2001 Taiwan Series

From BR Bullpen

The 2001 Taiwan Series was the first of three in a row won by the Brother Elephants. It was the first Taiwan Series in which a team came back from a 3-1 deficit. The Elephants accomplished it despite being the first Taiwanese pro team not to use a player from North America, Latin America or Australia (though two Japanese imports played key roles).

The Elephants, managed by I-Tseng Lin, had gone 17-23-5 in the first half of the 2001 CPBL regular season but won the second half at 27-16-2. They were bolstered by the performance of two rookies who joined later in the year: Rookie of the Year Chih-Yuan Chen (.375/.412/.667, 30 R in 30 G) and Cheng-Min Peng (.316/.433/.478). They had two Best Ten picks: SS Jui-Chen Chen (.298/.372/.367) and OF Ming-Hsien Lin (.305/.361/.446). Jen-Wen Hsiao (5-3, 16 Sv, 1.40) won the ERA title and Tetsu Yofu (11-10, 2.21) led in strikeouts (166) while Shih-Kai Chang was 10-5 with a 2.99 ERA.

The Lions won the first half (27-14-4) but fell to 22-23 in the second half, guided by Chi-Chen Tseng. They had three Best Ten selections in P John Burgos (18-4, 2.03, the win leader), OF Kan-Lin Huang (.288/.374/.377, a league-high 40 SB) and DH Min-Ching Lo (.357/.441/.500). Lo was named CPBL MVP and led in average, OBP and slugging. Chuan-Chia Wang hit .301/.383/.399 as well. Chao-Huang Lin (4-4, 20 Sv, 2.44) led in saves.

Game One went to the Elephants in a 11-1 romp on October 6, with 7 runs in the 9th to break open a close game. Yofu got the win while Burgos took the loss. Peng hit a home run. In game 2 the next day, the Lions came back with a 7-0 win behind the pitching of Jung-Chao Chen. Chuan-Chia Wang homered while Sheng-Chieh Hsu drove in the winning run. Chin-Li Wang was the losing pitcher. The Lions continued their rampage the next day with 5 runs in the first in a 13-4 rout. Lung-Wei Kao won, Chuan-Chia Wang drove in the winner and Yang-Chih Tseng homered. Shih-Kai Chang took the loss and Chin-Yong Wang homered in a losing cause. In game 4 on the 10th, the Lions scored twice in the 11th to win a 6-4 game, the first close one of the Series. Chao-Huang Lin got the win and Chin-Li Wang lost his second, while Yang-Kai Chen saved it. 2000 Taiwan Series MVP Min-Ching Lo drove in the winner. Peng and Feng-An Tsai homered for the Elephants.

The Series then reversed course, with the Elephants rallying to win three straight for their historic comeback. Game 5 was very close, going extra innings. The Lions led 2-1 but the Elephants tied it in the 8th then won it in the 10th to avoid elimination. Yofu got his second win, while Chao-Huang Lin lost. In game 6 October 13, the Elephants won another one-run affair, 8-7. Hsiao got the win, saved by Yofu, while Yang-Kai Chen lost. Tsai drove in the winning run. Hung-Yuan Lin and Kan-Lin Huang homered in a losing effort. In game 7 on October 14, the Elephants put it away early with 5 runs in the second. The Lions tried to rally but fell short, 7-5. Hajime Saito got the win while Jose Parra took the loss and Yofu saved the game. Huai-Shan Chen drove in the winner. Yofu would be named Taiwan Series MVP for his two wins and two saves.

Source: Taiwan Baseball Wiki