Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Chen Chih-yuan cited for exploits

TAIWAN PRO BASEBALL `Mr. Reliable' maintained a .429 batting average with three home runs, three triples, 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases last month

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Center fielder Chen Chih-yuan of the Brother Elephants gets ready to go to work in this file photo from last month.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Brother Elephants' all-star center fielder Chen Chih-yuan (陳致遠) followed fellow teammate Peng Cheng-ming's (彭政閔) footstep in claiming June's Offensive Player of Month honors for his exceptional display of power and speed, contributing to the Elephants 9-2-1 record last month.

Chen received 15 of the 17 votes from members of the Chinese Baseball Writers Association (CBWA) after he posted a .429 batting average with three home runs, three triples, 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases last month.

He was such a threat to opposing pitchers that many often chose to intentionally walk him.

The epitome of the word "consistency," Chen, who is batting .342 for the season, earned the nickname "Mr. Reliable" on the team as he steadily maintained a batting average above the .300 mark throughout the season.

His continued success will undoubtedly play a big part in the Elephants' title hunt in the second half of the season and a potential "threepeat" for the two-time defending champs in October.

"He is one of the most devastating hitters in the league," President Lions' manager Hsieh Chang-hern (謝長亨) said. "Our top goal when playing against the Elephants is how to neutralize Chen."

Also following the footstep of fellow pitcher Jeff Andra's success on the mound was Sinon Bulls' right-hander Osvaldo Martinez in claiming the Pitcher of the Month honor for his outstanding dominance over opposing hitters.

Collecting 14 of the 17 possible votes from the CBWA, the strikeout artist from the Dominican Republic was 3-1 in four starts and one relief appearance with a 1.82 ERA in the month of June. Martinez (9-5 with a 2.62 ERA and league-best 115 strikeouts for the season) made history on June 29th as he fanned seven Gida batters in a row to top the previous record of six.

Already the career-strikeout leader with 926, Martinez is on pace to break the millennium mark before the end of this season.

"If he keeps this up, he will definitely have a shot at the record." Bulls' catcher Yeh Jung-chang (葉君璋) said. The single-season strikeout record of 200 was set by American standout William Flynt of the former Jung-Kuo Bears in 1994.

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