The Yankees were on national television yesterday as most of the country got a chance to see the new ballpark. Chien-Ming Wang was pitching for the Yankees and Carmona for the Indians. Both have been a bit of a mystery to their teams thus far as control problems have plagued Carmona and Wang has been uncharacteristicly whacked around in his two previous starts.
Wang had been one of the winningest pitchers in the majors the previous few seasons by compiling seasons of 19-7, 19-5 and 8-2. His sinker is his out pitch and it is one of the best in the big leagues. Carmona is also famous for his sinker and two years ago led the Indians to the brink of the World Series.
But both pitchers had struggled so far this year. Wang has actually gone beyond struggling. He's been downright ugly. In his previous two starts, he had pitched only 4.2 innings and had given up 21 base runners and 15 earned runs. Yes, that is butt ugly numbers right there.
The Fan couldn't watch the game because of other obligations but had the trusty laptop and was fallowing along with Yahoo's GameDay. Wang came out in the top of the first and had a one, two, three inning. That was surprising, but looking in hindsight, Sizemore struck out, DeRosa popped out and Martinez flied out to left. Not a single ground ball in sight. That should have been a sign.
Teixeira hit a two run homer for the Yankees in the bottom of the second after a Damon walk and the Yankees held a 2-0 lead going into the top of the second. It was the last moment this game was a ballgame.
The Fan was looking at the laptop when the information stated that Hafner singled to third. First of all, Hafner is very slow. So, without seeing the play, the Fan's first thought was that the Yankee infield did not make a play they could have and the Fan said an inward, "Uh oh." Then Peralta singled to left. The Fan's eyebrows raised. Then Choo hit a three run homer. And then the Fan knew this was going to get real ugly again.
And it did. Garko fouled out but then Francisco doubled. Cabrera singled. 4-2. Sizemore doubled. DeRosa doubled. 6-2. Wild pitch. Posada must have been catching. Martinez singled. 7-2. Claggett relieved Wang. Who?? Hafner doubled. Peralta doubled. 9-2. Choo walked. Garko singled. Francisco struck out (Bronx cheer). Cabrera homered. 13-2. Sizemore homered. 14-2. Mark DeRosa then struck out (probably out of sheer exhaustion) and the inning finally ended, thirty-seven minutes after it started.
And the rout was on. The final score was 22-4. This is getting embarrassing for the Yankees. They have a new ballpark, spent all that money and sandwiched one win around two blow outs to the tune of 32-6. The Fan has to wonder how many times you throw Wang out there. Has any pitcher been exposed to three straight blowouts to this proportion in his first three starts of the year? Jayson Stark will probably let us know eventually. But it sure seems historic. Perhaps the Yankees should bring up somebody else and put Wang in long relief for a while until he figures this out.
Until they do, Wang is the Pinball Wizard and is getting clobbered on a regular basis. Wow!