6/10 – Yankees at Red Sox
Chien-Ming Wang (0-3, 14.46)
RED SOX (34-24)
Tim Wakefield (7-3, 4.50)
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
This is an important start for Chien-Ming Wang on a number of levels. Of course it’s his second start since coming off the disabled list, and yes, he’s always had trouble with the Red Sox. But Wang’s wife is back home in New Jersey and due to give birth to the couple’s first child, a boy, at any moment. Yet he’s on the mound here in the first inning and there appears to be no chance he’ll be called away in the next few hours.
As far as expectations, Joe Girardi said that he wants six strong innings out of Wang, where he can be consistent with his sinker. That’s nothing new – that’s pretty much what they’ve wanted all year, but the 14.46 ERA makes it apparent that was easier said than done early on. They’ll let him go 80 to 95 pitches if everything’s firing right. (UPDATE: Wang was pretty lucky to escape the first inning with just one run scoring. It’s never a good sign that Dave Robertson was already throwing in the bullpen.)
Some brief updates — there is nothing physically wrong with Hideki Matsui, Girardi said, despite his 0-for-16 skid … Xavier Nady will rejoin the Yankees in New York on Friday and hang around for the weekend before they decide what the next step is. He has to show he can play the outfield before they’ll consider activating him … Break in case of emergency, but Phil Hughes can still give the Yankees 80 to 85 pitches … Girardi said that his kids were playing around on MLB.com voting for the All-Star Game and expressed no surprise that Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, at first base in the American League.
“Two big markets, two clubs that have huge followings, and two players that are playing exceptionally well,” Girardi said.
FROM THE GAME NOTES
Tonight the Yankees play the second game of a three-game series at Boston after a 7-0 loss in the series opener on Tuesday…the Yankees and Red Sox have identical 34-24 records, which is the best mark in the AL and the third-best in the Majors (Los Angeles-NL, 39-20 and Philadelphia, 33-23)…the Yankees have won 19 of their last 26 games, including a season-high nine-game winning streak (5/13-21), which started the stretch…are 10 games over .500, one game shy of their season high-water mark…have won 11 of their last 16 road games since 4/28 at Detroit…went 4-2 on their just-completed, rain-shortened six-game homestand vs. Texas (2-1) and Tampa Bay (2-1)…following this series the Yankees return home for a six-game Interleague homestand with three games vs. the Mets (Friday-Sunday) and three vs. Washington (6/16-18)…will play 11 of their next 17 games on the road.
The Yankees were shut out for the first time this season in Tuesday’s 7-0 loss at Boston, snapping a streak of scoring at least one run in 100 consecutive games since 8/12/08…was their longest such stretch since a 100-game span from 9/3/05-6/25/06…were shut out eight times last season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, regardless of whether RHP Chien-Ming Wang (career: 54-23, .701) receives a win, loss or no-decision in tonight’s start at Boston, his winning percentage will be the highest for any pitcher through his first 100 starts with the Yankees since David Wells (.734, 58-21).
The New York Yankees announced today their game from Friday, 6/5 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays – postponed due to inclement weather – has been rescheduled for Monday, 9/ 7 at 7:05 p.m., as the second game of a day-night Labor Day doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
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