Curt Schilling’s season thus far has been defined by his 133-pitch outing against the Indians on April 25. Prior to that outing, Schilling was 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA, allowing 17 hits and four walks and two homers while striking out 23 in 28 innings. The Indians worked him over in that April 25 game, scoring five runs on nine hits and two walks and forcing him to throw 133 pitches in just 6 2/3 innings. Since then he’s 2-2 with a 6.46 ERA, allowing 31 hits, three walks and seven homers while striking out 21 in 23 2/3 innings. The good news for Sox fans is that Schillings walk and strikeout rates remain excellent. The bad news is that six of those seven homers came in his last two starts, the first of which was a 7-3 loss to the Yankees.
Chien-Ming Wang’s season also took a turn around April 25, though his was for the better. Before that date, Wang had a 5.48 ERA and had surrendered 30 hits and seven walks in 23 innings. Since then he’s gone 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA by holding the opposition to 25 hits in 34 innings. Wang’s only non-quality start during that span was a five-inning outing against the Red Sox in Boston, the Yankees’ only game in Fenway this year prior to tonight. Wang allowed three runs on six hits and four walks in the first five innings of that game, but appeared to have settled down by the end of the fifth. Despite the fact that Wang had thrown just 77 pitches to that point, Joe Torre decided to replace him with the newly activated Aaron Small, leading to yet another game lost to poor bullpen management.
Unlike Schilling, Wang has yet to throw 100 pitches in a game this year and needed just 166 tosses to get through sixteen innings over his last two starts. Here’s hoping these trends continue tonight as the Yankees head to Fenway for a three game series against the Red Sox, who, save for a bullpen move that will allow them to activate David Riske prior to tonights game, look just like they did two weeks ago in the Bronx.