[翻譯]Wang and only

October 03, 2006


Wang and only

BY ANTHONY McCARRON

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Monday, October 2nd, 2006



It won't take long for Chien-Ming Wang to throw his remarkable sinker tonight when he opens the division series as the Yankees' Game 1 starter. It will probably come in on Tigers leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson at about 93 miles per hour, harder than other sinkers in the game, which is what makes it unique.

再過不久, 王建民就將在ALDS首戰投出他那令人印象深刻的伸卡球, 而那球將以大約時速93英哩的速度朝著老虎隊的開路先鋒Curtis Granderson飛去,  它無比沉重的球質將讓它十分與眾不同



At first, Wang's signature pitch looks like a normal fastball, something that major league hitters see every day. But this pitch is something else entirely. And it's so vital to Wang's success that it just might be the most important mound weapon of October for the Yankees, especially with the uncertainty Randy Johnson's frozen back brings the team's starting rotation.

一開始, 王建民的拿手球路看來就像是個平凡不過的速球, 對大聯盟打者來說實在沒啥驚喜可言, 不過事情並非如此單純, 這個看似簡單的球路卻是王建民成功的最大關鍵, 而且也將成為季後賽中洋基隊在投手丘上的最終兵器, 尤其是在Randy能否先發仍在未定之天的情況下



The 26-year-old Wang, in only his first full season in the majors, became the Yankees' best pitcher and a contender for the American League Cy Young Award, going 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 34 starts. He's not a glitzy strikeout artist - he fans only 3.14 batters per nine innings - and he gave up 233 hits, 14th highest in the majors. 

今年只是這個26歲投手的第一個完整大聯盟球季, 但他在34次先發中拿下19勝6敗, 防禦率3.63的成績, 卻已經讓他成為洋基陣中的王牌投手及美聯賽揚獎的有力角逐者, 不過他並非是個三振好手(K/9=3.14), 而且他被打出全大聯盟第14多的233支安打



But once runners are on, he minimizes damage, in part because he can coax frustrated hitters into mashing the ball into the ground. Opponents had an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .695 against him, 16th lowest in the majors. He only gave up 12 home runs in 218 innings and, some say, might be able to win even if he only threw his best pitch.

不過一旦有壘上有人, 他總是能透過讓深感挫折的打者一再將球打成滾地球, 而把傷害降到最低, 打者面對他的平均OPS僅有.695, 這是全大聯盟第16低的數字, 在218局的投球中他更只被擊出12支全壘打, 人們甚至認為, 他可以整場球都只用伸卡球一種武器但仍然拿下勝投 



"It doesn't matter if you know it's coming," says Tampa Bay infielder Ty Wigginton. "I mean, you already know it's coming."

"朝你飛來的球是不是伸卡球一點都不重要" 魔鬼魚的內野手Ty Wigginton說道

"我的意思是...其實你早就知道那八成是個伸卡球"



Adds Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon: "His sinker, on a day he's righteous, is probably the best in the game. When that thing is down and it's dropping, he's virtually unhittable."

魔鬼魚的教練Joe Maddon補充道 "他的伸卡球, 在他狀況好的時候, 可說是我看過最棒的伸卡球, 當他能把球路壓低並且讓球順利下墜的話, 打者可說是連球邊都摸不到"



Hitters often compare hitting a good sinker to hitting a bowling ball, because the ball feels so heavy if they get the bat on it; they can't get any loft on it and drive it into the outfield. Asked if Wang's sinker reminds him of any other pitcher's, Maddon, his eyes twinkling behind his trademark black spectacles, says, "Yeah, he's right up there with Dick Weber and the other famous bowlers of all time." 

打者通常會用"就像打到一顆保齡球般"來形容一顆威力強大的伸卡球, 因為當打者的球棒和球接觸時, 他會覺得球沉重到讓他幾乎沒有辦法將其拉起, 更別提把球打到外野了, 被問到王建民的伸卡球會讓他聯想到哪位投手時, Maddon眨了眨隱藏在他招牌墨鏡下的雙眼, 答道"恩...他的伸卡球就像Dick Weber 以及其他歷史上傑出的伸卡球投手一樣出色"



About three feet from the plate, Wang's sinker starts to plunge abruptly. "Too late to react," Yanks pitching coach Ron Guidry says. The ball can plummet as much as nine inches, according to Guidry's estimates, but that's not why it's so good. It has no more movement than other sinkers Guidry has seen, including that of the Yankee coach's former teammates Dick Tidrow and Catfish Hunter. 

