2 weekly CPBL round-up

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!

Tom

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CPBL weekly round-up

It may well be Thursday, but it’s time for a slightly late CPBL weekly round-up. If you are a Uni Lions fan, you are advised to proceed with caution as what I am about to write will make for devastating reading. If you are an EDA Rhinos supporter, this will be worth a read.

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 21-15

2 ) Uni Lions – 20-21

3 ) EDA Rhinos – 18-19

4 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 17-21

Tuesday and Thursday’s games between Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions were postponed due to rain but both midweek clashes between Lamigo Monkeys and EDA Rhinos went ahead.

On Wednesday, EDA Rhinos staged an absolutely remarkable comeback to defeat the Lamigo Monkeys 9-8 in the 10th. EDA trailed 6-2 after 7 but then scored 8 in the 7th to level at 6-6. Lamigos scored two in the top of the 9th to lead 8-6 but the Rhinos hit back and the game went to a 10th, with the Rhinos taking the game 9-8 courtesy of a run in the bottom of the 10th.

On Thursday, it was another win for the Rhinos but this was one was slightly more convincing. It ended 6-1 with Mike Loree restricting Lamigos to just 3 hits and a run off 8 innings.

Onto the weekend and Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers saw both their Friday and Saturday fixtures postponed due to rain. On Friday evening, the Uni Lions were back in action in Tainan as they hosted EDA Rhinos.

Sadly it was not a good return, Jared Lansford conceded just 1 run off 6 innings for the Rhinos as the Lions went down to a 6-2 defeat. It was the Rhinos third win of the week and they were to extend that run to 4 on Saturday.

With 3 innings played, it was 5-1 to the Lions and things looked good, after 5 it was 6-1 and it looked as if the Lions were headed for victory. Unfortunately, the Lions felt apart and conceded twice in the 6th, and five in the 8th to trail 8-6. In spite of a run back in the bottom of the 8th, the Lions managed no more and went down 8-7.

Onto Sunday and whilst Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers lunchtime game was called off, the evening game went ahead. It had drama in it and with the game level at 2-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Chen Hao Jan hit a double that was turned into a run to win the game 3-2 for Chinatrust Brothers.

In Tainan, EDA Rhinos played an absolutely remarkable game as they thrashed the Uni Lions 14-3, a result which almost certainly ends the Lions play off hopes. The Rhinos hit a crazy 8 home runs with both Lin Yi Chuan and Hu Chin Lung hitting two apiece. As a result of the Lamigos third loss of the week, the Rhinos went top of the table.

Now this is a late post and things changed slightly on Tuesday evening, as EDA Rhinos went down to a 10-7 defeat in Hsinchu against Chinatrust Brothers. The second phase table is ridiculously close, at least between the top two.

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 21-18

2 ) EDA Rhinos – 23-20

3 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 19-21

4 ) Uni Lions – 20-24

The EDA Rhinos clean sweep of last week means they are now back in contention for a spot in the CPBL play offs.  They are just a game behind the Monkeys in the overall standings but it looks over for the Uni Lions. They lie 3.5 games behind Lamigo Monkeys as they failed to win any of their home games in Tainan.

The Lions have simply not performed well enough, particularly in Tainan. There are plenty of areas of concern, and as far I’m concerned, the play off dream is over. The Lions now need something of a miracle. Had they won 2 of the 3 v EDA Rhinos, it would have been a 3 way battle between Lamigos, Rhinos and Lions but it isn’t, it looks like it’s between the Rhinos and Monkeys.

The Lions have had very little to shout about since the middle of the 3rd of the season. They are only 2-3 players in the team who are actually performing and many of the Lions hitters are drastically out of form. The Lions are not hitting enough, the relievers are chucking too many games away and one or two of the starting pitchers are not having good times either.

The remaining fixtures from this week look like this after Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys was postponed last night due to Super Typhoon Meranti.

EDA Rhinos v Chinatrust Brothers – On Thursday in New Taipei

Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys – On Thursday in Taoyuan

EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Taoyuan

Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in New Taipei

Given there aren’t many games left, this is the penultimate week of second phase fixtures, every result is going to matter now. But, I’ll be keeping an eye on the EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys series myself.

