Uni Lions 8 Fubon Guardians 3

Uni Lions (33-25) at Fubon Guardians (28-31)
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Chengcing Lake Baseball Field, Kaohsiung

WP:  No. 26 Bruce Billings (13-10, 4.17 ERA)
LP:   No. 81 Chen Shih-Peng (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
MVP: Lions SP No. 26 Bruce Billings (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER , 2 BB, 8 K)

Home Runs:
Lions: Kuo Fu-Lin (11), Kao Kuo-Ching (6)
Guardians: Chen Ping-Chieh (7)

Game Notes:

  • Here we go folks! With three games left to play, the Uni Lions enter this weekend's two-game series against the Fubon Guardians tied atop the standings with the Lamigo Monkeys. Already guaranteed a spot in the playoffs whether they win the second half or not, the Lions are in a pressure-free spot for now. If they don’t win the second half, they’ll face the Brothers in a best-of-five series for the chance to play the Monkeys in the Taiwan Series. If they do win, they will guarantee themselves a spot in the battle for 2017 CPBL Champions. And from the looks of it, they are definitely going for it.
  • The Lions sent their unquestioned ace, Bruce Billings, to the mound and he more than answered the call. Billings turned in a game MVP performance, going six innings allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks. He would punch out eight Guardians en route to his 13th win of the season.
  • The Guardians did not seem to care for playing spoiler in the season’s final games as they sent rookie Chen Shih-Peng to the mound, carrying an 0-2 record along with a 6.65 ERA in the minors. Chen lasted two innings, surrendering five runs (three earned) on just three hits and five base on balls.
  • Guardian imports Cory Riordan and Scott Richmond both entered as relief pitchers and would go two innings each. Maybe the plan was to have Mike Loree enter in a save situation if they happened to be ahead?
  • The Lions offense seems to be hitting their stride at the right time. They are averaging 6.8 runs and 9.6 hits during their current five-game win streak. And it’s not just the young guns that are providing the firepower. Veterans Pan Wu-Hsiung and Liu Fu-Hao have come to life in recent weeks. Pan has hit safely in nine of the last 11, knocking in 14 runs and seeing his average rise 22 points to .305. Liu, who has been playing everyday since returning in mid-September, has watched his average go up 50 points since as recently as September 28. He’s had RBI’s in four of the last six contests and has has at least one base knock in five of those games.
  • After two more hits tonight, Guardians newcomer Fan Kuo-Chen is hitting a healthy .424 in 33 at-bats. The Guardians two runs came on a home run by DH Chen Ping-Chieh, his seventh of the year.
  • The Lions remain deadlocked with the Monkeys for first place after the Monkeys beat the Brothers 7-2 tonight, a game which ahem, I’m sure the Brothers were trying to win as well.  

Attendance: 4,224

Game time: 3:00