1) 12. That's the number of months in a year. It's also the number of disciples that Jesus had. But for our purposes, it's the number of games the Guardians have lost to the Lions...in a row. The Lions brought out the whooping stick in Xinzhuang and completed another three-game sweep of Fubon this past weekend winning 16-5, 9-5, and 6-4.
Since being shutout by the Guardians 5-0 back on March 31, the Lions have outscored Fubon 89-47, have beaten Loree, Billings, and Woodall a combined 10 times, and have limited Fubon to three or less runs in seven of those 12 wins.
The Lions franchise record for consecutive wins over one opponent is 13 over the Mercury Tigers way back in 1998-1999. The Guardians tie their longest losing streak to a team at 12 when they were still the Sinon Bulls, also back in 1999. They lost a dirty dozen to the Wei Chuan Dragons. The two teams face off next on June 6 in Xinzhuang.
|Source: Brothers FB fan page|
Another milestone was reached on May 19 as Lions 1B Kao Kuo-Ching recorded career hit No. 1,600, becoming only the third player in CPBL history to accomplish the feat. A career .303-hitter, Kao is still going strong this year as he approaches the big 4-0!
3) A few more congratulations to dish out on a bunch of firsts -- Monkeys RP and 2017 seventh-round pick Huang Tze-Peng earned his first career victory after pitching 2.1 innings in relief against the Lions on May 17.
Fellow 2017 draft pick (third round), Chen Bo-Hao, picked up his first career win with the Brothers by hurling one inning in relief yesterday in their 5-4 extra-inning walk-off win over the Monkeys.
The 2017 first-round pick for the Brothers, Yueh Dong-Hwa, notched his first career base hit off of Monkeys starter Wang I-Cheng on Friday.
Lions fifth-round pick Huang Chun-Yen also won his first pro game after two innings of scoreless relief on Saturday against the Guardians.
And finally, it's not a first but it's a first in a while...Guardians RP Kuo Hong-Chih recorded his first win since April 30, 2015. That's 1,111 days in case you're wondering. Kuo got one out in relief for the victory.
4) This past week's games featured a couple of power binges. Lions 3B Kuo Fu-Lin clocked two dingers on Saturday to add to his league-leading 11 home runs. Brothers CF Chang Chih-Hao rounded the bases three times (in four games) this past week, two of them going a very looong way.
5) While on the topic of Brothers' outfielders, the team must be pleased to have Chan Tze-Hsien back and inflicting damage. Since his return from the minors on May 4, Chan has raised his average almost 100 points (.222 to .319), has hit safely in all of the games he has started, has multi-hit games in seven of those 10 games, and has driven in 13 runs in that same span.
6) I have no idea what the record for most hits or runs scored in two games is on one day but this past Friday is a good bet to be it. The four teams combined for 43 runs and 60 hits!!! The Lions led the way with a 23-hit barrage at the expense of the Guardians.
7) Do you want to take a guess at which starting pitcher has won all of his starts this year? It's Lions' SP Shih Tze-Chien who is a perfect 5-0 in five games started. The youngster has defeated all three teams this year and owns a sparkling 2.97 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched.
How about which pitcher that hasn't won any of his starts? That notoriety goes to the Guardians' Bruce Billings. It's not that Billings has pitched particularly poorly (5.44 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) but it's just one of those things I guess.
8) After both going 3-2 this past week, the Monkeys and Lions remain one game apart at the top of the standings. The Lions had their chance in a two-game set but the Monkeys promptly reminded them who's boss. They will get another opportunity this coming weekend as they face off with the Monkeys for a three-game series in Tainan. The Brothers will be home all week as they host the Lions for two before a weekend date against the Guardians.
9) Who wouldn't want to start of their week with a Fabio-Segovia first-pitch replay?!