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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Wang (3-0) answers all the questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Apr 11, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This will be brief because I’m falling-over tired.

But Chien-Ming Wang is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and dominated the Red Sox tonight. He was a few plays away from a perfect game and needed only 93 pitches to dispatch an offense that usually grinds through starters in five innings.

If he’s not an ace, I’m not sure what else he has to do.

Yes, it’s a small sample. But if you’ve watched him pitch, Wang is working both sides of the plate with a variety of pitches and making hitters uncomfortable in the box. He’s not relying on groundballs that may or may not sneak through the infield.

Give the credit, he won 19 games two years in a row and showed up in Tampa ready to modify his approach and work with Dave Eiland.

I know we get a lot of readers in Taiwan after Wang pitches. Be proud of your guy tonight, he was every bit the ace the Yankees need him to be. They’ve won six games this season and he has half of them.

Yanks-Sox again tomorrow, this time at 4.

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234 Responses to “Wang (3-0) answers all the questions”

  1. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 11th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    watching YESTERDAY’S JOBA CHAMBERLAIN use to be a next door bully :lol:

  2. Bronx Betty April 11th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Ace!

    I mean, First!

  3. Pinstripes April 11th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    No doubt. A great start by Wang, who knows what may have been had Bobby caught that ball.

    An Ace is a pitcher you can always rely on for a win…I think he fits that role.

  4. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 11th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    oh yeh Wang was unbelieveable tonight, kept Fenway quiet

  5. sara April 11th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    a towel snapper

  6. S.A.-Phil Hughes is Saved and will be fine! Goodness.. April 12th, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Cy Wang.
    He was great tonight. :)
    Hopefully we will see a good performance out of Mussina tomorrow

  7. Andy Hawkins April 12th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    This is a big-time pitcher entering his prime. Lot of people on this board wanted him to be a throw-in for Santana.

  8. William April 12th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Taiwan politics is a mess. when Wang comes and pitches, everyone becomes happy!

  9. the todd April 12th, 2008 at 12:03 am

    bronx betty.

    seriously. i’ve got a question for you. i’m 23 years old and grew up with the internet but i dont’ understand the satisfaction with the comment of first ! can you help me out here ?

  10. Nora April 12th, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Thanks, Pete. Have a great night. Look forward to reading more from you tomorrow.

  11. LCâ„¢ April 12th, 2008 at 12:05 am

    LOL @ Joba’s prom picture omg

  12. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Joba use to be a porker and wore glasses, he was pimp too :lol:

  13. DeNiro April 12th, 2008 at 12:08 am

    that was an absolute pleasure watching wang tonight

  14. Taylor April 12th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Saying he’s an ace after 3 starts is as stupid as saying he’s not an ace after 2 playoff starts. It really depends on your definition of an ace.

  15. scorpio April 12th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Tonight’s game has to go into the Yankees Classic rotation. Wang pitched a beauty.

    Thanks Pete, get some sleep!

  16. MikeEff -Bring Shelley Back April 12th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    i’ve never seem him look so dominant , not even that game last august in fenway where he took a no hitter late. to me today was the best.

  17. Nick in SF April 12th, 2008 at 12:15 am

    William, Taiwan politics used to be a mess, now it is much happier since I discovered that the founder of the KMT was a Yankees fan:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9.....451651434/

  18. Ben April 12th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    I don’t see how experts argue he’s not a true ace. This guy has proved he’s one of the best in the MLB now.

    And to the critics who say he’ll never come close to a perfect game/no hitter: He was pretty darn close tonight, and he took a no hitter pretty far last time as well.

  19. Mike B. April 12th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Hey Pete,

    Reading this made me wonder when you are going to get a publisher in the states to have your book released about Wang. Being a fan of his here in Rockland and up at college in New Paltz I would love to have it to read in my free time.

  20. Whitey Fraud April 12th, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I’m going out for some dim sum tomorrow to celebrate. Yeah, CMW!

  21. brian April 12th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    t0 tayl0r wang is an ace l00k at the rec0rd.My g0d what d0 pe0ple want?

    t0 pete get a wanger interview g0ing

  22. jon April 12th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    He’s not an ace. To me at least. The term ace is very subjective. To some it means the best starter on a team. So by that definition, Kevin Millwood and Jeff Francis are aces.

    To some (including me), it means a guy who you absolutely expect to dominate every time out there, and are shocked when he doesn’t. Wang’s just not there. There aren’t many pitchers out there who are. If he throws 6 innings next start, and gives up 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs, etc. – you won’t be surprised. You’d call it a good start, but hardly dominating.

    Then there’s the question of having ace-like stuff. Rich Harden for example. Is he a “true ace”? No, because he can’t stay healthy. But his stuff is definitely more “ace-like” than Wang’s.

    Again, totally subjective. But to me, Wang will have to do this many more times, and have a lot fewer of the 6IP/3R outings before he’s a true ace.

  23. CB April 12th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    You know what’s hilarious – think back to three weeks ago to spring training when there was mass panic among some people because Wang had an ERA of 8.41.

    Then the idea was that Wang hadn’t “recovered” from that thrashing in the playoffs – something had happened to him.

    Unbelievable to compare the panic just a couple of weeks ago to how he’s performing now.

    It’s very clear now that he was working on getting better in spring training – working on his secondary pitches.

    That may have left him vulnerable in spring training but it’s paid off big time so far when it counts.

  24. brian April 12th, 2008 at 12:33 am

    then j0n wh0,mis a ace in y0ur 0pini0n?

  25. MMF April 12th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Wang is a winner. If that isn’t an ace, then I dont know what is.

  26. David April 12th, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I thought it was really cool that Wang opened up to questions tonight. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that was the first time ever he did so after a game like he did tonight. I give him a lot of credit for attempting to answer the questions in english without his translator. I hope he answers questions after all his games in the future. I would think almost no one outside the clubhouse even knew what he sounded like until tonight :)

  27. Hong-Yeh April 12th, 2008 at 12:41 am

    U.S., Taiwan, or anywhere else, we are Wang’s fans as well as Yankees’ fan. Pete, thanks to your blogs connecting us together with other Yankees fans outside Taiwan. It has been a lot of fun to be part of it.

    Let’s go Yankees and let’s go Wang!!!

  28. Kill-Schill(ing) April 12th, 2008 at 12:41 am

    The Wanger was superb tonight, agreed.

    I hope his outing quiets his critics for the time being.

    Still, I always wondered why a guy with a 95 mph two-seam fast-ball struck out so few batters and surrendered so many hits. Location Location Location. If this is the new improved Wanger, sign me up.

    I also hate it to say but the laptop thief impressed me as well tonight. I hope all those clamoring for Joba to stay in the bullpen drew the obvious lesson from Buccholz’s outing. Guys like that are rare and indispensable for a rotation.

    Fortunately, tonight belonged to the Kid from Taiwan.

  29. jon April 12th, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Who’s an ace? (what’s with the ’0′s? broken keyboard?)

    There are very few guys I consider true aces. Definites:

    Santana
    Peavy
    Webb

    Very very close:

    Sabathia (this year notwithstanding)
    Bedard
    Hamels
    Smoltz
    Sheets
    Halladay
    Beckett
    Kazmir
    Carpenter (actually he really is, it just feels strange to call him one while out with a serious injury)
    Liriano
    Verlander
    Felix Rodriguez
    Harden (doubt he’ll ever be healthy, but he’s still got an “ace” feel to him)

    Close, but not quite there (this is about Wang’s level, I think). These guys just feel more like very good “#2″ starters:
    Myers
    Hudson
    Oswalt
    Penny
    Zambrano
    Carmona
    Matsuzaka
    Vazquez
    Lackey
    Haren

    I have a feeling that end the end of the year I’ll be calling these guys aces:

    McGowan
    Lincecum

    I’m probably missing a couple, but you get the idea. So to answer your question, the only true, bona-fide, 100% aces are Santana, Webb, and Peavy, and if you wanted to add some of the guys from my “very close” list, I wouldn’t necessarily argue.

  30. lil' m April 12th, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Case closed.

  31. Wang's fan April 12th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I don’t want to say he is an ace,because once he fail in some games,people start to whip him again,but Wang did write a new page in our history of Taiwan. We can only say thanks to him for giving us the joy in life every five days. I think he was never given the credit for what he is in MLB because the type of pitcher he choose to be.Even he pitched better than Dice-K,people still think Dice-K is a better pitcher. So whatever you want to call him , he is a hero to us and time will figure out what he really is.

