Chien-Ming Wang Returns to Mound, Washington Loses 8-5

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

The audience: 30,114 in paid attendance.

The critics: an overflowing Press Box with Taiwanese media swarming.

The stage: Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

The Man of the Hour: Chien-Ming Wang

When right-handed starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was acquired by the Washington Nationals in 2010, many wondered if he would have a successful recovery following surgery on a capsule in his right shoulder.

Wang, who won 19 games each in 2006 and 2007 for the New York Yankees, missed the rest of the team’s championship season in 2009 due to injury. Friday night was his first night back on a Major League mound.

It was a shaky start but Nationals manager Davey Johnson admitted he was impressed with what he saw despite Wang allowing four runs, four singles, and a leadoff walk to the first five batters he faced.

Wang gave up eight hits, six runs (four earned), one walk and two strike outs. He threw 60 pitches and 39 for strikes.

The Nationals main concern for Wang is health at this point and building up his strength is a major component of that. Johnson mentioned that while Wang, who struggled to find his pitch location until the second inning, doesn’t think he’s fully strong just yet. It will take time to strengthen and get back to his full potential.

The Wang that pitched Friday night was an arm was fresh to the league, much like a player’s return to Spring Training camp in March. The batters faced were post-All-Star game bats.

That, of course, doesn’t matter though.

Washington lost 8-5 to the New York Mets after starting out with a 4-0 deficit in the top of the first inning. Laynce Nix helped support the Nationals’ offense in the fourth inning after hitting a ball to New York’s second baseman Justin Turner. Ryan Zimmerman scored, giving Nix an RBI, and Michael Morse reached as well due to a throwing error by shortstop Jose Reyes to first baseman Daniel Murphy.

There were two more ample opportunities for the Nationals to score, both of which were bases loaded situations that they failed to take advantage of. The first opportunity was in the sixth inning. Jayson Werth, who reached base twice with one hit and three strikeouts, walked with two outs. Nix returned to the plate for his second hit of the night to move Werth around the bases. Newly acquired Jonny Gomes came up to pinch hit and walked to load the bases but Wilson Ramos popped out to end the potentially run rally.

Washington showed signs of life again in the eigth inning by scoring two runs off an unlikely string of singles from Nix, pinch hits Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Jesus Flores, and couple more hits from Wilson Ramos and Rick Ankiel but Danny Espinosa and Zimmerman struck out to end the rally with the bases loaded again.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail:

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6 thoughts on “Chien-Ming Wang Returns to Mound, Washington Loses 8-5

  1. ”Dan, I intend to ask Wang Chien-Ming about his grandfather before I write a story for my newspaper, if I do write it at all. Can I ask what makes u so passionate about the topic?”


    MY ANSWER: I feel there is a good family / human interest angle here that focuses on Wang’s Taiwanese roots and how much he is loved by his fans in Taiwan. So i just feel there is a good human interest story here, to make sports heroes more humanized….it’s NOT all about winning games or making oodles of money…there are FAMILY SAGAS here too…… sports is not just a money making machine ….there are real people invovled with real family stories….no?

  2. The critics: an overflowing Press Box with Taiwanese media swarming.

    SWARMING comes across a bit racist, Rachel. As a Jewish woman, you should be more sensitive to such use of words in regard to Asian stereotypes. Why were they called SWARMING. Do white reporters not swarm? see what i mean? a bit racist, yet you did not mean it that way i know…..forgiven…dany in tawian for 15 years

  3. Racist? What? White reporters swarm, but the point here was that there was an unusual situation in the press box: a lot of Taiwanese media where usually there’s none.

    You may have read something into it but there’s nothing racist in that sentence.

  4. Maybe I was wrong, then. I take it back, it was not a racist comment. All reporters swarm, even white reporters. I was just trying to point out to the blogger and hoping she’d write back to me, but so far, nada, that Americans often perceive Asian reporters, be they Japanese or Taiwanese following their heroes in US sports circles, as “swarming.” I have never seen this word used with white American reporters. But I am sure I am wrong. So show me the links, Tom and Don. Then I will eat my hat. Promise. PS: I was not saying that Rachel was racist, only that the word “swarming” might be perceived by some people the wrong way. Is there a better word for that other than swarming? Like:

    ”The critics: an overflowing Press Box with a lot of Taiwanese media in attendance, too.”

    Yes? No? Words matter. Rachel knows.

  5. I WAS wrong……Rachel was kind enough to write me just now and explain what she meant and i see now that i was too quick to react and i was wrong and take back my earlier comment about swarming being potentially mis-read as a racist comment. Was not meant that way and was NOT racist. I apologize. — Dan


    Dear Dan,

    I thank you for a concern as a reader. I by no means was attempting to be racist. Perhaps my word choice was a bit suggestive but that’s on me as a writer. Words do have meanings so my word selection could have been more formed to the particular story.

    If you have any further concerns, please feel free to voice them. Otherwise, I can confidently say that I was simply attempting to write a game recap of the ballgame the evening before and not so much a piece regarding Mr. Wang specifically.



    THAT is what I call a very good reply and I take back my first post and say SORRY, i mis-read it. Cheers,

    Dan in Taiwan