CPBL round-up – week 29 – Taiwan Series

For the 29th and final time this season, I am rounding up last week’s CPBL action. It’s time to look back at the Taiwan Series between Chinatrust Brothers, the 2nd phase champions and Taoyuan Lamigo Monkeys, the recent dominant force in Taiwanese baseball.

GAME 1 – Saturday 12th October – Brothers v Monkeys in Taoyuan.

Elih Villeneuva v Radhames Liz.

Game 1 was a tight affair and a great start to the series. In the second phase Brothers had led the head to head 13 to 7 and they took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd through Zhang Chih-Hao’s 2 RBI shot. It wasn’t to last long though,

Lin Hung-Yu got on base, and Chen Chen-Chiu got an RBI to bring it back to 2-1 with no outs in the bottom of the 2nd. Brothers then made an error off a Chu Yu-Hsien shot and Chen Chun Chiu came home, 2-2 with 0 outs. Kuo Yun-Wen and Lin Cheng-Fei were sent back to the dug-outs before Liu Shih-Hao put runners on the corners. A second error of the inning put the Monkeys ahead 3-2 as Chen Chen-Wei successfully got to 1st and Chu Yu-Hsien came home, 3-2. Villenueva was struck out and it remained 3-2 after 2.

Lamigo further increased their lead in the 4th, with 2 on base, Chen Chun Chiu’s sacrifice shot put runners on 2 and 3. Chu Yu-Hsien’s 2 RBI single then got both runners home to make it 5-2.

Brothers got back into the game in the 6th thanks to Wang Wei-Chen’s home run and the game would remain without further score until the 9th. Radhames Liz lasted 7 innings (7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 9 SO) and Villenueva lasted 8 with a line of 9H, 5R, 3ER, 0BB, 7 SO.

The game hinged on the 9th as Brothers levelled in the top of the inning as legend Peng Zheng-Min hit a 2 RBI double with 2 outs, then put another man on base with 2 outs. Thomas Dominy then walked Wang Wei-Chen before Wang Yue-Lin ended the inning with the game tied at 5-5.

In the bottom of the 9th, Lamigo loaded the bases with 2 outs with pinch hitter Liao Chien-Fu at the plate. He hit a walk-off single and game 1 of the series was over.

Chinatrust Brothers 5-6 Lamigo Monkeys – Monkeys lead the series 1-0

GAME 2 – Sunday 13th October – Brothers v Monkeys in Taoyuan.

Liao Yi-Zhong v Michael Nix

This game was over as a contest in the first inning, Chinatrust Brothers completely ripped Michael Nix to shreds making 6 hits and were walked twice to put them 7-0 with 1 out. Zhang Chih-Hao was the big profiter, hitting a grand slam to take it from 2-0 to 6-0. Wang Wei-Chun came onto pitch but couldn’t stop the bleeding conceding another 4 hits before a double-play ended the inning.

Lamigo pulled a run back in the bottom of the first but another hope of a comeback was quickly extinguished. 3 more Brothers runs in the top of the 2nd was the icing on the cake and anything after, was irrelevant. Brothers didn’t score after whilst Lamigo scored 5 more runs in the game. Liao Yi-Zhong lasted 6.1 and ended with figures of 7H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 6 SO with Michael Nix’s figures being a grizzly 0.1 6H, 8R, 8ER, 2BB, 1 SO.

Chinatrust Brothers 13-6 Lamigo Monkeys – series tied 1-1

GAME 3 – Tuesday 15th October – Monkeys v Brothers in Taichung

Wang Yi-Cheng v Mitch Lively

On Sunday, Michael Nix had been smashed around by Brothers on Tuesday it was the turn of Lamigo Monkeys to do that to Mitch Lively.  Yes, for the second time in three days, a foreign import gave the game away early but this time the runs came in the 2nd inning.

Two hits were followed up by Chu Yu-Hsien’s RBI and a walk which loaded the bases with 0 outs. Two further walks followed to load the bases twice more, with 2 runs being scored. Chen Chen-Wei struck out before Lin Li made it 4-0, Lan Yin-Lun ground out but a run scored to make it 5-0 and Lin Hung-Yu’s 2 RBI single made it 7. Lively finally got out the inning as he got Chen Chun Chiu out.

Brothers never threatened a comeback making 7-1 in the 4th, before Lamigo scored to make it 8-1 in the 5th and then became 8-2 after 6. 2 late runs in the 8th inning made it 8-4 but Lamigo comfortably held on.