  32. Buddy Biancalana April 12th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    jon-

    Beckett is an absolute stud, definitely an ace.

  33. Croucho Marx April 12th, 2008 at 12:52 am

    There was already a long elaborate argument about where Wang ranks. I think they hard arguments about him being the 15th or 20th best in baseball. Let’s not talk about whether he is an “ace” or not since the definition is not clearly defined and people on both sides get too angry about it. I think ranking him by number is the better way to go since it is a little more objective.

  34. Croucho Marx April 12th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    this argument was in the previous thread, btw

  35. Buddy Biancalana April 12th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Lackey is an ace too & I assume you meant Felix Hernandez.

  36. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Action Jackson 4/10/08

  37. pat m in ct April 12th, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Really impressive performance by Wang, especially in that park. When’s the last time a Yankee pitcher threw a complete game there? Moose with the near no hitter? That inning with the 3 deep flies–he had those innings last year where he’d lose his feel for the sinker or lose the arm slot (can’t remember which) so maybe he’s still working that out.

    It’s a testament to his character that he’s bouncing back from the playoffs. The desire to improve and continue to grow as a pitcher has been there for a few seasons. Tonight, he’s probably the happiest guy in that clubhouse.

  38. William April 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    hey nick that picture cracks me up lol.

  39. Dee April 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Great win tonight. And great to hear CMW’s first post-game interview. I was hoping for a miracle that Kim Jones would grab him right off the last out. For those who didn’t hear his press conference interview last year before game 1 of the ALCS, Wang answered all questions without a translator, and gave very short answers. Highlights were (paraphrasing here):

    When asked about whether he thinks he’s Yanks’ ace…”no, we’re all same, all good pitchers” (Wanger I respectfully disagree, you are our ace)

    When asked if he felt the same about what he said the year before that he was more nervous about speaking to the press than pitching in the PO, he said “yes, same”

  40. Melky April 12th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    BTW, did anyone notice Cano who hit poorly recently gains some weight and swings differently from he used to(not as smooth).
    Is there any mechanic problem in him? we sure hope that he can hit well and contribute more.

  41. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 12:59 am

    finally wang has a true pitching coach teaching him not a fake one. cy-wang! cy-wang!

  42. brian April 12th, 2008 at 12:59 am

    J0n nL0st my “0″ 0n my keyb0ard. But by y0ur def wang has a better rec0rd than all 3 pitchers y0u menti0ned. Y0u can c0unt 0n him all the time. nice p0st by the way but the guy’s y0u menti0ned-wang has has a better re0rd than them
    Santana-we beat him
    Webb-I like
    Peave I l0ve

    But wang has 0ut perpmed them all. He pitched a n0 hitter t0nightt0night if abreau wasn’t such a pusssy he w0uld have had it against a great hitting team. again what d0 pe0ple want?

  43. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    no, cano is a very streaky hitter. i hope he can be more consistent. but don’t bet on it as long as kevin long is with the team. fire him already… i bet if he’s fired no one would even care.

  44. jon April 12th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Haha, yes Felix Hernandez…just a little late (and a couple drinks to boot). Beckett’s really close for me. I’d buy it. But it’s really just a feeling I have – if I looked a box score and he pitched 6 or 7 innings and gave up 3 or 4 runs, I really wouln’t be shocked. That’s the best way I can give my definition.

    Lackey – close, but nope. I can see how you’d call him one but to me he’s not there.

    Sorry, didn’t see the previous thread. Too hard to jump in on something when there are already hundreds of comments. Wish there was a message board or something…

  45. pat m in ct April 12th, 2008 at 1:02 am

    jon-

    beckett’s an ace. who wouldn’t want the guy on their team come October?

    on a different note, Bucholz looks like the real deal. Seems like he just drops that curve in there for a strike every time.

  46. jon April 12th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    I dunno. I’m just not 100% sold after only one season. 95%, yes. But I’m not putting up a huge argument.

    And I don’t buy the “great postseason pitcher” thing one bit, if that’s what you’re trying to say. Great pitcher, yes.

  47. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") April 12th, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Anti-Muss what is it w/ you and Kevin Long

    players he improved

    Raul Ibanez
    Melky Cabrera
    Robi Cano
    Jose Molina
    Alex Rodriguez
    Carlos Pena of TB

    situational hitting is what the Yankees are working on right now and the 4 guys that are doing good w/ it Gonzo, Melky, Molina and Bobby all 4 of those guys got thier swing in rythmn through Kevin Long, I understand you want to see the OBP % rise it’s going to take time it doesn’t just click all of the sudden

  48. CB April 12th, 2008 at 1:07 am

    “That inning with the 3 deep flies–he had those innings last year where he’d lose his feel for the sinker or lose the arm slot (can’t remember which) so maybe he’s still working that out.”

    Dave Eiland is a truly outstanding pitching coach and tonight was a demonstration of that.

    The inning Wang gave up the home run/ fly balls Eiland noticed that wang was gripping his two seamer differently. Instead of getting his hand behind the ball he was holding it off to the side more making it difficult for him to get on top of the ball.

    Adjustment made and afterwards he was dominant again.

    It’s really hard to believe that a pitcher could throw a 93 pitch complete game at Fenway against a line up like the Sox have.

    Wang really reminded me of Roy Halladay and Brandon Webb tonight. I’ve never thought that before. His stuff was really electric tonight – I can’t ever remember looking at his stuff and thinking it was electric and tonight it did – its looked that way all three of his starts but tonight was just special.

    93 pitches. That’s just toying with the other team.

  49. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    pat m-
    considering it was the first time that yankee hitters saw buchholz, they had a lot of good swings. i’m not so sure his fastball is that hard to hit. he could have easily given up 3-4 more runs. but i agree he might be very good.

  50. Peter Chang April 12th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    who cares! There’s no definition for the term ace so there will always be people saying Wang’s not an ace.

    But that doesn’t matter as long as Wang wins the game. Enough said. And of course he is the ace of the entire Yankees pitching staff in my opinion.

  51. CB April 12th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Independently Buchholz fastball isn’t great.

    But when you combine it with that change up and that curve it becomes an outstanding pitch.

    He’s very, very good. He’s definitely an elite young pitcher. No doubt.

    Could things get worse for Detroit. Dontrelle Willis hyperextended his knee tonight – it looked fairly bad – he tried to stay in the game but lost the zone. Looked to me like a sprained knee of some kind.

  52. David April 12th, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Jon, you’re “categories” are pretty weak.

    Come on, you have guy whose never won more than 18 games as an “ace”. You call Brandon Webb an ace, a guy who has pitched in the weak national league all his career and has never done anything great in the post season. He’s not an ace by any stretch of the imagination. Both Beckett and Wang have proven MUCH more than someone like Webb. If you put Beckett and Wang in regular season national league games they would produce an era equal to or better than Peavy and Webb (and they already top them in wins). So I’m not sure how you determine aces, but your method certainly isn’t sound because the national league is incredibly weak.

  53. pat m in ct April 12th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Randy–
    can’t say I noticed the fastball but given this team’s history of having trouble with guys they haven’t faced before, you’re right about the good swings.

    CB-
    that is great how Eiland picked up on that so quickly. I know Gator had a great relationship with Wang but would he have noticed that? I doubt it. A 93 pitch effort against that lineup is hard to believe. And too damn cool for us yankee fans.

  54. crack April 12th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Dear David,

    You are nuts.

    - Crack

  55. yardsma April 12th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Yeah, using Wins to judge pitchers is so 1989. Get with the times. Webb is the third or foruth best pitcher in baseball. He blows Wang away.

  56. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 1:26 am

    cb-
    what if hitters with buchholz start looking curve ball or change and react to the fastball?hitters like arod will look for pitches. if buchholz doesn’t command his fastball he could still have problems. i need to see him more. this was really the first time i’ve watched him closely. i wasn’t happy seeing 92-93 on the nesn gun, i’ll tell you that.

  57. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    yardsma April 12th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Yeah, using Wins to judge pitchers is so 1989. Get with the times. Webb is the third or foruth best pitcher in baseball. He blows Wang away.

