06/18/09 2:17 PM ET
Wang to remain in rotation for Yanks
Girardi confirms decision after watching righty's start on tape
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Girardi caught a television re-broadcast of the right-hander's start following his five-inning outing on Wednesday, confirming what the manager believed he had witnessed from his vantage point in New York's dugout.
"I thought he threw some really good sinkers," Girardi said. "His slider was really good last night. He mixed his pitches well. I thought he threw the ball pretty well. I just wanted to watch it on video to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing."
Accordingly, Wang has been lined up to pitch Tuesday as the Yankees open a three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field, though that scheduling is subject to change depending on weather for Thursday's homestand finale.
Wang had his best start out of five this season against the Nationals, though the end result was the same -- another loss, as New York fell, 3-2.
He hurled a season-high five innings, allowing three runs on six hits while walking two (one intentionally) and striking out four, and was touched for a solo Adam Dunn home run and a Nick Johnson two-run triple. His ERA dropped from 14.34 to 12.65.
"As I've said all along, this guy has won a lot of games and I don't think you forget how to pitch," Girardi said. "You do have struggles. This game is a game where you're going to struggle from time to time, and you have to find a way to fight your way out of those struggles."
The decision keeps right-hander Phil Hughes in a relief role for the time being. Hughes had said that he felt ready to rejoin the rotation if needed, but said after Wednesday's appearance -- two scoreless innings of one-hit ball -- that he could also see himself spending the rest of the year as a reliever.
"I'm just happy to be throwing the ball well and giving us some quality innings, whatever my role is," Hughes said. "I'm just thinking one day at a time. Things are going to stay the same unless I hear something different."
Girardi said that even if Wang struggles against the Braves in Atlanta, for example, he is not on a short leash and should not worry about being yanked from the rotation.
"I don't necessarily look at every time he takes the mound, if he doesn't have a good start, I'm going to say he's out of the rotation," Girardi said. "I don't look at it that way, because I expect him to do well. He's in our rotation."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.