Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rained Out

For the third time this year, the Yankees are playing a day/night double header due to rain.

Unlike last time, we're throwing out the right pitchers tomorrow. After 21 games in 20 days, the Yankees will enjoy their two days off. Chien-Ming Wang and Randy Johnson are much more likely to take the game into the 7th and 8th innings, unlike the rest of the rotation (sans Mussina).

Also, both pitchers work efficiently and quickly. The team isn't going to be out on the field for 9 hours total. Detroit is exactly the kind of team - free swinging and relying on power - that Wang destroys. He got beat up in Detroit, but I'd wager that Wang pitches well tomorrow. d

Some interesting Wang facts, for the bored:

Wang had an excellent July, pitching 35 innings in 5 games (over 7 per), for 4 wins and a 3.03 ERA. He went 4-1, getting 71 ground outs and 26 air outs. He did all of this despite striking out just seven. Seven? Thats like three innings of Eric Gagne.

Wang is unique among pitchers. Never in the history of the game has a player with so few strikeouts performed so well. Wang still leaves a lot to be determined by luck however. Take a look at Wang's May and June.

In May, Wang pitched 40 innings in 6 starts to a 4.28 ERA. He induced 83 groundouts, 27 fly outs and 9 strikeouts. He allowed 2 home runs and walked only 8. He allowed 38 hits.

In June, Wang pitched 42 innings in 5 starts and 1 relief appearance. His ERA was over a full run lower at 3.19. He induced 82 groundouts, 28 air outs, and 13 strikeouts. He walked 9 and gave up 3 home runs. He allowed 45 hits.

Despite nearly identical peripheral stat lines. Wang was significantly better in June than May. In fact, he gave up slightly more hits, home runs, walks, and fly balls. However, as luck would have it, a few more ground balls squeaked through at the wrong times in May.

Wang will forever, unless his strikeouts inch up, be vunerable to the whims of luck and defense. Still, he's been better than any pitcher in history with strikeout rates as low as his.