    —–

    webb needs to graduate from little league (NL) first before he can be compared to a genius player like wang.

  58. Rob April 12th, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Bucholz’s fastball is no better than Hughes. I like Hughes curve better, it seems a bit tighter. But his change combo, and the consistency with the curve was very impressive.

  59. Jeff in MA April 12th, 2008 at 1:33 am

    (**Whoops, commented the wrong thread.. let’s try again.)

    Just back from the Sardine Can via the Green line “T” and a couple of drinks in the North End. What an absolute gem by CMW. I still hope to see Mo pitch (in person) someday, but I’ll take this game any time.

    Plenty of Yankee fans in Sec. 16 Box 35 tonight, also. Nice to finally see a Yankee win — prior to tonight I’d seen them get pounded by the Brewers (ca. 1989), pounded by the Rockies in Denver, pounded by the Red Socks in NY in ‘03, and beat at Fenway in April ‘07.

    The multiple calls of “they STILL suck” from people seeing my NYY hat on the way out were music to my ears.

  60. McLovin April 12th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    yardsma-

    Too bad WEbb plays in the second worst division(N.L Central is worse) N.L. West.Where WAng who I still think needs to pitch like this all year to be a ace plays in the A.L.Webb is good but a N.L pitcher isn’t better then a A.L

  61. Vitamin F April 12th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Webb has a 3.22 ERA over 117 inter league innings, with 4 complete games and 1 shutout over 17 starts.

    Seems like he can handle the AL just fine.

  62. CB April 12th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    “what if hitters with buchholz start looking curve ball or change and react to the fastball?”

    They could and probably will do that. But if they do Buchholz has already won a significant battle.

    In general hitters usually prepare for a fastball and try to adjust to the other pitches.

    It’s easier to try to slow down hitting mechanics/ the swing than it is to speed them up.

    If hitters start guessing curve/ change Buchholz fastball will become a fantastic pitch – it’s going to look/ act much faster than 91-93.

    And the other thing about that type of guess approach – if buchholz only had one outstanding secondary pitch that would be one thing.

    But he has two! That makes guessing off speed really dicey because you still have to distinguish the curve from the change – and he does a good job of throwing them at the same speed so I’d guess it’s hard to judge which it is.

    He also throws a slider which isn’t great, but it is a 4th pitch he has in his pocket.

    I can’t remember many 23 year old prospects that have that repertoire of pitches.

    He may have the best change up in the AL. The curve is also a top notch pitch.

    There’s no guarantees with young pitchers. But he’s got a lot going for him in terms of stuff.

    This is why Joba has to be in the rotation. Finding guys with multiple plus pitches is very, very hard. When you get one you have to hope he’s going to be a front line starter.

  63. stuart April 12th, 2008 at 1:38 am

    yeh Cashman is a moron; the big unit for ohlendorf, Viz for 1 yr, the AG and Jackson(seems to be a dud).. Not bad ..The AG is 25 he will never be a star but he can field.

    I doubt they will do this but one Jeter is healthy bring up Duncan(right hand bat 1b and Rf) kep betemit(switch hitter and can plat 3B, SS, 1b) and kee up the AG he can be the utility guy!!!

    Say bye bye or trade Ensberg he is 32 and another slow guy etc…

    Betemit is 26 and does strike out ton but I like him better then the 1 yr Ensberg….

    I assume they will send the AG down so he can play everyday..

    Duncan deserves the club over Ensberg and he hs more versatility in my opinion….

  64. A-Point April 12th, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Right now I would say Buchholz is fairly impressive, however, his fastball isn’t that great. Its pretty flat, little movement and its slightly above the Mussina range in speed. That might pick up a little, but his body isn’t that bulked up, so I wouldn’t count on it.

    He has a slight build for a starting pitcher. The curve is a big breaking pitch, but give the league some time to figure out how to go after it. Its recognizable as it goes a good deal higher than his other pitches at the release.

    His change up is the one that really impresses me. There is a lot of difference in speed of his pitches.

    Few pitchers have close to 15 mph difference in their pitching speed. Joba has up to 20 mph differential. That much difference in speed is going to more to throw batters off than the other stuff.

  65. Vitamin F April 12th, 2008 at 1:39 am

    “Webb is good but a N.L pitcher isn’t better then a A.L”

    So wait, are you trying to say that guys like Gil Meche, Nate Robertson, and Carlos Silva are better than Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, and John Smoltz? Wow.

  66. John April 12th, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Absolutely. So far, so ace, couldn’t ask for more. With the combination of youth and late age in this rotation, a lot hinges on Wang being a number 1. He’s living up to the responsibility

  67. A-Point April 12th, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Jake Peavy… the one who seems to have used pine tar on his hands? Now THERE’S an ACE!

  68. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    the arizona d’bags suck. it would be an easy sweep if the yankees faced those little leaguers. even the blow rays and oreos would sweep the d’bags

  69. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 1:48 am

    yeah almighty peavy… the great playoff choker! hahahaha! i remember against the cardinals he got bombed and said he was injured!! and then last year he got smoked by the rockies! some great pitcher he is. what a wuss.

  70. Pinstripes April 12th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Peavey pitches in AAAA, he wouldn’t be as effective in the AL.

  71. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 1:58 am

    cb-
    as a yankee fan for obvious reasons,i’m not sure i like your assessment of buchholz. posada did look completely fooled by his change up. if buccholz can throw strikes with his fastball where he wants them, i agree it’ll be tough to look off speed.

    i remember last year when matsuzaka started out looking unhittable. part of the fun was looking for flaws to attack him. it turned out he didn’t pitch well with runners on base. that became a way to attack him and get his pitch count up.

    with buchholz the cat and mouse game is beginning to look for flaws and a way to attack him. the yankees got a good look at him, but time will tell how they will adjust.

  72. Taiwan Chen April 12th, 2008 at 2:01 am

    I watched this ball game in Taiwan
    Wang is still good to help Yankees win ..

    it’s proud of I am to be a Taiwanese

    Wang promote Taiwan and himsef ..

    Hope he can help Yankees win the world champion .

    Fans from Wang’s country Taiwan

  73. K. K. Liang April 12th, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Jon,

    Santana started 32 games in 2007. In games that he pitched for 6 inning or less, there were 7 games in which he allowed more than 3 runs. In another game, he allowed 6 runs in 7 innings. That means, in one fourth of the games he did not pitch like an ace you defined. In other 4 games (not including the one that he allowed 6 runs) he pitched more than 7 innings and allowed 4 runs. And the result, 15wins 13 loss.

    Jake Peavy pitched 33 games in 2007. He has the same winning record as Wang. In 6 games he pitched for at most 6 games and allowed at least 3 runs. In 2 games, he pitched 6+ innings and allowed at least 4 runs.

    Brandon Webb started 34 games in 2007. In 8 games he pitched for at most 6 innings and allowed at least 3 runs. In other 2 games he pitched 7 inning and allowed 5 runs; in 3 games he pitched 7 innings and allowed 4 runs.

    All I talked about are ERs.

    Now, Wang. In 2007 he started 30 games. In 9 games, he pitched for at most 6 innings and allowed at least 3 runs. The number of games in which he pitched for at least 6 innings and allowed at least 4 runs, 4.

    And in this season, Wang does not seem inferior to any other starter by far. By tonight, he had difficulties dealing with Ortiz and Ramirez, and he had fewer SO than most good pitchers. But tonight he succeeded in limiting both hitters to only 3 at bats and all his 3 SOs were sent to these two players. That proved some things, even if those are things that YOU do not care about.

    In my case, I do not care if Wang is an ace or is widely believed as an ace or not. It was just that your criterion is not getting its ground. The fact that you were astonished by his silencing the Sox (instead of being blown out by the 5th) does not changed the fact that he did. It does not make much sense to say that some one who indeed has a good enough record is not as good as some one that you believed to be better than he is.

    As a fan of Wang, I do not think that he pitched good enough yet. I think that he can pitch even better. He has poor control on his slides today, again. He should practice his slides the day after when he shall pitch in the pen. I would rather think that Molina is the MVP today because he kept Wang in good pace and hit crucial hits to make Wang stable. Is Monlina the ace of Yankees’ batting line up, then? Of course not. But who cares? All I care about Wang is that he stays healthy and make as few mis-pitches in his games as possible.

