Manager Davey Johnson announced in today’s pre-game press conference that Chien-Ming Wang will get the spot-start on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The smoke has finally cleared over the Nationals pitching situation for the game, as the list of candidates previously included the likes of Craig Stammen, Zack Duke and others. Johnson said that he liked what he saw out of Wang in his relief appearance yesterday, as he generated six ground balls over 2.1 innings pitched. Johnson went on to say that Stammen, who many saw as the favorite to get the nod, is just too valuable in his role in the bullpen, and didn’t want to lose him for multiple games.
Wang, who made his first big-league appearance since June 30 last night, will make his first big-league start since June 19 against Tampa Bay. Wang, who was relieved by Ross Detwiler in that game, then went on to forfeit his spot in the rotation to Detwiler from that point on.
Prior to last night’s appearance, Wang had missed over a month with a strained right hip, but appears ready to be a contributor down the stretch. His strikeout stuff wasn’t there last night, but his ground ball stuff was, so look for Wang to pound the bottom of the strike zone with his off-speed and breaking pitches.