王建民投出的伸卡球, 通常要到距離本壘板僅剩3呎左右時, 才會開始下墜, "你完全來不及作出反應" 洋基投手教練Ron Guidry 說道, 根據他的估計, 王建民的伸卡球下墜距離幾乎達到9英吋, 但這不是這顆伸卡球如此具威力的主要因素, 基本上它的路徑和Guidry曾經見過的伸卡球並無不同, 就如同當年Guidry的知名隊友Dick Tidrow和Catfish Hunter所投出的一樣



"What separates (Wang's) sinker from everyone else is that he throws it so hard," Guidry says. "He throws it so hard that it breaks so late. If it was coming in at 85 miles per hour, you'd see it for a longer time, you'd have more time to react and the advantage goes to the hitter. But with Wang, he's throwing it 93. You don't have any time."

"讓他的伸卡球之所以那麼與眾不同的原因在於, 他用盡全力投球" Guidry說道 "他用盡全力投球加上球的下墜出現的如此之晚, 假如一顆伸卡球以時速85英哩的速度向打者飛去, 打者將有足夠的時間觀察球的動態, 也有更長的反應時間, 如此一來, 對於打者是相對有利的, 不過王建民的伸卡球時速高達93英哩, 打者根本沒有足夠時間反應'"



"It looks like a hittable pitch," adds a major-league scout. "Then you start committing and the ball is two inches off the ground by the time you start to swing. It sinks like a brick." 

"(王建民的伸卡球)看起來就像是可以被輕易打中" 一位大聯盟球探說道 "但當打者揮棒的瞬間, 他會發現球竟然像掉落的磚塊一樣突然下墜, 揮棒動作才正開始, 而球距離地面的距離卻只剩下2英吋了"



If you're a right-handed hitter, the pitch bores in on your hands, kind of like the way Mariano Rivera's famed cutter veers into the wrists of left-handed hitters. A lefty facing Wang gets the opposite look - the ball moves away.

如果你是個右打者, 球就會向內角鑽去, 就像是左打者面對Mariano Rivera投出的卡特球時, 球會突然轉向朝打者手腕飛去一樣, 而左打者面對王建民時則會有相反的狀況, 球會突然偏向打者外側



Now, Wang can use his sinker to enhance the quality of his other pitches - a slider, a changeup and a four-seam fastball. "His sinker really comes in on you, as a righty, and anytime you have that, any little pitch that goes the other way becomes that much tougher to deal with," Wigginton says. 

現在王建民可以藉由優異的伸卡球來提升他其他球種的威力 - 滑球, 變速球以及四縫線速球, "對一個右打者來說, 他的伸卡球會明顯地往你的內角鑽, 這時只要他搭配任何一種軌跡略有不同的球路, 對打者來說都是相當棘手的" Wigginton說道 



If a righty is sitting on a sinker, waiting for the ball to veer in, Wang can keep him off balance with a slider that travels anywhere from 86-90 mph and breaks the other way, even though, as Guidry says, Wang's slider is not an elite pitch. But misdirection is the heart of pitching. 

這時如果右打者打定主意要抓王建民的伸卡球打, 預期球最終肯定會轉向內角時, 王建民就可以利用時速86-90英哩且軌跡相反的滑球讓打者失去平衡, 就如Guidry所言, 王建民的滑球並非他的決勝球路, 迷惑打者才是他的主要目的



"He hasn't mastered his slider," Guidry says. "It's just a pitch he has that he can throw to show somebody and maybe get a cheap out or a strike. It's not outstanding, like (Minnesota's Johan) Santana's or Randy Johnson's or (Tampa Bay's Scott) Kazmir's. But if he throws that slider and you're thinking sinker, you can't hit the slider because it's going out. It's a pitch the hitter has got to give up on."

"他對於滑球還不是很拿手, " Guidry說道 "對目前的他來說, 滑球主要是用來欺騙打者, 看看能否因此騙到一個出局數或是搶到好球數, 他的滑球並不像Santana, Randy Johnson或是Scott Kazmir那麼具威力, 但如果打者預期他會投出伸卡球而最後面對的卻是轉向外角的滑球時, 打者根本沒有機會碰到球, 只能望球興嘆"



Wang's changeup can travel anywhere from 78 to 83 mph and he uses it to keep hitters from simply waiting for his sinker. His four-seamer, which has been clocked as high as 97 mph this year though it regularly comes in at 95, also keeps hitters from being too sinker-conscious. Occasionally, he'll throw a split-fingered fastball, too.

王建民的變速球時速介於78英哩到83英哩之間, 他通常使用變速球來迫使打者繼續等待抓他的伸卡球, 而他的四縫線快速球在本季最快曾經飆到時速97英哩, 而一般狀況下時速多落在95英哩上下, 同樣是用來混淆打者之用, 除此之外, 他偶而也會使用快速指叉球作為對付打者的武器



"If he throws a changeup and you're concentrating on the sinker, you're way out in front of the pitch," Guidry says. "And just when you think you've measured the speed of the sinker and you're timing it, he can uncork a 95 mile-an-hour four-seamer and you can't pull the trigger.