    By the way, since the HR by Drew hit the glove of Abreu first (and Abreu obviously had the chance to catch it), why isn’t this HR considered as an error? I also think it strange to call a HR an error, but is it not true that this is the spirit of the rules? I just wish that someone can provide me with more insight into such cases. Just curious. Thanks.

  74. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 2:26 am

    CMW – King of the Hill

    When was the last time a Yankee ran off a string like this? We needed an ace, now we’ve got one.

  75. RyanTseng@Taipei April 12th, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Well, at least Wang is our “Silent Ace”, isn’t he a so uniquely silent ace?

  76. Brian S April 12th, 2008 at 2:41 am

    I love Wang but his playoff record is atrocious. That fact doesn’t make him an ace in my mind. I think 99% of Aces have a great propensity for K’s. It’s more consistent if you make batters miss vs. relying on balls falling in or not. However, with Wang using his slider more it looks like he’s at least becoming a little more in those regards, which makes me really excited. So for now, I consider him a very good 2nd starter, mostly from all the innings he absorbs.

  77. Tseng April 12th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Brian, take out last year and his playoff record really isn’t atrocious.

  78. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    K’s are over-rated. I’ll take a 92-pitch complete game over 10 K’s any time. It saves the pitcher’s arm, keeps the fielders in the game, and don’t forget those dp’s, the pitcher’s best friends.

  79. The Bronx Stop April 12th, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Finally some love for my dudes Wanger and Leche!!!

  80. GOYankees April 12th, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Wang may not an Ace pitcher in the league, but he is definitely the Ace of Yankees. No doubt!

    The word, Ace, to me, is too broad and hard to define. We can say the ace is equal to “top” pitcher. Yes, Wang does not belong to that class. However, I do not agree that Wang is just a “quality” pitcher, 3 runs in 6 innings. If he is, his ERA must over 4. But he didn’t. (BTW, Beckett’s ERA is “5.06″ in his 2006 season. Why nobody question he is not the ace?)

    The advantages of Wang, which are ignored by many people, are consistent and economic.Both advantages make his team easy to win.

    Consistent, Always control the opponent’s score under an acceptable standard, which makes your offense easily comeback to the ball game. (Look Sabathia’s game today, 9 runs in 3 1/3 innings.)

    Economic make Wang go deeply into the game and you can turnover the game to your best setup man and closer.

    Wang is not the typical ace we call, but he give s yankees WINs! That’s the most important thing. Anyway, Wanger had an gem tonight! Great performance to him!

  81. David April 12th, 2008 at 3:09 am

    This whole ace thing is skewed. I mean like take Peavy for example. What has he done in the last 2 years that Wang hasn’t? I’m not saying Wang is a better pitcher, but there isn’t any substance to why Peavy would be an ace and not Wang. Why, because Wang doesn’t strike people out? Well in the last two years Wang has won many more games than Peavy. And don’t say wins don’t matter. When push comes to shove, wins are ALL that matter.

    And playoffs? Peavy’s playoff stats are a joke. His post season pitching was horrendous (only 2 games, that’s pretty few for a certified “ace”) and then in the one game where his team needed him to come through, to get them into the playoffs, he failed miserably, and that wasn’t even the post season.

    Don’t get me wrong, Peavy is a great pitcher. But where can you possible derive the line that makes him so much better than Wang?

  82. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 3:09 am

    GOYankees, I agree with you, but why steal my moniker?

  83. anti-mussina April 12th, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Taiwan Chen April 12th, 2008 at 2:01 am

    I watched this ball game in Taiwan
    Wang is still good to help Yankees win ..

    it’s proud of I am to be a Taiwanese

    Wang promote Taiwan and himsef ..

    Hope he can help Yankees win the world champion .

    Fans from Wang’s country Taiwan

    ——-

    yes, wang is the best pitcher in baseball =)

  84. GoYankees April 12th, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Folks, we’ve got the next Whitey Ford, Tommy John, Jimmy Key. How’s that not an ace? Darn sure he’s the Yankees’ ace.

  85. Joel April 12th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    jon… you forgot Aaron Harang.

  86. Andrew [in] Orlando April 12th, 2008 at 3:54 am

    as frustrating as this very early season has started, this game makes this one fan very relieved. i know we can play like this and even (way) better for the rest of the season

  87. mko April 12th, 2008 at 5:44 am

    What an awesome game that was. And CMW was incredible, just unbelievably good.
    He’s an ace in my mind and has been that ace since he came up. But it really doesn’t matter, those discussions are rather ridiculous IMHO.

    @jon: Your criteria are not going to work any more in this century…NO pitcher is able to do that anymore:
    “To some (including me), it means a guy who you absolutely expect to dominate every time out there, and are shocked when he doesn’t. [...] But to me, Wang will have to do this many more times, and have a lot fewer of the 6IP/3R outings before he’s a true ace.”

    It’s just not going to happen. Every pitcher is going to get shelled one time or the other. So there wouldn’t be any aces left…

    But again, it’s true, it doesn’t really make any sense to discuss it. Everyone apparently has his own definition and subjective feeling about “Aces”. So how can we make this stupid hick hack go away? That CMW got asked if he feels that he is an ace is the most ridiculous fact ever…very sad.

  88. Patrick April 12th, 2008 at 6:25 am

    YA!I’m from Taiwan.

    I’m pround of Wang.

    He is our hero!

  89. sevrox April 12th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    A very satisfying game for Yankster fans, no doubt.

    Some credit has to be given to Dave Eiland – apparently the Yanks (finally) have a real pitching COACH and not a purty figurehead, all due respect to Stott and Guidry. Another reason not to take Spring Training as seriously as ledge-edgy Yank fans can get sometimes with all the expectations they/we have for the/our team(!).

    There’s a distinct difference in energy and defense with AGon at SS – Love to see a Jeter to 1B move – would be best for the team. As much as I don’t enjoy the sabermetrician approach to this Great Pasttime, Jeter’s range to his left is detrimental to the team. Here’s hoping Girardi will do what’s best. When did Yount switch positions?

  90. Glenn April 12th, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Eventually Melky will get his props. As a member of the less heralded players that played prominent roles in Yankee resurgences in 2006 – 2007, he’s coming into his own with a mission to prove that being part of a Santana deal was not the way to go. He’ll never attain superstar status but a steady contributor is well accepted.

  91. Jack Florham Park April 12th, 2008 at 7:58 am

    To yardsma

    “yardsma
    April 12th, 2008 at 1:24 am
    Yeah, using Wins to judge pitchers is so 1989. Get with the times. Webb is the third or foruth best pitcher in baseball. He blows Wang away.”

    Blows Wang away? Really? They met head up last June at YS. CMW blew Webb away (and Webb’s weak 89mph fastball that night). Get real. Webb is an NL pitcher and agains the AL hasn’t proven s**t. nuff said.

  92. murphydog April 12th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Wang pitched a true gem. He worked both sides of the plate and K’s two of his biggest problems, Manny and Papi.

    Eiland appears to be doing a great job – he seems to be a disciple of Jim Kaat: move the ball around and throw strikes. That’s why I expect another very good performance from Moose today even with an 88 mph fastball. If Moose has confidence in the curveball, uses both sides of the plate and throws inside to Manny and Papi (and everybody else) he will keep his team in the game and give them a chance to win.

  93. murphydog April 12th, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Bucholz is very impressive. He has an almost 20 mph difference between his fastball and change and there’s that rainbow curve; that’s three plus pitches. To raise his game that extra notch he needs to start throwing inside more and dust a couple of guys – not hit them but make them move their feet. He needs a little edge to go with that curve and then it looks like the sky is the limit. He’s no Pedro, but it can be really hard to hit a guy like that.

    (But man, doesn’t he look like a lizard or something? He’s one ugly dude).

  94. Dee April 12th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I don’t care what anyone says about this being early in the season, I love a standing chart where Boston is in last place of the division.

    To those who say CMW has a poor playoff track record, don’t forget he was the only NYY pitcher with a win in the 2006 PO. He’s only been in two PO years at his young age for a pitcher, he did well one year and poorly the next, so it’s kind of 50/50. I agree he was bad last year, but it was mostly b/c his sinker wasn’t sinking and he had few other pitches to go to. That problem obviously is a thing of the past as he has now learned new pitches, so I’m not sure if the 07 PO performance is still reliable in predicting his future PO results.