Until next Monday/Tuesday, bye for now,

Tom

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CPBL weekly round-up

It’s Wednesday and time for a slightly delayed CPBL round-up. Here is how the CPBL table looked on Tuesday of last week.

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 17-14

2 ) Uni Lions – 19-17

3 ) EDA Rhinos – 15-17

4 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 15-18

On Tuesday, Uni Lions traveled to New Taipei to take on Chinatrust Brothers but were comfortably beaten. The game started with 6 Brothers runs in the first inning but the Lions stormed back, scoring 5 without an out in the top of the second off 3 hits and 4 walks. Brothers starter Cheng Chi Hung was replaced and Brothers ended the inning without conceding another run.

With the game at 6-5 after 2, Brothers went to score 4 more times without reply and came away with 10-5 victory.

It got no better for the Lions on Thursday as they fell to another defeat in a slightly closer game. Uni Lions led 2-1 after 2 but conceded regularly. The score was 6-2 after 4 and when the Lions pulled back 3 at the top of the 5th, it looked promising but it was as good as it got. Brothers scored one in the bottom of the 5th, 6th and 7th to take a 9-5 victory.

Onto Wednesday night’s clash between EDA Rhinos and Lamigo Monkeys and Lamigos debutant pitcher Zack Segovia took MvP honours as he pitched 7.1 innings giving away just 6H and 2R in an impressive display. It was 1-0 Lamigos after 5 but a late flurry of runs gave them a 7-2 victory.

Thursday saw a reverse of fortunes in a game that pitted Scott Richmond against Orlando Roman on the mound. Richmond conceded just 7H and just 2 runs, whilst Roman conceded 9H and 5R but only one of those was earned. Those unearned runs were the difference in a tight encounter, they all came in the top of the 4th with the score 2-1 Monkeys.

The Rhinos had 5-2 lead and added a further earned rus in the top of the 7th before they conceded 2 in the bottom of the 8th. They managed to hold on, and took a 6-4 win.

Onto the weekend’s action and we start with Chinatrust Brothers trip to Lamigo Monkeys on Friday. Lin Hung Yu hit a game winning grand slam in the bottom of the 7th as the Monkeys edged past 8-7 in front of a crowd of 13,963 at Taoyuan International Stadium.

On Saturday, Uni Lions and EDA Rhinos got their weekend underway after Friday night and Saturday lunchtime wash outs. It was a low scoring game with pitchers Pan Wei Lun and Jared Lansford dominating the game. Unfortunately for the Lions, Pan Wei Lun took his first loss of the season, conceding 3 runs off 10 hits over 7 innings.

Jared Lansford didn’t concede a run until the final inning, conceding twice without getting an out before he was replaced by Ni Fu Te who struck out 2 and saved the game. Final score, Lions 2 Rhinos 3.

Elsewhere, Wang Po Jung put in another impressive display for Lamigo Monkeys as they cruised past Chinatrust Brothers 12-4 in front of another big crowd in Taoyuan. Monkeys Wang I Cheng pitched well and conceded just 3 runs off 6.2 before back to back homers in the 7th and 8th from Wang Po Jung. He batted in 7 runs and is clearly the league’s stand out hitter.

Sunday lunchtime was one to forget for Uni Lions Bruce Billings who continued his bad run after gave away 7 runs off the first inning against EDA Rhinos. He lasted just 2.2 innings, conceding 11 hits, 9 runs, 4 earned and the Lions never looked like getting back into it. Rhinos Lin Cheng Hsien conceded just 4 hits and a run over 6.1 as the Lions went to a 12-3 defeat.

Things did improve in the evening, and Lions opener Darin Downs put in another impressive display. He conceded just 2 runs off 5.2 in a game settled in the 9th inning. With the scores locked at 3-3, Liu Fu Hao hit a solo home run to make it 4-3 and after scoring 3 more, Lions Chen Yun Wen saw the game out without conceding in the bottom of the 9th, final score Lions 7 Rhinos 3.

In Taoyuan, Lamigo Monkeys saw out the week with the 4th win in 5 as they increased their lead at the top of the second phase table. They led 6-1 after 3 but went 7-6 behind the top of the 7th, only to draw level in the bottom of the 7th. Two more runs followed in the bottom of the 8th to make 9-7 and as Brothers managed just 1 run back, took a 9-8 victory.

