Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Chinatrust Brothers’ ‘fundamentals’ put them in strong spot

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

The red-hot Chinatrust Brothers continued their winning ways by topping the EDA Rhinos on the road in an impressive 7-2 victory earlier this week to cap a three-game non-losing streak.

Despite their disappointing first half, which saw them go 27-33 to top the last-placed Uni-President Lions by a mere half game, the men in their familiar golden uniforms have transformed into a formidable force in the second half, rolling off a 14-5-1 record to lead the league.

“We are just getting the fundamentals down a little better compared with before, that’s all,” interim manager Wu Fu-lien said about his troops’ recent success, which includes three multi-game win streaks.

The former infield standout, who left his mark as one of the top second baseman in league history, has shown off his wizardry around the diamond by guiding the Brothers offense to an amazing 7.3 runs per game in the second half, a 2.4 runs per game improvement over their 4.9 average in the first half.

Doing the damage at the plate for the Brothers are veteran slugging trio Chou Si-chi, Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min and Lin Wei-chu, who lead the team in total RBIs with 47, 41 and 37 respectively. Even though none of the three have big offensive numbers overall compared with other top hitters after a dismal first half, they are clearly the ones opposing pitchers and coaches have singled out as ones to throw around.

Another big reason the Brothers are enjoying tremendous success is the addition of former US major leaguer Jose Contreras, who has gone 3-0 in the starts he has had since joining the team early last month with an earned run average of 3.08.

“[Contreras] has boosted our pitching with his experience and the way he carries himself around the clubhouse,” Brothers pitching coach Huang Chin-chih said of the Cuban native.

The surge of Mike McClendon also spells trouble for other teams, who have not beaten the American in his past three starts.

The Brothers have a three-game home stand this weekend against the second-placed Lions, who trail them by three games and could take the lead with a series sweep.

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