2005 Taiwan Series

From BR Bullpen

The 2005 Taiwan Series marked a successful Taiwan Series title defense for the Sinon Bulls, but would be their last championship. They swept the Macoto Cobras, who were appearing in their only Taiwan Series. Sinon advanced to the 2005 Asia Series, the first edition of the Asia Series.

Sinon had finished 28-21-2 in the first half and 25-21-4 in the second half of the 2005 CPBL regular season under manager Rong-Hua Liu. They only had one player make the Best Ten: OF Chieh-Ming Chang (.283/.325/.364, 21 SB). Hua-Wei Tseng (.305/.363/.432) and Tai-Shan Chang (.305/.364/.468) were their top hitters while ace Len Picota (16-8, 2 Sv, 2.16) led the league in wins and Chi-Hsien Ho (1-3, 11 Sv, 3.22) was their top reliever.

Macoto won the first half (29-20-2) but was under .500 in the second half at 21-23-6. They were led by skipper Tai-Yuan Kuo. They had the league's top star, En-Yu Lin (12-8, 4 Sv, 1.72), who was named CPBL MVP and Rookie of the Year. They had three players make the Best Ten: Lin at P, Chia-Hsien Hsieh (.284/.423/.560, a league-leading 23 HR and 74 RBI) at 1B and Wilton Veras (.324/.373/.442) at 3B. Ying-Chieh Lin (12-10, 2.34) had led in strikeouts (174) while Ming-Chin Lee was 5-5 with six saves and a 2.45 ERA. Mario Encarnacion hit .307/.395/.578 with 17 home runs but had died less than four weeks before the Series began. The Cobras were further depleted when Veras was not ready emotionally to play following the death of his close friend.

Game 1, on October 29, went 10 innings before Sinon squeezed out a 2-1 win. Jorge Cortez got the win and Ying-Chieh Lin the loss, while Hsin-Ming Yu was named game MVP. Picota allowed only one run in eight innings for the Bulls in a duel with En-Yu Lin. In game 2 the next day, the Bulls again triumphed in ten innings, 4-3, Cortez again getting the win over Ying-Chieh Lin. Chun-Chang Yeh was the game MVP.

On October 31, the drama of the first two games vanished as the Bulls pounded 16 hits in a 9-2 win; they scored four in the first and led 9-0 after four. Chien-Fu Yang got the win while Chi-Chia Yang took the loss. Kuo-Long Hsu hit the Series' first homer, got the game-winning RBI and was named game MVP. On November 2, the Bulls won with 16 more hits in a 9-1 romp and led 8-0 after 3 1/2 in a close replica of game 3. Picota allowed one run in six for the win while Ying-Chieh Lin took his third loss. Tai-Shan Chang was named game MVP (4 for 5, 3 RBI) and went deep, as did Macoto's Chang-Rong Chiu. Yeh was named game MVP and would take home the Taiwan Series MVP.