Here is how the table looks now

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 21-15

2 ) Uni Lions – 20-21

3 ) EDA Rhinos – 18-19

4 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 17-21

We are into the last third of the second phase and all eyes are on Lamigo Monkeys who look as if they are cruising to the second phase title. With two very good hitters in Wang Po Jung and Lin Hung Yu averaging over 0.400 and an impressive pitching line that includes Orlando Roman, Zack Segovia and Mitchell Talbot, it is hard to see them being stopped.

It is looking increasingly likely it will be Lamigo Monkeys and Chinatrust Brothers in the play-offs, with Lamigos now 3 wins ahead of Uni Lions. in the overall standings. In my personal opinion, Uni Lions will need at least 12 wins if not more from their remaining 19 to stand a chance of making second place and I think it’s highly unlikely they’ll manage to that.

The fixtures for this week are as follows:

Lamigo Monkeys v EDA Rhinos – On Wednesday/Thursday in New Taipei

Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions – On Thursday in Tainan

Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Taichung

EDA Rhinos v Uni Lions – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Tainan

Due to my working schedule, the only game I can attend this week is Rhinos v Lions on Sunday. I have to work to Friday’s schedule on Saturday due to a 4 day weekend next week.

I may bring a report on that Uni Lions game on Sunday but, it’s likely that until my next CPBL weekly round up, that is it until then.

Until then, bye for now.

Tom

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CPBL weekly round-up

It’s Monday and time for another CPBL round-up. If you want one interesting stat, it’s that every CPBL side has a better away record than home record after 91-96 games! Here is how the second phase table looked before play last week.

1) Lamigo Monkeys – 15-12

2) Uni Lions – 16-15

3) EDA Rhinos – 13-14

4) Chinatrust Brothers – 13-16

Into the game reports and Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers was cancelled on Tuesday due to wet weather in Chiayi. It was the only game cancelled this week which means the other 9 fixtures did take place.

On Wednesday night, EDA Rhinos and Uni Lions played out a tense encounter in Tainan. With 6 innings played, both starting pitchers had given up just a single run and a handful of hits but things changed in the 7th. Scott Richmond gave away a two hits and a walk before Tang Chao Ting was ground out at 3rd, Lo Kuo Long then walked to leave it bases loaded. Richmond went off and Hong Cheng Lai gave away another walk to make it 2-1 Lions.

An error then away another run before Chen Yung Chi was struck out and Kao Kuo Ching caught to leave it at 3-1. Into the 8th and Lin Yi Chuan’s 2 run homer immediately levelled things up before Chiang Kai Wen won the game with his 20th home run of the season in the bottom of the 8th, final score, Rhinos 3 Lions 4.

Into Thursday and the Lions were again in a game winning win position at the bottom of the 7th. They led 4-1 but then threw the game away in farcical fashion. The Lions conceded 3 in the top of 8th, 2 in the top of the 9th to go 6-4 down. They forced a 10th inning with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th before Rhinos scored 3 without reply to take the game 9-6.

Elsewhere in Hsinchu, Lamigo Monkeys maintained their hold on top spot in their first match in a week. They eased past Chinatrust Brothers as they scored regularly in a 13-8 win.

Onto the weekend games and for me it was eyes on Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys in Taoyuan. Friday’s game resulted in an easy win for the hosts. They scored 4 in the bottom of the 1st and never looked back. Orlando Roman restricted the Lions to just 4 hits and 2 runs, both home runs by Su Zhe Jie and Chen Yung Chi. Final score, Lions 2 Monkeys 9.

In New Taipei, EDA Rhinos edged past Chinatrust Brothers in a closely fought encounter. It was 5-5 after 6 innings before single runs in the 7th and 8th gave the Rhinos a 7-5 win.

Saturday proved to be the most entertaining of the weekend and all eyes were on a ridiculous game in Taoyuan where Uni Lions ended up cruising to victory over Lamigo Monkeys.

It was a game where both starting pitchers took a battering, the Lions led 4-0 after their 1st before conceding 2 to leave 4-2 after 1 inning. The runs kept coming, it was 5-4 after 2 before the Lions failed to score in the top of 3rd. Liao Wen Yang then gave up 4 runs without getting an out and he was replaced by Fu Yu Gang who was himself replaced by Jiang Chen-yan. The score Lions 5-8 Monkeys after just 3 innings!

