Good evening to you all and I am back after a one week absence. Last week’s CPBL weekly round-up was never researched, written or published. My mind was not in the right place and unfortunately I skipped a week. I will quickly look back at that missed week before going straight into last week’s action.
Here is how the table looked two weeks ago:
1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 21-18
2 ) EDA Rhinos – 23-20
3 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 19-21
4 ) Uni Lions – 20-24
Last week, EDA Rhinos seized the initiative after losing their game on 13th September to Chinatrust Brothers 10-7. Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys on 14th September was postponed and it was at the point I published my last round-up.
On Thursday 15th, EDA Rhinos took revenge on Chinatrust Brothers with an 11-8 win in New Taipei. They led 3-0 after 3, were pegged back to 3-3 after 4 before seizing a 7-4 lead in the 5th. The Rhinos then scored 2 in the 6th but conceded 3 times, to leave it at 9-7. Brothers pulled another run back to leave it at 10-9 after 7 before the Rhinos sealed it their 11th run in the top of the 8th, final score Rhinos 11 Brothers 9.
Elsewhere, Lamigo Monkeys consolidated top spot as they brushed aside Uni Lions 11-1 in Taoyuan. Lin Chih Ping hit 3 runs and made 4 hits in an impressive display, Wang Po Jung also impressed with 2R, 3H and Lin Hung Yu made 2R, 2H and 5 RBI.
Onto Friday 16th and EDA Rhinos went back to the top of the table after a 5 hour thriller in Taoyuan. 2 Lamigo Monkeys runs in the bottom of the 9th leveled the game at 7-7 and took the game to a 10th. No runs in the 10th and a run apiece in the 11th saw the game taken to a 12th inning. It was EDA Rhinos who prevailed, smashing 3 runs without conceding and they took an 11-8 win.
In New Taipei, the Uni Lions continued to falter as they lost 8-7 to Chinatrust Brothers. The Lions took a 5-1 lead in the top of the 2nd but then failed to score again until the top of the 8th, by which time they were 7-5 down. They leveled it at 7-7 but then conceded in the bottom of the 8th and went down 8-7.
Due to Typhoon Melakas, both games were postponed on Saturday and on Sunday EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys lunch-time meeting was also postponed.
The Sunday lunchtime game in New Taipei did go ahead and it was more bad news for the Uni Lions. They led 3-0 after 2 but then conceded 5 in the 3rd and 6th, before conceding a further 2 in the 7th. 4 runs back made it 12-7 after 8 but it was too little too late, final score Lions 7 Brothers 12.
Into Sunday evening and conditions have improved enough in Taoyuan for EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys to take place. The Rhinos once again impressed with the bat, taking a 5-3 lead after 3 innings. The teams then shared 8 runs in the 5th and 6th to leave it at 9-7 after 6. A further Lamigos run pulled it back to 9-8 after 7 but the Rhinos pulled away, scoring 4 in the 8th and they went onto take the game 13-9.
In New Taipei, the Uni Lions ended a miserable week with an 11-6 win over Chinatrust Brothers. It ended a 6 match losing streak but after a collapse in form that has seen the hopes of the play offs ended, it was scant consolation.
Here is how the table looked at this point last week
1 ) EDA Rhinos – 26-20
2 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 22-20
3 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 21-23
4 ) Uni Lions – 21-27
Going into the week of 19th-25th September and the last week of arranged fixtures, EDA Rhinos held an 11-2 record for the month. It could not be more different to the Rhinos finish to the 1st phase, when they faltered spectacularly, blowing 2nd place in the 1st phase after winning just 2 of their last 16 games.
Lamigo Monkeys knew ahead of the week that they needed wins, and after a poor run of form, losing 5 in 6, now sat behind the in form Rhinos.
We start on Tuesday 20th as Lamigo Monkeys hosted Chinatrust Brothers. The visitors delivered another blow to Lamigos play off hopes as they took a fairly easy 12-4 win. It was a close affair until the bottom of the 5th, as they score sat at Brothers 4-3 Monkeys. 5 runs in the 6th and 3 more in the 7th took Brothers into a 12-3 lead and the Lamigos could only manage 1 in reply, final score Brothers 12-4 Monkeys.
For the second time in a three games, EDA Rhinos won a game in the 12th. They hosted Uni Lions in Taichung on Wednesday and after taking a 6-3 lead after 4, the Rhinos conceded single runs in the 7th, 8th and 9th to leave it at 6-6. No score in the 10th and 2 apiece in the 11th to leave it 8-8.
No score in the top of the 12th and step forward Lions pitcher Lin Tzu Wei. He conceded 2 hits and a walk, before a further walk on bases loaded to give the Rhinos a 9-8 win.
One fun fact about this game, was despite only registering 9 hits all night, the Lions made 4 home runs. Lo Kuo Long picked up 3 of these homers, scoring 5 runs, making 3 hits and 3 RBI but it wasn’t enough as the rest of the Lions side faltered.
