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1998 Taiwan Series

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The 1998 Taiwan Series was the sixth Taiwan Series. The defending champion Wei Chuan Dragons squared off with the Sinon Bulls (making their Series debut) in a series that went the distance.

The Bulls had the best record in the 1998 CPBL regular season (58-45-2) under manager Jun-Lang Wang. They had four players picked to the Best Nine: P Mark Kiefer (17-10, 3.09, the win leader), 1B Jay Kirkpatrick (the CPBL MVP after a .387/.516/.732 season in which he ad 31 HR and 102 RBI to take the Triple Crown), 2B Chung-Yi Huang (.314/.383/.456) and SS Ron Maurer (.305/.393/.459, 31 2B). Other key pitchers were Osvaldo Martínez (13-10, 3.17, a league-leading 143 K), Julio Solano (4-1, 14 Sv, 2.79) and Tim Fortugno (3-5, 10 Sv, 3.21).

The Dragons, managed by Sheng-Chieh Hsu had gone 56-48-1 in the regular season. They had finished third then beat the Uni-President Lions in a best-of-3 playoff. They had two Best Nine picks in 3B Tai-Shan Chang (.323/.392/.535, 78 RBI) and OF Chiung-Lung Huang (.354/.414/.432). Chin-Mou Chen (.328/.419/.479) also hit well and Bernie Tatis (.292/.378/.433, 98 R) led with 65 steals. José Canó (8-8, 3.16), Gab Ozuna (8-7, 3.55) and Mike Garcia (6-7, 3.01, a league-leading 26 Sv) gave them a staff that also relied heavily on foreign import players.

Game One took place November 3, when the Dragons won, 6-2. Ángel Moreno‎ got the win over Kiefer, with Todd Revenig notching the save. Masahiro Taijun drove in the winning run, homered and was named Game MVP while Maurer and Chuan-Chia Wang homered for the losing team. Sinon tied it on November 4 with a 12-7 romp. Chang-Hao Hu drove in the winner while Sheng-Chieh Hsu and Tai-Shan Chang both went deep for the Dragons. Alvin Brown got the win and Garcia the loss. The Dragons won game 3, 5-4, on the 6th, as Pablo Reyes beat Jimmy Myers, Revenig getting a second save. Chun-Chang Yeh was named game MVP. Sinon won game 4 on November 7 behind a gem from game MVP Kiefer, in a 4-0 victory. Ozuna took the loss while Che-Chung Wu drove in the winner.

On November 8, the Bulls won a 6-1 contest, Brown beating Moreno and Myers saving it. Bert Heffernan drove in the winner while Wen-Bin Chen was named game MVP. The Dragons came back to win the last two, though. On the 10th, Canó got the decision in a 8-5 win while Jody Treadwell took the loss and Garcia notched a save. Chin-Mou Chen drove in the winner and Sheng-Chieh Hsu was named game MVP (he would go on to be named Taiwan Series MVP after hitting .198 in the regular season). In the finale on November 11, Wei Chuan won by a 5-2 score, Dwayne Henry beating Fortugno as import pitchers wound up with all the decisions. Chin-Mou Chen homered, drove in the winner and was named game MVP and Heffernan went deep in a losing effort.

Primary Source: Taiwan Baseball Wiki

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