Chien Ming Wang won his first Major League game last night, pushing the Yankees' winning streak to four, as the Bombers beat Seattle, 7-4. It was not an especially riveting game--other than some nifty running catches by all three Seattle outfielders--but for Yankee fans it was more than satisfying. When pitching out of the stretch, Wang holds his hands above his head and almost comes to a complete stop. It's like he momentarily forgets what he's supposed to do next. I don't know that I can recall seeing another pitcher with a wind-up that starts so slowly. Julio Mateo, who replaced Aaron Sele in the third inning, had a quicker delivery, but the man took forever between pitches. The deliberate styles of the pitching gave the game a lathargic pace. But after the Yanks jumped out to a 7-2 lead, Wang was impressive, working through the middle innings easily. He was excellent from the fourth through seventh innings.
Wang left the game to a nice hand with one out in the eighth. Tom Gordon replaced him, walked a batter and then allowed a two-run double to Brett Boone. The ball missed being a home run by about three feet. This meant that Mariano Rivera would be called on in the ninth. He struck the first man out, and then lost an 11-pitch battle and gave up a single. But Rivera got Ichiro to pop out to left (Suzuki helped Mo out, swinging at a 2-0 pitch that was up in the strike zone.), and Randy Winn to ground out. And that, was that. Tino Martinez homered for the fourth consecutive game, while John Flaherty and Robinson Cano hit the ball hard all evening, powering the Bombers' offense. It was nice to see Cano drive the ball and have something to show for it. The Yankees have gotten healthy playing against the A's and the M's. They've won two series in a row, and improved their record to 15-19.
We can forget about Felix Rodriguez: trade bait. Rodriguez tore cartilage in his left knee getting out of the shower or the hot tub, according to reports. It's not certain if he'll need surgery. He could be out for up to six weeks. Infielder Russ Johnson will replace him on the Yankees' roster.