Taiwan’s Wang Chien-ming opened the new US$1.5 billion Yankee Stadium with an exhibition win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, another milestone in the 29-year-old right-hander’s career with the New York Yankees.
Wang did not particularly distinguish himself, allowing four earned runs on six hits in five innings of work, but still got the win in front of a near capacity crowd of 48,402 with the help of home runs by Robinson Cano, Hideki Matsui and Cody Ransom.
Wang’s first pitch — a trademark sinker — was a strike, drawing thunderous applause from the crowd as light bulbs flashed around the park to record the historic moment.
“It’s a new stadium and I wanted to throw the first strike,” Wang said. “When I went out to the mound, I didn’t have any special feeling and I wasn’t nervous. I just wanted to focus.”
Friday night’s outing was Wang’s final appearance of the exhibition season, which he finished with a 4.15 ERA. Wang admitted that he will need to be better when he starts the Yankees’ second regular season game in Baltimore on Wednesday.
“I had trouble controlling the break on the sinker,” Wang said.
The Yankees are playing two exhibition games this weekend to get acclimated to the new ballpark, but Wang said the new stadium was similar to the old one and that he had already figured out what he needed to know.
“I know how to get from the parking lot to the locker room,” Wang said.
• Uni-President Lions 7,
Brother Elephants 1
• Sinon Bulls 4,
La New Bears 0
• Uni-President Lions v Brother Elephants
• Sinon Bulls v La New Bears (Taichung, 2pm)