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April 16, 2006

by SG

After two disappointing games, the Yankees did what they apparently need to do to win this season, by scoring nine runs, powered by two HRs by Jason Giambi, and an outstanding pitching performance by Chien-Ming Wang.

I know I often sound like a broken record on this blog, and one of my constant issues has been with Wang continuing his success despite his low K rate. Wang shattered his career-high of five Ks, fanning eight over 7 strong innings. He allowed two runs, one earned, and walked no one. With a little better defensive support (a recurring theme this year), he could have pitched a shutout, but he was great regardless. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and in the post-game show Joe Torre said that Wang had worked out some mechanical issues with Ron Guidry. His splitter looked very sharp today, with good sharp downward bite. It's too early to make any grand conclusions about Guidry versus the dearly departed Mel Stottlemyre, but so far, the results seem to be trending positively.

After a rough first week, Jason Giambi is on fire. Giambi is now hitting .344/.543/.781 on the season. With Gary Sheffield apparently forgetting how to get on base, I think it's time to flip Sheffield and Giambi. You'd have a guy who is getting on base over half the time in front of the reigning AL MVP, and break up the Matsui/Giambi lefty cluster that is going to be problematic the longer it continues.

If any mouth-breathing idiots make a comment about Alex Rodriguez homering in another blowout, I'm going to hunt you down and slap some sense into you. He singled in what should have been the go-ahead run yesterday, which will of course get ignored by these dolts.

Last night's loss was tough, but I thought Scott Proctor was outstanding in a losing cause, and I hope that he has turned a corner to be a useful middle reliever and long man. I have a lot more confidence in him than Tanyon Sturtze right now. Unfortunately, I'm not the manager. It does seem that Sturtze has lost some standing as he was not brought in to pitch today. Why, with a 13 man pitching staff, did the Yankees need to use Shawn Chacon? What's next, a 14 man pitching staff?
(edit: According to the post-game, Chacon's getting skipped with the two off days this week. Given his struggles, it makes sense).

The players I've expected to play well so far have basically done so. The players I have not expected much from have also not surprised. I hope that Brian Cashman will be Machiavellian this year. When Aaron Small and Octavio Dotel come back, Sturtze and probably Jaret Wright do not belong on this team. How that situation is handled will be interesting.