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Chien-Ming Wang

A photo of Chien-Ming Wang.

Chien-Ming Wang (Template:Zh-t, pinyin: Wáng Jiànmín; born March 31, 1980 in Tainan, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese starting pitcher for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball. He was initially signed as an amateur free-agent for the 2000 season, playing for the Staten Island Yankees. He has come to be known as the Yankees ace pitcher over the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

In a New York Times interview, Wang revealed that he is the biological child of the man he formerly thought was his uncle.[1] Due to the media frenzy created in Taiwan over this, Wang briefly refused to give interviews to Taiwanese media.[2] Wang has also learned basic English and is able to give interviews to the American media without an interpreter. Wang currently resides in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[3]

Taiwan national baseball team[]

Wang pitched for the Taiwan national baseball team in the 2002 Asian Games. In 2004, as the apparent ace of the staff, Wang led the Taiwan team to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Against Australia, he allowed just three hits with no walks, and at one point retired nine batters in row, to earn the win. He also limited Japan to just five hits in the first six innings; however, the Japanese rallied in the seventh inning against Wang to tie the game with three runs. Japan won the game, preventing Taiwan from advancing to the next round.

He is the third major leaguer from Taiwan, following Dodgers outfielder Chin-Feng Chen and Royals pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao. Since being called up to the majors, Wang has been idolized in Taiwan where all of his games are televised nationwide, many on public big screens to large audiences, even though he decided not to pitch in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Because of this popularity, he was named one of the Time 100 for 2007.[4]

New York Yankees[]

Wang rose through the Yankees' minor league system, including the Staten Island Yankees, who retired his number 41 in 2006. Wang posted a 1.75 ERA in Staten Island, second-lowest in franchise history.[5] He played for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game in 2003.

2005 season[]

In 2005, Wang was called up from the Yankees' AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. Wang pitched in 18 games, though an injury kept him sidelined for part of the season. He went 8-5 with an earned run average of 4.02. On September 19, 2005, Wang tied a record for assists in a game by a pitcher with nine. In the playoffs against the Angels, Wang pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 4 runs one of which was an earned run. The Yankees lost the game and the series.

2006 season[]

In Wang's second season, he established himself as the Yankees' ace. Wang won 19 games (tied for the most in the majors along with Johan Santana), posted a 3.63 ERA and even picked up his first save on June 3 against the Baltimore Orioles. Wang threw two complete games, though the first, on June 18, was bittersweet: against the Washington Nationals, he allowed a 1-out, 2-run, walk-off home run by Ryan Zimmerman to lose the game 3-2. His first complete game win was on July 28, 2006, a 2-hit, 6-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium. In his next start, he threw eight shutout innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he got an outstanding 18 ground ball outs. Were it not that it was an unusually hot day combined with a slightly high pitch count, it would've been one of the rare occurrences in recent times of a pitcher throwing complete game shutouts in consecutive starts. Wang started the first game of the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers. Wang earned the win as the Yankees beat Detroit 8-4.

Overall in 2006, Wang limited batters to a .211 batting average while games were tied, and a .205 batting average in games that were late and close. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays batted just .159 against him, losing three out of four games to the Yankees that Wang pitched. Wang was effective despite the lowest strikeout rate in the majors (3.14 strikeouts per nine innings and 76 strikeouts overall),[6] thanks in part to his allowing the fewest home runs per nine innings (0.5).[7] Wang also led the league in ground ball percentage (62.8%) [8] and allowed 2.84 groundouts for every fly ball out.

At the end of the season, Wang finished second to Santana in voting for the Cy Young award. Wang collected 15 second-place votes, and 51 points. He also received a ninth-place vote, good for two points, in the AL MVP balloting, won by Justin Morneau. In's This Year in Baseball Awards, he was chosen as the top starter in 2006 season with more than 47% of the fan vote.[9]

2007 season[]

Wang began the 2007 season on the disabled list, having injured his right hamstring during spring training. He returned on April 24 against Tampa Bay.[10] On May 5, 2007, Wang pitched 7 1/3 perfect innings before giving up a home run to Ben Broussard of the Seattle Mariners, falling five outs short of a perfect game.[11]

On June 17, 2007, Wang had a superb outing versus the New York Mets, in which he threw 113 pitches through 8 and 2/3 innings for 10 strikeouts (a career high) and just 6 hits.

On August 30, 2007, Wang took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox before giving up a single to Mike Lowell in the seventh. Rookies Joba Chamberlain (1H) and Edwar Ramirez finished the two-hitter, and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-0.

