Good afternoon. It’s party cloudy and 71 degrees in Tampa as the Yankees get ready to play the Toronto Blue Jays.
Chien-Ming Wang takes the mound in what is a fairly important outing for him. CMW was roughed up last Thursday against the Reds when he allowed six runs on six hits and was only able to get two outs.
He has since watched more videotape than Roger Ebert and the other day had a 75-pitch bullpen session. The Yankees are expecting better today from him.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have signed Armando Benitez to a minor-league deal and invited him to spring training. How to seal your doom, J.P. Ricciardi.
Today’s game is on YES. David Cone, John Flaherty and Michael Kay. You’ll love Cone on the air. We’ll be updating the game here to help you waste time at work.
Wang is already better than he was the last time. 16 pitches/8 strikes. The only hit was a single by Vernon Wells when Wang shattered his bat with a sinker. CMW seems to be in his groove again.
Remember when Gustavo Chacin was supposed to be good? Here’s how the bottom of the first started for him:
Melky: bunt single
Abreu: two-run double to right
A-Rod: Long homer to right
Johnny Damon is out with a sore right foot, the product of a foul ball on Monday night. X-rays and an MRI taken at St. Josephâ€™s Hospital were negative. He is day-to-day.
Wang had a 21-pitch second inning that included a double play. The Yankees had a shot to score in the bottom of the inning but Jose Molina was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on Bobby Abreu’s single. Memo to Bobby Meacham: Molina is slow and A-Rod was on deck.
Molina slid into the plate, by the way. Those Yankees aren’t dirty thugs.
Wang walked David Eckstein with two outs but had an otherwise uneventful third inning. He’s at 51 pitches and is probably done for the day. His line: 3 2 0 0 2 0.
Shows what I know as Wang is back for the fourth inning.
Wang got a grounder back to the mound from Wells and then struck out Rolen swinging. Then they came and got him.
Here’s the line: 3.2 2 0 0 2 1 58 pitches/34 strikes. Good stuff from CMW. All is well.
The Yankees are up 5-0 and now have Darrell Rasner on the mound. Kyle Farnsworth allowed a double in the fifth but worked out of trouble.
The Yankees have now had five straight good starts in a row by their starters. Their combined line: 15.1 9 3 3 6 10. Clearly Dave Eiland is a genius.