Uni Lions pulled 2 back without reply in the 4th as Jiang Chen-yan totally slowed the home side down. The Lions then scored 5 runs in the top of the 5th to race into a 12-8 lead which they would not relinquish.

Lamigo Monkeys grabbed one back in the bottom of the 5th to make it 12-9  but from there the runs slowed down. There was nothing in the 6th, 1 for the Lions in the 7th and 3 more in the 8th. The final score, Uni Lions 16 Lamigo Monkeys 9.

In New Taipei, Chinatrust Brothers leveled their mini series with EDA Rhinos with a comfortable 9-5 win. Bryan Woodall gave away just 2 runs in 7 innings as the Brothers eased to victory.

Sunday’s games were quieter and both had some late drama. In Taoyuan, starting pitchers Darin Downs and Mitchell Talbot ensured there would be no repeat of Saturday’s run-fest. Neither conceded a run in the opening 6 before Downs went off to be replaced by Jiang Cheng Feng. Downs had limited the Lamigos to just 2 hits and 5 walks in an impressive display.

The 7th was also scoreless before Lo Kuo Long broke the deadlock with a home run in the top of the 8th to put the Lions ahead. Chiang Kai Wen then hit an RBI double to get Su Zhe Jie home in the top of the 9th and make it 2-0 before a late scare. Lions Chen Yun Wen conceded 3 hits, and gave away a run. It was precarious situation at 2-1, 2 on base, 2 outs, 2 balls and 2 strikes but he got the strike out, and the Lions took the game 2-1.

In New Taipei, Lin Chih Sheng and Chiang Chih Hsien got home runs 29 and 28 of the season respectively as they won the game for Chinatrust Brothers. It was 2-1 Rhinos going into the bottom of the 8th until the league’s home run leaders came up with the goods to put Brothers 4-2 ahead. The Rhinos would not score in the top of the 9th and Brothers won 4-2.

Here is how the table looks after the week’s action:

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys – 17-14

2 ) Uni Lions – 19-17

3 ) EDA Rhinos – 15-17

4 ) Chinatrust Brothers – 15-18

Lamigo Monkeys continue to lead the second phase and having played 5 games more than Uni Lions, look well on course to take the 2nd phase title. The race for that second place in the play-offs is a little more interesting as overall the records look like this:

Lions – 48-48

Lamigos – 44-2-45

There is half a game in it and it is going to be absolutely fascinating to see which teams manages to get that 2nd place in the play offs.

Chinatrust Brothers continue to just mooch along, they easily won the first phase and are not that far off the EDA Rhinos in the 2nd phase. It is looking unlikely, the Rhinos can mount a challenge and they would need to top the 2nd phase table to get themselves in the play offs at the end of the season.

Here are the week’s fixtures as the season enters its final full month.

Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers – On Tuesday/Thursday in New Taipei

EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys – On Wednesday/Thursday in Taoyuan

Uni Lions v EDA Rhinos – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in New Taipei

Chinatrust Brothers v Lamigo Monkeys – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Taoyuan

I would normally say, playing away 5 times this week is a bad thing for the Lions but the stats would disagree. The Lions have managed to gain a 13-5 away record in the 2nd phase, and it is far from unique. Lamigo Monkeys home v away record: 8-9 v 9-5, EDA Rhinos 4-9 v 11-8, Chinatrust Brothers 6-12 v 9-6.

Strangely in the first phase, there was a similar trend. Every side except Uni Lions posted a better home record than away record, and the Lions played just a tiny amount of games in Tainan anyway, with most of their ‘home matches’ in other stadiums.

It is likely that every side will end up posting a better away record than home record, with overall records looking like this:

Chinatrust Brothers – 22-1-25 v 28-1-16

Uni Lions – 22-26 v 26-22

Lamigo Monkeys – 18-1-28 v 26-1-17

EDA Rhinos – 15-28 v 27-22.

Home ‘advantage’ is not always the true… until next time…

Tom

 

 

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Uni Lions II 3-7 Lamigo Monkeys II – Last chance

Since my trip to Pingtung around a month ago, I knew I had to make the effort to get down to the Li De Baseball Stadium in central Kaohsiung.

Now on my trip to EDA Rhinos 8-9 Uni Lions in June, I had passed the Li De Stadium on my way around Kaohsiung City that morning.

