Sun, Sep 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Wang Chien-ming makes No.18 with win over Tampa

By Huang Chao-tun  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

Wang Chien-ming (王建民) recorded his 18th win with the New York Yankees' 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday night.

With the win, Wang ties Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins for the major league lead. Both Wang and Santana have an 18-6 record. Wang also tied the record for Asian Major League pitchers set by South Korean pitcher Park Chan-ho when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000.

Park scored his 18th win in the 34th game of that season, while Wang reached it in his 33rd game of this season -- giving him a real chance to become the record holder for Asian pitchers.

After the game, Wang said that he was very happy, but that his ultimate goal was to help the Yankees win the World Series.

Wang threw seven innings in just 82 pitches, allowing six hits and one run, lowering his ERA to 3.57.

He began the first inning by allowing a lead-off homer to Rocco Baldelli, but then regained his stability, which together with great defense play from Derek Jeter saved the situation.

Wang later said that he had a bad feeling during his warm-up, and that he never was able to focus his power when he pitched.

In the dugout after the first inning, pitching coach Ron Guidry and catcher Jorge Posada told Wang to slow down his pace when pitching. In the second inning, Wang did much better, but in the sixth, he was moving too fast again and almost gave up a run.

Wang said after the game that he played much better during the previous game, and that if it hadn't been for his teammates playing a great defensive game, he would never have gotten his 18th win.

"I really should thank my teammates," he said.

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