Well, as most of you know by now, Taiwan defeated South Korea 4-2 (see last post for scoring recap) yesterday to help position itself towards the top seed in the preliminary phase. The biggest contributors to the NT were it's overseas stars: Kuo, Chen, and to a lesser extent Chiang.
Star of the Game - Y.C. Chen with 2 HR's
Winning Pitcher - Kuo
Reliever - Chiang
Circling the Bases after a HR - Hsieh
CF Chen Being Congratulated by Teammates after Scoring Run
I gotta hit the sack, but follow the rest of the game here. Jiayo!!
*Top of the 8th: Yung-Chi Chen cracks his 2nd HR of the game to put Taiwan up 4-2!!!!!!!!
*C.M. Chiang replaces Kuo in the bottom of the 6th. Solid job by Kuo - 5 innings - 1 run allowed on 6 hits to go along with 6 K's and 1 walk. Chiang allows a double and a single to plate another run for SK. After 6 innings: Taiwan 3 - SK 2.
*Taiwan adds another run in the top of the 5th with a leadoff solo HR by Chia-Hsien Hsieh, knocking SK starter Son out of the game. Heading into the bottom of the 5th: Taiwan 3 - SK 1.
*SK gets a run back in the bottom of the 4th after Kuo gives up a leadoff triple to the cleanup hitter. The next batter drives in the baserunner to make the score 2-1. Kuo gets out of the inning with a DP and a K. Taiwan 2 - SK 1 heading into the top of the 5th.
*Taiwan's hitters have finally figured out SK starter M.H. Son in the top of the 4th inning. After 1 out, Yung-Chi Chen cracks a solo HR to put Taiwan up 1-0. Chin-Feng Chen follows that up with a double and a SB. Chih-Sheng Lin avenges an earlier K and drives in Chen with a RBI single. After getting out of a little jam in the 2nd inning, Kuo has 3 K's and 0 walks through 3 innings. Taiwan 2 - SK 0 going into the bottom of the 4th.
Taiwan's starting lineup for tomorrow might look something like this per reports out of Taiwan:
1)Ching-Lung Hu - SS 2)Chien-Ming Chang - RF 3)Yung-Chi Chen - 2B 4)Chin-Feng Chen - DH 5)Chih-Sheng Lin - 1B 6)Wei-Chu Lin - LF 7)Feng-Min Chen - C 8)Chia-Hsien Hsieh - CF 9)Chih-Wei Shih - 3B - with Tai-Shan Chang coming off the bench
The expected starting pitcher for Taiwan will be Hong-Chih Kuo, with Chien-Ming Chiang and Sung-Wei Tseng available as relievers.
The Korea Times is reporting that South Korea will be using a similar philosophy with it's pitchers - utilizing it's top pitchers in the KBO against the Taiwanese lineup. I got 2 problems with the story written by the K-Times: 1)Rin In-Che or Ying-Chieh Lin as we know him is NOT on the NT 2)The writer, who stated that Kuo was not impressive this past year, probably based his assumption on stats only and must not have watched Kuo's gems against the NY Mets and Arizona DiamondBacks in September.
Although the Asian Games Baseball Championships actually kicks off tomorrow, Taiwan's first game versus rival South Korea will take place on Thursday the 30th of November. Taiwan will then face: 2)Thailand on 12/2 3)China on 12/4 4)the Philippines on 12/5 5)Japan on 12/7 before completing the preliminary round robin phase. -For a complete schedule click here. -Taiwan's complete roster with pics can be found here. -Rosters for opposing teams can be found here. -Interesting take on Taiwan's team from a Korean perspective - although I would disagree with the claim that Taiwan is bringing it's best roster possible - Missing: C.M. Peng, C.M. Wang, E.Y. Lin, and S.Y. Wu. Taiwan's offensive lineup is almost as good as it gets minus C.M. Peng, but the starters could have used a lil' more depth with Lin and Wu. -More on team Japan here.
