Thursday, November 16, 2006
WIN VS. CUBA!
Facing elimination from the Intercontinental Cup, the Taiwanese NT dug deep and managed to defeat the Cuban NT 4-3 despite being outhit 10-4. With Cuba up 2-o in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Taiwan would go on to score 4 times in the 3rd inning. Taiwan would score after Chung-Shou Yang and Chien-Ming Chang reached base to start the inning. Chih-Yao Chan drove in Taiwan's first run with a single. A balk by the Cuban pitcher would score Taiwan's second run. Finally, with Chan on base, Tai-Shan Chang came through with a huge hit - a 2-run bomb that would put Taiwan up 4-2. Cuba would score another run in the 6th, but the relief work of Sung-Wei Tseng and Po-Hsuan Keng was phenomenal as they limited the Cubans to 1 run on 4 hits over the last 6.1 innings. Starter Cheng-Lung Lo pitched 2.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits.
With the victory - combined with Australia's loss, Taiwan advances to the semifinals as the #4 seed. Taiwan will face Cuba again in the second semifinal on Saturday. The other 2 top seeds are #2 Japan and #3 the Netherlands. So far, it's been a great run for the NT - beating the Cuban NT is no small feat. This same Cuban team lost to Japan in the WBC finals and is loaded with star talent - including stud Yulieski Gourriel.
Chien-Ming Wang threw out the first pitch today prior to Taiwan's match versus Cuba. Wang was also the runner-up to Johan Santana in the AL Cy Young race. Despite a fabulous second season by Wang, Johan Santana deservedly won his second Cy Young award. Santana led the AL in almost all vital pitching categories. Congrats to Santana and Wang on tremendous seasons!