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Game 70: Still auditioning?

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Win-less Chien Ming-Wang takes the hill tonight after showing improvement in his previous start. Against the Nationals, Wang allowed three runs in five innings, lowering his ERA from 13.92 to 12.30. The question though, is this: is he still on a game-by-game basis? If he sucks tonight, does Phil Hughes take over his spot in the rotation? I'd think not. Every decent game he pitches (like last Wednesday) gives him at least a two-game cushion. Wang pitched once against the Braves, allowing two runs in eight innings (back in 2006).

The off-day will hopefully clear everyone's heads of the horrendous two week period before that. The Yankee still have a game-and-a-half lead in the wild card, and all that matters is making the dance - once you get there, you only need to get hot.

22-year-old rookie (and 22nd-round pick) Tommy Hanson goes for Atlanta. He had a great minor league career, striking out 463 in 389 innings with a 2.52 ERA. Hanson's a power pitcher featuring a 93 MPH fastball and a very good slider. He was promoted on June 7 and has improved in each of his three starts: 6 ip, 6 er - 5.2 ip, 2 er - 6 ip, 0 er (not good news for us). He's never faced any Yankee hitter.

  • Our hottest hitters (and that's an especially relative term this week) are Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira, OPS-ing .833 and .749 respectively. On the cold side, it's A-Rod and Posada (.322 and .494 respectively).


Lineup

New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves

06/23/09 7:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees Atlanta Braves
Derek Jeter - SS Nate McLouth - CF
Nick Swisher - RF Yunel Escobar - SS
Mark Teixeira - 1B Chipper Jones - 3B
Alex Rodriguez - 3B Brian McCann - C
Robinson Cano - 2B Garret Anderson - LF
Jorge Posada - C Casey Kotchman - 1B
Melky Cabrera - LF Jeff Francoeur - RF
Brett Gardner - CF Kelly Johnson - 2B
Chien-Ming Wang - P Tommy Hanson - P