"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Streak Is Over

Jimmy Rollins deposited the first pitch of tonight’s game between the Phillies and Yankees in the right field seats. That pretty much summed up the game right there as the Phillies snapped the Yankees’ nine-game winning streak with a 7-3 victory.

Carlos Ruiz rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run to left field off A.J. Burnett in the second inning (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Seven home runs were hit in the game, four by the Phillies and three by the Yankees, but Philadelphia starter Brett Myers otherwise kept the Yankees off base, walking no one and allowing just five other hits. As a result, the Yankee taters—by Alex Rodriguez in the sixth and Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira in the eighth, the last reaching the suit level just under the upper deck in right field—were all solo shots. The Phils, meanwhile, added two-run jacks from Carlos Ruiz in the second and Jayson Werth in the fifth to build a 5-0 lead on A.J. Burnett, who otherwise struck out seven against just two walks in his six innings.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched the final three innings for the Yanks, but struggled to throw strikes or keep his pitches down. He started his first three batters off 2-0. The second man he faced, major league home run leader Raul Ibañez, crushed a letter-high pitch into the right-center-field bleachers, after which Wang put runners on the corners before getting Matt Stairs to ground out to strand them.

In the eighth, Wang gave up another run on singles by Pedro Feliz (on a 2-0 pitch), Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley (on 1-0), finally beginning to show some of his old form by getting Ibañez to ground into an inning-ending double play. Of the seven pitches Wang threw in the ninth that reached catcher Kevin Cash, six were balls (four of them walking Jayson Werth) and just one was a strike. His other three pitches that inning were put in play in the air, albeit for outs.

Wang showed good velocity, hitting 94 and even 95 on the YES gun, but he wasn’t locating or getting his pitches down in the zone. He gave the rest of the pen some much-needed rest, but he didn’t do anything that would threaten Phil Hughes’ place in the rotation for now.

After the game, Joe Girardi said Wang showed “definite progress,” noting his velocity and the few good sinkers he did throw, which makes you wonder how poor he looked in Scranton. Girardi added that Wang wouldn’t be available again until Tuesday, which is Joba Chamberlain’s next scheduled start, though Chamberlain insists his knee is already fine.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Rich   ~  May 22, 2009 10:12 pm

Is Eiland a good enough pitching coach to get the most out of pitchers that are struggling? I think that's an open question.

2 cult of basebaal   ~  May 22, 2009 10:26 pm

CMW *was* better tonite.

He was inconsistent, but better.

Velocity was up and the sinker, when sinking, was nasty.

I'm willing to give him a start, confidence is a big thing and I think he's starting to get it back ...

3 Rich   ~  May 22, 2009 10:32 pm

Girardi said Wang will be in the pen for now.

4 cult of basebaal   ~  May 22, 2009 11:04 pm

[3] well, i assume that means 'until after monday' ...

5 Mattpat11   ~  May 22, 2009 11:38 pm

A loss is a loss. As long as they win the series, and more importantly, don't on on a Yankee-like 2-7 run, the team is in good shape.

However, I'm rapidly losing patience with Burnett. a 5.28 ERA 10 HR and a 1.43 WHIP just aren't cutting it.

6 williamnyy23   ~  May 22, 2009 11:52 pm

I was at the game and have to admit I had a strong feeling they'd lose. Still, it is kind of disappointing that every time the Yankees step up in class, they seem to fall flat.

7 The Hawk   ~  May 23, 2009 12:49 am

As I mentioned in the other thread, I had a vision of that first pitch homer before the game started. A bad omen.

However I did not envision Burnett doing ... whatever the hell he was doing. He's incredibly frustrating to watch when he's bad because he still appears to be good. His stuff was still nasty, by the looks of it, but the result was a failure.

I'm not down with keeping Wang in the pen. What is the point of that? So we have another firebug? Either he's good to go or he's not. Wang is not - apparently - the kind of pitcher who can "make do". I'd much rather see Hughes in the pen, if anything.

Man, it'll be sad if this is the end of Chien-Ming Wang. He was a solid, consistent pitcher.

