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Chien-Ming Wang pitches Chinese Taipei past Australia in WBC opener

Mar 2, 2013, 2:44 AM EDT

Chien-Ming Wang

Thanks to six shutout innings from Chien-Ming Wang, Chinese Taipei took a huge step towards advancing in the World Baseball Classic in Saturday’s opener, beating Australia 4-1.

South Korea is viewed as the lock to advance from Pool B. The winner of today’s opener was in a great position to earn the other spot, with The Netherlands likely to have a tough time winning any of its three games.

Wang managed to get through six innings despite the 65-pitch limit starters work with in round one of the World Baseball Classic. He walked none and got three double play balls before taking a seat. Another familiar name, Hong-Chih Kuo, pitched in relief for Taiwan, throwing a perfect inning.

Both Wang and Kuo are auditioning for spots with big-league clubs during the WBC. Wang made 10 appearances with the Nationals last year, while Kuo was out of the league after developing the yips in his final year with the Dodgers.

Australia got down 3-0 early in the contest and simply didn’t have the offense to make its way back. Cleanup man Stefan Welch homered for the team’s only run. Oft-injured, ex-major leaguer Chris Snelling, batting eighth, singled in his first at-bat and was immediately removed for a pinch-runner because of a leg strain.

Chinese Taipei got a homer from first baseman Cheng-Min Peng. Astros outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin went 2-for-3 with a double.

  1. Reflex - Mar 2, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    I wish you guys would stop calling it Chinese Taipei. Its Taiwan. Calling it CT is a political game.

    • cktai - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      They call themselves Republic of China. Their territory composes of more than just the island of Taiwan, and they claim all of China plus Mongolia. Why do you feel the need to call them Taiwan?

      • toonsterwu - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        I won’t delve too deeply into this, as this is a baseball blog, but you ask most modern/younger Taiwanese folks, or Taiwanese Americans for that matter, about what they view as their country, and they focus specifically on Taiwan (and the small islands that it has ownership of around it). Short of it is, we call it Taiwan because either we live there, or previous generations of our family are from there and we identify as such.

      • anxovies - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        We call ourselves “America” and “Americans” but we live in the United States.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        That’s because we are egotists, anxovies, and other countries dislike it about us. That’s why I use “staters” instead.

      • Reflex - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Republic of China would be acceptable as well, both Taiwan and ROC are the names they use for themselves. The only entity that insists on Chinese Taipei is the PRC.

        Should nations permit other nations to decide their names and identities for them? If someone decided to call the United States something different when reporting news on us, how do you think people would feel?

        People from Taiwan, many of whom I work with, refer to it as Taiwan. They do not ever refer to it as Chinese Taipei, and that is highly offensive to them.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      I’m fighting the same fight re: Burma/Myanmar. Dangit.

    • zenwits - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      I am a Taiwanese. I think people around the world should call us Taiwan or Formosa (a beautiful name “Ilha Formosa” from Portuguese sailor in 17-th century). There came many chink to Taiwan after China’s civil war in 1949, they control the press, the justice, the army, ….., since then. They call this nation “republic of china” and deny anything that involves Taiwan.

      Please call my nation TAIWAN

    • zenwits - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      I am a Taiwanese. I think people around the world should call us Taiwan or Formosa (a beautiful name “Ilha Formosa” from Portuguese sailor in 17-th century). There came many chink to Taiwan after China’s civil war in 1949, they control the press, the justice, the army, ….., since then. They call this nation “republic of china” and deny anything that involves Taiwan.

      Please call my nation TAIWAN

      • badintent - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:25 AM

        I feel your pain. If the commies invade and conquer Taiwan, they will first send the Chinese to collective farms for some “reducation. But they will not be kind to your people either,i.e. Tibet where they have wiped out the local culture and religion.and replaced the much of the population with their own Han people with a massive relocation effort made possible by the new Tibet railroad.
        But with Dennis Rodman as the new U.S.” ambassinator”to North Korea, we may see a shift in China’s polich towards it’s neighbors.

  2. natslady - Mar 2, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    Good to see Chien-Ming Wang do well. He had injuries with the Nats but is a very hard worker.

  3. Kevin S. - Mar 2, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    No walks and three GIDP? There’s the Wang we knew and loved.

  4. toonsterwu - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Wait, how is this Korea team viewed as a “lock”, whereas the home country, Taiwan, is viewed in the same vein as … Australia? I’d argue that this Taiwan team is as strong, if not stronger than, this Korea team, but the short of it is … comparing this Taiwanese team to Australia is odd because of the number of quality players in MLB/MiLB on this Taiwanese roster.

    The reality, IMO, is that, in this pool, there were two clear favorites (Taiwan and South Korea), and two clear underdogs (Australia and Netherlands). And … the Netherlands are beating South Korea right now (game not over yet). The fact is, they set this thing up to give Japan the best possible chance to emerge out of that section, by making them the home country for two rounds, and forcing Cuba to fly all the way over there. Of course, this is probably a weaker Japanese team than 4 years ago, by a decent amount.

  5. proudlycanadian - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I was surprised that Wang was pulled after 6 innings as I was aware of the pitch count limit. He must have been very efficient.

    • toonsterwu - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      It was a well-thrown game. I caught most of it. He was hitting the 60’s on the pitch count, so he had probably 1 more hitter if they wanted it. He’s not the Wang of old, the guy who could ramp it up to 94/95 on a consistent basis anymore. He was, when I saw the gun on TV, around 89-91.

      That said, as it pertains to his MLB hopes, this really doesn’t mean all that much. Australia was probably the weakest of the 4 teams here, with a team that was, at best, an A ball level squad, if not lower. Wang was fine against teams in the low minors, up to AA. He struggled some in AAA late in the summer.

  6. cktai - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    The Netherlands beat Dominican Republic twice last edition and they are the current world champions. Not to mention the fact they have multiple major leaguers and two top 100 prospects. How would they be worse than Australia?

    • toonsterwu - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      They aren’t. Australia was arguably the worst team in this pool.

      • cktai - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        I know but I was wondering why Matthew seemed to think the Netherlands would have a tough time beating Australia.

  7. jwbiii - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    The IBAF has it
    4. South Korea
    5. Taiwan
    7. Netherlands
    10. Australia
    http://www.ibaf.org/en/world-ranking.aspx?type=1

  8. vallewho - Mar 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Hope that CMW can get the heavy sinker working consistently.

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