With the success of Chien-Ming Wang, it seems as if more MLB teams are interested in getting a foothold in the Taiwanese market. The White Sox signed 20 year old pitching prospect Po-Yu Lin with a sign-on bonus of ~ $300,000. The righty stands 6 feet tall and weighs 216 pounds. Lin was a member of the 2004 junior NT that included fellow minor leaguers Chih-Hsien Chiang and Wang-Wei Lin. At the time, Lin was considered the ace of the staff. Lin's stats for the 2004 Junior World Championships can be found here. Lin gained additional exposure when he played this past summer for the Anchorage Bucs in the ABL. Lin appeared in 6 games for the Bucs and had a 3.03 ERA. Lin played alongside fellow Taiwanese prospect and current NT member - Cheng-Lung Lo. In high school, Lin was clocked around 90 mph. See video footage here of Lin.
After some confusion, it appears that Chin-Feng Chen will participate in the Asian Games. The team representing Taiwan will be much stronger (at least on paper it looks that way) than the team that just competed in the Intercontinental Cup. C.F. Chen will be surrounded by US minor leaguers Y.C. Chen who tore the cover off the ball during the I-Cup and C.L. Hu. Throw in NPB pinch hitter extaordinaire W.C. Lin and you have a better hitting lineup than the team that represented Taiwan during the WBC. With Si-Yo Wu pulling out of the Asian Games due to injury, amateur pitcher Chen-Chang Lee will take his roster spot.
As for Taiwan's opponents, South Korea will pose the biggest threat as it will send some of it's top KBO players to Qatar. Japan is expected to field an amateur team at the Asian Games - but will be dangerous nonetheless.
With that said, Taiwan will look to either H.C. Kuo or C.M. Chiang to pitch against South Korea in the opening game for Taiwan.
#2 Starter - Chiang
Ace - Kuo
Ching-Lung Lo won his 4th game yesterday in the HWB. Lo pitched 6 innings, giving up 1 run (via a solo HR) on 4 hits. Although he K'd 6 hitters, he also put 4 men on base via the freepass. Box Score
Taiwan won the bronze after it extracted a small measure of revenge against the Japanese NT by beating them the second time around in the I-Cup. Taiwan blanked Japan 4-0 on a dominant performance by Chien-Fu Yang and Sung-Wei Tseng. The 2 combined to K 10 hitters and allowed only 4 hits throughout the game. Taiwan's offense managed 10 hits and 2 HR's against their opponent. After a double by Chien-Ming Chang in the opening frame, Yung-Chi Chen would drive in the game's first run by singling Chang home. Chen was 3-3 with a RBI. Taiwan would add 2 more runs in the 3rd inning on Tai-Shan Chang's 2-run HR. Chung-Shou Yang would complete the scoring by cranking a solo HR in the 8th inning. Box Score
The 3rd place showing was Taiwan's best effort since 1983 when it also won 3rd at the Intercontinental Cup. As for the tourney all-star team, only Yung-Chi Chen made the roster at 2B.
Overall the team tied Australia for most HR's hit by a team with 10. Chung-Shou Yang led the tourney in runs scored while also tying for second overall in SB's and HR's hit. See more individual leaders here. The team's cumulative stats can be found here.
Taiwan lost a heartbreaking 1 run game to Cuba in the semifinals of the Intercontinental Cup 5-4. After falling behind 5-1, Taiwan would rally to score 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning. As for Taiwan's offense: Chung-Shou Yang (1-4) would drive in Taiwan's first run with a RBI-double in the 5th inning. In the 8th inning, Taiwan would mount it's rally with RBI's coming from the heart of it's order - Tai-Shan Chang, Yi-Chuan Lin, and Chia-Hsien Hsieh would all drive in runs. However pinch hitter Guan-Ren Chen would strike out to end the threat in the 8th inning. Taiwan's starter Wei-Lun Pan was unable to hold down the explosive Cuban offense as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 3.1 innings. Sung-Wei Tseng continued to impress as he held the Cubans scoreless over the last 3 innings, giving up 3 hits to go along with 3 K's. Box Score Despite the loss, Taiwan will get another shot at beating Japan on Sunday in the bronze medal game. The Netherlands defeated Japan on Saturday, putting them in the finals against Cuba. On the brighter side of things, this is the first time that we've defeated the Cuban NT in 3 different age groups in the same year. Earlier in the year, our junior NT & collegiate NT defeated their Cuban counterparts. The significance of the victories? Not only can we compete with the world's best amateurs, but the overall quality of baseball in Taiwan has improved significantly over the past few years.
