2011 Taiwan Series
The 2011 Taiwan Series featured the Uni-President Lions beating the Lamigo Monkeys. The Lions became the first team to win eight Series (their 4th in 5 years), while the Monkeys made their debut in a Series. The Taiwan Series MVP was reliever Ching-Ming Wang of the Lions, the first Taiwan native to take home the award since Chin-Feng Chen back in 2006 after Americans had taken it from 2007-2010. Wen-Sheng Lu became the first manager to win four Taiwan Series titles.
The Lions were managed by Wen-Sheng Lu. They won the first half at 37-22-1 but fell to 28-30-2 in the second half. They were missing injured pitchers Wei-Lun Pan and Ryan Glynn, a major cause for concern. The team had a strong 1-2 offensive punch in Kuo-Ching Kao (.333/.396/.551), who was among the 2011 CPBL leaders in home run (22, tied), RBI (84, 3rd) and average (4th), and Fu-Hao Liu (.309/.385/.456, tied for 5th with 14 HR, second with 23 steals). The Cats staff included Dan Reichert (12-10, 3.66, 3rd in wins, 4th in ERA) and Yueh-Ping Lin (0-4, 28 Sv, 2.91, 2nd in saves).
The Monkeys were more steady, going 33-26-1 in both halves, winning the second half pennant. They were managed by veteran I-Chung Hong. They featured good power as well with Hung-Yu Lin (.321/.378/.544) leading the league in RBI (106) and tying for the most homers (22). Chih-Sheng Lin (.336/.383/.557) was second in average and 3rd in home runs. Ken Ray (13-10, 2.85) was among the top hurlers (second in wins, leading in ERA, second in strikeouts). Closer Ming-Chieh Hsu went 2-4 with a 2.77 ERA and a league-best 30 saves.
- October 15: Lions 3, Monkeys 2. The Lions won the first of 3 one-run games. At Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, they bell behind in the third when Seth Etherton allowed doubles to 3B Shu-Wei Kuo and LF Chien-Wei Tsai. Meanwhile, Ken Ray was tossing scoreless ball through five. In the 6th, the Lions broke through. They loaded the bases off Ray with three singles, then 3B Tai-Shan Chang singled in one run and DH Lien-Hong Chen grounded in another. With two men in scoring position and two outs, Monkeys SS Chia-Hao Chang made a critical run-scoring error on a grounder by C Chih-Kang Kao. The Monkeys added one more run but it was not enough. Etherton got the win, Ray the loss. The Lions defense proved crucial, with run-saving catches by CF Fu-Hao Liu (on a diving grab in the 3rd) and 3B (replacing Chang) Yung-Chi Chen (on a Tsai liner). In the 9th, 1B Kuo-Ching Kao made an over-the-shoulder grab in foul territory. Yueh-Ping Lin got the save.
- October 16: Lions 8, Monkeys 7. The Lions score three runs on six hits off Bryan Corey in the first and Dan Reichert provides a strong first seven innings. In the 7th, 1B Kuo-Ching Kao hits a 2-run homer and RF Fu-Hao Liu hits a solo homer as the Lions build a 7-1 cushion. Their bullpen blows it, though, allowing six runs in the 8th and 9th. C Hong-Yu Lin's 2-out, 2-run homer off Lions closer Yueh-Ping Lin in the bottom of the 9th ties the game. The game was even at 7 until the 13th, when RF Cheng-Yo Chung singled in the 8th Lions tally. Ching-Ming Wang got the win with three shutout innings. and Chia-Wei Lin took the loss.
- October 18: Monkeys 4, Lions 1. The Monkeys get their lone win as DH Chin-Feng Chen hits a 4th-inning grand slam, his first homer in nearly five months (he missed significant time due to injuries). 3B Tai-Shan Chang doubles in 1B Kuo-Ching Kao with the lone Lions run. Fong-Hsin Wang allows six hits and one run in a complete game win.
- October 19: Lions 3, Monkeys 2. At Tainan Municipal Stadium, the Lions took a 3-1 Series lead. In the first, leadoff hitter and LF Chien-Wei Tsai took Yi-Cheng Chen deep to give the Monkeys a lead, but SS Yung-Chi Chen homered off Shane Youman in the bottom of the inning. In the 4th, an error by Lions 3B Tai-Shan Chang set up a RBI grounder by C Yen-Fong Chen to give the Monkeys another lead. The Lions tied it in the 6th on a triple by C Chih-Kang Kao and a passed ball by Yen-Fong Chen. In the 8th, RF Fu-Hao Liu doubled in the winner off Chin-Chih Huang for the decisive 3-2 score. Ching-Ming Wang got the win by striking out the side in the 8th, Yueh-Ping Lin got the save with a perfect 9th and Huang took the loss.
- October 20: Lions 10, Monkeys 6. 3B Tai-Shan Chang hits a grand slam off Ken Ray in the first and the Lions never look back. Ching-Ming Wang wins his third game in relief, a Taiwan Series first, allowing one run in 3 1/3 IP to lock up his MVP. His 153 kmph fastball (95 mph) set a Taiwan Series record for native players; Luther Hackman had hit 156 in the 2009 Taiwan Series to lead all pitchers. Ray gets shelled for 6 runs and 9 hits in just two innings, a far cry from his game one performance. DH Sung-Hsien Yang gets four hits for the winners.