Saturday, July 30, 2011
The Mets hammered Chien-Ming Wang for four runs in the first inning Friday, ruining the pitcher's first major league start in more than two years on the way to an 8-5 victory over the Nationals to open a three-game series.
Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan both delivered RBI singles during New York's first-inning rally as the first five batters of the game reached against Wang, the former 19-game winner who finally returned to the bigs after a recent climb through Washington's farm system.
Jose Reyes doubled and knocked in two runs and Ronny Paulino had three hits, including an RBI double for the Mets, who continued to streak after completing a four-game sweep of the Reds.
"When you drive in runs with two outs you're doing good things," said New York manager Terry Collins. "We're getting some clutch hitting when we need it and when that happens you win games."
Wang (0-1) settled down to pitch well in the second and third innings before giving up two more runs in the fourth, his last frame. He allowed eight hits and a walk while striking out two. Two of the six runs he gave up were unearned.
"I was pleased with his delivery tonight," said Washington manager Davey Johnson about Wang. "It looked like for a little while he was getting the ball too low, but he recovered and worked through the start."
Mets rookie Dillon Gee (10-3) earned the win after yielding three runs -- two earned -- on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked four and helped himself with an RBI single off Wang.
The Nationals have lost six in a row and fell to 1-8 in their last nine games.
Wang, 31, hadn't pitched since having shoulder surgery in July 2009 in the middle of his fifth season for the New York Yankees. He joined the Nationals before last season on a one-year deal, but didn't pitch, then re-signed in the offseason.
Washington manager Davey Johnson said he was impressed with the right-hander's outing despite the shaky first inning and would have sent him back to the mound in the fifth if he hadn't had so much trouble earlier. He said Wang would get another chance to start for the club.
Reyes walked on four straight Wang sinkers to lead off the game before moving to second base on a wild pitch. Justin Turner, Murphy, David Wright and Pagan followed with four straight singles to make it 2-0.
The other two runs scored on a ground out and Lucas Duda's fly ball to left field. Pagan was doubled up on the latter play, ending Wang's 24-pitch debut inning.
Wang threw 39 of his 60 pitches for strikes before Tom Gorzelanny relieved him to start the fifth.
Gee was taken out for Ryota Igarashi in the seventh inning and the Nationals cut into what was an 8-3 Mets lead with a pair of runs in the eighth. New York used three pitchers in the inning -- Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak and D.J. Carrasco.
Parnell gave up three straight one-out singles, including Wilson Ramos' RBI base hit, before Byrdak took over. Jesus Flores and Rick Ankiel greeted him with back-to-back hits, scoring another run and prompting Carrasco, who got two quick strike outs with the bases loaded to end the inning. Ryan Zimmerman couldn't hold his swing on the last pitch, a slider.
The Nationals were just 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base. Jason Isringhausen had no trouble in the ninth, pitching a perfect inning for his fifth save.
Wang, from Taiwan, pitched for the Yankees from 2005-09 and won 19 games in back-to-back seasons from '06-07...The Nationals are 0-4 on a nine-game homestand...The Mets are 6-2 on 10-game road trip that ends this weekend.