Chu Yu-hsien on Sunday set the record for fastest player to 10 home runs in Taiwanese professional baseball as the Rakuten Monkeys defeated the CTBC Brothers 9-3, a day after they recorded their 1,000th win.
Facing left-handed pitcher Jose de Paula in the fourth inning, Chu drilled a fastball over the right-field fence for a two-run homer as the Monkeys cruised past the Brothers at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium.
Lan Yin-lun also contributed to the Monkeys’ victory, going three for four with four RBIs to help starting pitcher Weng Wei-chun pocket the win.
Weng yielded six hits and three runs before departing in the seventh inning.
With his dinger, Chu, in his fifth year with the Monkeys, set the CPBL record for the fastest player to 10 home runs, doing it in just 13 games and 51 at-bats, breaking the previous best of 20 games and 73 at-bats set by Lin Chih-sheng in 2009.
“Each time I go out to bat, I look for particular pitches to hit... It’s a great feeling to set this home run record, but I think someone could break it,” Chu said. “It is important to help my team to win the title this season, so I must stay healthy to get into the starting lineup regularly through this campaign.”
Chu’s performances this season have created a buzz at home and abroad — he is 0.472 batting, 0.500 on-base and 1.057 slugging.
It has put him and the Monkeys in the spotlight with most of the sporting world inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the media branding Chu the “Dimple Cannon,” because of his ever-present smile, and “Home Run King of the World.”
Baseball journalists in Japan and the US have highlighted Chu’s superb batting displays, calling on teams in their respective nations to procure his services.
R.J. Anderson on the US Web site CBSSports yesterday listed Chu as the top player to watch from Taiwan and South Korea.
“Touting Chu as the world’s most productive player serves as a cute nod at the global pandemic, but it’s important to stress that he’s more than the benefactor of a technicality. Chu won the CPBL’s Most Valuable Player Award last season, homering 30 times and batting .347/.394/.605,” Anderson wrote.
In Sunday’s other game, the Fubon Guardians had 15 hits on their way to a 12-7 victory over the Uni-President Lions in Tainan.
The Monkeys claimed their milestone win on Saturday by coming out on top in a slug fest against the Brothers.
The batters combined for 37 hits before the Monkeys emerged 16-11 winners, firming up their hold on first place.
The club’s first win came in 2003 as First Agan.
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