NEW YORK — The Orioles and the Nationals look like they are going to just miss making international history this weekend.
On Saturday, Orioles rookie left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will face the Washington Nationals at Camden Yards on five days' rest. The next afternoon, the Nationals are scheduled to send veteran right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to the mound.
If they faced each other, it would be the first time two Taiwan natives started against each other in major league history.
"If I ever have a chance to pitch against him, it would be wonderful because I'd really want to pitch against him," Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. "It would be really good competition between us. That is not my call right now, because it is about the manager. But there is still a long way to go. Like next year we may have a chance to pitch against each other."
The 32-year-old Wang is a legend in Taiwan. This is his seventh season in the majors and his second with the Nationals. He rose to prominence with the New York Yankees and in 2006 went 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award voting.
"Chien-Ming Wang is a superstar in Taiwan and I barely know him, and he is a really good pitcher," said Chen, who is 7-2 with a 3.36 ERA in his rookie campaign. "I have never watched him for a whole year or a whole season. I have only watched him pitch a couple games in Taiwan for the national tournament."
So, Chen admits, he'll be excited to witness Sunday's Orioles-Nationals game. And a little piece of him will be conflicted.
"He is a Taiwanese superstar and I play for the Orioles. I want the Orioles to win, but I want Chien-Ming Wang to pitch good," Chen said laughing. "So it's a really hard decision for me."
The Orioles do not have a starter listed for Sunday, but manager Buck Showalter said he is not considering rearranging his rotation to make the matchup happen.
"I got to tell you, in all the things I consider about who is going to start when, that ain't one of them," Showalter said.
Moyer pitches Wednesday for Norfolk
Veteran lefty Jamie Moyer will make his third start for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in first two starts for the Tides, for whom he has pitched 12 innings, allowing just eight hits and no walks while striking out 12.
When the Orioles signed the 49-year-old Moyer earlier this month, executive vice president Dan Duquette said he would get two to three starts and then be re-evaluated. That still seems to be the case heading into his third start.
"The word I heard was three starts and we'll see where we are," Showalter said. "I'm hoping and I expect he will pitch well tomorrow and I'm sure Dan will address it again."
Around the horn
Orioles outfielder Endy Chavez said he had his photo taken Monday next to a section outside of Citi Field that commemorates great moments in Mets history, including Chavez's incredible, home-run-robbing catch for the Mets in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. …. Right-hander Joel Pineiro, who is rehabbing from a shoulder injury, threw five innings for the Gulf Coast League Orioles on Tuesday. He allowed one earned run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins' GCL team. …. Double-A Bowie right-hander Zach Clark was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for throwing seven shutout innings last week against Portland. He allowed just two hits in the victory. … The Orioles haven’t made significant progress with any of their five remaining unsigned picks in the top 10 rounds of the June draft (Kevin Gausman, 1st round; Branden Kline, 2nd; Christian Walker, 4th; Colin Poche, 5th; and Matthew Price, 7th). Walker and Price can’t negotiate until South Carolia is eliminated from the College World Series. The signing deadline is July 13.
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