    Pete, if you’re reading this, could you please ask David Cone to speak up in the booth? he’s like a couple volume level lower than Kenny and Kay and at times he mumbles. Every time he says something I feel like I need to adjust the volume.

  95. Jeremy April 12th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    David

    “This whole ace thing is skewed. I mean like take Peavy for example. What has he done in the last 2 years that Wang hasn’t?”

    Won a Cy Young award for one thing. Not that any award is a particularly good indicator of ability, but Peavy was dominant last season, while Wang was “merely” very good.

    “I’m not saying Wang is a better pitcher, but there isn’t any substance to why Peavy would be an ace and not Wang.”

    As you do say, the “ace” concept is completely arbitrary. But Wang doesn’t hold up so great in a comparison with Peavy, whether you compare them by WHIP, ERA, ERA+, or pretty much any other stat, except …

    “Why, because Wang doesn’t strike people out? Well in the last two years Wang has won many more games than Peavy. And don’t say wins don’t matter. When push comes to shove, wins are ALL that matter.”

    Wins are nice but run support has something to do with them. If Gil Meche pitched for the Yankees in 2007, he could have won 20 games. Instead he went 9-13 for the Royals. Think about that before stressing Wins as the most important stat for pitchers.

    “And playoffs? Peavy’s playoff stats are a joke. His post season pitching was horrendous (only 2 games, that’s pretty few for a certified “ace”) and then in the one game where his team needed him to come through, to get them into the playoffs, he failed miserably, and that wasn’t even the post season.”

    Good thing playoff performances distinguishes the aces from the wannabe aces, because Wang has never had a playoff series so bad that he almost singlehandedly eliminated his team.

    By the way, Peavy has appeared in a grand total of 2 playoff games.

    “Don’t get me wrong, Peavy is a great pitcher. But where can you possible derive the line that makes him so much better than Wang?”

    From looking at their stats over the past few seasons.

  96. LathamJoe April 12th, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Mussina’s success (or lack of) will depend on his command and how much the Homeplate ump is willing to give him on the corners.

    Hopefully, the Yankee offense can breakout today – they’ll need it.

  97. Mass. Delusionals, Inc. April 12th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    But – but – but Boston has a baseball team for the ages. Dynasty for many years to come. No flaws.

  98. Jeremy April 12th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    “And playoffs? Peavy’s playoff stats are a joke. His post season pitching was horrendous (only 2 games, that’s pretty few for a certified “ace”) and then in the one game where his team needed him to come through, to get them into the playoffs, he failed miserably, and that wasn’t even the post season.”

    Misread you here. You do note that Peavy has only appeared in 2 playoff games. However, you seem to argue that that fact should be held against him. How is it Peavy’s fault that he only appeared in two playoff games? Is a true ace supposed to start every game of a series?

    Plus, the Padres don’t even sniff the playoffs in 2007 unless Peavy turns in a tremendous season by any standard. It’s disappointing for the Padres that he lost a crucial late season game, but that game is meaningless unless Peavy turns in great performances over and over again in early season games.

    And by the way, the part about Wang never eliminating his own team from the playoffs was sarcastic. Wang’s 2007 ALCS numbers were non-acey to the extreme.

  99. Jorge Steinbrenner (the long lost third brother) April 12th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Can we please not use Jon’s list as the “be all, end all” of “who’s an ace?”

    Roy Halladay has been an ace for years, isn’t good enough for Jon, but a guy like Brandon Webb, who’s been around about as long as Wang, is. ’nuff said.

    38 games won in two years. Off to his best start ever. Absolutely our stopper in the infancy of the season. Wang is an ace pitcher.

  100. Paul April 12th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Pete woke up, fell out of bed,
    and drug a comb across his head,
    found his way downstairs and drank a cup,
    and looking up he noticed he was late.

    Found his bag and grabbed his hat,
    took the cab in seconds flat,
    found his way upstairs to the pressroom box
    began to blog ’bout the yanks and sox…..

  101. Paul Barry April 12th, 2008 at 9:02 am

    The reason he’s not considered an ace is because he doesn’t strike people out. You can’t call what he did last night dominating. He gave up at least 6 fly balls to the warning track, including the one the Abreu should have caught. A couple of those end up in gaps and it is a whole different situation. He only struck out 3 of the 28 batters he faced. If I’m a Sox fan, I’m thinking, “man, we are hitting the ball hard against this guy, but we just aren’t getting any hits”, not “this guy is unhittable”. Chamberlain is dominating, not Wang. Wang still pitched very well, walked nobody in a complete game, which shows what can happen if you get ahead of hitters. So I would call his performance “very effective”, not dominating. If Chamberlain could pitch as well as a starter has he has been pitching, he could be an ace at the top of our rotation, which might make for the best 1-2 combo in baseball.

  102. nor@t April 12th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Everybody has been arguing about the definition of ACE. It’s a matter of character traits. Being an ace, you have to talk out loud, showing confidence, etc.. In another word, an ACE is a good pitcher with an attitude. Wang is a wonderful pitcher without the ace attitude, and may never have. That keeps him away from the ace title, which is great.

  103. wood is good April 12th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    The Wanger is definitely an ace — and he hasn’t even peaked yet. One day in the future, all such subjective arguments regarding his ace-iness will be moot.

  104. trisha - count on me for an alternate route April 12th, 2008 at 9:23 am

    At one time there was talk of Wang being the ace of the staff. That talk obviously went into a tailspin when Wang’s postseason performances did the same thing and when he had trouble keeping his sinker down during some regular season games.

    That said, it doesn’t mean that he can’t earn his ace status back. Has he pitched like an ace so far? Absolutely yes. So he has been a pitching ace for three games. I’m willing to think that he has the stuff to lead our rotation again. I also believe his stuff will be solid enough that he will have no trouble keeping it going in the postseason. So I’m willing to go out on a limb and say he will be the ace of our staff again. But I can understand anyone who is reticent to play that card right now! :D

    Here’s another prediction. Mike Mussina is going to regain ace status this season.

    I do not believe that someone has to be a strikeout pitcher to be considered an ace. For example, if a pitcher pitches no hitters by getting 27 ground outs, or pitches CGS by getting 27 ground outs and fly outs, or pitches shut outs by doing the same thing (and we know that someone who keeps his sinker down can pitch for a long time without tiring) does that mean the person cannot be considered an ace? Doubtful.

    Here is where CM IS an ace without question in my book – He gave his first interview in English!!! It was awesoome of watch.

    To all of you fans in Taiwan – 受欢迎的朋友, 和去美国人!

  105. trisha - count on me for an alternate route April 12th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    That, incidentally, was Babelfish’s version of: Welcome friends, and GO YANKEES!

    When I just translated it back to Chinese, here is what it said: Friend which welcome, with goes to the American!

    Duh!

    He he he.

  106. trisha - count on me for an alternate route April 12th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    By the way, I am in RI and it is absolutely beautiful. I guess it could get overcast and rain but the sun is shining brightly right now. I’ll be surprised if we don’t play baseball today.

    Meanwhile I’m watching SportCenter and they are talking about MLB’s new drug policy and mentioning that nobody mentioned in the Mitchell Report will be punished.

    Except people who lie to Congress!

    :D
    :D
    :D

  107. Andrea April 12th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Does it really matter if Wang is an “Ace” or has the “Ace” attitude? He pitches great and wins game for the Yankees. Just let him do his thing.

  108. Dee April 12th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    “Does it really matter if Wang is an “Ace” or has the “Ace” attitude? He pitches great and wins game for the Yankees. Just let him do his thing.”

    AMEN to what Andrea said.

  109. Yourdon from Taiwan April 12th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Peter,
    I bought and read you about Wang, which is very touching. I almost visit your site several times a week.
    It is a great game but Wang will become better. By this kind of pace, Wang would have more than 20 wins this year.
    Hopefully, he will keep himself heathy and strong enough so that he can take revenge in 2008 play-off.
    Arguing if he is ace doesn’t make too much sense. As stated by many readers, it is quite subjective. As far as he can make Cashman feel shame every 5 days, it is enough. Maybe we should thank cashman for not signing long contract earlier this year, which could be beneficial to Wang later on.

