The Ny Yankees have not visited the Atlanta Braves in the last nine years. The history these teams had against each other is just that, history. Chien Ming Wang will be taking the hill for the Yankees as he earned another start by going five innings and allowing only three runs in his last outing. He looked more like the Wang who won 19 games in 2006 and 2007 last time out. His sinker was sinking and he was getting a higher percentage of ground ball outs. Wang hopes he can repeat the outing the last time the Yankees and the Braves faced off on June 28, 2006 when he yielded two runs over eight innings in a 4-3, 12-inning victory.
The Braves will counter with their rookie sensation Tommy Hanson. The 22 year old was a 22nd round selection in 2005 that the Braves refused to trade for Jake Peavy earlier this year. (dumb move) I get it that he has the potential to be great but Peavy already is . Anyhow coming back off my tangent. Hanson is 2-0 with an ERA of 4.08 in four starts. Braves manager Bobby Cox says that he is improving with every start. His last outing he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball allowing only 3 hits in a 7-0 victory over the Reds.
This will be the seventh straight game that the Yankees will face a pitcher they have never seen before. Lately that hasn’t been working out well for them. The Yankees are 4-6 in their last 10 games and they need to get something going as they have fallen to 4 games out of first place.
The good news if any can be found is that the Yankees still hold a one game lead in the wildcard standings. I know it seems a bit early to be watching this but considering where they were at this time last year I feel pretty good about the Yankees post season chances. Lately it has been the offence that has struggled as the bull pen has been fairly solid. (not counting Brett Bum Tomko) I still believe the Yankees should be shopping for bullpen help as we approach the all star break. They have been taking a look at Pedro Martinez and recently went to see him at a public workout. Sources say they were the most aggressive about talking to him afterwards. Pedro is throwing well, touching low to mid 90’s with his fastball and a very sharp curveball. At 37 Pedro is far from dead. In the WBC he pitched 6 scoreless innings striking out 5. However I’m not looking for him to sign with the Yankees unless they decide to rethink the Joba to the bull pen stance. Its more likely the Yankees will continue to ship relievers back and forth from Scranton in hopes to find lightning in a bottle. My esteemed colleague Miss Megan Marshall, whom you will all come to know as Yankeemeg, will have more for you tomorrow with the starting lineups and injury updates. Bombers vs Braves tune in its gonna be a good one.
Megan’s Comcast is killing her today. Here are the lineups for tonight’s game. Hopefully Megan will be up and running shortly.
Pitching: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (0-5, 12.30).
Pitching: RHP Tommy Hanson (2-0, 4.08).