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Extra Mustard
Albert Chen
August 14, 2006
CAN THE YANKEES COUNT ON CHIEN-MING WANG DOWN THE STRETCH? One reason New York had surged into first place in the AL East was the pitching of Wang, a 26-year-old righthander who at week's end had won five straight starts to get to 13-4 with a 3.58 ERA (10th best in the league). But that kind of success is rare and hard for a pitcher to maintain when he has a strikeout rate as low as Wang's: 2.77 K's per nine innings, the lowest among major league starting pitchers this season. From 1993 through 2005, of the six times that pitchers had a strikeout rate below 3.00 (minimum 125 innings pitched), none had an ERA below 4.17. All of which means Wang has benefited from the Yankees' defense. Also, with 156 innings pitched, he has already thrown more innings this season than any other since he arrived from Taiwan and started at Class A in 2000. Research indicates that pitchers lose effectiveness when they exceed their career highs in innings pitched by 30 or more. Wang will be at that point within a few weeks, long before season's end. How he handles the big jump in workload will be a key to the Yankees' stretch drive.
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August 14, 2006

Extra Mustard

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CAN THE YANKEES COUNT ON CHIEN-MING WANG DOWN THE STRETCH? One reason New York had surged into first place in the AL East was the pitching of Wang, a 26-year-old righthander who at week's end had won five straight starts to get to 13-4 with a 3.58 ERA (10th best in the league). But that kind of success is rare and hard for a pitcher to maintain when he has a strikeout rate as low as Wang's: 2.77 K's per nine innings, the lowest among major league starting pitchers this season. From 1993 through 2005, of the six times that pitchers had a strikeout rate below 3.00 (minimum 125 innings pitched), none had an ERA below 4.17. All of which means Wang has benefited from the Yankees' defense. Also, with 156 innings pitched, he has already thrown more innings this season than any other since he arrived from Taiwan and started at Class A in 2000. Research indicates that pitchers lose effectiveness when they exceed their career highs in innings pitched by 30 or more. Wang will be at that point within a few weeks, long before season's end. How he handles the big jump in workload will be a key to the Yankees' stretch drive.

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