LIKELY GAME 1 STARTERS: LIN (L), YANG (R)
Well, the Asian Olympic Qualifiers kick off in a short while. Taiwan's matchup with South Korea on opening day is huge. While Coach Kuo will most likely go with En-Yu Lin to start the game, Chien-Fu Yang is ready to go in case he is called upon. Regarding the SK team, Coach Kim will likely start Chan-Ho Park, although the other two likely candidates are Jae-Kuk Ryu and lefty Byung-Ho Jun. Here's some good insight on the matchup from The Korea Times, Donga.com, and The Taipei Times.
Both EY Lin and CH Park have big game experience against the opposing NT's "A" squad. En-Yu Lin and Chan-Ho Park faced off against one another in March of last year during the WBC. South Korea defeated Taiwan 2-0 in that game. Lin started the game and pitched well although he ultimately was charged with the loss after allowing 1 run on 3 hits over 3.2 innings. Park closed out the game for SK and was nearly flawless, throwing 3 shutout innings allowing only 2 hits.
Should Park start the game for SK, the NT's offense will need to get to him early and often in order to give Lin sufficient run support. It goes without saying that Lin will have to have his best stuff in order to keep the SK bats in check. I'm excited for what should be a great game among two of Asia's top powerhouses in the sport. Jiayo!
Some more 411 on the Japanese NT.