The Yankees crushalated the Astros yesterday, finishing a three game sweep in Houston with a powerful 13-0 lashing. Unfortunately, they also suffered what could be a major injury.
The Yankees got three runs early when Hideki Matsui cracked a two-out double to the gap in left center and Roy Oswalt, who was struggling once again, responded by walking Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, and Jorge Posada to make it 1-0. Robinson Cano then made it 3-0 with a lucky broken-bat single that dropped in behind third base and plated two more runs.
The real action happened in the sixth. With Oswalt still on the mound, Posada and Robinson Cano led off with singles. After a Melky Cabrera fly out, Chien-Ming Wang laid down a hard bunt back to Oswalt that got Posada thrown out at third, but with Cano on second and Wang on first, Johnny Damon chopped an infield single to load the bases. Derek Jeter then singled Cano and Wang home, but as Wang was headed home from third base he pulled up lame and wound up skipping half of the way home. Once he touched the plate, Wang bent over at the waist as Cano anxiously waved out the trainer.
Wang was helped off the field and later left the clubhouse with the help of crutches and a golf cart with what was described generically as a foot injury. More won't be known until Wang has an MRI today, but he'll almost surely land on the DL, and if anything is broken, he could miss most or all of the remainder of the season (Brian Bruney's lisfranc injury come's frighteningly to mind). Let's not get ahead of ourselves with regard to how long Wang will be out, but if it's more than the minimum, it will be a brutal loss for the Yanks, as Wang appeared to have broken his slump with a strong outing in Oakland his previous time out and five shutout innings yesterday. Over those last two starts Wang compiled this line: 12 1/3 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. With the team starting to click, Wang could have run off an impressive streak the way he was pitching.
Roy Oswalt left the game at the same instant that Wang did, but due to poor performance rather than injury. The Yankees then teed off on lefty reliever Wesley Wright, a Rule 5 pick from the Dodgers this winter. Wright's first pitch was turned around for a two-run single by Matsui. His second was creamolished to left field by Alex Rodriguez for a three-run homer. Wright then got ahead of Jason Giambi 0-2, only to come back with three straight balls, the last of which hit Giambi. Two pitches later, Jorge Posada cracked another homer, driving Wright from the game and pushing the score to 11-0.
The last two Yankee runs came in the eight against ex-Brave Oscar Villarreal. In place of Wang, Ross Ohlendorf, Edwar Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Dan Giese each threw a scoreless inning in which each allowed one baserunner and struck out one batter.
The Yanks are coming back home with a four-game winning streak to face a poor San Diego Padres team, but all thoughts will be about Chien-Ming Wang until, and perhaps even after, the Yankees release a diagnosis on Wang's swollen right foot.