At the time I hadn’t a clue how to find the second team fixtures for the CPBL and it was only on clicking the II button in the fixtures that I found them. Anyway, I went down to Pingtung in July and since then, Lions first team games have worked against me. The Lions first team have played in Kaohsiung, played two weekends in Tainan and then last weekend, Li De Stadium wasn’t being used.

It turned out that this fixture, on 21st August was my last chance to see Uni Lions II play at Li De this season. Unfortunately I had a mix up with weekends, and it was only after getting home from a day-out with my girlfriend on Saturday, that I realised, it was the game was ‘this’ Sunday.

It didn’t require any pre-planning, except checking train and bus times, even then I had a rough idea of what I was doing. No alcohol consumed on Saturday and I set my alarm for 8:30. I was going to see off at 9:10 but got talking to my girlfriend and worked out, it was far too early anyway.

I left my apartment at 9:40 and was on the 9:50 bus into central Tainan. Sunday morning traffic was light and I managed to get my iPass topped up and bought a quick drink before the 10:28 train down to Kaohsiung.

Into Kaohsiung and I went out the front entrance of the station, right and left into Tongai Street. Now instead of strolling along the canal, I continued down to Qixian 2nd Road and went right before turning left into Chenggong 1st Road and right into Wangsheng Street, where the ground appeared across the next set of crossroads.

Located in Cianjin District, part of downtown Kaohsiung it was a true inner city venue. It was a venue that has a lot of history but the stadium that sat before my eyes was a shadow of its former self.  If you go on Google Images, you may find pictures like this but it has been scaled back in recent years.

It had been the main stadium in Kaohsiung having being built in the Japanese colonial era but since the opening of the 20,000 seater Chengcing Lake Stadium in 1999,  it’s no longer the main venue in the city.

I popped into the supermarket opposite before taking a circuit around on what was a very hot afternoon. No outfield stands exist, and instead, there is just a path above the outfield fence. As a result of the lack of enclosure to the ground, it is now unable to host professional matches.

The two stands that remain on the infield sides have netting right in front of them but there are seats on the concrete steps. I walked back to the corner where I started, and tried to find an entrance to the spectator stands.

Down passageways marked as ‘toilet’ either side of the building behind the home plate, I found the entrances to the stands with no through passage between them inside. The view I found, looked shocking at best. On the right side, there was 3/4 rows, but then the team dug-outs obscured the view to the right. Above the dug-outs was a single row of seats set back and to the right, were several blocks of 4-5 rows of seats, which had their views obscured by the netting and dug-out.

I decided to take a few pictures before leaving, and taking a spot in the stand to the left, where it appeared a few Lions supporters had congregated.

The view in the other stand was not much better, the net, the dug-out but I eventually settled on a seat in the third row, to the right of the dug-out. It was now 12:20 and I had a bit of time still to waste, as I had first arrived at the stadium just before 12. The match eventually got underway at 12:35 on a hot, sunny Kaohsiung afternoon.

The game started off fine, the Lions took an early lead. A triple was turned into the opening run after a grounding out at 1st, 1-0. The Lamigos could only reply with a double but from there on, they dominated proceedings.

A home run leveled the scores before 3 singles were turned into two more runs, 3-1 Lamigos. A huge throw to the home plate denied a further run, with the man on 3rd looking to get home after a catch in left field. A second home run followed in the bottom of the 3rd and it was followed by 2 blank innings with the score Lamigos 4-1 Lions.

There was healthy support for the Lamigos II, provided by Lamigo Monkeys fans, little did I know that the first team’s 1:05pm game v EDA Rhinos in Pingtung had been cancelled. It did help boost numbers, as there’d been a tiny crowd, the last time I’d seen the II teams meet in Pingtung. Their second team played well and restricted the Lions to just 2 hits in the opening 6. A couple more singles from them in the 6th, and it was now 5-1.

Into the 7th, and a scoreless inning as the game appeared to be fading out but it perked up again in the 8th. Liu Yu Chen’s two run homer made it 5-3, and with 0 outs, the Lions looked to have half a chance of recovering the game. Sadly 3 very quick outs ended it, and Lamigos restored their 2 run lead in the bottom of the 8th. A double, an RBI double and a single made it 7-3 before the Lamigos 2nd team wrapped it up, giving away just a hit in the top of the 9th.

