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Nationals turn to Chien-Ming Wang for spot start Sunday

Sep 21, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Nationals' Wang throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 2 of their MLB National League baseball doubleheader in Washington

Now that the Nationals have clinched a playoff spot they’re willing to give Chien-Ming Wang a turn in the rotation, so the oft-injured right-hander will make a spot start Sunday against the Brewers.

Wang hasn’t started a game since June 19, when he failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Rays, and his lone appearance during the past two-and-a-half months was a 2.1-inning relief outing Wednesday.

Wang is getting a chance because Tuesday’s rainout altering the schedule would have meant Jordan Zimmermann taking his next turn in the rotation on short rest and obviously there’s no reason for that at this point.

In between disabled list stints Wang has thrown 26 innings with a 6.92 ERA, .364 opponents’ batting average, and more walks (14) than strikeouts (13), so the Brewers should be pretty happy to see him in what will be a crucial game for Milwaukee.

  1. natstowngreg - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    The alternative was to start Craig Stammen and pitch the game by committee. Davey wanted a right-hander pitching against the Brewers, which ruled out Zach Duke.

    • someguyinva - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      Yeah, it’s not a case of “We clinched, now let’s run Joe Wholestaff out there because the games are meaningless”; rather, it’s a case of “We had a rainout Tuesday, and doubleheader Wednesday, and no off days, so rather than pitch someone on short rest on Sunday, we’re gonna give someone a spot start.”

  2. willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I love this story. Keep it coming, Washington. You have your first playoff berth since 1933 and you tell your best pitcher to ride the pine.

    PRICELESS.

    Well…not really. Losing the NLDS in 4 is quite expensive.

    • natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Not relevant to this post. Stras would not have pitched on Sunday, his turn would have been Wednesday. Not sure why you care, anyway. I get that you disagree, but your continued anger–WORTHLESS.

      • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        Who cares? Guys get shuffled around all the time. Ask RA Dickey. He just got moved so he could start at CitiShea instead of Atlanta.

        You DC fans are going to defend Rizzo and company all the way to the 2012 playoff grave, aren’t you?

        I can’t wait until they lose and ALL of you are changing your tune. Should be a blast!

      • natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        You must live a very sad life if you think we are unhappy about making the playoffs and 99% winning the division. We had the BEST player in hockey every year and never got the Stanley Cup. One player doesn’t win a World Series, the lack of one player won’t lose it. The Nats are going to the playoffs. Get over it.

      • willclarkgameface - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        Have you watched baseball much? While one player won’t win one game, it doesn’t hurt to have an ace in the hole waiting to send the other team home.

        If you want to take Lannan and Wang to the party, then so be it. I don’t see good results happening with those names waiting in toe.

        I just don’t get the “it’s OK” attitude. It’s NOT okay to just get to the playoffs and say you had a successful season. You couldn’t possibly believe that, right? Don’t you want the team to WIN?

        I was liking this team very much this season until all the shutdown stories started to filter out and I STILL didn’t believe it would happen. When it did, I took interest away from that team and deposited to the team up the road from you – the Orioles.

        They are at least TRYING to win.

        Go O’s!

      • natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        Good riddance. Now, stop posting about Nats and my day will be complete. NOT.

      • rockthered1286 - Sep 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Dude… I’m backing Natslady on this one. Who gives a crap if he’s not playing. Whether or not you like the decision, one player absolutely will not make or break a team in baseball. NFL? sure. NBA? Absolutely. But not in baseball, especially not a pitcher. That’s 1 of every 4 or 5 games, and the rest of the rotation is stellar.

        I’m an O’s fan and I gotta say, you’re embarrassing us. As bad as ravenator on PFT. Let it go, focus on our ride and hope we continue our successful ride to the postseason.

  3. natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Mets don’t have much left, apparently, except for R.A. Dickey’s run for the CY. Terry Collins postgame after the 16-1 loss was very sad.

    Instead of starting Sunday, Dickey will now pitch Saturday against the Marlins on regular rest. That will allow him to come back and start the Mets’ final home game against the Pirates next Thursday, instead of opening their series in Atlanta the following day.

    In addition to pitting Dickey against a weaker offense and a scuffling team, the move will allow the knuckleballer to avoid Turner Field, where he is 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA in two starts this season.

  4. pisano - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Can you believe this poor bastards troubles started with running the bases? It’s a damn shame, this guy was a winner.

    • natslady - Sep 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Agree. And he was well on his way back when he got injured in spring training. I watched him pitch that great game last summer (2011) in Wrigley Field when I was visiting family in Chicago. I’ve been hoping for a long time that he’ll make it, but I just don’t know.

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