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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Local heroes

Blue skies and orb spiders, from my afternoon walk in Hsint'ien 新田, in the soon-to-be submerged (along with the rest of T'aichung County) town of T'antzu 潭子

Seeing as Wang Chien-ming 王建民 can't seem to get himself off the disabled list, Kuo Hong-chih 郭泓志 of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been getting most of the attention from Taiwanese baseball fans. However, there are also local ballplayers plying their trade in the Japanese leagues, and yesterday one of them came through in the clutch. Jim Allen of the Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売 reports:

"NISHINOMIYA 西宮, Hyōgo 兵庫県 - Lin Wei-chu 林威助 threw a lifeline to rookie Takumi Akiyama 秋山拓巳, and the teenager made the most of it. Lin, relegated to the bench for the past three seasons, belted a come-from-behind two-run homer at a packed Kōshien Stadium 阪神甲子園球場 as the Hanshin Tigers 阪神タイガーズ knocked the Yomiuri Giants 読売ジャイアンツ a full game behind them in the Central League セントラル・リーグ pennant hunt with a 4-2 victory on Monday. 'I wasn't pitching the way I could but after Lin's homer, I knew I had to buckle down and shut them down,' said Akiyama, 19, who notched his fourth straight win. The attendance of 46,780 was the largest in Japan this season, just slightly bigger than the crowds here on Saturday and Sunday... Trailing 2-1 with a man on in the fourth inning, Lin belted a high cutter into the seats in right off Seth Greisinger (0-2). Having blasted a pitch to the warning track in right in his first at-bat, Lin's homer improved his career average against Greisinger to .188 in 32 at-bats. 'I had not been able to hit him in the past," Lin said. "He's always been able to get me with either his changeup or his cutter inside. After hitting a changeup well the first time but making out, I prepared myself to hit his cutter the second time.'...The victory moved the Tigers two games back of the CL-leading Chūnichi Dragons 中日ドラゴンズ, who played later in the evening against the Tōkyō Yakult Swallows 東京ヤクルトスワローズ at Jingū Stadium 明治神宮野球場." (and lost 4-3)

Just as I'm always happy to see the New York Yankees lose, it's gratifying to see the mighty 巨人 taken down, especially as a local boy played a key role in their defeat.

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