"當打者預期他會投出伸卡球, 而他卻選擇投出變速球時, 打者根本無法抓到正確的出棒時機" Guidry說道 "而當打者認為他們已經適應伸卡球的球速並且抓準出棒時機時, 卻發現朝著自己飛來的是時速95英哩的四縫線速球, 最後根本來不及出棒"



"When his four best pitches are working, he's tough to hit. But if the sinker is not working, it makes a big difference in the game. Guys just won't swing at it, it's not in the strike zone and they can look for his other stuff. Without his sinker, his slider and changeup aren't the same and he can't get by just throwing four-seam fastballs."

"當他的決勝球路能夠順利發揮功效時, 王建民是難以擊敗的, 不過一旦他的伸卡球威力沒有完全發揮,結果就會大為不同,打者會選擇完全放棄進壘點不佳的伸卡球,而企圖抓他的其他球路,要是沒有了具威力的伸卡球,他的滑球和變速球就喪失了迷惑打者的能力,而他也無法只靠四縫線速球的威力就贏得比賽"



Adds Maddon, "If that sinker gets flat, that's when you can get him."

Maddon進一步補充,"一旦他的伸卡球軌跡不夠刁鑽時,就是擊敗他的大好機會"



But that doesn't happen too often.

不過這種狀況實在不常發生



The Yankees signed Wang as an international free agent in May of 2000 after out-bidding the Seattle Mariners, spending - depending on whom you ask - either $1.9 million or $2.12 million. They had scouted him at college tournaments and marveled as he pitched even better when he got into a jam.

洋基在2000年9月時和王建民正式簽約,當初洋基為了超越水手的出價,付出了190萬到212萬美金的簽約金,洋基的球探是在大專聯賽中注意到王建民的,他在越是棘手的狀況下表現越是傑出的特質,讓球探驚為天人



He had not learned the sinker yet, but made his way through the Yankee system and overcame shoulder surgery in 2001. In 2004, he reached Triple-A Columbus and began to work with the Clippers' pitching coach, Neil Allen, on the pitch that would change his career and make him a huge star in his native Taiwan. He's so popular at home that his starts are broadcast live on television, though they usually start during the morning rush hour because of a 12-hour time difference.

當時的王建民尚未學會使用伸卡球,但還是得以在洋基的農場系統中生存下來,並且克服了2001年肩膀手術的考驗, 2004年,升上3AColumbus Clippers的王建民和球隊的投手教練Neil Allen,共同著手打造了讓他日後得以名揚大聯盟並且成為台灣人民英雄的終極武器,他在台灣的高知名度讓台灣的電視台在上班巔峰時間都樂於現場轉播他先發的球賽



But things were different before the sinker. Left-handed hitters were hurting Wang, so he wanted to find an effective pitch against them. Allen suggested the sinker and taught Wang to hold the ball with his fingers over the seams, a grip different from his straight fastball grip across the seams. Wang puts pressure on the index finger to throw the pitch, which makes it move away from lefties and in on righties. The pitch started working quickly - two weeks after tinkering with it, Wang used it at the 2004 Athens Olympics, pitching for Taiwan.

不過這都是在他學會伸卡球之後的事了,缺乏這項武器之前,王建民總是無法有效壓制左打者,因此他迫切想學會一種可以有效率地幫助他降低左打傷害的球路,Allen認為伸卡球正是王建民所需要的答案,並且教王建民不同於速球的二縫線握法,這種在出手同時用食指向球施壓的球路, 會呈現轉向右打者內側的軌跡,王建民很快就為這項新武器找到發揮的舞台,僅僅在學會伸卡球的兩個禮拜後,他就帶著這項武器,披上中華台北的球衣,出現在雅典奧運的投手丘上



"It took me about a month of practicing to really get the control," Wang says through an interpreter. "I used to throw it only to lefties, but now I throw it to both. I started throwing it to both last year." 

"那大概花掉我一個月左右的時間才真正能得心應手"王建民透過翻譯說道"之前我主要拿它來對付左打者,不過從去年開始,它成了我不管面對左右打時的通用武器" 



The Yankees summoned Wang from Columbus last year looking to patch up a wounded rotation. He went 8-5 with a 4.02 ERA despite missing nearly two months with an inflammation in his right shoulder. He started Game 2 of the division series loss to the Angels. He allowed four runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings to lose that game, but he made an impression on Maddon, who was then the Angels' bench coach. 