Wang Yi-Cheng lasted in the 8th: 7.1, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 7 SO and Lively lasted 6, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB and 3 SO.

Lamigo Monkeys 8-4 Chinatrust Brothers – Monkeys lead the series 2-1.

GAME 4 – Wednesday 16th October – Monkeys v Brothers in Taichung

This was a pivotal game in the series with Lamigo turning to Thomas Dominy and Brothers turning to Yang Zhi-Long.

In the opening three this was a tight game with Lan Yin-Lun’s 2 run homer put Lamigo 2-0 up in the top of the 2nd. Lamigo went 4-0 ahead through Chen Chen-Wei and Lin Li’s RBIs but Brothers quickly brought it back to 4-3 in the bottom of the inning.

A blank fourth followed but the runs started to flow again in the 5th. Lamigo increased their lead to 8-3 despite starting the inning with 2 outs. They loaded the bases, changed the pitcher and Kuo Yun-Wen hit a grand slam off Casey Harman. Brothers charged back with Zhang Chih Hao scored a 3 run homerun off Lin Bai-You to make it 8-6.

Lin Li put Lamigo 9-6 ahead in the 7th with a home run but Brothers came back once again with Zhang Chih Hao hitting a 2 RBI single to make it 9-8. This was the last time Brothers would come back on the Monkeys as the defending champions launched a full-on assault thereafter whilst keeping tight on the mound.

5 runs in the 8th made it 14-8 and a further run in the top of the 9th made it 15-8 as Brothers usually reliable bullpen bleed runs. Yet it was Yang Zhi-Long who took the loss in his 4.2 innings, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB and 5 SO. Monkeys starter Dominy went 2.2 but it was Chen Yu-Hsun who got the win, 1.2IP, 2H, 0R and 2 SO.

A superb win for the Monkeys who looked as if they’d found their stride again, the experts in play-off baseball were now 1 win away from a three-peat.

Lamigo Monkeys 15-8 Chinatrust Brothers – Monkeys lead the series 3-1.

GAME 5 – Thursday 17th October – Monkeys v Brothers in Taichung

Elih Villenueva v Michael Nix

For game five, Brothers went back to the reliable Elih Villenueva whilst Lamigo turned to the man who’d conceded 8 in 0.1 innings just 4 days before.

Lan Yin-Lun put Lamigo 2 up with a double in the top of the 1st and from there on, it was Lamigo. Liu Shih-Hao hit a grand slam to make it 6-0 and the visitors put 2 more on base with 2 outs as Villenueva was removed after 0.2. Lin Li went the distance off Chen Bo-Hao and it was 9-0. The Taiwan Series looked like it was over after an inning.

Like Lamigo had done on Sunday, Brothers pulled a run back in the bottom of the 1st after conceding heavily in the top of the 1st. Unlike Brothers, Lamigo Monkeys continued to score runs, 1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 3rd and 4 in the 4th made it 15-1 Monkeys. The series was done and Chen Chun-Chiu made it 19-1 in the 6th with a 3 run homerun.

The Monkeys made it 20 in the top of the 9th and Brothers score 2 runs in the bottom of the inning but it was a tiny consolation. Lamigo Monkeys had their three-peat and had done in 5 games just like they did in 2017 v Chinatrust Brothers.

It was a completely savage Lamigo Monkeys performance, 43 runs in 3 games in Taichung said a lot about how good Lamigo were. Brothers had been a force in the second phase but were ruthlessly dispatched in five.

Elih Villenueva took the loss 0.2IP, 4H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB, 2SO with Michael Nix redeeming himself with a solid performance, 6.0IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 5SO. It was comprehensive and few would have expected a win in this manner in game five.

Lamigo Monkeys 20-3 Chinatrust Brothers – Taoyuan Lamigo Monkeys win the series 4-1.

This was the final chapter for Lamigo who will be taken over by Rakuten in the close season. 5 championships in 6 years, 3 in a row and there is no doubt at all, that what will be the Rakuten Monkeys will be the team to beat next year.

That was the Taiwan baseball season, that was my last round-up of the year. I’ll be back reporting on baseball again next spring, thank you.





CPBL round-up – week 28

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.

CPBL round-up – week 7

No need for introductions, it’s Tuesday lunchtime and time for my weekly CPBL round-up.

