Monkeys Riding Solo in First Place After Sweeping Brothers

Chinatrust Brothers (22-32) at Lamigo Monkeys (31-23)

Game 1
Chinatrust Brothers 6 at Lamigo Monkeys 11
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WP:  No. 40 Zack Segovia (15-5, 4.17 ERA)
LP:   No. 50 Tsai Chi-Zhe (0-1, 15.00 ERA)
MVP: Monkeys 1B No. 29 Chen Chun-Hsiu (4-4, 2 R, 4 RBI)

Game 2
Chinatrust Brothers 7 at Lamigo Monkeys 10
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Thursday, September 28, 2017

WP:  No. 74 Zeke Spruill (14-4, 2.65 ERA)
LP:   No. 15 Lin Yu-Ching (5-4, 6.95 ERA)
S: No. 20 Chen Yu-Hsun (35)
MVP: Monkeys 2B No. 39 Lin Li (3-5, 1 R, 3 RBI)

Series Notes:

  • The Chinatrust Brothers found themselves in a rather precarious and peculiar predicament in their mid-week matchup against the Lamigo Monkeys in Taoyuan. With eight games to play while being seven games back of the first-place Monkeys, the Brothers’ hopes of winning the second half were dashed after losing Game 1. BUT, they can still make the playoffs by virtue of their season record (second at the start of the series) IF the Monkeys also win the second half. Which means...yep, you guessed it...the Brothers are playing two games against a team that would actually benefit them to lose to! Ah, the joys of a four-team professional baseball league!
  • That being said, the Brothers certainly did their part by starting newcomer and 2017 fourth-round pick Tsai Chi-Zhe in Game 1 (to be fair, scheduled starter Orlando Roman flew home after a hurricane knocked out power in Puerto Rico). Tsai, with all of five innings (1.80 ERA) of professional experience on the farm team, would take the mound against seasoned veteran Monkeys SP Zack Segovia who was in search of win no. 15. The result was to be expected -- Tsai lasted only three innings surrendering five earned runs on eight hits and one walk. He did record his first career strikeout in the bottom of the third but was otherwise overmatched by the potent Monkey offense. Segovia on the other hand, was on a mission, requiring only 47 pitches through five innings of one-run ball on three hits and no walks as he picked up his 15th win of the season. He has won six decisions in a row (since July 28) and the W was his fifth consecutive victory over the Brothers.
  • The Monkeys 17-hit offensive onslaught was led by game MVP Chen Chun-Hsiu. The slugger was a triple shy of the cycle as he went four-for-four (two singles, a double, home run No. 15) with two runs scored and four ribbies. DH Lin Hung-Yu added three hits, one run, and three RBI and not to be left out, CF Wang Po-Jung padded his stats with three hits, two runs, and one RBI (.405 average). And congratulations to 2017 CPBL no. 1 draft pick Liao Chien-Fu (one day shy of turning 19...geez!) on recording his first career hit.
  • The Brothers were no slouches in Game 1 either as they mounted an 11-hit attack of their own. Four-five-six hitters Chan Tzu-Hsien, Chang Chih-Hao, and Chen Tzu-Hao (say that as fast as you can five times) were a combined 8-for-12 with three runs scored and five knocked in. Chan picked up career hit no. 100 in the fourth and Chang clobbered homer no. 23 in the second.
  • Game 2 started off with Monkeys SP Zeke Spruill uncharacteristically spotting the Brothers with a five-run lead in the top of the first. The Brothers would bat around in the inning with six hits capped by a two-run bomb from 1B Hsu Chi-Hung (HR no. 9) as it took 27 pitches for Spruill to get through the first. The next five were a different story as Spruill would allow only one more run (solo home run by CF Chang Chi-Hao) on three hits and a walk. Combine that with a Monkeys’ mid-game comeback and win no. 14 was in the bag for the rightie.
  • That mid-game comeback came at the expense of Brothers SP Chen Hung-Wen who was riding a two-game win streak (12 IP, 1 ER). The Monkeys would score one in the third, three in the fourth, and tie it up in the fifth on DH Lin Hung-Yu’s two-run shot to left (HR No. 18). Rookie and game MVP Lin Li put the final touch on the comeback with a clutch three-run tater (HR No. 2) off of Brothers RP Lin Yu-Ching the next inning.
  • As in Game 1, the Brothers offense was good in Game 2 as well, but it just wasn’t enough. They would add 12 more hits and score seven runs for a total of 23 hits and 13 runs in two games but the pitching staff would serve up 33 hits and 21 runs. You can do the math….
  • Congratulations to Monkeys closer Chen Yu-Hsun on tying the CPBL single-season record with save No. 35. A crisp 15-pitch three-up-three-down inning aided by some nice defense from SS Lin Cheng-Fei.
  • The mid-week games could not have gone any better for the Monkeys. Their two wins combined with two losses by the Lions put them two games ahead in the standings with six games left to play (eight for the Lions).
  • The Monkeys lead the season series against the Brothers 23-15 and 12-6 in the second half.