Other News: Cor has kindly uploaded a short video clip of Taiwan's victory (2nd and 3rd innings) over Cuba in the I-Cup over at Taiwaneseballplayers.com. Check it out!
Lo lost his 3rd game of the season in the HWB on Wednesday night. Lo pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Lo had a 10 inning scoreless streak broken up after he allowed a run in the first inning. Box Score
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. *Edited/Updated
Other News: 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!
Taiwan won big against the Philippines in a run mercy-shortened 6 inning game. Just about everyone in the lineup got in on the hit parade. Led by Yung-Chi Chen, Tai-Shan Chang, and Chih-Yao Chan - all of who had 3 hits and multiple RBI's, the Taiwanese NT scored 14 runs on 18 hits including 2 HR's - one each by Tai-Shan Chang and Chien-Ming Chang. Starter Ko-Chien Lin pitched a complete game shutout in which he K'd 4 and allowed only 3 hits. Box Score With the win, Taiwan is now firmly entrenched in the #5 spot behind Australia (combined with the fact that Australia lost today, while the Netherlands won). So essentially, Taiwan's hopes of advancing tomorrow depends on one of two things happening:1)beating Cuba tomorrow or 2)Australia losing to the Netherlands tomorrow. If scenario #2 should occur, Taiwan would also need Italy to lose to South Korea, in the event that Taiwan loses to Cuba. I think scenario #2 is more likely, but we'll see what happens tomorrow.
Facing the most important game to date in the I-Cup, the NT lost in extra innings 4-2 to the Dutch NT. Wasting a great performance by starting pitcher Chien-Fu Yang, who pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits to go along with 5 K's and 3 walks and reliever Yueh-Ping Lin (2.1 scoreless innings - 4 K's), the Taiwanese NT now finds itself in a deep hole. After the Dutch team had taken an early 1-0 lead, youngster Chung-Shou Yang finally got untracked as he cranked a solo HR in the 3rd inning to tie things up - he would finish with a 2-4 night. Yang, who had hit well in the exhibition matches prior to the I-Cup, was hitting only .077 (1-13) prior to tonight's game.
Yang(R) after the HR
Yung-Chi Chen also continued his hot hitting streak by going 3-5 with a double. The game would remain scoreless until the 10th inning when NT reliever Po-Hsuan Keng would allow a couple of walks/hits/sac-fly that would produce 3 runs for the Dutch team. Taiwan would score a run in the bottom of the 10th, but that was it. Box Score
With the loss, Taiwan now finds itself in 6th place (2-3) with 2 games remaining (Taiwan loses the tiebreaker to Italy). Taiwan will amost certainly have to win both games or have Lady Luck on their side in order to have a shot at making it to the semis. While a win over the RP is almost a guarantee, beating Cuba - the only undefeated team in the tourney will be a very difficult task. Aside from Cuba and Japan, who are virtually guaranteed the top 2 spots, the other 3 teams ahead of Taiwan have the following games remaining: 1)Australia 3-2: Cuba, the Netherlands 2)Netherlands 3-2: Korea, Australia 3)Italy 2-3: Japan, Korea Based on the above matchups, it is highly likely that Taiwan will leapfrog Italy should Italy lose to both Asian teams. Therefore, Taiwan would need one of a few things to happen in order to advance to the semis: 1)Both Australia and the Netherlands would need to lose tomorrow and then Australia would need to defeat the Netherlands on Thursday. Taiwan would have to take care of business and beat Cuba. With that scenario, Taiwan would advance as the #3 seed. 2)Or if Australia and the Netherlands both lose tomorrow, Taiwan could still advance as the #4 seed if they lose to Cuba and the Netherlands beat Australia on Thursday. 3)Australia loses both games - we win one game, regardless of how the Dutch team does, we win the tie-breaker vs. Australia and advance as a probable 4 seed.