Anyway, a loss but not a heartbreaking loss. It's essential they win tomorrow. I don't want Sabathia pitching to salvage a series at home.

Oh and can we close the book on the new stadium? It's a ****ing band box, period.

8 Rich   ~  May 23, 2009 1:01 am

[7] Wang is temporarily in the pen out of necessity. They didn't have another long man with Aceves unavailable until Tuesday. Meanwhile, he is taking small steps forward and building up some confidence. Plus, his velo was much better. I wouldn't be shocked if Wang ends up having a better season than AJ.

btw, When Cone talks about pitches, he seems to know what he is talking about. For example, he mentioned that AJ needs to move hitters off the plate and give them different looks. All Eiland talks about is his shoulder flying open.

The Yankees should consider hiring him.

9 Mr. Max   ~  May 23, 2009 2:10 am

[8] It was Leiter tonight, not Cone, and Leiter is just as much of a pitching guru as Cone, though I think Leiter is a little more in tune with modern pitching styles and conventions. Leiter was talking about the flying open a lot as well, and it makes total sense. That stuff is really important. When Joba got injured, it was because his mechanics had changed and he was compensating, albeit with success. Hell, anyone who has ever watched Joba could tell you that he's is terribly inconsistent with his delivery, and it's obvious that he could have benefitted from the extra AAA time to get consistent habits.

But I digress.

The point is that Burnett's injury history is based on things like the flying open, and it's possible that his success was often based on compensating for them, thus hurting himself (as Leiter said). Maybe now he is healthy because he is not compensating. I'm only speculating wildly, but it's just to say that Eiland is very, very well-respected, and seems to know what he is doing. He was a terrific AAA coach, too.

10 Rich   ~  May 23, 2009 2:28 am

[9] I'm referring to Cone's comments on he postgame show.

Part of maintaining sound mechanics is to be able to be self-aware (as well has having a catcher than can spot flaws; I'm not sure what Cash contributes). Apparently, AJ isn't.

It has often been said that AJ has a million arm and a ten cent head. I think we have been seeing how accurate that assessment is.

His mechanics seem to fall part whenever he perceives that he is under stress (e.g., what happened in Boston and in Toronto). When that happens on a consistent basis over time, another approach has to be tried (assuming your GM isn't smart enough to even think about giving him a five year contract, but I digress).

That, imo, was the type of advice that Cone was offering, in other words, outside of the box thinking.

We'll see if the Yankees' pitching "brain trust" is capable of that.

11 PJ   ~  May 23, 2009 2:30 am

On a more humorous note, Dave Eiland "hit" .083 during one of his "seasons" with the Padres in 1993 (15 PA's). The "back up catcher" Kevin Cash is "hitting" .063 right now (16 PA's)!

Maybe that's not so humorous after all...

Ms October was right on the last game thread (Post #101)! Is Wil Nieves available?

: )

12 Mattpat11   ~  May 23, 2009 2:42 am

You'll never convince me that Wil Nieves wasn't the worst player in baseball for those three months we had him.

13 thelarmis   ~  May 23, 2009 3:18 am

[12] i'm trying to learn more about FIP and FIP-ERA. you have any pointers that can break it down nice 'n easy, for a drummer like me? thanks!

14 OldYanksFan   ~  May 23, 2009 7:29 am

[13] Check out Hardball Times:
"Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. FIP was invented by Tangotiger."

15 OldYanksFan   ~  May 23, 2009 7:51 am

Leave Phil in the Rotation. Let Wang work out his issues in the BP for long relief and mop-up. He needs to get his confidence and consistency together against MLB hitting.

Cone, and better yet Leiter, would make great Pitching coaches... or at least, 'consultants'.

16 ms october   ~  May 23, 2009 8:10 am

[0] long live the streak.

[11] haha, thanks pj :}

i have no way of knowing which pitching coaches are worth a damn. i know a lot of people were down on stotlemeyer - who knows. supposedly cmw worked very well with guidry. eiland has seemingly done good work with the young guys.
but i do think both cone and leiter have the lingo and body of work that lend itself well to be pitching effective pitching coaches. supposedly cone goes down and watches the pitchers a lot.

