Wang Struggles In First Start With Toronto

Former Thunder pitcher Chien-Ming Wang allowed five runs in his first Blue Jays start.

Former Thunder pitcher Chien-Ming Wang allowed five runs in his first Blue Jays start.  (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

CHICAGO — While Chien-Ming Wang put up solid numbers with Triple-A Scranton this season in his return to the Yankees organization, he couldn’t seem to get a big league opportunity.  Anywhere.  He let several opt-out dates in his contract come and go, the likely result of a big league deal never materializing.

The reason, despite a 2.33 ERA in nine starts, was believed to be that scouts felt his stuff wasn’t Major League caliber anymore, perhaps evidenced by only 25 strikeouts in 58 innings.  But while Toronto finally took a chance on him, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-born righty did little to dispel those notions in his first start with the Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night, allowing five runs on ten hits, three walks and two home runs through 7 1/3 innings en route to a no-decision against the White Sox.

Wang was only taken off the hook for the loss on a two-out, two strikes home run by Jose Bautista in the top of the ninth inning that tied the game at 5-5.

The outing marked his first in the big leagues since he was a September call-up last year with the Washington Nationals.  His stint in the nation’s capital was largely deemed a failure, as he pitched to a 6.68 ERA in ten appearances with the club.

In an interesting twist, Wang was matched up against another former Yankees farmhand, Jose Quintana.  The talented lefty spent four seasons in the Yankees system, but despite a 10-2 record and 2.91 ERA with Low-A Charleston in 2011, he was not re-signed by New York.

Quintana lasted 6 1/3 innings, and allowed four runs (two earned) while walking one and striking out five.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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