I left and my intention was to get back to Kaohsiung station, and decide where to go from there. If the first train departing was going to Tainan, I was going home and if the first train departing was going to Pingtung, I was going there.

I got back at 1545, and the next two trains north were headed for Xinzuoying. The next train south was at 1603 and the next train home was 1608, to Pingtung it was…

The signs didn’t look good on the train to Pingtung with lots of water in the fields after leaving Kaohsiung City. I got off the train in sunshine but had an unusually bad feeling and after walking 15 minutes to the stadium, quickly realised I’d wasted my time. The game was clearly not going ahead, and a quick check on my phone’s wi-fi revealed it wasn’t, due to a soft outfield.

It was a shame because it was due to be Orlando Roman v Mike Loree, one hell of a CPBL pitching battle. That was what had incited me into the trip, and I was pretty gutted it was off but it meant I’d be home fairly early.

I walked back to the station and took the 1708 train to Tainan. On an alcohol free weekend, I went to sleep instead only to be woken around Qiaotou by a man wanting to practice his English. I actually enjoyed talking to him, his English was good and he was interested to know why my English was so different to others in England. He quickly understood when I explained accents and it was a feel good moment. He got off at Gangshan and the rest of the trip back went by pretty quickly.

Back into Tainan station for 1840 and I was on a bus at 1850, only for the driver to sit at the lights for 10 minutes and not go anywhere. Home by 1935 and despite seeing just 1 game, it had been a useful day out. It was also the 499th place I had seen sport being played at.

Next trip? I’m not sure. I’m hoping to get my 500th sports ground in at some point before the end of the year, where? I don’t know.

Until my CPBL weekly round-up from next week, bye for now.

Tom

 

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CPBL weekly round-up

It’s Tuesday so it’s time for another CPBL weekly round-up, which is a little shorter than usual due to adverse weather conditions. Here is a reminder of how the table looked at this point last week:

1) Lamigo Monkeys – 15-11

2) Uni Lions – 14-13

3) EDA Rhinos – 12-13

4) Chinatrust Brothers – 10-14

On Tuesday, Uni Lions picked up their 5th win in 6 games as they beat Lamigo Monkeys 8-4 in Chiayi. The Lions scored regularly as Monkeys starter Efrain Nieves had a bad night, he lasted just 3.1 innings giving away 4H, 5R and 6BBs. He couldn’t seem to find the right spot to pitch, in contrast Lions starter Liao Wen Yang gave away 5H, 3R, 5BB in his 6.1 innings on the mound. It was comfortable win in the end for the Lions.

On Wednesday, EDA Rhinos thrashed Chinatrust Brothers 10-2 to keep up the pressure on the top two. They scored 6 in the 3rd and 4 in the 6th to take an easy win as Brothers managed just 2 hits all night.

On Thursday, Lamigo Monkeys v Uni Lions in Douliu was cancelled due to rain but Brothers v Rhinos did go ahead in Hsinchu. Brothers Nate Long gave away just 5 hits and a single run off 8 innings whilst Rhinos starter, Tsai Ming Jin gave away 11H and 5R as he lasted just 3.1. Brothers had 18 hits but managed just 6 runs in the end, as they ran out 6-2 winners.

Onto the weekend series between Lamigo Monkeys and EDA Rhinos in Pingtung and unfortunately no play was possible on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. They may have been glorious sunshine in southern Taiwan but the Pingtung area was hit by rain over the weekend. Despite better conditions on Sunday, a soft outfield, ultimately meant no play was possible. Pingtung will not now see a professional fixture this season and some have blamed maintenance issues on social media.

On Friday, Brothers v Uni Lions went ahead in Hsinchu and the Lions inflicted Brothers starter Cheng Kai Wen’s third loss in a row. Despite a slow start, the Lions scored twice in the 3rd, 6th and 7th and 3 times in the 4th as cruised to a 9-5 victory. Lions Cheng Kai Wen broke the league record for most home runs by a rookie, as he hit his 19th of the season so well done to him.

Onto Saturday and Brothers leveled the mini series at 1-1 as the edged past the Lions 5-4 in New Taipei. The lead had swapped 3 times and it looked as if Brothers were headed for a 4-3 victory until the Lions leveled the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the 9th. Unfortunately Lions closer Lin Zi Wei gave away what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the 9th, the Lions unable to level in the bottom of the 9th and so lost 5-4.