王建民在去年被洋基隊從3A的Columbus徵召上大聯盟, 希望他能彌補洋基先發投手群因為傷兵問題所造成的空缺, 雖然季中因為右肩發炎而有幾乎兩個月的時間待在傷兵名單中, 他最終在大聯盟還是取得了8勝5敗, 防禦率4.02 的成績, 他甚至在對上天使隊的分區系列戰第二場扛下了先發重任, 在6又2/3局的投球中掉了4分(其中僅有1分自責分), 並讓當時擔任天使隊板凳教練的Maddon對他留下深刻印象



"I loved him then," Maddon says. "We did not like facing him that day. It was like we couldn't get one out of the infield."

"我從那時開始就十分欣賞這個小伙子了" Maddon說道 "我們(天使隊)始終無法有效地找到擊敗他的方法, 我們甚至無法將球打出內野"



Early in the 2005 season, Wang came within two of the assist record for pitchers, taking nine grounders himself against the Orioles. In fact, as Guidry puts it, "everybody gets involved in the infield when he pitches. Even Jorgie (Posada) has a chance to field ground balls at home plate."

在2005年球季初, 王建民就保有兩項投手的守備紀錄, 其中包含在對上金鶯隊的比賽中, 自己九次下丘處理投手前滾地球, 事實上就如同Guidry所言,"當王建民上場投球時, 場上所有隊友都得參與防守, 就連Posada也有可能需要處理落在本壘附近的滾地球"



Says Wigginton, "guys who strike out a lot of hitters, sometimes you can fall into a lull. It's not that you aren't ready, it's just that you expect a strikeout. Guys who pound the zone make it easier to play defense. You're always ready."

Wigginton說道"當在場上投球的是個三振型的強力投手時, 有時反而會讓守備球員失去專注力, 這並不是因為他們沒有做好準備, 而是因為他們預期投手會用三振作為解決打者的手段, 相比起來, 王建民這種投手反而會讓守備人員比較容易進入狀態, 因為你得隨時做好準備"



While Yankee infielders like Wang's style, he is tinkering with a pitch that could change him into a strikeout artist. He wants to learn to throw a curveball, so he'll have a breaking ball that's a slower speed than his slider. "Sinker, slider, everything's hard now," Wang said. 

當洋基的內野手們都相當適應王建民的投球風格時, 他則正在試圖打造一個足以將他轉變為一位三振大師的武器, 他想要學習如何投曲球, 希望能因此擁有一種球速較滑球更慢的武器,"無論是伸卡球或是滑球, 我目前所使用的球路都是走剛猛路線" 王建民說道



While Guidry is unsure if Wang needs another pitch, he acknowledges that it might get Wang more strikeouts. This season, Wang ranked 81st among major-league pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings, fanning 76 in 218 innings. 

雖然Guidry不確定王建民是否真的需要多練一種球路, 但他也承認曲球應該會幫助王建民提高三振率, 本季王建民的K/9值在全大聯盟投手中排名第81, 在218局的投球中送出了76次三振



"I would think when he gets more comfortable with some of the other pitches he has, he'll strike out more hitters," Guidry said. "If we teach him a curveball to go with the repertoire, that'll help. He wants to learn to throw it. I don't know if he should, but we're going to tinker with it. As hard as he throws, if he came up with a real good curveball, that would probably change him into a power pitcher, a strikeout pitcher."

"我認為當他把自己現有的其他球路運用得更加得心應手時, 他的三振率自然就會提高", Guidry說道, "如果我們能教會他如何投曲球, 那的確是會幫助他三振更多打者, 加上他本人也真的很想學, 所以即便我還是不確定他是否真的需要這個新球路, 我們還是會試著教他, 如果有一天他真能投出具有威力的曲球時, 他或許就能轉型成為一個強力投手, 一個三振型投手 "



Could he be even better?

已經有如此優異的表現, 王建民還能更上一層樓嗎?









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3 意見

  1. WindOfAge4:08 AM

    感謝翻譯~
    有個小小的錯誤,在 "About three feet from the plate..."這段裡面
    有一行你不小心翻譯成 "王建民的伸卡球下墜距離幾乎達到9英呎"!!
    下墜幅度9英呎的93mph伸卡球大概Ruth都打不到XD

    ReplyDelete
  2. archtemplar5:38 AM

    ...The ball can plummet as much as "nine
    inches", according to Guidry's
    estimates...

    英呎和英吋...哈哈 差一個字差很多喔
    看來我對英制單位還是不太習慣

    謝謝指正

    ReplyDelete
  3. 小王今年成就誠屬非凡
    只是洋基季後賽一連兩場都鳥掉
    真是不知該怎辦

    ReplyDelete

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