02/11/2011 2 Minute Read

MLB Stars blank Team Taiwan 7-0 in rain-shortened series opener

The MLB All-Stars defeated Taiwan national team 7-0 in a rain-shortened game at the Shinchuang Stadium in New Taipei City last night (Nov. 1).

The MLB All-Stars defeated Taiwan national team 7-0 in a rain-shortened game at the Shinchuang Stadium in New Taipei City last night (Nov. 1).

Curtis Granderson carried his hot form across the Pacific when in the 3rd inning with bases loaded, he blasted a shot over the right field wall for a grand slam and a 4-0 lead at that point.

Granderson, outfielder of the New York Yankees, has been on fire all season with AL-leading 119 RBIs, and 41 home runs, which is second most in the MLB in 2011.

In this contest, he went 2-for-3 with a single and a grand slam (against Team Taiwan lefty starter Yang Yao-Hsun) for 4 RBIs in a productive day at the office.

About this crucial at-bat, Granderson said that Taiwanese pitcher Yang got two strikes on him, “Then he threw another slider, but it happened to be over the middle of the plate.  I finally got one I could handle and I put a good swing on it.”

It was a majestic homer that had the capacity crowd of 11,500 buzzing and cheering.

Most fans here are keen followers of the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, and also familiar with other MLB teams mainly due to local hero Wang Chien-Ming’s success, especially during his two 19-win seasons for the Yankees in 2006 and 2007.

After posting 4 runs in the 3rd frame in this game, the Major Leaguers scored 3 more runs in next two innings against Taiwanese pitchers Yang and righty reliever Chen Yu-Hsun to pile up the score at 7-0.

This opener in Taipei, for the 2011 MLB All-Star Series in Taiwan, was being played under a light drizzle during most of the proceeding.

Officials called the game in the top-half of 6th inning after another rain delay made the field condition too wet to continue.

Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles) started the game for the visitors, as he combined with Trevor Bell (LA Angels) and Phil Coke (Detroit Tigers) to keep Team Taiwan scoreless through 5 innings for the victory.

Despite the 7-0 scoreline, the game was not a one-sided affair and could have a much different outcome.  Team Taiwan had gotten good hits off MLB pitchers and had runners on base in each of the five inning played.

The best chance for the locals was in the 2nd frame, when they loaded the bases on 2 hits and an fielding error, thus threaten to score and blow the game open with only one out.

However, the next batter hit a grounder for the MLB infielders to turn the inning-ending double play.

In total, Team Taiwan had 6 hits compared to 7 for the visitors.  The big difference was for the MLB batters to get key hits when having runners in scoring position, while the Taiwanese players were not able to.

About Granderson’s big home run, MLB team manager Bruce Bochy said, “He’s had an incredible year, and I’m a fan, too.  I’m glad to have the chance to watch him play and to come here.”

Team Taiwan manager Chen Wei-Chen gave his assessment afterwards, “Our pitching and hitting have done well in this game.   Even though we only went through 6 innings, but the players have learned a lot in the process.  Unfortunately some players were too nervous, and it affected their game.  Overall, the players have done their best, but it could had a better result if we capitalize on our opportunities.”

Finally he gave this assertion to boost confidence, “In the upcoming four games, our team will improve and play much better.”