Chinatrust Brothers

Ahh, the curse of ChapelTom continues although at least last week I predicted it.

I quote from last week:

Can it continue or just like last week, have I cursed Brothers to a week of defeats too?

Brothers won all five games last week, and this week, lost all five on the road. They started with two defeats to Fubon Guardians at Xinzhuang. To be fair, they came up across Henry Sosa and Mike Loree, Brothers made 2 hits on Tuesday as they 4-0 and Sosa completed a 98 pitch shutout. They faired a bit better on Wednesday, making 7 hits but still fell to a 6-1 defeat.

Friday saw Brothers fall to an 8-3 defeat away at Lamigo Monkeys, they made 11 hits but couldn’t get runners home. Saturday’s game was a bit closer but Nick Additon struggled on the mound once again, giving up 9H 7R in 5 innings, his ERA is at 7.18 and surely Brothers must be looking at possible replacements.

Sunday, of course, saw a fifth straight defeat despite 11 hits to Lamigo’s 13. They conceded 8 runs early on and were never really in the game as they lost 9-4.

Inconsistency seems to be a theme with this Brothers side and with 5 home games in Taichung to come this week, you’d expect that to continue. They are 18-14-1 for the season.

Fubon Guardians

Fubon Guardians team contains the most deadly pair of pitchers in the league and if Bryan Woodall played like previous years, it would be a very nasty trio.

Henry Sosa was unstoppable this week. On Tuesday he pitched a brilliant 98 pitch, 2 hit shutout as Fubon defeated Brothers 4-0. If you were going to make a prediction on the possible next CPBL perfect game, Sosa would be your prime candidate. He would end up with his second start/win of the week on Sunday, but let’s cover their other three games in between.

Mike Loree may have a 2-3 record, but his ERA stands at 2.20 and he has only conceded 8 earned runs in 6 starts. On Wednesday he gave up 7H, 1ER in a 6-1 win for Fubon over Brothers.

Friday saw Bryan Woodall on the mound, and despite Fubon making 11 hits were edged out 4-3 by Uni Lions. Whilst Woodall gave up 5H and 2R taking the loss, people won’t remember that. People will remember a bizarre Lai Hong Cheng mistake, throwing the ball away thinking the inning was over, only for the Lions to score a run to make it 3-1. https://twitter.com/GOCPBL/status/1127045691576967169 

Fubon felt to a series loss against the Lions, being shutout 2-0 on Saturday and then amazingly, shutout the Lions on Sunday as Sosa returned. Sosa always looked comfortable giving up just 5 hits, 1 walk in 7 innings as Fubon easily won 5-0.

So a mixed bag for the Guardians as they have a 14-16 record now.. At the moment, Sosa and Loree are looking great. There have been rumours Sosa could end up leaving for Japan/Korea as he is definitely above the CPBL’s normal standards. That said, sources have said that Sosa is happy and isn’t going anywhere. If Loree and Sosa stick out a season together, they will be a menace if Fubon make the play-offs.

Lamigo Monkeys

Lamigo Monkeys only played three games this week and they swept Chinatrust Brothers at home in Taoyuan to go half a game behind Brothers with a 17-14 record. It gave them chance to give Wang Yi Cheng and Radhames Liz slight breaks, and they made relief appearances only.

Michael Nix is looking fantastic with an ERA of 2.93 with a 3-3 record although question marks remain on Zeke Spruill, who gave 7H, 4R in 4 innings on Saturday. Lamigo seem to be having no issues with the bat, making 36 hits in those 3 weekend games and their youth is very exciting. Chen Chen Wei and Wang Wei Chun have slotted into the team quite nicely this season.

Just to recap those three results: 8-3, 7-5 and 9-4 all at home to Chinatrust Brothers.

There is an elephant in the room, and that is who to protect in the future expansion draft. Wei Chuan Dragons will join the league as a farm team next season, and will be CPBL team number 5 in 2021. Lamigo have so much talent, that you can guarantee they will lose quite a few decent players at the expansion draft.

Uni Lions

Uni Lions finished the week with a winning record and Ryan Verdugo is back on the mound. The injury situation has improved a little bit and the Lions have a 14-19-1 record. There are 26 games left, it is worth remembering that the sides with the 2nd/3rd best records could end up in the playoffs, so every game does count.