On Sunday and Brothers took an easy 7-2 victory to take the mini series 2-1 and pick up their 3rd win of the week.

This is how the table looks after this week’s limited action.

1) Lamigo Monkeys – 15-12

2) Uni Lions – 16-15

3) EDA Rhinos – 13-14

4) Chinatrust Brothers – 13-16

Not a great deal has changed but the winning percentage of Uni Lions is 0.495 and that of Lamigo Monkeys is 0.494. It is going to be a very interesting battle between those two to see who take a place in the play offs at the end of the season.

Here are the week’s fixtures.

Lamigo Monkeys v Chinatrust Brothers – On Tuesday in Chiayi and on Thursday in Hsinchu

EDA Rhinos v Uni Lions – On Wednesday/Thursday in Tainan

EDA Rhinos v Chinatrust Brothers – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in New Taipei

Uni Lions v Lamigo Monkeys – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Taoyuan

The weekend series between Uni Lions and Lamigo Monkeys is the one to keep an eye on, it is the last weekend series between the two in Taoyuan this season.

I will bring you a report from Uni Lions II v Lamigo Monkeys II which took place on Sunday, later today.

Tom

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CPBL weekly round-up

It’s time for another CPBL weekly round-up and it’s a second phase of the season that continues to fascinate. Here is a reminder of the table looked at this point last week.

1 ) Lamigo Monkeys 12-9

2 ) EDA Rhinos 11-9

3 ) Uni Lions 10-12

4 ) Chinatrust Brothers 8-11

On Tuesday night, Uni Lions ended a 4 match losing streak as they survived a late EDA Rhinos comeback to win in New Taipei. The match started as a run-fest with the Rhinos leading 4-1 after 1 inning. Uni Lions fought back, hitting 7 unanswered runs in the 2nd with Lo Kuo Long hitting a grand slam. The Lions added 3 more in the third to go 10-4 ahead.

In spite of leading 13-5 going into the 8th, it was a close run game. The Lions added a further run to go 14-5 ahead but then conceded 3 in the 8th and 4 in the bottom of the 9th, the game ending 14-12.

On Wednesday night Lamigo Monkeys strengthened their grip on top spot with a 12-3 with over Brothers in Taichung but fell to defeat to the same opponents on Thursday. Starter Wang I Cheng had a shocker with the ball, giving up 9H, 8R over 1.1 innings as the Brothers cruised ahead 8-0 after 2.

Lamigos fought back and it was 8-6 going into the bottom of the 7th. Brothers hit 5 runs to go 13-6 ahead. Lamigos continued to push with the bat, pulling 3 back in the top of the 8th to make it 13-9 but then conceded 2 in the bottom of the 8th, two more Lamigos runs followed in the top of the 9th but they went down to a 15-11 defeat.

Elsewhere on Thursday  Uni Lions completed a 2-0 midweek series win over EDA Rhinos in a closely fought match in New Taipei. The Lions took an early 5-0 lead partly thanks to a Chen Yung Chi grand slam but were pegged back to 5-5 by the bottom of the 5th. Su Zhe Jie added a 3 run homer to put the Lions 8-5 ahead before a consolation run to make it 8-6 in the bottom of the 9th.

On Friday night, UNi Lions v Chinatrust Brothers was postponed due to rain but EDA Rhinos v Lamigo Monkeys went ahead in Taoyuan. It was a thrilling start, with the score 3-3 after an inning. EDA took a 7-3 lead after 3 and lead 9-4 after 4. Into the 8th and the Rhinos made it 10-4 before conceding 5 runs to leave the game hanging in the balance at 10-9. No further runs followed as EDA Rhinos sneaked away with the win.

On Saturday, the rearranged game between Uni Lions v Chinatrust Brothers was postponed but the scheduled 5:05 fixture did take place and it was one of the games of the season. Lion’s starter Darin Downs had a poor start, conceding 8 runs over 2.1 innings and it looked early on as if the writing was on the wall for the Lions.

