We have to start today's tour of the Yankee Universe with reactions to Wednesday's night's effort by Chien-Ming Wang in a 3-2 loss to Washington.
"For me," Jorge Posada said, "that felt like the old Wang."
Said manager Joe Girardi, "We wanted to see something good out of him and I think we did tonight."
From Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Chien-Ming Wang did his job tonight.
I know that won’t be a popular thing to say to Yankees fans right now as they deal with the humiliation of losing a game to the Nationals, but it’s true. Wang gave up three runs in five innings, and if not for a terrible call by the first-base ump in the fifth, it probably would have been two runs in five, possibly allowing him to come back out for the sixth.
Was it vintage Wang? No. Was it much closer to vintage Wang than anything we’ve seen this year? Absolutely. For that reason alone, he deserves to remain in the rotation. As long as he doesn’t take a huge step backwards and get lit up in his next start, this is likely going to be his spot for the foreseeable future.
From Bob Klapisch of The Record.
Like a wave crashing onto the beach, full of sound and fury before retreating in silence, the Chien-Ming Wang crisis (mostly) has played itself out. His velocity is again in the mid-90s, he’s back to throwing ground balls and earned at least another start, if not a long-term berth in the rotation.
This isn’t to say Wang worked a classic against the Nationals on Wednesday night; he clearly was outpitched by John Lannan in a teaser of a 3-2 loss to the major leagues’ worst team. But that was an indictment of the offense, not Wang, whose five innings (three runs, six hits, two walks) represented progress from his ash-heap days of early April.
- Give Washington starter John Lannan some props for his outstanding 8.1-inning effort. Lannan's 15th career victory was likely the most special of the Long Island native's young career. As a kid, he was a Yankee fan.
"I used to sit down the left field line, pretty close (to the field)," Lannan said. "The first time I was on 'SportsCenter' I was trying to reach over and grab a ball....
"From the get go, just driving in and seeing the old Stadium and the new one, it was definitely weird because I hadn't seen the new one," said Lannan "I tried to control my emotions as much as possible. Just being here and being in this stadium was something special. I'm just glad I soaked it all in. This place is beautiful and it had a great feel to it."
- Phil Hughes pitched two more quality innings out of the bullpen Wednesday. Hughes now has a 2.95 ERA in four relief outings.
"I just happen to be throwing the ball well and giving us innings when we need them, regardless of what my role is. It really doesn't make a difference as long as I can get in there and get some quality innings," said Hughes, who seems settled into his role as what he calls a utility pitcher.
"It's been fine. For the most part it's pretty comfortable. . . . I'm just taking it a day at a time. Right now I'm in the bullpen, and that's where I'm going to stay until I hear something different. I'm not waiting around and assuming something's going to happen."
- Ex-Yankee Mel Hall was sentenced Wednesday to 45 years in prison.