Michael Kay loves calling extra innings “bonus cantos,” but when they come in a regular season game that began with a compelling starting pitching matchup, they feel like anything but a bonus. Saturday afternoon’s contest between the Yankees and Blue Jays began with Chien-Ming Wang dueling Roy Halladay, but ended in the twelfth inning with Brett Tomko and Sean Camp. The Yankees won, but I still feel a little bit ripped off. Some of that feeling likely comes from the fact that, while the Yankees unexpectedly won a game started by Halladay, something they hadn’t done in six tries since Wang bested Halladay on Opening Day of last season, they may have lost Wang.
Wang pitched well for five innings yesterday, getting ten of his 15 outs on the ground. He got into a bit of trouble in the second by walking Lyle Overbay with one out, then giving up a ground-rule double to Vernon Wells and a two-RBI bouncer up the middle to Alex Rios, but killed that rally there by getting Dave Dellucci to hit into a double play. He then allowed just one more baserunner over the next three innings until Marco Scutaro led off the sixth with a double and, after an Aaron Hill groundout, Adam Lind homered to right, erasing what had been a 3-2 Yankee lead.
Wang’s next pitch sailed low and away from Scott Rolen. Jorge Posada, who immediately ran out to the mound and called out the trainer, later said Wang “didn’t throw that ball, he seemed like he kinda spotted it in there.” Wang was immediately removed from the game with what an MRI later diagnosed as a shoulder strain and bursitis. That ruined what had been a long, but seemingly fruitful comeback by Wang, who won his first game in more than a year against the Mets his last time out and entered the sixth with a lead on the great Halladay.
The Yanks got to Halladay early, scoring a run in the first on a one-out walk to Johnny Damon, a groundout that moved Damon into scoring position, and an RBI single to right field by Alex Rodriguez on which Damon just beat Raul Chavez’s tag at the plate. They then added another in the second on a solo homer by Hideki Matsui and yet another in the fourth on a lead-off homer by Posada, which gave the Yankees that 3-2 lead.
Making just his second start since returning from a groin injury, Halladay was clearly off his game. Having walked just 15 men and allowed just seven home runs all year, he issued three of each in this game and ultimately gave up five runs. David Robertson coughed up another run after Wang’s departure by walking the first two men he faced then giving up another RBI single to Alex Rios, but Halladay couldn’t hold the 5-3 lead. With his pitch count in the high-90s, he opened the seventh by giving up a single to Derek Jeter and a game-tying Yankee Stadium homer to the third row in right field to Johnny Damon.
And so it stood for the next five innings as Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Phil Coke, and Brett Tomko combined for five hitless innings (two of them by Coke). The Yankees had their chances before the twelfth. Hideki Matsui hit a one-out ground-rule double off Brandon League in the eighth, but Melky Cabrera couldn’t move him over, and Brett Gardner struck out to strand him. Derek Jeter led of the bottom of the ninth by working a nine-pitch walk off Jeremy Accardo. After Damon struck out, Jeter moved to second on a fly ball to deep center by Mark Teixeira. Cito Gaston then had Accardo walk Alex Rodriguez and brought in Jesse Carlson, who got Robinson Cano to ground out to strand both runners.
Cano was nearly the goat again in the bottom of the twelfth. Teixeira led off with a double off Camp, again prompting Gaston to have Rodriguez intentionally passed. Cano was then assigned to bunt the runners up, but Camp didn’t throw him a strike, so Cano took to 3-0. One pitch away from loading the bases, Cano inexplicably bunted the 3-0 pitch (Girardi later said, “he misunderstood something”). Not only that, but he didn’t get the ball far enough away from home plate, and Teixeira, who was expecting Cano to take and was thus headed back toward second base as the ball neared the plate, was easily forced out at third.
No matter, Jorge picked his teammate up by delivering a game-winning single to center. Game over. Yankees win 6-5, take a 2-0 lead in the wrap-around series, emerged victorious from a Roy Halladay start on a beautiful Independence Day Saturday, and pulled within one game of the Red Sox, who lost to the Mariners. Just try not to think about Chien-Ming Wang’s shoulder while you’re watching things blow up in the sky tonight.
The latest on Wang is that he is indeed headed to the DL, but could only miss a month. The All-Star break will allow the Yankees to avoid using a replacement starter more than twice in the next three weeks, but they’ll still need to get a good four starts or so out of whomever takes Wang’s place. Phil Hughes is the obvious choice, though the Yankees might argue that he’d need to be stretched out before moving back into the rotation, ditto Alfredo Aceves, the obvious Plan B. Girardi said after the game that neither would be able to throw much more than 50 pitches right now, but that the team would discuss its options. Stay tuned . . .
I'd start Hughes for 3 innings and then go to Aceves.
