2003 Taiwan Series

From BR Bullpen

The 2003 Taiwan Series was the third consecutive Taiwan Series won by the Brother Elephants.

The Sinon Bulls had won the 2003 CPBL first half and finished 62-32-6 under manager Wei-Cheng Chen. The Bulls were powered by CPBL MVP Tai-Shan Chang, who hit .328/.399/.614 with 22 steals, 94 RBI and a league-high 28 homers. Chang was joined on the Best Ten by SS Chao-Hang Cheng (.283/.341/.434, 16 SB) and P Jeff Andra (14-3, 2.01). Andra was far from the lone dominant arm on the staff; Ramon Morel (4-2, 0.90) led in saves (23), his cousin Osvaldo Martínez (12-11, 3 Sv, 3.12) led in whiffs (182) and Wen-Bin Yu (6-1, 3 Sv, 2.21), Chien-Fu Yang (7-2, 1.48) and Chung-Nan Tsai (11-4, 3.89).

The Elephants won the second half and finished 63-31-6, led by skipper I-Tseng Lin. They had two players on the Best Ten: outfielders Cheng-Min Peng (.355/.455/.585, 18 HR, the batting champion) and Chin-Yuan Chen (.342/.387/.556, 31 SB, 18 HR, a league-leading 97 RBI). Hisanori Yokota (16-3, 2.89) led the league in wins while Chun-Yi Wu (10-1, 2.20), Shin Nakagomi (13-8, 3 Sv, 2.54), Jonathan Hurst (12-4, 2.53) and Miguel Gómez (4-3, 1.69) had even better ERAs.

In game one, October 11, the Elephants won 2-0 behind Nakagomi. Andra took the loss, Hurst got a save and Jui-Chen Chen drove in the winner. On the 12th, Sinon tied the Series with a 9-1 romp. Martínez got the win and Yokota the loss. Chang homered and drove in the winner. On October 14, the Elephants took a 6-1 decision, Wu beating Chung-Nan Tsai. Chih-Yuan Chen drove in the game winner, while Feng-An Tsai homered.

On October 15, the Elephants went up 3 games to 1 with a 5-4 win. Hurst got the decision for the victors and Chien-Fu Yang for the losers, while Chin-Li Wang got a save. Jui-Chang Chen drove in the winner. In a losing cause, both Chun-Chang Yeh and Jien-Lung Kao went deep. In game 5, Sinon rallied from a 4-1 deficit. Chien-Fu Yang got the win this time while Yokota lost. Hua-Wei Tseng drove in the game-winner. Feng-An Tsai and Cheng-Min Peng homered for the Elephants. Sinon skipper Wei-Cheng Chen was ejected for punching an umpire and was suspended the remainder of the Series; he was the first manager ejected from a Taiwan Series game.

When tickets sold out for game 6 early (leaving in the cold some fans who had camped overnight), fans attacked scalpers, throwing eggs at them. Riot police had to be called in. The Series ended on October 18 with the Elephants winning 4-3 in the bottom for the 10th. Chin-Li Wang got the win over Morel, while Tai-Shan Chang homered. Feng-An Tsai drove in the winner. Chih-Yuan Chen won Taiwan Series MVP.

Sources: Taiwan Baseball Wiki, 2004 Baseball Almanac