Washington D.C., June 7 (CNA) Washington Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang was unable to keep the ball in the strike zone and struggled despite only yielding two runs in Washington Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets.
"Obviously, the results were not good for the team and not good for me, so there are a lot of things I need to improve on and adjust," Wang, one of Taiwan's most celebrated athletes, said through an interpreter after suffering his second straight loss against one win.
"The biggest thing is, I [was behind on the count]. I need to get better. I need to throw more strikes and get the batters out," he was quoted as saying on the team's website.
Wang said his problems resulted from being unable to keep the ball in the strike zone consistently, and the two-out two-run homer by Lucas Duda he allowed in the fifth was the result of a sinker that stayed up.
In his second start of the season, Wang gave up eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Of his 84 pitches, 51 were for strikes, a reflection of how hard he had to work just to get out of innings.
After retiring the Mets on three straight groundouts in the first inning, he loaded the bases in each of the next two innings but made it through unscathed after getting a groundout to end the second and a double play ball to close out the third.
Wang's ERA actually improved to 5.11, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson felt it could fall further if the 32-year-old former New York Yankee could regain his consistency.
"He's having a little problem, he gets to the side of the ball. He doesn't stay on top of it. Sometimes he gets out of the slot that he needs to be in. When he stays in that slot, his stuff is outstanding. It's just a consistency thing with him," Johnson said.
(By Tony Liao, Lin Hung-han and Jamie Wang)