Wang's struggles a mystery to all
Yanks discussing whether to skip righty's next start
NEW YORK -- The answers were no clearer one day after Chien-Ming Wang's latest implosion, and the Yankees remained as befuddled as they were the day before.
Wang, for his part, reviewed video of his start against the Indians, in which he allowed eight runs in 1 1/3 innings -- the third consecutive outing in which he gave up at least seven earned runs and did not make it out of the fourth. But he could not discern any difference between his form on Saturday and that of last year, when he was well on his way to a third straight 19-win season before injuring his right foot in Houston.
What Wang did say was that he did not want the Yankees to remove him from the rotation, as manager Joe Girardi hinted he could do prior to Wang's start this Friday in Boston.
"I want to pitch," Wang said.
Girardi and his staff met on Sunday morning to discuss the possibility of skipping that start, which they could do without shifting anyone out of turn thanks to an off-day on Thursday. But they have not yet addressed the issue with Wang, and have not yet come to a final decision.
"We have had a lot of healthy discussion over this morning," Girardi said. "We looked at a lot of video. We looked at where his hands were, the height of his leg kick, where his head is, if it's on line, the angle of his arm. We looked at everything. We just haven't had a chance to discuss it with him yet."
The Yankees and Wang both insist that he's completely healthy, despite the fact that his velocity in Saturday's game rested in the high 80s and low 90s -- a noticeable tick lower than the mid-90s sinkers he was firing throughout his two 19-win seasons. Girardi is not worried about Wang possibly tipping his pitches, because he has always thrown such a high percentage of sinkers.
Hitters usually knew what was coming, but they couldn't hit it anyway.
But this year, they have been hitting it, and Indians manager Eric Wedge said he thought Wang's decreased velocity had something to do with it. Over his first three starts, Wang has allowed 23 runs in a total of six innings. He has walked six batters and struck out merely two.
"If you had won four Cy Youngs, you'd be pretty frustrated after three starts like that, no matter who you were," Girardi said. "It's just difficult to go through. You've got to fight your way out of it. You've got to make adjustments, and we really believe that he's capable of doing that. But we've got to help him."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.