Return Of The Wanger

May 28, 2009 – 11:26 am

NYY 9, Texas 2. At last A.J. Burnett puts one in the win column with 6 solid innings of 3-hit shutout pitching. It would be nice to think he’s now getting in a groove — but the rap on him when he got here was being inconsistent, so this may be a pattern we have to live with. The only downside to his outing was that it took him way too many pitches (118) to get through six, and as we all know, no lead is entirely safe with the Yankee bullpen. But at least this time Girardi was able to get Jose Veras out of there before he could do too much damage.

Wanger ReturnsRight now the Rangers have the best record in the league, so winning a road series against them has to be considered big.  Although I still have a hard time believing the Rangers are all that good. Time will tell as they are just now starting to play some of the better teams in the league. But still, it turned out to be a very positive series for the Yankees. Jeter is heating up, A-Rod is starting to hit for average as well as power, Teixeira is hitting lights out, and even Hideki Matsui seems to be back to his old self (although he still doesn’t look all that comfortable at the plate). Even at the bottom of the order Gardner, Cervelli, and Cash were making contributions — amazing what competing for playing time will do, no? Right now the only real sure out in the lineup is poor Nick Swisher.

But without a doubt the most positive development from last night’s game was Chien-Ming Wang. You really have to feel sorry for Chien-Ming. He’s been the best, most consistent pitcher the Yankees have had over the last couple of years, but now he’s stuck in no-man’s land. You can certainly understand how Girardi is so hesitant to use him based on his performance so far this season. But last night was the perfect spot for him, and did he ever come through. Good velocity, good movement and location on the sinker, good strike-to-ball ratio, and two 3-and-outs with 2 Ks. That was the old Wanger for sure. I suspect Girardi hasn’t seen enough yet to put him back in the rotation — and I would agree with that — but things are definitely headed in that direction. Having the old Wanger in the #2 slot behind CC would make this a very formidable rotation.

Photo: Bleacher Report

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