We'll have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best in the next couple of days.
Other News: Ching-Lung Hu was removed from Mesa's roster on 11/13. I'm assuming it's because he's on his way home to prepare for the upcoming Asian Games. Hu had a rough time in the AFL as he couldn't get his bat going.
1)AppleDaily reports that Chunichi Dragons pitcher Wei-Yin Chen underwent surgery on Monday in Japan for his throwing elbow. Chen saw only limited action this year with the Dragons nigun team before getting shut down- appearing in 9 games - with 34.1 IP, 1 Win, 3 Losses, and a 4.98 ERA. What can I say - another Taiwanese casualty in the NPB - Grrr! Hopefully the 21 year old will be able to bounce back quickly after his surgery.
2)En-Yu Lin, who struggled against South Korea on Sunday, has been experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow and is seeking medical attention. Lin, one of the aces of the NT staff when healthy, stated that there is a high probability that he will not participate in the Asian Games in December.
3)Si-Yo Wu, who was scouted heavily by NPB scouts - particularly the Chiba Lotte Marines during the Konami Cup, injured his neck while pitching against the Samsung Lions. Wu is also reported to be a big ?-mark for the Asian Games roster at this point. The other 2 Taiwanese players who received considerable attention from NPB scouts during the Konami Cup were sluggers Chin-Feng Chen and Chih-Sheng Lin. The LA New Bears office is refuting the rumor that pitcher Yu-Wei Hsu is being considered by the NPB - citing it as just hearsay only.
With the injuries to Wu and Lin, the NT pitching depth for the Asian Game is looking awful thin. With Kuo and Chiang as the aces of the staff, the team will need good performances from S.W. Tseng, W.L. Pan, and C.F. Yang. Also Chin-Feng Chen is reporting that he does not want to participate in the Asian Games secondary to being overly fatigued and wanting to give the younger guys a shot on the international stage.
Chien-Fu Yang who was outstanding in his ND versus Japan, will get the start tomorrow versus the Netherlands in the I-Cup. A win is crucial as it would give Taiwan a little more breathing room in placing in the top 4.
ASIA In Japan, the LA New Bears lost to the Fighters 1-0 in the championship game of the 2nd annual Konami Cup. Facing off against young phenom Yu Darvish, the Bears had no answers for the ace of the Fighter's pitching staff. Yu combined with 2 relievers to 2-hit the Bears offense. Chen and Lin were 0-6 with 4 K's between the 2 of them. Wen-Hsiung Hsu, typically a reliever for the Bears got the start and was very impressive in his starting role. Hsu, a WBC NT member, threw 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 3 hits. Although Bears reliever Anthony Fiore was tagged with the loss, the run he gave up in the 7th inning was unearned. Box Score Despite the loss, the Bears showed that they are one of the elite professional teams in Asia. I'm sure that several members of the Bears team received positive scouting exposure during this tourney. Combined with the fact that the CPBL is having financial woes, I wouldn't be surprised if and when a few NPB teams come knocking on the doors of the Bear's front office/ management. In fact, Japanbaseballdaily.com reports that LA New Bears pitcher Yu-Wei Hsu, who did not make an appearance in the Konami Cup, has drawn interest from the Hanshin Tigers and Yakult Swallows.
HR # 1
HR # 2
Mr. Grand Salami!
