The 2012 CPBL (Chinese Professional Baseball League) kicked off this past weekend all over Taiwan.
The opening series pitted the Brother Elephants against the Uni-President Lions while the Lamigo Monkeys took on the Sinon Bulls.
Uni-President Lions 3, Brother Elephants 5
Uni-President Lions 6, Brother Elephants 2
Uni-President Lions 3, Brother Elephants 4 (10)
In front of a capacity crowed at Taipei City’s Tienmu Stadium, the Brother Elephants took down the Lions 5-3 to open the season. Rookie pitcher Lin Yu-Ching lasted 5 innings giving up only a single run to earn the victory. American Ryan Cullen picked up the save in relief.
The Lions bounced back in game 2 of the series winning by a score of 6-2 behind Japanese pitcher Kamada Yuya who went 6.2 scoreless innings giving up only 6 hits while striking out 8.
After taking Monday and Tuesday off, the two were back at it on Wednesday to finish off the series with the Elephants taking the series winning 4-3 in 10 innings. The Lions took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 6th when the Elephants got a run to cut the lead in half. They tied it in the last half of the 8th pushing the game into extra frames.
In the 10th, the Lions started it off by scoring a run to take a 3-2 lead, but it wouldn’t last long. The Elephants came right back with 2 of their own in the 10th to take the game and the series 2-games-to-1.
Lamigo Monkeys 4, Sinon Bulls 2
Lamigo Monkeys 13, Sinon Bulls 3
Lamigo Monkeys 5, Sinon Bulls 0
The Lamigo Monkeys got off to a good start to the season sweeping a 3 game set with the Sinon Bulls. American Ken Ray picked up his first win of the season in game 1 pitching into the 6th allowing only 1 run. Second baseman Kuo Yen-Wen blasted a 3-run home run that proved enough for the Monkeys to take the win on opening day.
The Monkeys’ bats really woke up in game 2 blasting the Bulls pitching for 13 runs. Lamigo scored 2 in the first and that was just the beginning. They added 4 more in the 3rd and another pair of runs in the 4th to jump out to an early 8-0 lead after just 4 innings.
American hurler Lenny DiNardo picked up the win in game 2 pitching 6 scoreless innings while striking out 3. DiNardo has pitched in parts of 6 seasons in the Major Leagues and also pitched for Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The Uni-President Lions, the 2011 Champion, look to get back on track this weekend against the winless Sinon Bulls while the Monkeys look to stay unbeaten against the Brother Elephants.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.