Ryan Verdugo got a win in his first game back giving up 5H, 1R in 5 innings. He is going to be a key part of this team for the rest of the season. Surprisingly, veteran pitcher Pan Wei Lun is by far the best Lions starter, the 37-year-old is 4-1 for the season with an ERA of 2.75. He got that 4th win in the Lions 2-0 win on Saturday. He made 1 appearance last season but in 7 outings has looked fairly solid this season.

Sunday was the ‘scheduled loss’ as the team line-up for the game suggested. Coming up against Henry Sosa, Wang Yu Pu started for the Lions and has still yet to win when starting the game. The final score was 5-0 Guardians and the result was never, ever in doubt.

This week’s fixtures

Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers @ Taichung on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:35.

Fubon Guardians v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Wednesday/Thursday at 6:35.

Lamigo Monkeys v Uni Lions @ Tianmu on Friday at 6:05, and Saturday/Sunday at 5:05.

Fubon Guardians v Chinatrust Brothers @ Taichung on Friday at 6:35, and Saturday/Sunday at 5:05.


CPBL round-up – week 5

So, another week of baseball has passed and it is time to look back upon it and ahead to this week’s action.

Uni Lions

Just when you didn’t think it could get worse for the Lions, it did. Uni Lions DL (disabled list) is growing after Chen Chih Hsien broke his finger last week, Lions ace Josh Roenicke is now out until the all-star break. The Lions stand at 10-1-15 but on hideous form and veteran pitcher Pan Wei Lun aside, very little else is positive.

This week saw the Lions go 1-4. A rare errorless game and a 2-0 win at Fubon on Tuesday was followed up by 4 consecutive defeats. 5-1 at Fubon on Wednesday,  9-3, 6-3 and 11-3 at Lamigo over the weekend. Saturday’s defeat saw the Lions walked off in the 12th, after taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the 12th, a 2nd walk-off loss in extra innings in just 4 games.

It is fair to say, the Lions have some serious issues and the first phase is a complete write off barring an absolute miracle.

Due to the outfield struggles, catcher Chen Chong Yu is now leading off and playing outfield again. The Lions have used at least 4 different options at each 3B, 2B and SS, with 3 rookies by the name of Lin (Lin Tzu Chieh, Lin Sheng Chieh and Lin Ching Kai) starting on Sunday.

The Lions injury crisis and lack of solid play out the bullpen means that the few that have been good, are being overused. Time to look ahead to phase two Lions fans…

Fubon Guardians

Switching the order a bit from usual, Fubon Guardians went 3-2 for the week, good enough to move up to 3rd in the table. They split the midweek series v Uni Lions losing 0-2 and winning 5-1 then had an interesting series at home to Brothers.

Ace Mike Loree pitched 8 innings on Friday, giving 4 hits, 1 run and 1 walk over 100 pitches. With rumours Henry Sosa could be on his way to Japan, the hopes of a star duo may be short-lived.

Saturday saw a good solid pitching display by 2nd year, 21-year-old Chen She Peng. He pitched 8 innings giving up 6H, 2R and 1 walk as Fubon destroyed Yang Zhi Long, who gave up 13H, 11R before being pulled in the 5th, thankfully no HBPs this week. Final score, Brothers 2-13 Guardians.

Onto Sunday and Luo Chia Ren pitched 24 before being pulled without getting a single out, 0.0! Lin Chen Hua would see out the inning before Bryan Woodall came in, to relief for 3 innings. Despite being level at 3-3 after 2, Brothers scored in every inning except the 8th as they recorded a 14-3 win. Woodall took the loss and is now 1-4 over 6 games with a 5.18 ERA, disappointing for the 5th year player.

Lamigo Monkeys

Full steam ahead Lamigo Monkeys and you get the feeling the champions are back for another run at the CPBL title. They started slowly but completed a week sweep.

Thursday saw an impressive 10-0 win over Brothers, Michael Nix pitched his first ever shutout giving up just 6 hits in 115 pitches.

The week was complete with 3 wins against a Uni Lions side who pushed them to 6 games in the Taiwan Series last season. 9-3, 6-3, 11-3. Lin Li kept his composure to slam a 2 out, walk-off 3 run homer in the bottom of the 12th in Saturday’s game.

There is hardly a kink in the Monkeys batting line-up. If the Monkeys maintain current pace, it will be hard to stop them. They are 8-2 over the last 10 games.

