The first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic gave New York Yankees fans a flashback, after Chien-Ming Wang had a dominating performance for Chinese Taipei in their 4-1 win over Australia.
The former Yankees right-hander from 2005-09 wasn’t overpowering hitters like he used too, but he pitched six scoreless innings, while allowing just four hits on 61 pitches. He dominated with effective movement on his pitches and had complete control of where he wanted those pitches to end up throughout the game. The Australian team looked lost all night, as they never could figure out this former big league star.
Despite his recent stretch of injuries in the major leagues, Wang was once known for his back-to-back 19 win seasons for the Yankees in 2006-07 and was one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He finished that 2006 season with a 19-6 record, 3.63 ERA, 218 innings pitched, and was the runner-up to Johan Santana for AL CY Young Award.
Wang pitched a total of 32.1 innings for the Washington Nationals in 2012, finishing the season with a 2-3 record and 6.68 ERA. It will be interesting to see how he performs in this tournament going forward, especially with this dynamic Chinese Taipei lineup to back him up. He currently sits on the open mark as a free agent, but if he has one or two more performances like this one, that could change quickly.
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