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Beating the Bottom Feeders
2005-05-11 04:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

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.

Slip Up

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.

Comments
2005-05-11 06:08:30
1.   Dan M
I guess I need to eat a bit of crow after my "automatic out" comment re: Cano yesterday.
2005-05-11 06:18:10
2.   Simone
Good to see the Yankees putting together these wins. Wang looks solid. Cano finally got a couple hits. Bernie is hitting. Tino is crushing the ball. Very nice.
2005-05-11 06:33:43
3.   seamus
Cliff, what do you think of Russ Johnson? I was hoping to see Mitch Jones but it sounds like Johnson might give us a bit more flexibility and Jones can continue to play every day at AAA.
2005-05-11 06:39:32
4.   seamus
um, Wes Johnson I think I mean...
2005-05-11 06:59:37
5.   rsmith51
Unless Bernie starts playing the OF, it seems like bringing up a OF makes more sense. Is Bernie OK to play OF. If so, are they going to put him in LF?
2005-05-11 07:14:35
6.   Cliff Corcoran
I'll discuss Russ Johnson in my game preview later today, but you can read a quick note on him in the comments to my "Dare We Ask For Four?" post below. But for what it's worth, I seem to remember him playing some corner OF in spring training, and Joe stuck Andy Phillips in left the other day. Bernie's tricep is still healing, but I'm sure in a spot Joe would stick him out there.

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