Ok, now for some good news. The Taiwanese NT defeated the South Korean representatives 9-7 in a 12 inning marathon at the Intercontinental Cup. With the victory Taiwan moves into a tie for 3rd place with the Netherlands at 2-2. Despite facing a young Korean team, it took 4 HR's and an impressive performance by reliever Wei-Lun Pan to pull out the victory. Ace En-Yu Lin started the game for Taiwan, pitching 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. Lin uncharacteristically walked 4 batters while K'ing only 1. He left the game in a 2 all deadlock - thanks to a first inning 2-run HR by Chia-Hsien Hsieh. Relievers C.L. Lo and C.C. Lee would then struggle and give up 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning alone, to put Taiwan in a hole at 6-2. Taiwan would then rally to take the lead by putting up 5 runs in the top of the 7th inning on the strength of 2 HR's - one by Chuang-Chin Wang and the second - a biggie - a grand slam by Yung-Chi Chen. Wei-Lun Pan pitched 7.1 innings of relief and despite giving up the tying run in the bottom of the 9th, earned the victory when Chien-Ming Chang cracked a 2-run HR in the top of the 12th for the difference in the ball game. Pan gave up only 3 hits to go along with 6 K's and 3 walks. Box Score Taiwan gets the day off on Monday before resuming play on Tuesday against the Netherlands, Wed. against the Philippines, and Thursday against currently undefeated Cuba. Only the top 4 finishers will compete in the semifinals. *Edited*
A day after getting our hearts broken by the Japanese representatives, the LA New Bears and the NT both picked up victories today against very good opponents.
The Bears defeated the KBO champs - the Samsung Lions 3-2. Si-Yo Wu pitched well enough to keep things close. Wu pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 runs - via a 2 run shot in the 4th, to go along with 4 K's and 3 walks. Offensively, the big guns came through for the CPBL champs. Chin-Feng Chen was instrumental in the win as he had a huge 2 run single in the bottom of the 4th to tie things up. Chen was 2-3 on the day. Fellow NT member - Chih-Sheng Lin would then hit the game winning HR in the bottom of the 6th to complete the scoring. Lin was also 2-3. The Korean pitching staff only allowed 5 hits the entire game, so to say that Chen and Lin were clutch would be an understatement. Box Score The Bears will now get their rematch against the NPB champs tomorrow. Who the Bears have left to start against the Fighters is anyone's guess - since the Bears top 2 starters Rayborn and Wu have both started recently. Hopefully, Chen and Lin can continue their slugging ways and make things interesting.
In Intercontinental Cup action, the Taiwanese NT defeated a young but talented Australian squad 4-2. Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th, Yung-Chi Chen and Yi-Chuan Lin came up with clutch hits in the 8th to drive in 4 runs between the two of them. The Australian squad would tack on another run in the 9th, but it was too little too late. Starting pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng threw a gutsy game, allowing 1 run on 4 hits through 7 innings - good enough to keep things close for the 8th inning rally. Box Score Traditional rival South Korea will face off against our boys tomorrow.
The Bears and the NT both lost tightly contested matches respectively to the Fighters and the Japanese NT today.
The LA New Bears demonstrated that they can compete with the NPB's best - despite losing 2-1. The Bears were actually winning the ball game 1-o through the 7th inning thanks to a HR by LF Hao-Ju Zeng. However, the starting pitcher for the Bears - Kenny Rayborn who threw a tremendous game (lasting 7.1 IP, giving up 4 hits, allowing 1 run to go along with 6 K's), tired in the 8th when he allowed the tying run. Reliever Ramon Morel would relieve Kenny in the 8th and allow the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in the same inning. In a classic pitcher's duel, the 2 teams totaled 9 hits between them. Bears slugger Chin-Feng Chen struggled as he was 0-4 with 2 K's. Box The Bears can claim a rematch against the Fighters if they beat the Samsung Lions tomorrow. The Lions defeated China 12-1 today. We can probably expect to see Si-Yo Wu and Ying-Feng Tsai pitch against the Korean champs.
In the Intercontinental Cup, the NT lost 4-3 to a Japanese NT made up of primarily minor leaguers and industrial league players. Taiwan actually managed to even the score at 3 a piece in the top of the 8th inning. However, En-Yu Lin would allow the game-winning run on a solo HR given up to the Japanese clean-up hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning. That was the difference in the ball game. The starting pitcher for Taiwan, Chien-Fu Yang was exceptional, hurling 5 innings, giving up 5 hits - 2 runs, to go along with 7 K's. Reliever Po-Hsuan Keng pitched 2 shutout innings before giving way to ace En-Yu Lin in the 8th inning. IF Yung-Chi Chen continued his hot hitting as he was 2-3 at the plate. Box Taiwan plays Australia tomorrow.
