2006 Taiwan Series

From BR Bullpen

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The 2006 Taiwan Series was the second straight Taiwan Series to feature a sweep - but only the second Taiwan Series to see a four-game sweep following 2005. The La New Bears won their lone Taiwan Series.

The Bears, managed by I-Chung Hong, had dominated the 2006 CPBL by going 62-34-4 and winning both halves (which at point in time would have precluded the need for a Taiwan Series). They had three Best Ten picks: 1B Chung-Wei Pan (.276/.318/.392), SS Chih-Sheng Lin (.291/.364/.447) and DH Chin-Feng Chen (.317/.397/.561, 21 HR, 20 SB, a league-best 81 RBI). Chih-Wei Shih hit .312/.360/.371 and Hao-Ju Tseng .287/.366/.433. Si-Yo Wu (17-3, 2.27) tied for the league win lead and Kenny Rayborn (16-5, 1.94) and Ramon Morel (2-1, 14 Sv, 2.11) also pitched very well.

The Uni-President Lions were guided by Yutaka Ohashi. They went 48-45-4. They had two Best Ten selections - OF Fu-Hao Liu (.282/.377/.429) and OF Tai-Chi Kuo (.285/.354/.412). Tilson Brito hit .282/.370/.612 with 9 HR and 25 RBI in 28 G and Lien-Hung Chen .305/.394/.398. Yi-Cheng Tseng (1-2, 2.17) tied for the league lead in saves (17). Jeriome Robertson (8-2, 2.19), Eric Cyr (9-5, 2.52) and Wei-Lun Pan (14-9, 2.47) were their other top pitchers.

The Series began October 21 with the Bears winning 4-3 in the bottom of the 11th. Chih-Hua Hsu got the win over Yi-Cheng Tseng. Brito went deep off Wu for the Lions, while Long-Yi Huang hit a two-run homer off Pan for the Bears. Brito hit a shot down the left field line for what would have been a two-run homer in the 5th but umpire Hsuen-Wei Chiang ruled it foul, a controversial call. Shih's bases-loaded single off Tseng in the 11th was the big hit, scoring Chin-Feng Chen with the winner, and gave Shih the game MVP award.

Game 2 was another dramatic affair. The Lions scored four runs off Rayborn, knocking him out in the third. The Bears were down 5-3 going into the bottom of the 8th but rallied for two in the 8th and then Feng-Min Chen doubled in the winner in the bottom of the 9th off Yueh-Ping Lin (who had 18 2/3 consecutive shutout playoff innings before that, just breaking the record held by Chin-Hsing Kuo and Shin Nakagomi). Chen was named game MVP. Sung-Hsien Yang set a new CPBL postseason record with three doubles in a losing effort for the Lions.

After winning two straight games in last-minute comebacks, the Bears finally coasted on October 24, scoring five runs in the first two innings and holding on for a 5-2 win. Ying-Feng Tsai got the win, Morel the save and Hansel Izquierdo a loss. Chih-Sheng Lin hit a homer, had the game-winning RBI and was named game MVP.

On October 25, the Bears rallied for the third time this Series. They trailed 3-0 after 5 as Wu was shaky. Tony Fiore followed Wu with 4 1/3 shutout innings of relief, though. Meanwhile, the Bears rallied, with a two-run dinger by Chin-Feng Chen off Pan in the 6th to make it 3-3. It remained 3-3 until the 9th when Yueh-Ping Lin failed to return to his stellar postseason turn prior to game 2. Lin allowed a three-run double to Long-Yi Huang to put this one away; the Bears got one more run for a 7-3 finale. Fiore got the win over Lin while Huang was named game MVP. Chin-Feng Chen was named Taiwan Series MVP.

Sources include Taipei Times online archives, Taiwan Baseball Wiki