Chinatrust Brothers

3 wins, 1 tie and 6 defeats in their last 10 means that Brothers grip on top spot is just about gone, their tie v Uni Lions last week is all that keeps them there.

As mentioned above, they slumped to a 10-0 defeat on Thursday then a mixed series away at Fubon Guardians. Giving up 4 runs away from home wouldn’t usually be a bad thing, but if you are playing Mike Loree who manages to pitch 8 innings, chances are, you will lose. They fell 4-2 on Friday night to Loree and the Guardians.

Brothers once again got destroyed by Fubon’s inconsistent hitters on Saturday, falling to a 13-2 defeat. They got swift revenge with a solid 14-4 win on Sunday afternoon to end the week 1-3.

This week’s fixtures 

Monkeys v Guardians @ Xinzhuang on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:35pm

Brothers v Lions @ Chengcing Lake on Wednesday/Thursday at 6:35pm

Monkeys v Brothers @ Taichung on Friday 6:35, Saturday 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05

Guardians v Lions @ Chengcing Lake on Friday 6:35, Saturday 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05

CPBL round-up – week 4

We are now roughly one-third of the way through the first phase and so it’s time to look back upon a slightly shortened week of baseball action.

Uni Lions

We start with the devastating news about Lions leadoff hitter, Chen Chih Hsien who suffered a broken finger on Saturday. Chen was 1st in batting average, 2nd in hits, 5th in RBI and 2nd in SBs, he’s going to be a big loss. The question is how do the Lions go forward? He plays SS but due to problems elsewhere has played 2B and RF this season too. It’s a big hole to fill.

The rest of the Lions week was nothing to shout about either. Wednesday saw the Lions win their only game of the week, an efficient hitting display led to an 8-6 win over Lamigo Monkeys.

Onto Thursday and the Lions lost a 4hr 30 thriller 9-8 to the Monkeys, Lions led 8-6, then conceded in each the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. This kind of defeat would become a trend…

Friday’s game v Brothers was cancelled and rearranged for Saturday lunchtime. It started well enough, leading 8-2 in the middle of the 3rd but leading 8-5 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, the Lions chucked it away, conceding 4 runs and losing 9-8 once again.

Saturday evening’s game may have been cut short after 5 innings due to rain but was controversial. Brothers pitcher Yang Zhi Long hit FOUR Lions players with pitches before being ejected in the top of the 5th. The rain started after 5 innings and the final result was 3-3, the match being declared complete as the minimum of 5 innings had been played.

Sunday’s game saw more pain for the Lions in a thriller v Chinatrust Brothers, Brothers walked off with a three-run Chan Tzu Hsien home run in the bottom of the 11th, final score: Lions 0-3 Brothers.

Uni Lions now stand 9-11-1 after 21 games with their best player out until August. There are issues with outfield hitting, errors in 20 of 21 games and bullpen problems too, this hasn’t been a great start to the 2019 season for the Lions organisation.

Lamigo Monkeys

It was a shortened week for the Monkeys as they only managed to get three games played due to heavy rain in Taoyuan on Sunday.

Wednesday saw the Monkeys to an 8-6 away defeat to Uni Lions. The starter from that game Zeke Spruill may well be on the chopping block, he has a 7.41 ERA and Lamigo have just brought in an outfielder. Zeke hasn’t been the same since his magnificent 2017 season which he went 15-4 with a 2.56 ERA.

Thursday saw Wang Yi Cheng have an unusually poor pitching display giving up 12H and 8R over 5.1 but his hitters saved him late on. 3 late runs saw the Monkeys edge a great game 9-8.

Friday’s game v Fubon Guardians was cancelled, rearranged for Sunday evening and that too was cancelled. Saturday’s evening game went ahead and despite going 5-0 down early, Lamigo came and won 12-5 in a game shortened to 6 innings due to rain. Interestingly, Lamigo scored 10 in the 5th inning.

Sunday afternoon’s game was also cancelled due to rain.

Lamigo are 10-10 after 20 games with a 2-1 record for the week.

Chinatrust Brothers

Tuesday’s game at home to Fubon Guardians was cancelled, then they fell to a huge home defeat on Wednesday. Fubon took apart the hosts from the start, runs in all but the second inning and Brothers eventually fell to a 14-1 defeat, giving up 25 hits.

Friday’s game at ‘home’ to Uni Lions at Tianmu was cancelled, so there were three weekend games, two of which sold out completely.

