Aside from a round-up of the Taiwan Series, this will be the final round-up of the season. It’s time to review those last few games played between 1st October and 5th October.
Fubon Guardians v Chinatrust Brothers – Tuesday 1st October in Taichung
Brothers secured the second phase title and made Fubon Guardians task of reaching the play-offs almost impossible with victory in this game. Fubon took an early 3-1 lead but then squandered it very quickly. 3 runs in the 3rd, and then 4 in the 4th for Brothers put them well in control. Brothers legend Peng Zheng-min hit a 3 RBI double in that 4th inning, the 5 run lead would not be threatened as Brothers cruised an 8-3 win and the second phase title in front of 15,283 spectators; one of the biggest crowds at a midweek game in Taiwan in recent years.
Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys – Wed 2nd, Fri 4th and Sat 5th October in Taoyuan
In a preview of the Taiwan Series, the two leading CPBL sides met 3 times in rearranged games in Taoyuan.
On Wednesday Brothers edged out Lamigo 5-3. The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, only for Lamigo to go 3-1 up in the 4th off Yang Zhi-long. The men in yellow responded with 3 runs of their own and kept things tight with the pitching. Just 5 hits all night for Lamigo, Brothers extended their lead in the 8th to 5-3 and CC Lee got the save.
Friday’s game was the first of two run-fests as Lamigo Monkeys crushed Brothers in a game that they hit 7 home-runs. 10-1 ahead after 4, then 15-1 after 7, they gave away a few late runs but they cruised a 15-4 win. Radhames Liz became the first pitcher since 2017 (Mike Loree) to reach 16 wins. Lin Hung-yu hit 3 home runs in 4 plate appearances with 7 RBI.
Revenge was swift in the final game of the regular season as Brothers brushed aside their opponents in the Taiwan Series 14-5. Two interesting points to note, both sides made 12 hits in this game and secondly, the score was 2-2 after 5 innings! So what happened? Brothers made 9 runs in the 6th and that was pretty much that! 3 more runs for each team and as a near-capacity crowd of 19,510 were treated to 19 total runs scored. It must also be noted, that this was an ordinary working Saturday in Taiwan which makes the attendance staggering. Those playoff tickets will sell fast.
Uni Lions v Fubon Guardians – Thursday 3rd October at Xinzhuang
Contrasting seasons for these two sides. One has struggled throughout and the other became the first side in 6 years to not make the playoffs after finishing over 0.500. In a 4 team league, that’s unlucky!
Any late arriving spectators would have been kicking themselves after this one as the game was effectively over after an inning. Fubon scored 12 first-inning runs and it took 60 pitches to get the first two outs! The entire night was a complete shambles for a Lions side that had long since given up for the season. Fubon added 3 runs in the 5th before the away side scored 4 of their own in the 7th. The game finished: Lions 4-18 Guardians. Lions 2015 draftee Kuo Li-wei made his first and only 1st team appearance as he was one of four Lions players released in the last week.
Taiwan Series schedule
Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys – Sat 12th/Sun 13th in Taoyuan
Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers – Tues 15th, Wed 16th (Thurs 17th if necessary) in Taichung
Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys – Sat 19th/Sun 20th in Taoyuan if necessary.
I will bring my final round-up of the season after the Taiwan Series has finished, thank you and goodbye for now.