    Last, Hopefully Yankees would have recovered from poor hit since this game!

  110. Jim Clark April 12th, 2008 at 9:51 am

    All hail the Wanger! Any more like him in Taiwan?

  111. Jack Florham Park April 12th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    To all Brandon Webb sycophants:

    In 2007 against AL teams (including 2 against the might O’s):

    19 IP, 8ER, ERA=3,80

  112. OldYanksFan April 12th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    How about if for shyts and giggles, we try to come up with an official ‘Lohud Ace definition’?

    To me, it’s always got to be relative to the times and number of pitchers. There always has to be a certain amount of Aces. After all, guys who have numbers that we consider an Ace now, might not be compared to the pitchers in 1966, when the mound was higher and there was less hitting.

    There may be around 180-200 different guys who start every year. so the TOP 5% would be 10 guys. Is that a fair qualification for Ace? 10 guys? Top 5%?

    And how do we qualify the ‘Top 5%’?
    I don’t think you can use ‘potential’ as a qualification.
    Potential hasn’t happened yet.
    How about looking at a ‘last 3 year average’ and a ‘last 5 year average’. Would that be an indication of how good they are NOW?

    To me, the most important stat is ERA+, which is adjusted AND represents RUNS SCORED, which is what winning in baseball is all about.

    WHIP is a nice stat, but it is more an indicator of future performance that a qualifier of current performance.

    OPS against might have some value, although it isn’t adjusted and can be ‘off’ by 10% or more. OPSA is similar to WHIP, but takes slugging into account.

    Defense should be in there. Certainly Wang is at a disadvantage compared to a pitcher with a great defense behind him. I think you do your ‘calcs’ and then multiply the result by some overall team defensive metric (1 for average, less then 1 for below average, greater then 1 for above average). HOWEVER, since ERRORS do NOT effect ERA, for defense, you have to evaluate stats like Zone Rating and Balls in Play turned into outs, but not fielding percentage.

    So here’s MY definition. An ACE is:
    One of the top 10 pitchers in MLB.
    Based on: (last 3 yr avg)+(last 6 yr avg)/2
    The ‘Average’ stat is calculated by:
    ((0.80 x ERA+) + (6 x (0.20 x OPSA))) x Defensive Factor (+/-1).

    By this definition, I don’t think Wang would be an Ace, I’m guessing, but I think Wang would come in around 15th.

  113. OldYanksFan April 12th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    OOPS…. that sould be:
    The ‘Average’ stat is calculated by:
    ((0.80 x ERA+) + (1.3 x (0.20 x OPSA))) x Defensive Factor (+/-1).

  114. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I guess I am not understanding the comments today.

    Wang pitched a complete game 2 hitter against the defending world champs and that’s not a “dominating performance” because some flyballs when to the warning track?

    Outs are outs. Just because he doesn’t strike a lot of people out, doesn’t diminish his status as a pitcher.

    I’ll take 93 pitch complete games all day. No matter how few K’s there are in his line.

    Seems to me some folks are trying so hard to convince themselves Wang is not an “ace”, they are losing sight of the fact that he is pitching like an ace right now.

    In fact, he may be, at present at least, the best starting pitcher in the AL.

    He is only in his third full season on the staff. Yet, he is getting better.

    He’s adding more pitches to his reportoire and its clear its throwing off the hitters timing.

    He’s 3-0 to start the season with an ERA under 1.50. In the AL, no less.

    I’d say, that’s ace material.

  115. Irene Liu April 12th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    How close Chien-Ming came to history last night!! As you can read from: http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde.....enough.htm

    “The last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox in Boston was Detroit’s Jim Bunning, on July 20, 1958. The only Yankees pitcher to do it was George Mogridge in 1917.”

    Send my most love to Chien-Ming , and hope him stay health and continue to advance his arsenal all the season.

    Go Chien-Ming !! We are all rooting for you!!
    Wang’s big fan,irene, from hometown–Tainan TAIWAN

  116. Kill-Schill(ing) April 12th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    What’s the story about how the Yankees discovered him? Where was he pitching? Is there actually a baseball league in Taiwan where the international scouting department saw him? Was it in Japan?

    Anyone know the story?

  117. OldYanksFan April 12th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Jack Florham Park reminds me the IPs should be part of the equation. Minimum 150 IPs? + a qualifier to slight lower the ‘average’ for the number of IPs over 150?.
    (so I guy who has 220 IPS with the exact same ‘Average’ as a guy with 180 IPS will have his ‘Average’ multiplied by 0.96? (so his ‘Average’ is better/lower).

    As long as you have nebulous terms like Ace, Best, Stud, etc, you can argue infinitely and get nowhere. You have to DEFINE a statiscal BENCHMARK for comparisons.

  118. JDnotDrew April 12th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Wang dominated them. The look on Youk’s face when Wang threw that first 95 fastball was priceless. He had to look out to make sure it was him.

  119. Sneaky Kat Obrien April 12th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Kat O’Brien is trying to steal all of Peter Abraham’s posters. She did it by making an article of who great Yankee bloggers are but all the bloggers she mentioned where Peter Abraham’s close blogging friends. Talk about sneaky. She didn’t mention the bloggers because she thought they were actually any good, she did it because she wanted more people to post on her blog during games and to post more on her blog in general. She did it for selfish reasons. Don’t let her steal Abe’s people! THIS is the best blog! NOT hers!

  120. OldYanksFan April 12th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    The most Dominating game at Fenway since “Detroit’s Jim Bunning, on July 20, 1958″ might have been Moose’s near perfect game. He had 2 out and 2 strikes on Everett before he lost the perfect game.

  121. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    it’s clear and sunny on cape cod too. the cool weather should create a nice playoff atmosphere at fenway with their ace trying to match what wang has already done. last night i was looking for more fight from the yankees than we’ve seen in the past with the red sox and wang and the team delivered.

    wang was amazingly good and neutralized manny and ortiz who have killed him in the past. today will be a test for the new girardi yankees because make no mistake that beckett is going to come out and try to reestablish dominance and it will be personal.

    beckett has said that he doesn’t want to just beat other players: he wants to embarrass them. that’s who he is. it’s the yankee’s job to go mano a mano with him,and it’s time for the yankees to take back the edge when things get played on the level beckett takes it.

    torre tried to take the high road and not take on the red sox attitude head on that beckett personifies. i think girardi will, in a still respectful to the game way, engage beckett and the red sox with a different approach.

    i told some red sox friends yesterday( i’m surrounded by them) that they’d likely be seeing a different team with girardi at the helm. now if i can only find them this morning. they tend to disappear for some reason after yankee wins at fenway.

  122. JDnotDrew April 12th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Strikeouts take more pitches than Wang’s outs. People would rather he strike out 10 and go the usual 6 or 7? He made the adjustments to beat a team that has both seen him often and been successful against him. Those are “ace” qualities and I’ll take that any day.

  123. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I agree re: Moose’s performance. I was at that game and it was an amazing night.

    Folks forget but, David Cone pitched for the Red Sox that night and matched Moose pitch for pitch for most of the game.

    That was a fun night until that damn Carl Everett got that 2 strike hit. Then, he celebrated like he won the WS.

    What a jerk.

    IIRC, the Wang story is a Yankee scout in Asia found him pitching in a college league in China. On the hush hush (to not tip off their competitors), they moved quickly and aggressively and offered him a good sized bonus (for that time) and signed him.

    He was not subject to the amateur draft. Its like the wild west in terms of securing a player. You find him and sign him before other teams discover him.

  124. CB April 12th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    “What’s the story about how the Yankees discovered him?”

    Wang was signed in the international free agent market in 2000. He was considered one of the best young pitchers in Asia at the time. My sense was that was based largely on his velocity

    He got a large signing bonus – $1.9 million.

    When the yankees went to see him in person it rained. They moved his workout indoors and signed him after watching him throw for 30 minutes. Jack Curry wrote about that last year:

    “Chien-Ming Wang’s audition for the Yankees took place in a gymnasium in Taiwan seven years ago. It rained that day, so Wang’s workout was moved indoors. Wang threw for about a half-hour before he was offered a $1.9 million signing bonus. He accepted.”

    The following year they signed Cano in the international free agent market.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05.....html?fta=y

  125. Dave S. April 12th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    It really comes down to how you identify an ace. Jon is pretty restrictive…I would tend to be, too.