Saturday lunchtime’s rearranged game saw Brothers rally back from Tsai Chi Che’s poor start on the mound, as they came from 8-4 down to win 9-8. Saturday’s game was controversial for reasons mentioned in the Lions section, Yang Zhi Long had 4 HBPs before being ejected in the 5th, the game ended 3-3 after heavy rain stopped the game at top of the 6th.

Sunday’s game was emotional for Brothers as Chen Chiang He retired in his 1000th game. It was a winning end too, Chan Tzu Hsien walked off with a 3 run homer in the bottom of the 11th. Brothers went 2-1-1 for the week and remain top of the standings with a 12-1-6 record. Brothers aren’t doing anything spectacular, in fact, their hitting is the worst in the league but they are just grinding results out.

Fubon Guardians

Fubon feel like the forgotten team in the league this year and having only played two games this week, their weekly round-up will be short and sweet as ever. Tuesday’s trip to Taichung, Friday and Sunday’s games in Taoyuan were cancelled.

The Guardians made 22 hits last week, this week, in their first game this week on Wednesday they demolished Chinatrust Brothers 14-1 with 25 hits. I had mentioned last week Fubon were due to go off with the bat and they certainly did in that game.

They started Saturday’s game on fire making 5 runs in the first inning. With Mike Loree back on the mound, they would seem promising but things didn’t go his/Fubon’s way. Lamigo scored 2 in the 4th and 10 in the 5th as they romped to a 12-5 win in a rain-shortened game. Loree gave up 7 hits, 5 walks and 4 earned runs after 4 innings, with just 1 strikeout. Fubon must hope their ace gets back to full form and quickly.

Fubon are 6-10 after 16 games.

This week’s fixtures

Uni Lions v Fubon Guardians @ Xinzhuang on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:35pm

Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Thursday at 6:35pm

Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Friday at 6:35, Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05.

Chinatrust Brothers v Fubon Guardians @ Xinzhuang on Friday at 6:35, Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05.


CPBL round-up – week 3

It’s Tuesday lunchtime and so it’s time to look back upon last week’s CPBL action and of course, look ahead to this week’s games.

Uni Lions

To say it was a mixed week for the Lions would be an understatement as they went 2-3. As ever, the bullpen and fielding are the main talking points.

The week started in agonising fashion on Tuesday away at Taoyuan Lamigo Monkeys. Losing 7-3 in the top of the 9th, Chen Chieh Hsien hit a grand slam to level the game at 7-7, only for Chu Yu Hsien to walk off in the bottom of the 9th with a home run of his own.

Wednesday saw more pain, but this time, a lot more brutal. The Lions gave up 18 runs, 24 hits and 3 errors as Lamigo cruised to an 18-4 win. Lions bullpen pitcher Lin Tzu Wei was shredded conceding 4 hits, 7 runs and 3 walks recording 0 outs.

Friday continued the week’s theme at home to Chinatrust Brothers. Leading 8-3 in the top of the 8th the Lions bullpen once again failed to show up, as Brothers ended up winning 11-8.

The weekend was better with two nice wins. 9-6 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday v Brothers. Saturday was notable for the cringe-worthy rundown in which two Lions players got themselves out. There is hope, the hitting looked fine over the weekend and there is a special mention to rookie bullpen pitcher, Liu Hsuan Ta who boasts an ERA of 1.08

Unfortunately, fielding is still an issue, errors after 4/5 pitches respectively at the weekend. The error count stands at 27 over 16 games.

Lamigo Monkeys

Last year’s champions had a bounce-back week as they went 4 and 1. They started with an 8-7 home victory over Uni Lions. Chu Yu Hsien stood out with 4 hits and 6 RBIs including a first-inning grand slam and a walk-off home run.

On Wednesday they showed what they are really capable of in a remarkable 18-4 win over the Lions. Of the 14 hitters Lamigo used in this game, 11 have batting averages over 0.300.

The weekend series away at Fubon Guardians started solidly. They won 3-1 and 4-1 on Friday and Saturday, restricting Fubon to just 9 hits in those 2 games. Radhames Liz continued to look good, reaching 157kmh (97.5mph) with his fastball. The week ended with defeat, falling 8-4 to the aforementioned Guardians.

