Hitters continued to struggle at the plate for Taiwan as they dropped a 3-1 decision to Japan at the Rod Carew National Stadium in Panama City, Panama, in Group A play of this year’s IBAF Baseball World Cup on Friday to remain winless at 0-5.
The loss sent Taiwan to an all-time low in their worst outing in years.
With winless Greece and a potent Puerto Rico squad remaining on the schedule, Taiwan will likely close out this tournament with an unprecedented 1-6 record.
Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Baseball Association
Having won their first ever title at the World Port Baseball Tournament and a second-place finish at the World Baseball Challenge earlier this year, Taiwan came into Panama City with high expectations. However, Taiwan simply did not play to their potential against teams that have boosted their roster with minor league players who had not been available earlier, which made all the difference.
Other than an eight-run outburst against Panama in their second game, Taiwan’s offense has scored only three runs in four games, well short of the lineup that averaged more than six runs per game in both the aforementioned tournaments.
“Facing tougher pitchers definitely has something to do with [poor hitting], but that does not explain how badly we’ve played lately; no discipline at the plate has really been the problem,” Taiwan skipper Chen Wei-cheng said after the game.
His troops have been fanned 21 times, while drawing only two walks in their last two games.
The lone bright spot of the game for Taiwan came in the top of the second when Chen Chun-hsiu (minor leaguer for the Cleveland Indians) led off the inning with a towering blast to left off Japan starter Naobumi Mitsuhashi to give his team a rare 1-0 lead. The run nipped a 14-inning scoreless streak for Taiwan, whose last run came in the third inning against the US on Wednesday.
The lead proved short-lived for Taiwan as Japan answered with a pair of runs off starter Wang Yao-lin in the bottom of the third when Takato Kobayashi came through with a clutch two-out, bases-loaded single to give Japan a 2-1 lead.
Lin Han’s erroneous throw on a would-be groundout to second that advanced the runner all the way to third led to Japan’s third run of the game on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze in the fourth and that was more than enough for Mitsuhashi, who went the distance in a three-hit gem to pick up the impressive victory.
Next up for Taiwan is Greece in a battle between two winless teams. It is Taiwan’s best and perhaps only chance to break into the win column before they face Puerto Rico to close out the preliminaries.
Opening pitch was scheduled for 2pm local time at the Remon Cantera Stadium in Aguadulce, Panama.
In other games, it was:
‧ Puerto Rico 10, Greece 1
‧ Panama 12, Canada 3
‧ Netherlands 7, US 5
‧ Australia 11,
Dominican Republic 9 (10)
‧ Venezuela 10, Germany 5
‧ Cuba 5, Italy 1
‧ South Korea 6, Nicaragua 4
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens, with the fewest wins of any NHL playoff teams, ignited the rink returning from a COVID-19 hiatus with upset triumphs in Saturday openers. NHL Rookie of the Year candidate Dominik Kubalik inspired the Blackhawks to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series at Edmonton, Alberta, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. “We were ready to go, and I think the game was pretty good,” Kubalik said. “I felt pretty good and everything went my way, so it’s nice, but it’s just the first game,