In 2007 Wang was 2nd in the AL in wins (19), 3rd for the second straight year in Won-Lost percentage (.731), 9th in wild pitches (9), and 10th in hit batsmen (8). He had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He also had the lowest HR/9 innings pitched ratio in the AL (0.41), was 3rd in GB% (58.5%) and GB/FB (2.51), and had the 5th-lowest strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (4.70).[12]

Despite his regular season performance, Wang faltered in the 2007 postseason. In the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Indians, Wang started two games, earning the loss in both appearances. He pitched a combined 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up 12 earned runs, for a postseason ERA of 19.06. The Yankees lost the ALDS in four games.

2008 season[]

The beginning of the 2008 season saw Wang at the top of the Yankees rotation and the ace with veterans Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite. In the final Yankee Stadium season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wang pitched 7.0 innings, allowing only 2 runs and picking up his first win of the season. In his first match against the Boston Red Sox in 2008, he pitched a one-run, two-hit complete game.[13]

On April 22, 2008, Wang recorded a win against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The victory, in Wang's 85th career start, made him the fastest Major Leaguer to record 50 wins as a starter since Dwight Gooden, who won his 50th game in his 82nd start on June 29, 1986, at Chicago for the New York Mets. Wang also became the quickest Yankee to 50 wins since friend and former pitching coach Ron Guidry did it in his 82nd start on Aug. 13, 1979, at Texas.[14]

Wang finished April with a perfect 5-0 record, leading the American League along with Joe Saunders. On May 2, Wang became the first six-game winner in the American League with a win over the Seattle Mariners with just one earned run over six innings of quality pitching. In a game on May 8, in a duel of outstanding pitching, Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians beat Wang 3-0, handing Wang his first loss of the season. In this first loss of the season, Wang allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. On June 10, after going six starts with two losses and four no decisions since May 2, Wang defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-1 to end the longest victory drought of his career.

On June 15, Wang was taken out of a game versus the Houston Astros due to a right foot injury. Wang was diagnosed with a torn Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneus longus of the right foot. Despite not requiring surgery, he'll be on crutches and wearing a protective boot for at least six weeks. Wang will not be in pitching shape again until September.[15]

Scouting Report[]


File:Wang in bullpen 2.jpg

Wang in bullpen

A finesse pitcher with a power pitcher's velocity, Wang throws a sinker and four-seam fastball combination, along with a slider, changeup, and splitter. His four-seam fastball usually rests between 92-95 mph with some lateral movement and tops out at around 98 mph. His sinker, which is responsible for his elevation to ace status, has very impressive late, downward, and lateral movement through the zone and is also faster than most, sitting in the 91-94 mph range. His strikeout pitch is an average slider that closely resembles the fastball coming out of his hand, thus getting batters to swing ahead of the pitch. Wang also throws a decent split-finger fastball, though he only uses the pitch sparsely when in need of a strikeout or double play. Wang's pitching style is characterized by efficiency, command of the strike zone, few walks, few home runs allowed and very few strikeouts. Wang works quickly and uses his ground-ball inducing sinker to produce many double plays. This efficiency often allows Wang to maintain a low pitch count deep into games. In Taiwan and the minor leagues, Wang threw a more conventional assortment of pitches, including a four-seam fastball, a changeup, and far more splitters. The sinker, which has become Wang's signature pitch, was developed during his minor league career with advice from Neil Allen, his AAA pitching coach, and his AAA catcher, Sal Fasano.

Prior to the 2008 season, Wang relied on his sinking fastball about 90% of the time. However, after occasional bad outings, especially during the 2007 ALDS, Wang has worked to fully incorporate a slider and changeup into his repertoire. Through his first three starts of 2008, Wang has used his slider roughly 15% of the time and his changeup around 8%.[16]

Career statistics[]

    Regular season   Postseason
2005 New York Yankees 8 5 4.02 0 116.1 113 52 32 47 0 1 1.35 0 6.2
2006 New York Yankees 19 6 3.63 1 218.0 233 88 52 76 1 0 4.05 0 6.2
2007 New York Yankees 19 7 3.70 0 199.1 199 82 59 104 0 2 19.06 0 5.2
2008 New York Yankees 8 2 4.07 0 95.0 90 44 35 54

See also[]


External links[]

Preceded by:
Bartolo Colón
American League Wins Champion
(with Johan Santana)
Succeeded by:
Josh Beckett