It was on this very same field last October, Cleveland’s Progressive Field, when the sinker wasn’t sinking, and Chien Ming Wang was helpless as the Yankees endured another early exit from the playoffs. In just 5 2/3 innings of work, he allowed 12 runs and set off a cascade of arguments into whether Wang was truly an ace, or merely the beneficiary of good timing, run support and defense.
But on Sunday, Wang proved that he was every bit the ace the Yankees needed him to be, throwing seven brilliant innings as the Yankees blanked the Indians, 1-0. With the win, Wang improved to 5-0, joining Arizona’s Brandon Webb as baseball’s only five-game winners.
Wang topped Indian ace C.C. Sabathia, who was just as effective, in a billing of two aces with Cy Young aspirations. Sabathia (1-4) was a hard luck loser, giving up just one run (a home run to Melky Cabrera) all afternoon.
But the game belonged to Wang, who was only in trouble in the third, when he gave up a double to Jason Michaels to open the inning. After Michaels moved to third on a passed ball with two out, Wang induced a Travis Hafner ground out to escape trouble. The Indians would only be able to muster two more hits after that.
Perhaps more impressive was the way Wang dominated the Indians’ lineup. Instead of pounding the Cleveland batters with his sinker, Wang incorporated more of his sliders and splitters, striking out a season-high nine batters, one short of a career high.
Continue reading “No longer a one-pitch wonder, Wang dominates Indians”
In a move that came as no surprise, freshman forward Donte Greene declared himself eligible for the NBA draft last Wednesday, forgoing his final three years at Syracuse.
Greene can still remove his name by June 16th as long as he doesn’t hire an agent.
“After discussing my future plans with my family and Coach Boeheim today, I’ve decided to declare for the NBA draft. The Syracuse coaching staff is going to gather information on my behalf and help begin that process,” Greene said.
No one doubts Greene’s enormous potential. The forward became the first freshman since Carmelo Anthony to lead Syracuse in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Greene’s 6-foot-11 frame and his NBA range will certainly land him in the mid-to-late first round of the NBA draft in June.
But Greene disappeared in critical games and the most crucial moments. It was Jonny Flynn, not Greene, who launched the game’s final shot in a 64-62 overtime loss against the Georgetown Hoyas on Jan. 21. It was Paul Harris who lost the ball underneath the Syracuse basket in a devastating 82-77 loss against Pitt on March 1. If anything, Greene developed a reputation for shying away from the ball when the team needed it most.
On top of this, Greene also lacked the ability to score inside during Big East play, frequently settling for a long jumper. As a result, Greene shot just 42 percent from the field, and amassed an unsightly 91 turnovers. Defense was also a glaring weakness, as the Baltimore product was frequently outrebound despite his taller frame. Greene averaged 7.2 rebounds, compared to the 8.2 rebounds of Paul Harris, who is listed at 6-foot-5, a full six inches shorter than Greene.
Continue reading “Greene’s decision to leave a mistake”