Thursday, December 07, 2006
So down 3-0 after 2 innings, Taiwan would score 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning: after C.H. Hsieh doubled, C.L. Hu would drive him in with a single. Hu would advance on an error and score the final run of the inning on a single by Yung-Chi Chen. Japan would tack on 2 more runs in the top of the 6th and 7th innings off of relievers Po-Hsuan Keng and Wei-Lun Pan to make the score 5-2. That set up the big inning in the bottom of the 7th for Taiwan. 3 consecutive singles loaded the bases for Chien-Ming Chang. A WP would allow the lead runner to score and the 2 other base runners to advance 90 feet. C.M. Chang would then drive in both base runners with a single to tie up the game at 5 all. After Yung-Chi Chen singled to advance Chang to 3rd base, C.F. Chen would hit a sac-fly to score Taiwan's 4th run of the inning to put Taiwan up 6-5.
In the top of the 8th, Sung-Wei Tseng came in to relieve Wei-Lun Pan. After inheriting a runner on base, Tseng would then later allow a HR to plate both runners and put Japan up 7-6. Taiwan would fail to score in the bottom of the 8th.
In the top of the 9th, Japan would threaten to score again off Tseng. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, Yung-Chi Chen would throw out a runner at the plate for a fielder's choice getting the 2nd out of the inning. Tseng would then allow his 2nd walk of the inning to load the bases before getting the final out of the inning on a lineout.
The bottom of the 9th would set up Chih-Sheng Lin's game-winning heroics. After C.M. Chang walked, Chin-Feng Chen finally got his first hit of the game as he doubled, advancing Chang to 3rd base. Next up, Lin would single driving in both Chang and Chen, giving Taiwan it's 3rd gold medal of the Asian Games!
Again, although it wasn't pretty, Taiwan's offense was clutch when it mattered. The pitching performance was disappointing, but I take my hat off to the Japanese team for a great showing and performance.