The Yanks get a pass for last night’s loss. After the draining weekend and then a flight across the continent, we fans could hardly expect a monster effort, especially against a team coming home after an 11-game road trip, those games all losses. Rookie Jeff Karstens put up a game effort for the Bombers, getting past a rough few innings, and for a while it looked like dingers from Bobby Abreu—who’s going to make us all forget Paul O’Neill at ths rate, nevermind Gary Sheffield—and Alex would hold up. Alas, Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexbomb had other ideas. So no win for the rook. Tonight the Yanks put up Chien-Ming Wang, who has looked less than his dominant self in recent outings. (Over at Bronx Banter, Cliff Corcoran speculates that the inning load—he is already well over his career high—is getting to him.) He faces King Felix Hernandez, who looked to all the world like the second coming of Roger Clemens when the M’s brought him up last year. In his one appearance against the Yanks, he was brilliant in a 2-0 loss to Randy Johnson, who was slightly brillianter (new word!). The King hasn’t quite been so dominant in his sophmore season, but the raw materials remain, as does the vicious strikeout rate—and he’s the same age as Philip Hughes, who’s still in AA. So. If Wang and the King are on their respective games, we could have a real gem. If not, well, let’s hope for the best. And comment on it here.