I've examined all those who have started in AAA and AA ball respectively. Considering they have had much luck with AA players to date this year, and Igawa is ahem, the "best starter" at SWB so far, I would suggest giving Zach McAllister of the Trenton Thunder a shot. At the very least he would represent a total surprise for other organizations, which could play to the Yankees' advantage for a few starts. Clearly he should have a better record and Trenton hasn't really given him much run support so far as his W/L are evident. In his last ten starts, he has only allowed ten total earned runs, three HR, and no more than three runs in any single start. Opponents are hitting .220 against him in that stretch. That's quite an impressive stretch of work for a 21 year old really, in keeping with the "hot hand" philosophy.
As I stated in the game thread however, with our luck, they will call up Igawa...
i vote for Mikey Moose to pitch this month!
i miss mike mussina...
 Right now Thelarmis, Mike Mussina could do much better than Igawa...
 yes. of this, i have no doubt!
Only one game back. Is Girardi fired yet?
Because a few of you e-mailed, Robinson Cano missed a sign in the bottom of the 12th when he bunted a 3-0 pitch. Nobody was exactly sure what he was thinking and Cano did not make himself available to talk about it.
f he missed the sign he missed the sign, and it is not on Girardi. Period. Should he be bunting? There's no magic to a #5 hitter, any more than there is to Jeter, wherever he bats. The bunt made sense, to me.
It will also make sense to slot Cano at 7th for awhile, I'd say.
Is Fated Pig new here? Do I hear an echo?
Great call on McAllister. If it's only one game, then why not?
It will probably Mitre. Meh.
 is either on the 40man?
 No. (Look just to the left and you'll see, as a matter of fact!)
 McAllister and Mitre are not on the 40-man, but couldn't they move Marte to the 60-day DL to make room for either? He's currently on the 15-day DL, whatever that means, as he's missed way more time than that. Or does it not work that way? I thought they shut Damaso down and sent him to Tampa for rest and rehab in any event, maybe even for the duration of this season.
 now that would be too easy
 right, I think they can do that. not sure.
Catching up, I figure I'll say my last words on Bum Rush. I found, ultimately, his inflexibility to be as much a problem as his rudeness. There are people on here that I think I just disagree with on a fundamental level, but there is at least some kind of give and take, even if it's only superficial. There really seemed to be no point in exchanging ideas with Bum Rush; he was unpleasant and intractable and in the end that proved to be his undoing, as he was unpleasant and intractable when Mr. Belth tried to reach out to him.
Sorry to drag it in here if that's poor manners.
Anyway that's three "misunderstandings" between Girardi and his young players (Gardner, Cabrera, Cano) that I can think of. I detect a pattern.
Cano batting fifth is a problem because the most productive part of his line-up bats before him. If he's going to keep killing rallies, he should be moved so someone with some hope of contributing to what the first four start can give it a whack.
In fact, Nady is also on the 40-man. Considering he's headed for TJ Surgery and will definitely be out for the remainder of at least this season, there is another available slot on that roster, right?
Bugger all of this roster confusion business just because Wang has a shoulder thingy!
Dear Mr. Cashman,
Please bring up Zach McAllister for any of Wang's missed starts during the near future. Hopefully, we'll all be pleasantly surprised!
I'm just watching the end of the Red Sox game. This is the team with the awesome bullpen? Saito walked three men in the ninth inning. Josh Bard was up throwing. I know, they burnt their best relievers last night in that long game. Still.
that was one of the most exhausting games i have ever been to. a lot of people left after the 10th. plus it really seemed like cano sucked the life out of the crowd in the bottom of the 9th.
i was sooo happy when po got that hit.
i really feel bad for wang though. his sinker seemed better. i wonder if he has been throwing too many sliders to compensate for his poor sinker and that strained his shoulder.
i skimmed through the game thread. seems like an unfortunate situation. but some of these threads were getting toxic.
 It appears "the best bullpen in MLB" is also susceptible to a funk...
I've noticed Papelbon struggle through most of his saves instead of facing three or four batters; at least in the games I've seen him in over the last five weeks or so. Maybe that explains his ridiculous WHIP for a closer of 1.33. Talk about fugly, that's closer to Chamberlain's, than Mo's! Maybe one of these days, hitters will just stop swinging at Papelbon's crap, and make him throw strikes...
 Hey Ms October! It seems you got your money's worth as far as innings played go. Terrible about Wang and you are absolutely right about too many sliders. That is very taxing on a shoulder to be sure! Did you enjoy the New Yankee Stadium?
I too would have stayed to the end, win or lose. Obviously, Banterer's presence is a very powerful force!
As far as what Alex did to only the second poster in the history of this Blog...