[5] i'll second that. i find burnett very frustrating.
and his last few starts have not been good enough.

i'd be interested to hear from someone like leiter or cone to get a better sense on whether a night like last night can be something for wang to build on or if he would have been better off making another aaa start.
my belief is the aaa start - but i don't know.

17 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  May 23, 2009 9:13 am

Williamnyy23, did you send an email to Buster Olney about all the home runs in the new Stadium? If so, there's a snarky reply waiting for you in his daily blog over at espn.com..

18 Diane Firstman   ~  May 23, 2009 9:35 am


Interesting, given Olney's concerns about the park (you'll see it in my NOTD later this morning).

Also ... this just in .... LeBron James .... is pretty good!

19 OldYanksFan   ~  May 23, 2009 9:42 am

RJ pitching for the Giants, for #299, put up the following:
5.1 - 6- -1- -1- -3- -7- 0 - 115-70
So... 6 hits and 3 BBs... and 115 pitches in 5.1 IP.
7 Ks, so he still has some stuff.
Wow. Anyway, he missed it and got a ND.
115 pitches in 5.1 IP. And we're frustrated with Phil and Joba?

20 The Hawk   ~  May 23, 2009 9:50 am

[8] I understand why he was in the pen right now, but I was reacting to the info in your comment [3]. I took it to mean for more than just the weekend. If that's no the case, then good.

21 The Hawk   ~  May 23, 2009 9:51 am

[19] Just Phil, really.

22 williamnyy23   ~  May 23, 2009 10:13 am

[17] I'm famous! I didn't think he read the comments, so it's nice to know I inspired his latest blog. Of course, I was hoping he might actually do some real analysis, but I guess I'll have to settle for a story about his whiffle ball field.

I left him another comment (not email), so maybe I'll be the inspiration for his Sunday blog too.

23 OldYanksFan   ~  May 23, 2009 10:17 am

From (not Pete) at Lohud:
"Not surprisingly, the Yankees are 21-5 this year when they play a clean defensive game, and last night it wasn’t just routine plays they were making – it was exceptional ones."

Yowza... thats .808 baseball!
Are we hitting poorly or pitching poorly the same days we are fielding poorly? When you look at Offensive RS vs. Defensive RS, it seems great D never makes up for very poor O. Might this be a flaw in 'statistics'?

I have seen many games, every year, where one or 2 fielding plays turned a Win into a Loss... and visa versa. Thoughts?

Food for Thought:
Just who is the real Melky? When he is smart and patient he is a good LD hitter. With more patience and more BBs, he is an above average CFer (slightly above average D, above average arm and his bat).

Jeter w/6 HRs. Can't say the power is gone, 4 at Home and 4 vs RHP... so these don't appear that skewed. A .792 OPS. So.....
Is Jeter in DECLINE or just a gradual, expected aging process?

Am I reading this correctly?
Jorge, on defense AND throwing has only cost us 1-2 runs per year? (with an OPS+ of 124)

Tex is the real deal. $23m/yr is still too high, but the market overvalues premiere players. Watching Mattingly play his entire career,I think people UNDERvalue the importance of D at 1B. Yeah, I know, defensive spectrum and all that... but I'm not buying. I think excellent D at 1st makes a big difference.

Nick the Swish: Current line: .231 .373 .515 .888
Career OPS: 810, OPS+ 113.
Can Nick be counted on for at least a .825 OPS?

Do we need Nady? I know he can't hurt, but who might we get for him. Worth exploring?

Montero and Cervix might be a very nice #1 - #2 pair of catchers for 2011 and beyond. I have to think Posada is a #3 C and primary DH in 2011.

ARod is stiff in the field. He is still in his first month of ST after a 3 months longer layoff then everyone else. Looking at his power numbers, all things considered, I think he is doing well (but our expectations are always Oh so high).

24 The Hawk   ~  May 23, 2009 10:20 am

[23] Regarding Jeter, isn't it the same thing? I mean, he's in decline because he's getting older.

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