    Those of you who rely on W-L as the primary metric for determining pitcher value really ought to head over to Baseball Prospectus and read a little. In short, W-L records are often correlated to pitcher performance, but they are heavily tainted by both run support and bullpen performance. Look more to IP, IP/start, ERA, HR allowed, and K/BB to determine quality. W-L are fun to look at for understanding the story of a game, but they are extremely deceptive when it comes to objectively assessing quality.

    As great as Wang has been, he needs to do this a little longer. Three starts into April and Kyle Lohse is one of the best pitchers in baseball. I do believe that Wang has the ingredients going this year in a way he hasn’t in the past, with a greater variety of pitches. But give it some time. In my opinion, ace status goes to the truly elite pitchers. Wang is knocking on the door.

  126. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    “Wang pitched a complete game 2 hitter against the defending world champs and that’s not a “dominating performance” because some flyballs when to the warning track”

    the thing that impresses me was how quickly wang made an adjustment the next inning after the long fly balls and got his sinker back down. adjusting on the fly could take wang to another level. he didn’t always do this last year.

  127. SJ44 April 12th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I see some similaries between Torre’s Yankees and Girardi’s Yankees thus far. There are also some striking differences.

    The similaries are, Girardi has a good feel for the veteran pulses on the team. He’s not going to get Marine-like with the vets. He, like Torre, shows them respect and in return, I think the veterans like playing for Girardi and it shows in the way they prepare (as in everybody coming to camp in shape) and play the game.

    I see two noticable differences between the two managers. One, bullpen management. Girardi is not a “hot hand” guy handling the bullpen. If you notice, he is going to spread the work around and not overload one or two guys.

    Last night for example, I have no doubt Joba and/or Mo would have been in the game, regardless of Wang’s pitch count. Once Torre had a security blanket with a pitcher(s), they got used all the time.

    Girardi was willing to give Wang the chance to finish it out and it ended up getting the ‘pen a night of much needed rest.

    The other subtle yet critical difference is, Girardi doesn’t let stuff linger. He isn’t afraid to tinker with the lineup or go against the book (such as starting Bruney the other night) in certain situations. IMO, in the last few years of Torre’s reign, he let certain things linger too long until they reached critical (at least in the Yankee Universe) proportions.

    I’ll be interested to see how Girardi handles Cano in the next few days. Clearly, he is really struggling with the bat and probably shouldn’t be hitting second.

    He moved him up in an effort to get him going. However, it seems to have made him press even more to help the team.

    Perhaps a move down in the order, or a day off, would take some of the pressure off of him.

    We all know Cano is going to hit. He’s too good a hitter not to hit. Its just that you don’t want to see him go into a prolonged slump at the plate.

    Once the weather and health of some players improve, I suspect we will also see the Yankees running more on the basepaths. I don’t think they stole all those bases in ST to leave their running game in Tampa.

    I think the weather is contributing to the lack of SB’s right now.

    If you don’t think the weather plays into it, ask the Tigers. Dontrelle Willis wrenched his knee last night pretty bad on the wet field in Chicago.

    In this age of technology, it amazes me the way MLB has set the calendar for some teams this year. The schedule is a mess and perhaps that’s the reason there are already over 100 guys on the DL in MLB.

  128. CB April 12th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    The first game of any series is really pivotal.

    When Josh Beckett is pitching game two of that series (especially against Mussina) it’s even more important.

    The bull pen needed a rest after that game in KC.

    On top of everything else, Wang has set them up to be in the best possible shape for this series.

    If they want they can throw Joba two innings today because they didn’t need him the day before (and it was nice not to use Joba – he threw 24 pitches the day before to get 4 outs and they had him warm up the day before that though he didn’t get into the game).

    I also thought that Giambi had some very good at bats last night. Not just the home run. I think he’s close to breaking out of his funk.

    Good to see. I’d go with the same line up today.

  129. Kill-Schill(ing) April 12th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the Wang story, SJ, CB.

    I figured you two would know it.

    It would lead me to believe that the Yankees knew what they were doing by striking that agreement last year with the PRC. In a country of 1 billion people, I have to believe there’s more undiscovered talent the Yankees can mine.

    Were I the Yankees I might use Wang, in the off-season, as an emissary of sorts, if they haven’t already. Wang’s profile in the non-Japanese Orient strikes me a valuable asset.

    However, I don’t know how the mainland Chinese would perceive a Taiwanese sports celebrity. Would Wang enjoy the same welcome on the mainland as Yao? I’ll leave it to this blog’s Taiwanese contributors to enlighten me on the politics.

    In North NJ in the early 90′s, most of the hostility flowed in the opposite direction. The Taiwanese immigrants generally shunned anything hailing from the PRC. Emigres from the PRC, however, generally, embraced Taiwanese products and symbols.

    I have no clue whether Chinese perestroika has softened any of that animosity however.

  130. Kill-Schill(ing) April 12th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I figured Girardi moved Cano into the two hole last night because Fenway is often a panacea for left-handed hitters slumps, especially hitters like Cano and Abreu who hit to the opposite field. They can play pinball with the Monster.

    I think Fenway lifted Abreu out of slump last season.

    The problem is that Cano didn’t get anything out of the infield last night. He was swinging at everything.

    It always fascinates me to see how players deal with slumps, guys like Giambi who walk stay patient, guys like Cano try to hack their way out.

    Last year, Abreu tried both and neither worked until after the All-Star break. I can’t imagine Cano’s slump will linger for that long. I sure hope not.

  131. randy l April 12th, 2008 at 10:49 am

    “The other subtle yet critical difference is, Girardi doesn’t let stuff linger.”

    bingo! girardi has more of a sense of urgency about things. this is not a criticism of torre as i imagine that girardi will fall into patterns and be less reactionary if he’s the yankee manager for twelve years.

    girardi has been fun and refreshing to watch. each day he’s been doing little things that are a surprise from putting joba in the 7th and 8th in a game when he could have used him for only one inning, to using matsui in right field which came out surprisingly well, and to putting posada in the clean up role for one game when everyone thought posada was going on the disabled list.

    has cano ever hit in cold weather? i don’t know. just asking. it’s not like he grew up in michigan like jeter. cano doesn’t look comfortable in bad weather. it might be as simple as that. the yankees hitting will heat up with the weather. it’s not something to even worry about.

  132. Vito April 12th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Nail on the Head, Pete !

  133. pat April 12th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Wang is the Yankees #1 so you can debate Ace forever but it doesn’t really matter. Wins matter. There are no style points in baseball.

    Cano is going to have to fight through it on offense. The boy can hit but somebody needs to sit him down and get him refocused. There is no other option better to play 2nd base right now so drop him in the order and keep running him out there every day.

    Loved hearing Wang speak English on the post game. Good indication that his comfort level is increasing.

  134. Jeremy April 12th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    SJ44, great comparison of Torre and Girardi. Torre eventually became Robot Manager who ran the same bullpen routines game after game regardless of the score. Proctor would enter a game in the 7th with a 10-0 lead, or Myers would enter a game in the 2nd to face a lefty when we were getting blown out.

    He also followed the rule “Veteran > Young Player” until injuries or trades forced him to go to youth.

    Assuming Girardi lasts a few years in the Bronx, the key will be whether he ever lapses into routines like Torre did. I doubt he will because he shows so much interest in player development and thus can better recognize when it makes sense to go with youth over a veteran.

    As for Wang and “aceness,” I think one of the best things about him is that he’s improving, and it’s exciting to watch him evolve from someone who pitches to contact and lives or dies on infield defense, to a more well-rounded pitcher who gets both GBs and Ks and throws both sinkers and sliders. This evolution will give him a much better shot at continued effectiveness and “acehood.”

  135. Andrea April 12th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Wang = awesome. Can’t we just leave it at that?

  136. JAMESJK April 12th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Kill-Schill(ing) “ However, I don’t know how the mainland Chinese would perceive a “Taiwanese sports celebrity. Would Wang enjoy the same welcome on the mainland as Yao? I’ll leave it to this blog’s Taiwanese contributors to enlighten me on the politics.”

    Chinese will welcome Wang just as they welcome many Taiwanese singers but not at the same level as Yao, simply because basketball in China is 100 times more popular than baseball. It is a lot like that soccer in Europe is much more popular than baseball.

