Thursday, September 01, 2005

36th edition of the Baseball World Cup.....

Kicks off tomorrow in Holland!! Taiwan is grouped in a tough bracket with: the USA, Japan, Australia, and Puerto Rico headlining the pool. Nicaragua, Greece, Columbia, and Spain fill out the rest of the bracket.

Taiwan will play it's first game 9/3/05 - Sat. against the Czech Republic. The rest of it's preliminary schedule is listed below:
9/5 vs Spain
9/6 vs Puerto Rico
9/7 vs Japan
9/9 vs Colombia
9/10 vs Australia
9/12 vs Nicaragua
9/13 vs USA

Based on the competition, Taiwan would have to finish in the top 4 of it's bracket to continue on to the quarterfinals. That could be a tough task because Taiwan is struggling right now to find people who can consistently hit and produce runs. OF Chih Yao Chan, DH/OF Kuo Hui Lo, and 1B Chun Yu Kuo have been the only guys who have proven they can hit international pitching. Also, there has been no dominant pitcher for Taiwan in pre-World Cup action.

That could all change with a couple of guys who've been playing in the US and Japan joining the team recently. P's Cheng(BlueJays) and Chiang (Yomiuri) are key editions to the team. I see those two guys essentially being the aces of the pitching staff. If Taiwan wants to do well, those 2 kids will have to pitch well and keep the scoring low. Hu(Dodgers) and Chen(Mariners) should help the IF defensively and provide a much needed boost to an anemic offense.

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