Wang continues to struggle in 3-1 Mets loss

By Joseph Yeh,The China Post

A two-run homer in the fifth resulted in Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang’s second loss in the Major Leagues this season as the righty continued to struggle on the mound as the Washington Nationals went down to the New York Mets 3-1 at Nationals Park on Thursday. Wang allowed two runs in 5-2/3 innings, giving out eight hits and three walks, including a deadly two-run blast made by right fielder Lucas Duda that prematurely ended the Taiwan-native’s second start this season. The 32-year-old was in trouble in three of the five-plus innings he pitched. The Mets had bases loaded in the second and third, but didn’t score. Admitting that he was having difficulty regaining his command of the ball, Wang said after the game that he still has adjustments to make. “Obviously, the results were not good for the team and not good for me, so there are a lot of things I need to improve on and make adjustments,” Wang said.

“The biggest thing is, I (was behind on the count). I need to get better. I need to throw more strikes and get the batters out,” he noted. “My body moves too fast,” Wang said. “So my arm was kind of low and my wrist was open.” Nationals manager Davey Johnson blamed Wang’s problems on mechanical issues.

“I liked his arm strength and everything,” Johnson said. “He’s having a little problem, he gets to the side of the ball. He doesn’t stay on top of it.

Compared to Wang’s shaky performance, New York starter R.A. Dickey proved to be too much to handle for Nationals’ batter. The knuckleballer lasted 7-1/3 innings without allowing a single run on four hits and struck out eight. Dickey has not allowed a run in 24-2/3 innings. The only run for the Nationals came late in the ninth on Ryan Zimmerman’s digger over the left-center field wall, which was his third home run of the season. Wang is now 1-2 with an ERA of 5.11.