  137. tterba April 12th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Sorry Pete…NOT an ace…yet. Show me in the playoffs when it counts.. I still would go with Andy for game 1 in a short series.. Heart of Lion.. not sure Wang has that.. Some things cant be put into words… And stats

  138. trisha - count on me for an alternate route April 12th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Andrea

    I am absolutely thrilled to agree and leave it at that.

    :D

  139. Az Bob April 12th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Time to offer Wang a decentlong term contract

  140. Blargh April 12th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    “To all Brandon Webb sycophants:

    In 2007 against AL teams (including 2 against the might O’s):

    19 IP, 8ER, ERA=3,80″

    He went 12 IP and 5 ER against Baltimore (3.75 ERA) and 7 IP, 3 ER against Yankees (3.86 ERA)

    Peavy went 18 IP, 6 ER for an ERA of 3 in interleague
    Individual game wise, he went 6 IP and 3 ER against Baltimore (4.5 ERA), 5 IP and 3 ER against Boston (5.4 ERA), and 7 IP and 0 ER against Tampa Bay

    If we’re gonna use the mighty O’s as a measuring stick, they earned at a better rate against Peavy ;)

  141. jon April 12th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Just read all the comments since last night

    David – I can’t get all into it but wins and losses mean absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    On Peavy in the playoffs – small sample size (just like Wang in the playoffs).

    On Santana last year – not an “ace-like” year. The previous years make him an ace. I was shocked that he pitched so poorly as to have a 3.33 ERA last year – if that’s not an ace, I don’t know what is.

    On dominance (strikeout-wise). I’ll admit that it has a little bit to do with it. But if Wang continually pitches like last night, no reason he can’t be an ace.

    On “outs are outs” (SJ44) – no way. Overall, Wang was dominant and ace-like last night. But in the inning with the HR, no way. That could have easily been 3 or 4 HR. If a guy is continually giving up hard-hit line drives and flies, but they’re right at people and fielders are making great plays, and he pitches a no-hitter, is he dominant? No.

    The reason why strikeouts matter is because pitchers generally have little control whether a ball hit into play (i.e. not a HR) is going to be a hit or not. Read up on “voros mccracken”, BABIP, and DIPS if you’re interestested. More strikeouts simply means less chances for hits (and HR). I will admit that with extreme groundball pitchers it is not quite as important because even if the ball is hit into play it’s unlikely to be a HR.

    Harang – forgot him. He’d be in the list with Zambrano, Wang, etc.

    To the guy who misunderstood my definition and said there will never be any aces because guys can’t dominate every start: I didn’t say that. I said they are guys that subjectively you have such confidence in that when they have a poor or merely average start, you are shocked. Admit it – Peavy had something like 9 hits and 3 runs through 3 innings last night – if you were hearing updates of that game, you’d be surprised. If that were Wang pitching, you’d say “well, guess he doesn’t have his best stuff tonight.” THAT is the difference.

    Again, totally subjective. I don’t know exactly what he’ll have to do to become an ace. I’ll know it when I feel it. My best guess would be something like no starts with 4 runs allowed over his next 12, at most 2 or 3 starts with 3 runs allowed.

  142. PAT M. April 12th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Looks like the Wang is not one of the top 20 pitchers in the game today has popped up again….He’s 48-18 with an ERA of 3.69 so far in his young career….At this pace when he’s FA, he’ll demand 100 million at least…..

  143. rekallchen in Taiwan April 12th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Dear Yankee Fans:

    Wow!! So many “he is” and “he isnt” comment here. I would like to say that Wang is not and will not be among the great pitchers in your long American baseball history. But he will no doubt be the greatest in Taiwan. Thanks to Wang we have had so many joyful/sorrow around this young man, distracting us from some sick politicians. In my opinion, yesterday he is a good pitcher to me for he didnt give any BB. Sure the SO is little but that’s why we need other 8 players, right? An out is an out, no matter what kind of out it appeared. If jon doesn’t take Wang’s performance as a good pitcher, show me the pitcher who does not need any other player except the cathcer in the field. I guess maybe this is the true ACE in Jon’s opinion, sneding this ACE in field and the other 7 players can sit and enjoying their picnic, or BBQ during the game??

  144. Jack Florham Park April 12th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    To Jon:

    “On “outs are outs” (SJ44) – no way. Overall, Wang was dominant and ace-like last night. But in the inning with the HR, no way. That could have easily been 3 or 4 HR. ”

    Actually, they could easily been zero HR. Two of them would not have been HRs in ANY ballpark. So what’s the point? That because once in a while Wang gives up a long out, he’s less of a pitcher than say, Brandon (I’ve got a fastball that sits at 89″) Webb? Pleaaase!

  145. trisha - count on me for an alternate route April 12th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    rekallchen in Taiwan

    One thing you can count on is that Yankee fans love CM Wang no matter what you want to call him! Thank you for loaning us such a wonderful man!

    :)

  146. Jeremy April 12th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Jack Florham Park:

    I think you would agree that, if Wang starts giving up lots of home runs because he can’t keep the ball on the ground anymore, he would be less of a pitcher than Webb, regardless of the speed of Webb’s fastball.

  147. jon April 12th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Jack -

    So there’s two pitchers. You know nothing about either one of them, except that they’ve each pitched one scoreless, hitless inning. One gave up 3 fly balls to the warning track, the other, say, had a groundout, a strikeout, and a weak fly ball.

    You need to pick the one you’d rather have. To you it’s an absolute toss-up becuase outs are outs?

    The point is that when Wang’s giving up any fly balls (let alone fly balls to the warning track) he’s not right. The comment about Eiland fixing him is testament to that.

    And funny you mention the fly balls not being HR, because Manny’s would definitely be a HR in Yankee Stadium, and Youklis’s may have been also.

    And yes, Wang is less of a pitcher with a nearly double K-rate, and better groundball rate. Webb is not in Peavy and Santana’s class, but there’s little doubt that he’s better than Wang at this point.

  148. jon April 12th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    sorry, that should say:

    “And yes, Wang is less of a pitcher THAN ONE with a nearly double K-rate, and better groundball rate. Webb is not in Peavy and Santana’s class, but there’s little doubt that he’s better than Wang at this point.

  149. Kraken April 13th, 2008 at 3:51 am

    All these haters and their self-appointed importance. Such delusions of grandeur. The only person’s opinion that matters regarding whether Wang is an ace or not, is Mr. Steinbrenner – the guy that signs Wang’s checks. And we’ll find out this post-season exacly how many millions of dollars of ace value Steinbrenner assigns to Wang.
    At which point, the worms will crawl out to screach, overpaid! Overrated! I should be paid those millions, not Wang!

    So what if he’s won 38 games in two years… he hasn’t done it for 20 years in a row!

    If he wins a world series… hate! He hasn’t won TWO!

    If he pitches a no-hitter… hate! He doesn’t pitch one every month, like a “TRUE” ace would!

    If he strikes out 10 in one game… hate! He didn’t strike out 27 like a dominant, 125mph throwing ace would!

    No matter what Wang does, the haters apply some ridiculous criteria to him and him only, to ‘prove’ that Wang is a failure. And yet… they don’t apply that same criteria to their favorite players.

    Era, wins, strikeouts, opposing ba, whatever. For any category that they say is the reason why Wang is not an ace, you’ll see that some of their supposed aces fail in that area too. Or, you’ll see other ordinary pitchers do well in that category, but magically they aren’t considered an ace. And for every pitcher that is a supposed ‘ace’, you’ll see that Wang is as good or better than them at some stat. Interesting how the rules keep changing in order to produce the same outcome, that Wang sucks.

    There should be a law that says you must put up a very specific definition of ace BEFORE you look at your favorite pitcher’s stats to claim that they are an ace. Then these haters will embarrassingly discover that every single pitcher in the history of baseball fails their own test!

    And by the way, every time a Yankee game is on tv, whether national or not, those announcers refer to Wang as “an Ace” or “the Yankees’ Ace”.

    So these anonymous haters on the internet… they know more than these professional baseball-game callers?

    When writers write about Wang’s games, they refer to Wang as “an Ace” or “the Yankees’ Ace”.

    So these anonymous haters on the internet… they know more than these professional baseball-game writers?

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