Lin “Chubby Kid” Hung-yu batted his way into the record books earlier this week by homering on three straight at-bats against the Uni-President Lions on a six-RBI night to become just the eighth player in league history to accomplish the feat.
The veteran slugger out of Taipei’s Chinese Culture University let his bat do all the talking after a sub-par effort in his previous dozen games, in which he went a combined 10-for-37 (0.270) to bring his batting average down from 0.352 to 0.343, crushing not one or two, but three offerings from the Lions pitching to end his slight “slump.”
“Going 10-for-37 is a solid performance for most hitters in the league, but not for [Lin]; going hitless for two straight games is a rarity for him,” said a Lamigo Monkeys teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Lin is enjoying one of his best-ever seasons, maintaining a batting average of about 0.350 with 20 homers and 81 RBIs in 89 games. Prior to his slight slump this month, he had gone hitless for two straight games only twice this season.
“I would like to thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to play even when I was not doing too well earlier this month,” Lin said after the game.
Lin was not alone with an accomplishment worth celebrating as Lamigo skipper Hung Yi-chung claimed his 600th career victory to become the fastest manager to reach the plateau in league history, taking 1,121 games.
The former Brothers catcher, who was a regular all-star and national selection among other distinctions, has more than lived up to his reputation as one of the brightest minds in the game by outmaneuvering and outwitting his opponents, topping the previous mark set by former EDA Rhinos manager Hsu Sheng-ming, who took 1,221 games to pick up victory No. 600 over a brilliant coaching career.
Reaching win No. 600 “is an honor for all of us, not just an individual honor,” Hung was quoted as saying in local media.
His team might not have done as well this season as he would have liked, trailing the top-ranked Chinatrust Brothers by 6.5 games as of yesterday, but the defending champions are far from out of contention in the second-half title race as they look to finish strong.
With a first-place finish in the first half, the Primates are already guaranteed a spot in the post-season and a strong finish in the second half could mean a first-round bye and a big step in their quest for a repeat.
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