Monkeys Keep Things Interesting by Dropping Two-of-Three to Guardians

Fubon Guardians (28-29) at Lamigo Monkeys (32-25)

Game 1
Fubon Guardians 2 at Lamigo Monkeys 6
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Friday, September 29, 2017

WP:  No. 32 Wang I-Cheng (9-7, 4.60 ERA)
LP:   No. 38 Huang Yi-Chih (2-7, 6.42 ERA)
MVP: Monkeys C No. 11 Lin Hung-Yu (3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI)

Game 2
Fubon Guardians 10 at Lamigo Monkeys 8
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Saturday, September 30, 2017

WP:  No. 37 Lo Kuo-Hua (2-1, 4.85 ERA)
LP:   No. 16 Chu Chun-Hsiang (4-2, 6.56 ERA)
S: No. 96 Lin Yi-Hao (3)
MVP: Guardians 1B No. 46 Fan Kuo-Chen (1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 RBI)

Game 3
Fubon Guardians 5 at Lamigo Monkeys 2
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium
Sunday, October 1, 2017

WP:  No. 48 Lai Hung-Cheng (2-2, 8.44 ERA)
LP:   No. 81 Lin Po-Yu (5-4, 4.28 ERA)
S: No. 56 Huang Sheng-Hsiung (2)
MVP: Guardians C No. 2 Fang Ke-Wei (1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, game-winning RBI single)

Series Notes:

  • As September rolled into October (unfortunately, no relief from the heat yet), the Guardians and Monkeys squared off for three games in Taoyuan. The Guardians look to finish strong in a disappointing inaugural season as the Monkeys gear up for the playoffs in a record-setting season for wins.
  • The Guardians mustered only five hits off of Monkeys SP Wang I-Cheng who went an efficient six innings on 78 pitches. Wang was actually really good in Game 1, allowing no walks and punching out five. He did give up two solo homeruns but was otherwise in total control, good for his ninth win of the season. The Guardians had nothing going in the final three innings as they went nine-up-nine-down at the mercy of RP’s Wang Yueh-Lin in the seventh and Huang Wei-Cheng in the final two frames.
  • The Monkeys offense was pretty well spread with five players notching multiple hits. Back behind the plate for only the 12th time this season, C Lin Hung-Yu would earn game MVP honors by going three-for-four with one run scored and two RBI. LF Wang Po-Jung was his usual self going two-for-three with a walk, one run, and two RBI’s as well.
  • Guardians first round pick Fan Kuo-Chen clobbered the first home run of his career in the top of the second. DH Hu Chin-Lung notched career hit no. 700 in the top of the third. For the Monkeys, 1B Chen Chun-Hsiu drove in career RBI no. 300 while CF Chan Chih-Yao scored for the 400th time in his career.
  • Game 2 was a wild one with the Guardians prevailing 10-8 after a three hour and 55-minute affair. The Guardians broke open a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh with five runs on four hits, one walk, and a wild pitch. The key knock was rookie Fan Kuo-Chen’s second career homer, a three-run blast off Monkeys RP Chu Chun-Hsiang. The Guardians would add single runs in the top of the eighth and ninth and good thing they did as the Monkeys would send 10 men to the plate in the home half of the ninth. Their rally fell short however, after not one (Lo Chia-Jen), not two (Ni Fu-Te), but three pitchers (Lin Yi-Hao) were needed to close out the win.
  • After missing a start due a minor back injury, Monkeys SP Darin Downs was back on the  hill for his 24th start of the year. Downs was a little rusty as he would tie a season high in walks with five. He would only give up four hits and two earned runs to go along with five strikeouts in a no-decision for the southpaw.
  • Guardians SP Scott Richmond would make start no. 23 on the season and go 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, and one walk.
  • It’s not often that Guardians SP Mike Loree gets out-pitched but Monkeys SP Lin Hua-Ching managed to do just that. Loree was his usual self serving up six innings, four hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts (league-leading 154 K’s) but Lin had a career-game by going seven innings, giving up only three hits (one double and two singles) while whiffing seven Guardians. Between the two of them, there was a string of 19 men retired in a row at one point in the game.
  • The Guardians finally broke the scoring drought in the top of the eighth off of Monkeys RP Lin Po-Yu. Guardians 2B Lin Wei-Ting would leadoff with a double and after a failed bunt attempt, C and game MVP Fang Ke-Wei would stroke a run-scoring single to right field. RF Kao Hsiao-Yi would add a two-run round tripper (No. 6) knocking Lin Po-Yu out of the game. Closer Chen Yu-Hsun (probably in the game because of five days off coming up) would give up two more runs in the ninth.
  • For the second night in a row, the Monkeys offense decided to do too little too late. They would score two runs in the bottom of the ninth of off Guardians RP Lo Kuo-Hua and threatened more damage with runners on first and second and no outs. Enter RP Huang Sheng-Hsiung, who did a fantastic job thwarting the rally on two fly outs and a punchout en route to his second save of the season (13th of his career).
  • With the Lions taking two of three from the Brothers in their series, the Monkeys’ lead in the standings drops back down to one game. The 20,000+ Monkey fans over the weekend sure wish their team would stop monkeying around and wrap the second half up but the CPBL remains exciting and unsettled entering the final five days of games. Could it come down to a final showdown during the final regular season game between the Monkeys and Lions on October 11? You can’t ask for any more than that as a fan!
  • The Monkeys win their season series against the Guardians in dominating fashion, going 27-12-1.