4 Sep 2007
Critics will point to a lack of strikeouts as a major flaw and his somewhat high ERA, but Chien-Ming Wang is an “ace” in my mind. Yes, he doesn’t strike people out and yes, he can be hit at times. But, think about when the game is on the line and the Yankees need a big effort, who is the guy you want to see holding the ball?
In my mind it is Wang. Tonight they needed a big win, last week they needed a win for a sweep. In July it was two big wins against LA and Minnesota that got things going for the Yankees. It’s funny, but I always think of a game he pitched against Washington last year as when Wang showed he was an ace. I say funny because he lost. It was June 18th and the Yankees were desperate for a quality start because they had burned through most of their bullpen in the first two games of the series. Wang came out and dominated for the first 8 innings, entering the ninth with a 2-1 lead. He got the first out of the ninth, but then gave up a hit and a home run to end things right there. Ballgame over, but Wang had saved the bullpen for later in the season.
I would guess that by the end of 2009, Wang will no longer be looked at as an ace for the Yankees. Hughes will probably be established by then and Joba seems to have the highest ceiling of them all. But, I don’t know if I will ever feel as comfortable watching any of them as I do when I see Wang, the guy just knows how to deliver.