Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When Wang Last Saw the Majors...

On July 4, 2009, many celebrated America's 233rd birthday by going to ballparks around the country. If you happened to be at Yankee Stadium that afternoon more than two years ago, you saw Chien-Ming Wang's last start to-date. Let's start talking about this multi-part series of what brought Wang to the Nats.

After finishing 2nd in the AL Cy Young race in 2006 and having another stellar 19 win season in 2007, Wang continued with a great 2008 season. He ended up leaving hurt and missing most of that season, which brings us to 2009.

To start the year, Wang was never quite able to figure it all out. He went 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA through April 18th, which caused him to eventually be sent down to some extended spring training in Florida and get a couple of relief appearances before his July 4th start.

Ultimately, Wang saw just 5.1 innings of work in his final start to-date, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits after throwing just 65 pitches. He only caused the Blue Jays to swing and miss twice all game. Little did the fans know that Wang's shoulder was falling apart and would require what could have been career ending surgery.

While the most recent MLB memories of CMW aren't the best, his story could end up being one of the feel good stories of 2011 when he makes his first appearance with the Nats later this month, despite being part of the organization for more than a year and a half. If Wang can return even remotely to 2006-2007 form, the Nationals will have more aces than they know what to do with in 2012, and that's a hell of a problem to have.

We'll continue this series soon with Wang's comeback story inside the Nats organization.

1 comment:

  1. Assuming his return is a success, if there was ever a guy who OUGHT to give a team a "hometown discount" in free agency, it's Wang for how much patience the Nats showed with him. :)