"I must do what I must do, and I do, 'til I know better." - DEVO
Rangers knocked Price out early and are leading pretty big: 9-4, Bot 5.
 NOT poor manners in the slightest!
 glad you got to see a win! hope the bullet-proof vest kept you safe! : )
Ms. Oct., you got free baseball! Hope you savored it. Plus beating Halladay, wow.
"The 46-year-old Moyer tied Carl Hubbell for 42nd on the all-time list with his 253rd career win."
 thanks thelarmis - yes the bullet-proof vest kept me safe. :}
 yeah i definitely savored it riyank. although i love the sun/heat by the end of the game i must say was ready to go though between the heat and ire at robertson and cano. as you all saw the yanks were really hitting halladay hard, even on the outs. it was great to see a game that most of us were a bit pessimistic about turn out a w.
 definitely pj. i mostly enjoyed new ys. the word that came to mind is "sanitized." obviously much of that is because it is new - the seats are more comfortable, the view (from the outfield terrace) was pretty good - i think better than a comprable seat at the old place, amenities like the bathrooms better, etc. but it doesn't feel unique or have much of the griity edge that the old place had. the crowd was pretty tame as well. the most obnoxious person in my area was the water vendor who kept yelling "when was the last time the yankees beat roy halladay?"
3 more outs to go in Arlington. Rangers up by 6 runs. i think it would be really terrific to gain 2 games in a row on the 3 other teams in our division that matter. let's shoot for this again tomorrow!
12-4. Everyday Eddie in to close the book on the Rays. this is a nice start to the weekend. let's keep it up tomorrow.
Boston - +72
Yanks 1 +59
Rays 5 +78
we have the 3rd best record in MLB and 2nd best offense. that said, we're only 6 runs behind the Rays and they've played 2 more games than us...
 yeah it has been a pretty exciting start to the weekend. I hope it holds. Their starter got bumped tomorrow. Hopefully that doesn't throw our hitters off too much. :b
I know it isn't really fair to do this, but if you discount Wang's first couple of start our run differential is much more in line with Boston and the Rays. Those major landslide losses give a deceptive picture.
In any case, we're winning right now. So long as we don't panic when we get into small slumps and make unwise moves we should be in good position going into the post season. knocks on wood several times....
btw, should we start an over/under on when Hinske enters a game?
 hmmmmmm, sounds familiar....
 yeah man, i was wondering if Bum was gonna show up w/ a new alias. esp since the email addy he signed up with is not the one he checks....
hmmm. strange things are afoot at the Circle K!
btw, how's the turtle? : )
I caught the fist few innings on the radio, and the last few innings on TV. So I missed most of Wang's start. How "not bad" did he look? Better than his final line?
Is he really hurt, or is this an excuse to shut him down for a few weeks and try someone else as a starter. Meanwhile, the team's devious ploy to use Hughes as little as possible in each relief appearance now apperas to have rendered him unfit to go back in the rotation.
 And yes, I read Cliff's recap. I'm just seeing how everyone else saw the game.
 Only one game back. Is Girardi fired yet?
Their payroll is over $65 million higher than any other team in MLB, yet you apparently think just keeping an extraordinarily talented team close to first place, while making numerous dumb decisions, like continuing to bat Cano 5th, demonstrates that Girardi is doing a great job, and that you have somehow nailed people who think that Girardi isn't the right manager for this team.
That's actually pretty funny.
This should be the link.
 Yes, he looked very good. But only 'very good', not great -- top-shelf Wang doesn't give up the double and the homer, I think. Still, all those grounders gave me a good feeling. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
How long would it take to "stretch out" Hughes? Suppose you didn't worry about getting maximum use out of him, so he could throw simulated innings whenever. Start now -- give him however many innings today as is ideal for stretching purposes, or, if he's supposed to have today off, give him today off and then begin the routine. (The idea is to get maximum benefit out of the AS break.)
Are we talking a week, two, a month?
 On June 10, he threw 60+ pitches in 3+ innings of relief. But since then his pitch count has gone down, and two of his last three appearances have been less than 10 pitches. I wonder if he had been used for a couple of innings now and again, perhaps stretching him out would be easier.
I also wonder if the "need to stretch him out" objection is horseshit. I think sometimes that the organization has finally succumbed to eighth inning obsession disorder, and really do see Hughes now as the eighth inning guy. Thus, they have to concoct various excuses for why he should not be in the rotation.
HIs last for or five starts were Joba-esque or better, and yet this somehow warranted demotion to the bullpen. When I griped at the time, it was pointed out that there would be plenty of opportunity for him to rejoin the rotation, that he was the next one back in, etc. Well, here we are and...
Wang to the DL, Albaladejo up (though I imagine another move before CMW scheduled start)