They pulled it  back to 8-6 in the top of the 3rd but conceded runs in the bottm of the 3rd and 4th to trail 10-6. Incredibly the game was leveled at 10-10 in the top of the 5th but the sides exchanged runs to leave it 11-11 after, and after the 7th was scoreless, it was 11-11 going in the 8th. Uni Lions went ahead to complete a crazy comeback from 8-0 down to go 13-11 ahead.

The 9th inning saw the Lions add a 14th run and Chen Yun Wen was given the job of getting rid of 3 Brothers hitters, without conceding 3 or more runs. At bases loaded with 0 outs, the situation looked dire for the Lions and Brothers added 2 runs to make it 14-13. He eventually held his nerve and the Lions came away with a 14-13 win in a 39 hit game.

In Taoyuan, it was a pitching battle between Rhinos Scott Richmond and Lamigos Mitchell Talbot. Talbot came out on top, as Lamigo Monkeys took a 2-1 win. It was a cruel loss for Richmond and the Rhinos as both runs were unearned.

Into Sunday and there was a double header in Taichung as Friday’s game between Uni Lions and Chinatrust Brothers went ahead. A largely changed Brothers line-up took the first game at 1:05 fairly easily. Brothers went 7-0 ahead before Uni Lions grabbed two runs in the 7th, only to concede 1 more in the 8th. The Lions managed just 4 hits in an 8-2 defeat.

It was better in the following game though, as the Lions took their 4th win of the week. The game was dominated by 6 Lions runs in the 3rd when the game was 1-1, Brothers starter Wang Tzu-An giving up 9 hits and 7 runs over 2.2 innings and it was fatal for the home side. Lions Dustin Crenshaw gave up just 7 hits and 3 runs in 7 innings and the Lions lead 8-3 going into the bottom of the 9th.

Brothers had pulled it back to 8-5 with 0 outs before Chen Yun Wen got his 4th save of the season. He conceded one more run but the Lions took an 8-6 win and the mini series 2-1.

In Taoyuan, league leaders Lamigo Monkeys eased to victory over an EDA Rhinos side that managed just 3 hits all game. Lamigos lead 6-0 after an inning and won 11-0 in the end, Lamigos Lin Chih Ping hitting 2 home runs a 3 hit, 3 run game.

This is how the table looks after the week’s play

1) Lamigo Monkeys – 15-11

2) Uni Lions – 14-13

3) EDA Rhinos – 12-13

4) Chinatrust Brothers – 10-14

It’s all eyes on Lamigo Monkeys who lead the second phase and are ahead in percentage terms of Uni Lions/EDA Rhinos in the race for the play off spot. They have won 50% of their games this year, the Lions just behind with a 49.4% record and the Rhinos are on 45.4% with just under a third of the season to go.

Uni Lions record v Lamigo Monkeys has been poor in the second half of the season. They have picked up just 2 wins from 10 and that could prove costly come the end of the season. That said Lamigo Monkeys are looking very dangerous with bat and ball. They have a strong pitching attack and it’s my view, that they will go onto win the second phase.

I’m already beginning to get the impression, the writing is on the wall. I don’t think the Lions have quite enough to compete and that has been proved in head to head games. EDA Rhinos are going to need to be consistent and win the second phase, if they want to be playing in the play offs at the end of the season. I don’t think they’ve quite got enough with the bat.

Brothers continue to sit bottom in the second phase but having won the first phase, they don’t really have to do a great deal in the second phase. They’ve looked a shadow of the side they did in the first phase, but bizarrely, their form has totally reversed. They had a 7-2-11 record v Lamigos in the first phase, that’s now 6-2 in their favour. Their record v EDA Rhinos was 15-5 and is now 2-6 in the second. phase. Their record v the Lions was 13-7 and is now 2-5. It seems quite weird to me.

Anyway’s lets look ahead to the fixtures this week and here they are…

Lamigo Monkeys v Uni Lions – On Tuesday in Chiayi, on Thursday in Douliu

Chinatrust Brothers v EDA Rhinos – On Wednesday/Thursday in Hsinchu

Lamigo Monkeys V EDA Rhinos – On Friday/Saturday/Sunday in Pingtung

Chinatrust Brothers v Uni Lions – On Friday in Hsinchu, Saturday/Saturday in New Taipei.

Another cracking set of fixtures which will take the second phase to the halfway stage, all weather permitting as ever.

That’s all for now.

Tom

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