Wang to start in finale with Tigers
New York (69-54) vs. Detroit (67-56), Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
Chien-Ming Wang is coming off a couple of rough outings, but the right-handed sinkerballer will be looking to get back on track when he faces the Tigers on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said Wang just needs to trust his pitches, especially the one that worms fear.
"Sometimes he looks like he gets a little tentative out there, and that comes from not having the same feel he had a month ago," said Torre. "He's basically a sinkerball guy, and that's his bread and butter. Sometimes, he may use the other stuff too much, and that may take some away from it."
In his last start against the Orioles, Wang surrendered a home run to Corey Patterson, snapping a career-best streak of 56 2/3 innings without allowing a home run. The 27-year-old is 12-3 with a 3.79 ERA in his last 18 starts, and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wang's average of 14.4 pitches per inning is the lowest among American League qualifiers this season.
Countering for the Tigers will be Jeremy Bonderman, who eliminated the Bombers in Game 4 of the AL Division Series last October.
NYY: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (13-6, 4.09 ERA)
Wang suffered his second consecutive rough outing on Monday, allowing eight hits and five earned runs in six-plus innings against the Orioles. The right-hander struck out two, walked one and surrendered a home run in a no-decision. It came one week after a start in Toronto in which Wang allowed eight earned runs before the third inning. In four career starts against Detroit, he owns a 3-0 record and 2.52 ERA.
DET: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (10-5, 4.65 ERA)
Bonderman picked up a no-decision on Tuesday at Cleveland, with two runs allowed over seven innings and eight strikeouts, but after two first-inning runs, he kept the Tigers in the game for an extra-innings victory. He's 2-4 with a 5.06 ERA lifetime against the Yankees, including 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA at Yankee Stadium.
Player to watch
Brandon Inge has a pretty good career line against Wang in his brief history against the right-hander, going 4-for-12 against him for a .333 batting average.
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Monday: Yankees (Phil Hughes, 2-1, 4.44) at Angels (Dustin Moseley, 4-2, 4.84), 10:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Yankees (Mike Mussina, 8-8, 4.76) at Angels (Kelvim Escobar, 13-6, 2.68), 10:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 10-7, 3.80) at Angels (John Lackey, 15-7, 3.32), 10:05 p.m. ET
Caleb Breakey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.