A few days ago I wrote a post about the Chinese Professional Baseball League beginning play in Taiwan over the weekend. As I am in desperate need of some live baseball, I decided to get on board and begin following along with the league.
I chose the Uni-Lions as my team to root for. According to CPBL Stats, they're an underdog team. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best at any given category, the Lions are rated a 3 in batting, starting pitching, bullpen, baserunning and defense. Not great compared to some of the more advanced teams in the league, such as the Chinatrust Brothers or Fubon Guardians, but I didn't want to be a bandwagoner, so I decided to throw my support to the Lions.
They won their first game of the season 4-1 against the Brothers and made international headlines for hitting the first home run of 2020. After Sunday's opening game, they had a few days off before resuming play against the Monkeys on Wednesday.
Since Taiwan is 12 hours ahead of the East Coast, games begin at 6:35 a.m. ET. I'm not committed enough to get up that early yet, but when I woke up yesterday, the game was still going.
Down 7-5 in the eighth inning, the Lions put two runs across the plate to tie it up. The game eventually went into extra innings, and from what I understand, the CPBL has a 12-inning limit for games.
The Lions put another run up in the top of the 10th, but the Monkeys quickly answered in the bottom of the inning.
After failing to score in the next two innings, the game went to the bottom of the 12th. Monkeys designated hitter Zhu Yuxian stepped up to the plate and promptly hit a walk-off blast to right field to win the game 9-8.
Fast-forward to today's game, I wake up and check the live stream on Twitter to see if the Lions are bouncing back this morning, only to find that they're down 15-2 in the eighth inning.
While the Lions were able to get one run across the plate in the top of the ninth, the deficit was too much for the Lions as they fell to 1-2 on the season. They'll take on the Fubon Guardians tomorrow. Fubon is 2-0 on the season
Some thoughts so far on the CPBL:
So far, I'm a fan of what I've seen in the CPBL, and until we get baseball back in the United States, and maybe even after we do, I'm going to continue to follow the CPBL and the Uni-Lions.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.