Before this season began, we heard a lot about a possible “regression” for Chien-Ming Wang. What he was supposed to regress to was pretty unclear; in his brief career, he’d been nothing if not consistent. Sure, another 19 win season is a reach, but wins aren’t necessarily the best guage of a pitcher’s performance, and in any casy 19 is an awfully large number. Wang got off to a bit of a slow start this year (0-2, 5.84 in April) owing to injury coming into the season that cut off his spring training. Since then, he’s been back to his old self, and his record now stands at 6-4 with a 3.47 era. His exceptional home run and ground ball rates per 9 innings are about where they’ve always been; his strikeouts are up a bit, along with his walks—but they’re within reasonable norms. He’s going deep into games, as usual. If he’s headed for a cliff, it’s not readily visible on the horizon. Project his stats forward and you find something around 16 wins and an era in the high 3/low 4 range. Which is just what we expected.
Meanwhile, the Yanks continue to roll, last night’s win being the 7th in a row. Unfortunately, the Sox have taken three of their last four, and all of their wild-card competitors (Det, Min, Sea, Oak) are also on win streaks. Detroit, the League’s best team last year, is especially hot, and last night they got a no-hitter from flame-throwing sophmore Justin Verlander. It’s gonna be a tough race in the second half.