shockingly be a bigger embarrassment..

  2. I too am very disappointed and perplexed at the same time. I was talking to Brendan about the 8 relief pitchers yesterday and you are correct to carry taht many is crazy but then to do so and nothave a long man is even dumber.

    The new stadium ‘jet stream’ is also very weird. It can’t be more than 500 yards to the North of the old one and situated exactly the same for the sun etc. I don’t by the theory about the Harlem River wind currents. I do think you might be on to something with the concourses and the overall architecture. that is the main difference in this park having had the chance to go there in person yesterday. It is very open and the wind can (and likely does) blow thru. Yesterday the Yanks got 5 dingers, today the Indians got 6. In the end though it will come down to better pitching.


  3. Thank God I was blacked out by Fox and missed this one. I would have thrown something at the TV for sure.

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