Onto Thursday and Brothers another crushing blow to Lamigo Monkeys play off hopes with another big win in Taoyuan. It was another close run game until Brothers pulled away late again. It was 7-5 to Brothers after 6 innings, but they scored 1 in the 7th and then 6 in the 8th to take a 14-5 victory.
Things got worse for Lamigo Monkeys and their play off hopes as EDA Rhinos crushed Uni Lions in Taichung. Mike Loree gave away just 2 runs and 5 hits in 8, whilst Lions starter Darin Downs conceded 10H, 8R in his 6 innings. The game ended 10-2 Rhinos, and further cemented their place at the top of the 2nd phase table.
Onto Friday evening and Chinatrust Brothers delivered EDA Rhinos first defeat in 10 days as they pulled away late for the 3rd game running. It was a familiar story, a close run game with the score 3-3 after 6, before 4 in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to take the game away from the Rhinos. One run back was secured but it wasn’t enough, final score Brothers 8-4 Rhinos.
In Tainan, the Uni Lions fell to another defeat as for the 2nd night running a foreign pitcher silenced the Lions hitters. Orlando Roman conceded just 5 hits and a single run, whilst the Monkeys scored regularly, the final score, Monkeys 11-1 Lions.
Onto Saturday and Chinatrust Brothers crushed EDA Rhinos 16-4 in Taichung. They led 4-1 after 5 before conceding 8 in the 6th and 4 in the 8th to go 16-1 ahead. Brothers 6th/7th/8th/9th hitters all managed to get 2 runs and managed 9 hits between them as Brothers eased to victory. EDA Rhinos did pull back 3 in the bottom of the 8th but the damage had already been done.
Elsewhere and Uni Lions picked their first win of the week after a closely fought game with Lamigo Monkeys. The Lions were cruising ahead at 5-1 after 6, partly thanks to Su Zhe Jie’s 2 big home runs in the 1st and 4th. Lamigos got back in it after a run in the 7th and then 3 in the 8th to level it at 5-5. The Lions relievers once again almost dismantling the work of the starting pitcher and the game went to a 10th inning.
Fu Yu Gang saw off the Monkeys without so much as a hit or a walk before Pan Yan Ting gave the Lions a 6-5 win with a walk off hit to centre field in the bottom of the 10th. Relief all round for the Lions, who picked their first win of the week.
Onto Sunday and EDA Rhinos showed why they are top of the 2nd phase table, as they eased past Brothers 6-1 in Taichung. Tsai Ming Chin gave away just 4 hits and a run off 7 in an impressive display from the Rhinos starter.
Lamigo Monkeys play off hopes are starting to disappear, they went down to the 9th win in 11 as they were crushed in Tainan by Uni Lions. 7 runs in the opening inning started things off as the Lions pulverised the Monkeys, making 26 hits in the 3hr 50 minute contest. Lamigos pulled it back to 9-5 after 4.5 innings, scoring 3 in the top of the 5th before the Lions replied with 9 runs and took a 18-5 lead.
Amazingly, no further runs were scored and that was that. Lo Kuo Long, Su Zhe Jie, Kao Kuo Ching, Liu Fu Hao, Tang Chao Ting and Chen Jie Xian all managed 2 runs or more, and managed 19 hits between them. 26 hits for one team is likely to be nearing a league record.
So at the end of this marathon CPBL 2 weekly round-up, here is how the table looks:
1 ) EDA Rhinos – 29-22
2 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 25-24
3) Lamigo Monkeys – 23-24
4 ) Uni Lions – 23-30
EDA Rhinos now look very likely to take the second spot in the play offs as whilst they have picked up an impressive 14 wins from 18, Lamigo Monkeys have picked up just 5 wins from their last 15. At this stage in the season, it is not good enough and despite having a very capable batting line-up and good starting pitchers, their bull pen has been their weakness.
Here at this week’s fixtures which is a mish mash of rearranged games but it is likely that Tuesday/Wednesday will be affected by Typhoon Megi.
Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers – On Monday in Taichung
Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys – On Tuesday in Taoyuan
Lamigo Monkeys v EDA Rhinos – On Wednesday in Taichung
Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions – On Thursday in Tainan
Chinatrust Brothers v EDA Rhinos – On Friday in Taichung
Lamigo Monkeys v Uni Lions – On Friday in Douliu
Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys – On Saturday in Taoyuan
EDA Rhinos v Chinatrust Brothers – On Saturday in Taichung
Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions – On Sunday in Tainan
Lamigo Monkeys v EDA Rhinos – On Sunday in Taichung
A real mix of fixtures with 5 games in Taichung, 2 in Tainan, 2 in Taoyuan and 1 in Douliu. Lamigos play 5 times, against all 3 sides and I think they would need to win 4 of the 5, to keep their play off hopes up. EDA Rhinos and Chinatrust Brothers meet twice, and it will be interesting to see how those fixtures pan out.
An interesting week of action ahead, I’ll bring you a full round-up next week! This extended edition has taken me too long to produce, until next time, bye for now!