Sun, Jun 06, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Shih Chih-wei gets honor

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The Chinese Baseball Writers Association named Shih Chih-wei of the La New Bears offensive player of the month in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League.

PHOTO: CPBL

Surpassing two-time winner slugger Peng Cheng-ming (彭政閔) of the Brother Elephants in a tight race, La New Bears' hitting machine Shih Chih-wei (石志偉), 26, took home May's MVP honor for offense with his outstanding mastery of opposing pitchers and tremendous contribution to his team's success in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League.

This was the first time in Bears history, formerly the Agan, that a player from the team received the honor.

Despite another awesome showing of power and finesse by Peng at the plate, members of the Chinese Baseball Writers Association (CBWA) felt Shih's league-high 24 hits and .357 batting average (No. 2 in league), along with his two game-winning RBI contributed more to the overall success of his team.

Shih was the single most important factor in the Bears' 8-0-2 record last month.

"I'm flattered by the vote of confidence that the CBWA have given me," Shih said. "It's a great honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as "Chia-Chia" [Peng's nickname]."

ON THE MOUND

President Lions closer Michael Garcia beat out Sinon Bull starter Yang Jien-fu by a 23-to-3 margin to win Pitcher-of-the-Month honors.

Still a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities, the American right-hander posted a 1-0 mark with five saves and an incredible zero ERA last month.

He struck out 32 batters in the 18-1/3 innings.

Garcia essentially shortens the game by at lease two innings because as long as the Lions lead through the seventh inning, they end up winning the game.

His exceptional command with all his pitches led to an unearthly 64-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the 139 batters he faced, makes Garcia the ideal man on the mound in a tight game as runners are rarely able to advance.

Garcia's tremendous dominance is the main reason why the Lions are 15-7 in games decided by three runs or less.

"Garcia is at his best when the game is on the line," Peng Cheng-ming said. "He usually gets ahead on the count with his fastball in the high 140s [kph]. Then he throws a nasty slider to finish you off as his great velocity forces hitters to look for the fastball."

Peng, the league leader with a .438 batting average, is remains hitless against Garcia in over 10 confrontations.

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