TAIPEI, Taiwan | The Weichuan Dragons returned to the Taiwan Series for the first time in 24 years and walked it off against in the Rakuten Monkeys in the 14th inning with Chih-Hung Liu’s homerun claiming the first victory of Taiwan Series 2023, and their first Taiwan Series win in 8,761 days.
With the Dragons making their first appearance in Taiwan Series in 24 years, they made sure that everyone will be talking about it for at least another decade. Dragons’ Chih-Hung Liu
Facing the Rakuten Monkeys, who advanced to Taiwan Series by defeating the first-half winner Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, the Dragons wasted no time to grab the lead with the two-run homerun by Chih-Hung Liu in the first inning to immediately send the home field fans into a frenzy.https://twitter.com/CPBL/status/1720863139124961735
Dragons’ starter Jo-Hsi Hsu, who returned from Tommy John surgery and only pitched 15 1/3 innings this season, had a solid outing for 4+ innings. Hsu allowed only two hits in first four innings and gave up one run on two hits before being replaced in the fifth inning. Monkey’s starter Pedro Fernandez also pitched five strong innings and only gave up the first-inning homerun to Dragons’ Liu while fanning seven batters and walked two.
The game turned into a bullpen game after both starters were lifted and the Monkeys scored the tying run in the seventh off Bryan Woodall, who is currently the longest-serving foreign player in CPBL (nine seasons) and has appeared in the Taiwan Series for the fourth time.
The game went into extra innings after both teams failed to score a go-ahead run before the completion of the ninth inning. Both teams ended up sending a total of 16 pitchers, setting a record for a Taiwan Series game.
While the game went into the 13th inning as it hit 10pm on the clock, all the electronic equipment and instruments went silent as the special “Tianmu Stadium Neighborhood Friendly Clause” went into effect. However, the fans were not bothered by the loss of the instruments and drumbeat as they sang in unison in keeping up their support and cheers for their teams.https://twitter.com/RWang_WBSC/status/1720806927201153087
As the fans were wondering if the game will set a new record for the length of a Taiwan Series game (the standing record is 17 innings of Game 6 in 2009), Dragons’ Chih-Hung Liu, who had already sent one over the fence in the first inning for the early lead sent another towering shot to the left as the Dragons walked it off with his game-winning swing.
“I never thought that it would be me to walk it off,” said Liu. “Hearing the cheers form the fans, I had goosebumps as I was rounding the bases.” “I am very touched to see all our fans dressed in red here.”
Liu’s homerun in the 14th inning is also the first walk-off homerun in the 34-year history of the Taiwan Series. Game 2 of the best-of-seven Taiwan Series will continue at Dragons’ homefield before shifting the venue to Monkeys’ homefield in Taoyuan for Game 3 and 4.
Tags: CPBL Taiwan Series opens game ages World Baseball Softball Confederation