NOT A CHIEN MING WANG NIGHT AS YANKEE BATTERS SHOW THEIR MIGHT: WIN 15 TO 6 AGAINST BOSOX • Latino Sports

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NOT A CHIEN MING WANG NIGHT AS YANKEE BATTERS SHOW THEIR MIGHT: WIN 15 TO 6 AGAINST BOSOX

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A much anticipated Chien Ming Wang encore of his complete, two-hit game 5 days ago at Boston seemed to be heading to its opposite when he allowed a run in the first inning, and without any outs, bases loaded situation on the top of the second, a visit to the mound by the pitching coach seemed like a bad night may unfold.

El Bronx, NY: A much anticipated Chien Ming Wang encore of his complete, two-hit game 5 days ago at Boston seemed to be heading to its opposite when he allowed a run in the first inning, and without any outs, bases loaded situation on the top of the second, a visit to the mound by the pitching coach seemed like a bad night may unfold. Thanks to a Booby Abreu’s two-run home run and an Alex Rodriguez’s blast to left on the bottom of the first, Chien had a 3-1 lead to begin the top of the second inning. It ended with Boston scoring only one run. At this point it remained to be seen if both starting pitchers would settle down: Boston’s Clay Buckholz, the opposing pitcher last Friday, had pitched 6 solid innings allowing just one run on four hits.

Boston had  came to town with a four-game winning streak to the Yank’s two – having  swept  Tampa Bay  in their two game set. The Boston’s streak came as a result of their taking the next two games from the Yankees after Chien’s masterpiece and by talking two from the Cleveland (un-Native Americans).

One of New York’s finest, baseball pundits, that is, has categorized Chien Ming Wang as a “second starter” despite having won more games than any other pitcher the last two seasons. Why? According to this famous sport talk host and baseball announcer – have not given his identity, I hope – Chien lacks the ability to strike out many batters – and because he puts many “balls in play,” this, becomes a post-season liability. Given Chien’s post-season record, he has not proven to be an ace under these circumstances.

Through 4 innings Chien did put many balls in play and Boston tied the game at 3 with a total of 4 hits. Boston’s Buckholz did not have it either. The Yankees went ahead 4-3 and loaded the bases for Derek Jeter with two outs. Interestingly enough, story has it that Clay Buckholz grew up being a Derek Jeter fan. Thanks, but no thanks for the Boston Nation when Jeter singled to right driving in two runs making the score 6-3. Fan no mas!

With Bobby Abreu at bat, reliever Julián Tavares wild pitched another run in (7-3).

On the top of the 5th, Chien was showing that he was not up to up to par, allowing the first run of a  6-run inning on a double and  a run producing single by Dave Ortiz who came to town looking  for a jersey found in the stadium under construction bearing his number and name.

Ortiz was batting only .113 at the start of the game. Successive singles by Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis loaded the bases again with no outs, but this time J.D. Drew smacked a two RBI single up the middle bringing the score to 7-6 and a pitching change.  Chien would not be the winner after 3 successive wins. One thing for sure, Chien put a lot of balls in play, and when the dust settled, he had allowed a total of 8 runs. “His pitches seemed to be good but low in the zone and when he adjusted, they seemed to be in too high,” said skipper Joe Girardi.

Chien’s successor, Ross Ohlendorf, did one thing of the formula of a “successful front line starter:” he struck out the side, but in between the mix he did put a number of balls in play. All his inherited runners scored and he allowed one run of his own. The idea of strike outs versus putting the ball in play was off the hook and so was Buckholz.

But Chien would not turn out to be the loser either as the Yankees had their second straight four run inning on the bottom of the 5th taking the lead again 11-9. They were on their way to three 4-run innings and their highest run production of the season to date.

LaTroy Hawkins was brought in to relieve Ohlendorf after he started the top of the sixth walking Manny Ramirez.  There were no boos when Hawkins came in because he had changed his jersey number to 22. Prior to this game he had worn 21 and the fans would have no part of it as the memory of Paul O’Neill still resonates in the Old stadium. Perhaps the same thing may happen if someone, for example, took Bernie Williams’ number 51. Maybe the issue in the future can be resolved if Major League Baseball retired number 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente, something Latroy Hawkins tried to do in his own way  and in no way in disrespect  for Paul O’Neill.

At any rate, Girardi was very pleased with Hawkins’ performance when the manager said he was glad Hawkins was on the staff and that he was a different and improved pitcher from his earlier years.

A final word: This game took place on the anniversary one year ago of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.