Lamigo may well be 8-9 for the season but their hitting is quite frankly frightening. They lead every statistical category, their average is 0.318 as a team and have made 50% more hits (200 v 138) than Uni Lions who are in 2nd place. Look out once again for this Lamigo juggernaut.

Chinatrust Brothers

Brothers started the week with their 6th consecutive win away at Fubon Guardians on Wednesday night. Tsai Chi Che and Henry Sosa had a great battle on the mound and score was level at 1-1 after 9 innings. All action in the 10th as Brothers scored 3 runs, and then held on for a 4-3 victory.

Thursday game away at Fubon Guardians was cancelled due to rain, so onto the away series at Uni Lions in Tainan over the weekend.

Brothers pulled off a remarkable comeback on Friday evening to extend their winning run to 7. Trailing 8-3 in the top of the 8th, they scored 6 runs in the 8th to lead 9-8 then 2 more in the top of the 9th to seal an 11-8 win.

Over the weekend, despite being backed by a strong away following fell to two defeats. On Saturday, they lost 9-6 to the Lions. Nick Additon’s pitching is not looking the same. Sunday saw another defeat, this time going down 5-3 to the Lions.

2-2 for the week. Brothers just need to keep going as they are, chipping away, picking up wins as they have an impressive 10-4 record for the season.

Fubon Guardians

Fubon Guardians continue to perplex as they go 1-3 for the week with each fixture being played at home.

They started the week with 3 straight losses, a painful 4-3 loss in the 10th to Brothers, then 3-1, 4-1 defeats to Lamigo Monkeys. The week ended with an 8-4 win over Lamigo Monkeys but for some reason, Fubon are just underachieving in these early stages.

Hitting seems to be a big issue, just 22 hits in those 4 defeats. They don’t seem to be able to pick up any kind of form at the moment. Fubon fans must be hoping, this is the week they go off on a tear and produce a winning week.

This week’s fixtures

Fubon Guardians v Chinatrust Brothers @ Taichung on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:35.

Lamigo Monkeys v Uni Lions @ Tainan on Wednesday/Thursday at 6:35.

Fubon Guardians v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Friday at 6:35, Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05.

Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers @ Tianmu on Friday at 6:05, Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday at 2:05.



CPBL round-up – week 2

It was another action-packed week of CPBL baseball and given it’s Tuesday, it’s time to look back at last week and look ahead to this.

Uni Lions

It was a mixed week for the Lions who were swept in the midweek series by Chinatrust Brothers, 10-3 and 2-0.

Moving onto the weekend series away at Fubon Guardians, the Lions lost the Friday evening game 9-3. Shih Tzu Chien was appallingly allowed to pitch a staggering 110 times over 5.2 innings and gave up 13R, 7H.

Thankfully things improved over the weekend despite more fielding woes on Saturday, three errors to add three on Friday made it 19 in 10 games. In the Saturday game, the Lions batting order finally showed up, scoring regularly in a 10-2 win.

The week was finished with a 5-4 win which featured a tense ending, the Lions led 4-0 until Fan Guo Chen’s 6th inning grand slam. Chen Yung Chi made it 5-4 in the 8th before Chun Yun Wen got his 4th save of the season, still boasting a 0.00 ERA after 6 games. Chen has lost just once in fifty-five games as a closer…

Fielding is an issue, 19 errors in 11 games but there are steady improvements being made with the bat. Lions are now 6-5 after 11 games.

Lamigo Monkeys

Last year’s defending champions are certainly not having issues making hits but they are having issues getting runs. They made 53 hits last week but ended the week 1-4, by comparison, Brothers made 42 hits but ended the week 5-0.

Lamigo split the midweek series with Fubon 1-1, losing 9-6 on Tuesday and winning 9-2 on Thursday. They were then swept, 3-1, 6-1, 2-1 by Brothers in Taoyuan at the weekend. 26 hits but just 3 runs. Most of the team is averaging over 0.300 but they can’t get their runners home. Lamigo are now 4-7 for the season.

Chinatrust Brothers

Brothers are the surprise of the week as they won every game this week. 10-3, 2-0 v Uni Lions and 3-1, 6-1, 2-1 against Lamigo Monkeys. Nothing immediately stands out as to why they stand with an 8-3 record but let’s look a bit closer.

Brothers hitters have the lowest average in the league, lead the league in strike outs and don’t lead any category.

