Archive for March 21st, 2008

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Wang named Opening Day Starter

Yankees Rumors & News

The Yankees announced Friday that Chien Ming Wang will be their Opening Day starter. The Yankees are entering their final season at the current Yankee Stadium and Wang will be the last Opening Day starter in the historic ballpark.

“I’m very happy,” Wang said. “This is my first time on Opening Day. For me, it’s big. I’m very excited”…..”It shows that the coaches trust me. I still have a lot to learn.”

“He’s earned it,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s won 19 games the last couple of years and he’s thrown the ball well the last couple of years. I’m comfortable starting him Opening Day.”

Wang, the current Yankees’ ace, faces questions concerning whether or not he is a legit ace. He performed poorly in his two postseason starts last year against Cleveland, but the Yankees don’t seemed concerned.

“The two losses make me want to do even better this year,” Wang said. “I want to make the coaches trust me even more in the future.”

The season starts on March 31st, Wang’s 28th birthday. The …

Pedro Toes the Rubber for the 2nd Time

Mets Rumors & News

After coming off a successful first outing of the Spring, Pedro Martinez looks to make an equally impressive showing today against the Nationals. While facing the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, Martinez went four innings, striking out 4 batters without yielding a run. Although Pedro is not the Pedro of old, he was able to get his fastball as high as 91 mph, which was a welcomed sight to Mets fans.

But today, may be the most important day of the Spring for Martinez. Mets fans will be on the edge of their seats hoping and praying that Pedro will be able to make two dominant starts back to back. After seeing how well Johan Santana pitched last night, you know Pedro will be looking to come back with a vengeance tonight, to prove that he will not be upstaged by his counterpart.

If all goes well this afternoon coupled with the recent performances by Santana, the Mets may be able to get some serious momentum rolling at just the right time.

Mets Rumors & News

I’ve never made any qualms about my concern about the Mets bullpen.  Last season, it was expected to be one of the league’s best, only to implode at the end of the year.  There were times when you weren’t sure if any lead could be protected.  Given that, I thought the bullpen would be one of Omar Minaya’s target areas this winter, but it wasn’t. 

The off-season was pretty quiet on the bullpen front.  Outside of signing of Matt Wise, which was an excellent pickup, and the anticipated return of Duaner Sanchez, who still has a lot to prove (at least to me), not much was done (let’s not forget the dumping of Guillermo Mota to Milwaukee). 

Going into Spring Training, the tentative Mets bullpen was Jorge Sosa, Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis, Wise, Sanchez, Pedro Feliciano, and Billy Wagner.  On paper not a bunch of guys who are going to “wow” you, and I fully expected the Mets to explore a trade to upgrade the ‘pen before the season started. 

Minaya stood pat.

Well we’re well …

Santana Shines

Mets Rumors & News

Johan Santana made his fifth start of the spring against the Orioles yesterday, and had his most dominant outing as a member of the Mets.  Santana overmatched an Orioles team that looked confused at times.  Only Aubrey Huff and Scott Moore managed to figure Santana out.  They each had a couple singles. 

Santana went six innings, allowing no runs, five hits, and struck out seven. His spring stats to date are:  1-1 with a 3.13 ERA, 3 walks and 21 strikeouts.  He also smacked a double in the second inning.

Santana’s impressive spring is only a preview of what Mets fans can expect out of him this season. 

Pedro Martinez, who had a strong outing in his debut last week, hopes to follow Santana’s strong outing.  He starts this afternoon against the Nationals.

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