Hitters had a big week at the end of last month, with a pair of home run records falling after some serious ball-bashing at the plate.
First to make the headlines was Kao Kuo-hui, who broke and set a new mark in total homers in a single season by collecting his 34th and 35th long ball of the season last weekend.
The EDA Rhinos’ slugger, who has his eyes on the 40-homer plateau, surpassed the eight-year-old single-season home run record of 33 that was set in 2007 by Tilson Brito of the Uni-President Lions.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“Kao has set a new standard for both domestic and foreign hitters in the league. It could be a while before his record is challenged,” baseball commentator Yang Ching-lung said.
Even though the Rhinos are unlikely to make it into the postseason, despite Kao’s individual achievement, they have built a strong fan base in Kaohsiung.
Three Lamigo Monkeys hitters joined the 20-homer club in the same season, with Lin Chih-sheng, Lin “Chubby Kid” Hung-yu and Chen Chun-hsiu dialing up 29, 23 and 21 blasts respectively, making the Primates the most feared offensive team in the league.
Their collective success not only led to two impressive winning streaks of five games or more last month, but also helped seal a postseason berth that should make them the favorites to win the Taiwan Series later this month.
“It is rare to see the kind of numbers that the Monkeys have put up. There is no player in their lineup that an opposing pitcher can ignore,” Chinatrust Brothers coach Wu Fu-lien said.
The Brothers are likely to face the Primates in the postseason as they look for a strong finish to the second half of the season in the final two weeks of play.
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