On the pitching side of things, we find what they are doing right. They’ve conceded just 36 runs in 11 games and boast a team ERA of 3.00. Their hits conceded are about average. Brothers just seem to be grinding things out at the moment, allowing 26 hits but only 3 runs in a weekend at Taoyuan, seems to exemplify that. Can it continue?

Fubon Guardians

Finally, to the Guardians who ended the week 2-3, splitting the midweek series 1-1 in Taoyuan and losing the weekend series 2-1 at home to Uni Lions.

It’s early days but this Fubon side should be starting the season better than 4-6. This is a team with an incredibly talented hitting core. In the outfield, Zhang Zheng Wei, Chen Pin Chieh, Hu Jin Long, Kao Kuo Hui and fielding expert, Lin Che Hsuan. In the infield, Lin Yi Chuan, Wang Zheng Tung, Chiang Chih Hsien and now the emergence of Fan Guo Chen. No CPBL fan wants to face a team like this.

On the pitching side of things, they’ve given up 50 runs in 10 games which isn’t a disaster.  They have Henry Sosa who is the best pitcher in the league right now.

It’s early days but this Fubon side definitely needs to top last season’s 55 win season.

This week’s fixtures

Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:35.

Chinatrust Brothers v Fubon Guardians @ Xinzhuang  on Wednesday/Thursday at 6:35.

Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions @Tainan on Friday at 6:35, Saturday/Sunday at 5:05.

Lamigo Monkeys v Fubon Guardians @Xinzhuang  on Friday at 6:35, Saturday/Sunday at 5:05.






CPBL round-up – week 1

This is a feature I had back in 2017 but got lazy and discontinued it after a few months. In a slightly different format, I bring you the first of many weekly CPBL round-ups.

Uni Lions

The Lions have started the season well and have a 4-2 record after 6 games. The season started with a 6-2 loss away to Lamigo Monkeys before winning twice against the Guardians and Monkeys in Tainan. On Sunday, the Lions had a shocker falling to an 8-3 home defeat to the said Monkeys.

Positives so far include; leadoff hitter Chen Chieh Hsien has looked great with the bat, rookie Liu Hsuan Ta has pitched well out the bullpen and Chen Yun Wen, has looked good too in the closer role when called upon. Chinen Kohya, the Lions 4th foreign pitcher has also made a quiet but decent start compared to most players out the bullpen. Every starting pitcher has had started solidly enough too.

Negatives are the bullpen, hitting and fielding. The Lions bullpen isn’t looking great with ERA numbers at 11.57, 12.27 and 21.60. The hitting over the first 6 games has been poor, aside from Chen Chieh Hsien no player is averaging over 0.300. Fielding has also been worryingly bad, with 11 errors in 6 games.

Lamigo Monkeys

The post-Wang Po Jung era has begun with a 3-4 record. 2-2 against the aforementioned Lions and 1-2 with Chinatrust Brothers. Lamigo are trying new things out, with no 98 Chen Chen-Wei leading off and has an average at 0.304. 1B Liang Jia-Rong and CF Huang Jing-Wei have also started most games. Rookie pitcher Weng Wei-Chun made his debut on Sunday and looked impressive.

The Monkeys looked good with the bat, all 9 of their starters from Sunday are averaging 0.300 at this early stage. Their pitching ERA is the highest in the league but all 4 defeats have been within 4 runs.

Fubon Guardians

Fubon have started with a 2-3 record, with 2-1 v Chinatrust Brothers and 0-2 with the Lions. All 5 games so far all away from Xinzhuang Stadium.

The main positive so far is Henry Sosa, who whilst 1-1 after 2 games is an extremely fast pitcher and was tremendous, despite pitching up a loss in Tainan, he gave up 1 run over 8 innings! Sosa and Mike Loree when fit and available to play could end up being the most dangerous pair of starters in the league.

Fubon have yet to play at home, so there’s little else to say.

Chinatrust Brothers

Brothers have started 2-1 v Lamigo Monkeys and 1-2 v Fubon Guardians. A mixed start for the Taichung side who are currently only hitting 0.226 as a team.

This week’s fixtures

Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers @ Chengcing Lake on Wednesday at 6:35, on Thursday at 5:05.

Fubon Guardians v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Tuesday at 6:35 and Thursday at 5:05

Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys @ Taoyuan on Friday/Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday 2:05.

Uni Lions v Fubon Guardians @ Xinzhuang on Friday/Saturday at 5:05 and Sunday 2:05.