Taiwan pulled out a tight 4-2 win over China on Monday. China, who was crushed a day earlier by Japan 16-0, managed to keep things fairly even with the Taiwanese team. Taiwan would score first in the 2nd inning on a solo HR by Tai-Shan Chang. China would strike back and tie things up on a sac-fly in the top of the 3rd. Taiwan would then retake the lead in the bottom of the inning by adding 2 more runs thanks to a Yung-Chi Chen triple and a WP/error committed by the Chinese squad. Sung-Wei Tseng, who pitched a great game - throwing 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits to go along with 8 K's and 2 walks, gave up a solo HR in the 7th inning to make things interesting. Leading by only one, C.F. Chen would blast a clutch leadoff solo blast in the 8th inning to give us a lil more breathing room and give us our final score 4-2.
The 2-run win continues a disturbing recent trend where the Chinese NT continues to give the Taiwanese NT a much closer game than anticipated. I will assume that we shake off this game and handily beat the RP NT tomorrow. That sets up the showdown with Japan for the gold medal on Thursday. The Japanese team, despite their amateur/industrial league status, is talented as evidenced by several members of the team being selected fairly high in the recent NPB draft. Matchup wise, if Kuo is available to pitch on Thursday, then the game should be a low scoring affair for the most part. The wild card will be the Japanese pitching staff - if they can hold down our hitters, then the winner of this game is anyone's guess.