2018 Challenge Series Review

Fubon Guardians 1 Uni Lions 4 (Game 1)
Friday, October 19, 2018
Tainan Baseball Field, Tainan City

WP: No.12 Chen Yun-Wen (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
LP: No.96 Lin Yi-Hao (0-1, 54.00 ERA)
MVPLions 3B Kuo Fu-Lin
Box score

Fubon Guardians 11 Uni Lions 2 (Game 2)
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Tainan Baseball Field, Tainan City

WP: No.35 Taylor Jordan (1-0, ERA: 3.00)
LP: No.16 Jiang Chen-Yan (0-1, ERA: 7.36)
MVP: Fubon SS Chen Kai-Lun
Box score

Uni Lions 4 Fubon Guardians 2 (Game 3)
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Xingzhuang Baseball Field, New Taipei City

WP: No.26 Ryan Verdugo (1-0, ERA 3.00)
LP: No.39 Mike Loree (0-1, ERA 4.76)
SV: No.12 Chen Yun-Wen(1)
MVP: Lions C Lin You-Le
Box score

Uni Lions 9 at Fubon Guardians 8 (Game 4)
Monday, October 22, 2018
Xingzhuang Baseball Field, New Taipei City

WP: No.36 Andy Van Hekken (1-0, ERA 1.69)
LP: No.16 Huang Yi-Chih (0-1, ERA 4.76)
SV: No.12 Chen Yun-Wen(2)
MVP: Lions RP Andy Van Hekken 
Box score

Series Notes:
  • The Lions won the series 3 -1; however, their starting pitchers were not necessarily better than the Guardians and in some cases they were worse than the Guardians. But they still snatched up the series thanks to the stable performance of their bullpen. The Lions' end-game formula consisting of Wang Ching-Ming, Chiu Hao-Chun, and Chen Yun-Wen, pitched a combined 8.1 innings when leading by three runs or less, giving up only one earned run while striking out 11.
  • The Guardians' K% for the series was 21.57% compared to 15.46% during the second half of the season. Their pitch selection in the postseason was terrible. The strikeout is the best way to lead to ice cold offense. Fubon had a total of 15 innings in four games that ended by strikeout, effectively killing any chance of offensive flow. 
  • The Lions seventh, eighth and ninth hitters played an important role with a .365 batting average over four games, far above the team average of .274. They were especially good during crucial moments with eight RBI in the final two games, helping the team gain an advantage in close games
  • Defense has always been a very important part of baseball. Although it is also the most frequently overlooked variable, it always has a huge impact in the postseason. Teams that made an error in the last three games all lost. Especially during Game 4, two consecutive errors on one play for the Guardians with the bases loaded allowed the Lions to go-ahead and win the series. 
  • Lions' LF Chen Chieh-Hsien had the most hits this season, serving as a competent lead off man. But he sprained his ankle in Game 1 and for the Lions, it was one disaster after another with key players getting injured. Fortunately, Chen got much better after two days' rest and surprisingly, smashed a timely hit with the bases loaded, leading the Lions to a comeback win.