Outplayed by Canada in every facet of the game, Taiwan came away empty-handed once again in a 4-0 decision to lose their fourth straight in Group A play at this year’s IBAF Baseball World Cup at the Remon Cantera Stadium in Aguadulce, Panama, on Thursday.
The loss not only kept Taiwan winless with a dismal 0-4 mark, but also knocked them out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals for only the second time in the past 10 years as they prepare to close out the preliminaries with their worst World Cup record in recent years.
Unlike the previous two games that saw a generous pitching staff serve up 29 runs over 16 innings of play, Taiwan’s pitchers actually held their own, with starter Lin Yu-ching allowing just four runs over seven decent innings.
Photo: courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
However, the anemic hitting that managed to plate just a lone run on six hits against the US on Wednesday was held to only two hits against Canada starter Nick Bucci (minor leaguer for the Milwaukee Brewers) and a stingy bullpen that allowed a total of three base runners for Taiwan in the entire game.
“He [Lin] definitely did his part for us as far as keeping us in the game, but the hitters weren’t able to come through for us tonight,” Taiwan manager Chen Wei-cheng said after the game.
He was very pleased with Lin’s control and his offspeed pitches that held the undefeated Canada lineup to four runs, despite serving up two homers.
“The first one [homer] came on a fastball that caught too much of the plate because I was behind in the count and the second one [homer] was just great hitting on the hitter’s part because my pitch was low and away, but he still hit it over the fence,” Lin said after the game.
Jamie Romak (minor leaguer for the Kansas City Royals) was credited with Canada’s first home run of the game, a solo blast off Lin in the top of the fourth that gave his team a 2-0 lead, while the other homer was crushed by Tim Smith (minor leaguer for the Kansas City Royals), whose two-run blast came in the fifth and made it 4-0.
For Taiwan, fifth-inning singles by Huang Chih-pei and Lin Chia-yo were the lone highlights against the dominant Canada pitching.
Picking up the win was Bucci, who allowed no runs on two hits while fanning seven and walking one.
With three more games remaining in the preliminaries and only their pride to play for, Taiwan next take on Japan, who also have not won through four games. Game 1 starter Wang Yao-lin was set to start the game at the Rod Carew National Stadium in Panama City with the opening pitch at 3am this morning Taiwan time.
In other games, it was:
‧ Netherlands 5, Puerto Rico 0
‧ Panama 3, Japan 2
‧ US 3, Greece 0
‧ Australia 4, Nicaragua 3
‧ Italy 7, Germany 2
‧ Cuba 4, South Korea 1
‧ Venezuela 6,
Dominican Republic 3
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