Wang helps Nationals to 5-4 loss against Rays

Thursday, June 21, 2012
By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

The China Post--Taiwanese Major League pitcher Chien-Ming Wang's struggle continued Tuesday with one of his worst big league starts in a short three-plus innings, five-run appearance as the Washington Nationals fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 in Washington.

His shortest outing in a Nationals uniform, the Taiwan-native right-hander went just barely over three innings Tuesday before he was replaced by Ross Detwiler in the fourth to stop the bleeding.

Wang threw 77 pitches in those 3-1/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run by Carlos Pena. He also had three walks and one strikeout.

Again having trouble with command, Wang himself admitted after the game that he still has many adjustments to make.

”It's kind of frustrating for me right now because I was trying to locate my ball today, but it wasn't going the way I want,” Wang said. “I just couldn't locate the ball ... today.”

The righty's continuous slump caused concern for manager Davey Johnson about his No. 5 starter.

“He's been having some problems with his delivery,” Johnson said. “He was rushing. For him to throw that many pitches and walk (three) ... it's just not him. His arm strength is back, but he's still trying to do too much and not getting in position to locate the ball well,” Johnson said.

The skipper, however, said he wouldn't yet pull Wang out of the rotation despite the fact that former No. 5 starter Detwiler has been throwing well.

Detwiler came on for Wang in the fourth and threw 3-2/3 hitless innings. The left-hander struck out three and threw 36 strikes on 48 pitches in one of his best efforts this season.

Johnson said he was going to talk with Wang and pitching coach Steve McCatty to find a solution for the Taiwanese.

“I like his stuff; I like the hard work he's put in to get to where he's at,” Johnson said of Wang. “I think there's a lot there. We need to figure it out. It's getting late — and we will.”

Wang is now 2-3 with a 6.10 ERA.

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