However, most prognosticators today would probably have predicted victories for both the La New Bears and the Taiwanese NT. But that's why they play the games. Matched up against perceived "weaker" opponents, the Bears held up their end of the bargain by crushing the Chinese NT 12-2, while the Taiwanese NT got demolished by the Italian NT (the same team they beat a few days ago 4-2) 13-3.
In the opening game of the Konami Cup, The LA New Bears were led by Chin-Feng Chen who was the catalyst behind the offensive outburst. Chen was 4-5 with 2 HR's (including a grand slam) and 6 RBI's. Catcher Feng-Min Chen was 2-3 with a HR and 3 runs driven as well. 1B Chih-Sheng Lin was 2-5. All in all, the offense managed to crank out 18 hits against the Chinese team. Box The Bears will face off against the tourney favorite - the Nippon Ham Fighters of the NPB tomorrow. The Fighters defeated the KBO champs 7-1 today. The final game would pit the Bears against the Samsung Lions on Saturday. If the Bears place in the top 2 teams, they would then play in the championship game on Sunday. Nice story on Bears hitting coach - Ming-Tsu Lu
As for the Taiwanese NT........ugh! The strength of the team was supposed to be the pitching staff. However today, several pitchers from Taiwan got smacked around. Starting pitcher Wei-Lun Pan lasted only 2.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. His relievers, Ko-Chien Lin - Chen-Chang Lee - Yao-Hsung Yang would give up 13 hits and 10 runs over the next 6+ innings!! The few bright spots for the NT were all on the offensive side of the field as Mariner farmhand Yung-Chi Chen was 2-4 with the team's one of only two extra base hits (a triple), Chien-Ming Chang was 3-5 with a RBI, and CPBL ROY Guan-Ren Chen was 3-4 (had the other extra base hit - a double). Other notables included: cleanup hitter Chia-Hsien Hsieh and slugger Tai-Shan Chang going a combined 0-8 at the plate. 19 year old Chung-Shou Yang was 1-5 with a SB. Box Taiwan plays Japan tomorrow followed by Australia and South Korea on Saturday and Sunday. Taiwan could find itself with 4 losses on Monday.
OTHER NEWS After his last encouraging start, Ching-Lung Lo earned pitcher POW honors in the HWB for the week of 10/31 to 11/5. Lo continued his newfound confidence by throwing a gem of a game yesterday. Lo won his 3rd game of the season for the BeachBoys by throwing a 1 hit, 9 K shutout over 5 innings against North Shore. Box
Chien-Ming Wang returned home to Taiwan today. He was mobbed by the media and fans upon his arrival in Tainan. Wang is expected to stay in Taiwan for the next 2 months before reporting back to the US in January.
As for news regarding Tsao's recovery, MLB.com is reporting that Tsao is currently in Taiwan right now, but will be returning to the US Nov. 15th to see how his arm is coming along. The Rockies will probably make their decision after that time period to see if Tsao will still remain on the 40 man roster.
In it's final tuneup match prior to the I-Cup, Taiwan defeated powerhouse Cuba 2-1. Amazingly, that's 3 times this year a Taiwanese NT has defeated a Cuban NT. Amateur pitcher, Cheng-Lung Lo - another 19 year old, held the Cubans in check over the first 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits. Lo was clocked at 90 mph. Lo's relievers got the job done, blanking the Cubans over the final 4 innings. Chien-Fu Yang earned the win in relief of Lo, while En-Yu Lin also made his first appearance in a relief role. With the win, hopefully the NT has built some momentum and confidence going into the Cup.
Other NewsKuo reporting for his mandatory 12 day military stint
Kuo is back in Taiwan, fulfilling his military obligations and getting ready for the Asian Championships in December.
