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Wang looks like shell of what he was

The Sports Xchange

Chien-Ming Wang's first major league start in two years certainly attracted plenty of attention from all corners of the globe: The former Yankees pitcher was starting for the Nationals on Friday night against the New York Mets, and at least nine television stations from Wang's native Taiwan packed the Nationals Park press box to cover the outing.

But Wang's return to the mound wasn't nearly as momentous as the buildup that preceded it.

The right-hander hadn't been on a major league mound in more than two years after having shoulder surgery in July 2009, and he came back throwing softer and from a lower arm slot than he did before. His stuff wasn't nearly as impressive as it was in back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007, and the Mets roughed him up in his first night back.

He gave up six runs, four earned, in four innings, giving way to Tom Gorzelanny and forcing manager Davey Johnson to use his probable starter for Monday. Wang walked a batter, threw a wild pitch and lasted just 60 pitches.

His fastball touched 93 mph, but his sinker didn't have the same bite that it did when Wang was with the Yankees. He'll likely be in the Nationals' rotation for most of the rest of the season, but his start wasn't promising.

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