To Wang Or Not To Wang – That Is The Question

June 18, 2009 – 8:40 am

Washington 3, NYY 2. John Lannan pitched a great game — not much you can do about that. The guy has a career ERA of 3.78 while pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball, so when he’s on you’re liable to get beat regardless of how bad the Nationals might be. The biggest disappointment in this game wasn’t losing so much as it was what Chien-Ming Wang did and did not do. The old Wang still hasn’t shown up — but he’s clearly getting better with each outing, so there’s hope that at some point he will get back to his old form. But how much longer will that take? I guess at this point all we can do is wait and see, as surely Girardi will keep him in the starting rotation after tonight’s performance. And you certainly can’t fault that at all. Also, with Phil Hughes being pulled after two near-perfect innings, that’s probably another sign that Girardi is content with Hughes staying in the bullpen. Otherwise you would think he would have used this opportunity to allow Hughes to put in a longer outing in order to keep him ready for going back in to the starting rotation. Hughes is certainly doing a good job as a reliever, so that might work out well regardless. Let’s just hope that Wang keeps improving steadily.

On a somewhat unrelated note, Toronto now has all five of their starting pitchers out with injuries. That’s pretty amazing. I mention it only because too often I see Yankee fans blaming poor team performance on injuries, which is really bogus. The reality is that all teams have injuries and over the course of a season things even out for everyone. It’s just another aspect of the game that you have to deal with — no different than how you deal with slumping pitchers like Wang.

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