The NT lost their 3rd warm up game today to the Australian NT. Starting pitcher Chen-Chang Lee, the 19 year old amateur player who beat Cuba earlier this summer, lasted 3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Lee was clocked at 92 mph on his fastball. His replacement, fellow amateur pitcher Ko-Chien Lin came in and pitched 2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits. Relievers Yueh-Ping Lin (clocked at a high of 94 mph) and Po-Hsuan Keng managed to stop the bleeding and blank Australia the rest of the way. As for the NT's offense, it was pretty non-existent except for amateur IF Yi-Chuan Lin's 3 run blast in the 4th inning. Lin would also crack a double in the 7th inning, steal 3rd base and score on catcher Chih-Kang Kao's rbi single. The NT only managed 6 hits for the entire game. The NT's final warm up match will be tomorrow versus the Cuban NT, who narrowly beat the Italian NT 3-2 today. Amateur Cheng-Lung Lo is scheduled to start tomorrow's match for the NT. The Intercontinental Cup will then kick off on November 9th, with Taiwan's shedule listed below: 1)11/9 vs Italy 2)11/10 vs Japan 3)11/11 vs Australia 4)11/12 vs Korea 5)11/14 vs the Netherlands 6)11/15 vs Cuba 7)11/16 vs the Philippines On the 18th, the semifinals will match up the top 4 teams with the championship/consolation game to be played on the 19th of November.
Other News The New York Daily News writes about Daisuke Matsuzaka, the highly sought after NPB superstar pitcher from Japan. Matsuzaka is an admirer of fellow 26 year old Chien-Ming Wang and wants to be like him. The two could very well be teammates next year as the Yanks figure to be one of the favorites in their pursuit of the NPB's brightest star. *edited*
In the third exhibition match for the NT in preparation for the Intercontinental Cup, the NT managed to defeat the Italian NT 4-2. Starting pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng pitched 5 scoreless innings, K'ing 4. The Italian NT scored both of their runs in the 9th inning off of NT reliever Yueh-Ping Lin. Lin, who was clocked ~ 89 to the low 90's, continues to struggle after failing to shut down the LA New Bears in his closer role during the CPBL Championships. Again, the offensive star for the NT was 19 year old Chung-Shou Yang who collected 2 hits and drove in 2 runs.
CPBL NEWS:Lin - MVP
En-Yu Lin, the CPBL triple crown winner (Wins/ERA/K's), was voted MVP of the CPBL. Lin, who will continue his career next year in Japan, beat out Chin-Feng Chen (finished 2nd in voting) and Tai-Shan Chang.
Chen - ROY
As expected, the CPBL ROY award went to Guan-Ren Chen of the Brother Elephants.
Hu was 0-3 in tonights 4-2 Mesa loss. Box Hu's 4th journal entry is now up. Check it out.
HWB Lo earned his second victoy in the HWBL yesterday. Lo easily has his best outing in Hawaii as he pitched 5 scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits to go along with 4 K's and 1 walk. Box
In honor of Chen's first pro championship and Finals MVP status, here is a copy of Chen's most unique memorabilia card. Even though the Dodgers and MLB have forgotten about Chen for now, he will always remain a national hero in our hearts. Hopefully Chen can continue to terrorize NPB and KBO pitching in the upcoming Konami Cup.
Playing in an exhibition game versus a squad of Major League All-Stars, Chiang and the Yomiuri Giants managed a 7-7 tie in a 9 inning game. Getting the opportunity to face some of the best hitters in the world, Chiang did just fine. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits (2 HR's allowed - both in the 6th inning on back to back HR's to Ryan Howard and Andruw Jones), with 0 K's. The MLB All-Stars will face off against the NPB All-Stars starting tomorrow in a 5 game series.
CT NT News As Maos mentioned earlier, the NT lost to the LA New Bears in an exhibition game on Monday 4-3. The NT also dropped a rain-shortened game 2 to the Bears today 2-1. Despite being on the losing end in both games, one bright spot for the NT has been the performance of phenom Chung-Shou Yang, who cranked out 2 hits in Monday's game and drove in the only run for the NT in game 2. Next up for the NT - the Italian NT on Thursday.