Chinese Taipei postgame interviews: March 2, 2013

THE MODERATOR:  We first invite the manager to talk about how you feel about the game.

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  I think, as I've said to the media, Wang, if he plays well, if he can go through five innings, actually, he played through six innings, then we have a better chance to win.  We have three double‑plays so it helped us a lot.

And the offense, the veterans have been playing well.  Whether the home run of Peng or the RBI of Che‑Hsuan Lin, we actually posed a lot of pressure on Australia.  All the pitchers are playing very well.  We are happy that we get the win.  That is basically the whole game.

THE MODERATOR:  Can we ask Peng to say a few words about the game.  How do you feel about your performance today?

CHENG MIN PENG:  I'm very satisfied with my performance, but we have more games to play.  So let's just win one game at a time.

Q.  Chien Ming Wang pitched 61 throws.  Did you consider putting him back into the game in the 7th inning?  Peng, how do you feel about when you are facing the pitchers?  How do you feel about the pitching of Australia today?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  After the sixth inning, 61 throws, I decided to let Wang to rest.  I think with four balls (Indiscernible), he can only deal with only one batter in the seventh inning.  So actually I'm thinking about Yang, the set‑up man when there is someone on the plate.  It will be difficult for him to take over from Wang.

So I think it would be better for Yang to start at the 7th inning because I think he's ready.

CHENG MIN PENG:  I just want to do my job well.  I just want to hit the ball, hit it solidly, and without thinking too much.

Q.  Can we have Wang to talk about your performance today?

CHIEN MING WANG:  For today I basically take the lead, and I tried not to avoid the hitters, the batters, and tried to face them directly.  The infielders and outfielders are doing very well.  And Peng actually helped with the defense.  He stopped a very strong ball.

Q.  Wang, we had two double‑plays in the second and third innings.  What was your strategy at that time, and what kind of ball did you throw?

CHIEN MING WANG:  Basically, I threw a lot of two‑seam fastballs, only one breaking ball and a few others.  I tried to keep the ball low and tried to have them hit ground outs and create double‑play opportunities.

Q.  When you're facing the strong hitters, what kind of ball do you throw?

CHIEN MING WANG:  I tried to throw sinkers to have them try to hit groundballs.

Q.  You only threw one breaking ball.  Mostly you throw sinkers.  Was that the strategy you planned in the beginning?

CHIEN MING WANG:  No, actually, we take cues from the balls I throw on the batters.  I throw a lot of sinkers and created a lot of groundballs, and I also threw a lot of two‑seams.

Q.  The manager from Australia said he watched you play ball when you were in high school or in college.  Compared to 2004, he said that you throw stronger.  Can you share with us how the Major League experience helped you when you came back to the international amateur game?  How has your game changed?

CHIEN MING WANG:  When I came back to Taiwan, I went to my former pitching coach.  He said you don't have to throw really fast.  If you throw too hard, the ball will not go down as you expected.  You just threw it with 90 or 80% of your strength and tried to focus on controlling the ball.

Q.  What does it mean to play for your country on the world stage, and what does it mean to win the first game of the World Baseball Classic for your country on the world stage?

CHIEN MING WANG:  I haven't played in Taiwan for a long time.  I'm very excited to have the opportunity.  I'd also like to thank all the fans who come to the stadium to cheer for us.

Q.  Yesterday you said that Yao‑Lin Wang or Wei‑Lun Pan would be the set‑up pitcher.  Instead we have Yang Yao‑Lin as the set‑up man.  Why that change?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  There is no special condition.  That has been our plan.  Yang is our second starter candidate.  Pan and Yu‑Ching Lin actually, we want them to start first.  If they do not start, they probably will just rest for the day and we'll have the other pitchers to act as the set‑up pitcher.

Q.  Taiwan hasn't been very successful recently in international competition.  Did that bring you extra motivation?

CHIEN MING WANG:  Actually, when I joined the Chinese Taipei team, every player is working very hard and trying to play their position well.  Of course, I want to help the team to play every game well.

Q.  It was set that Dai‑Kang Yang will be clean‑up man.  Instead you put him on as the first batter.  Why?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  Yang and Lin and Yao‑Hsun Yang, they intended to play them first and second batter.  Lin will be either first or second batter in our batting order.

During the practice games, we found that Dai‑Kang Yang's condition is really good, and he has good speed.  In Japan, he has the experience to play the first batter, and today we actually see the result.  When he get on the base, Peng actually got another RBI.

What was your second question?

Q.  Why did you start with Szu‑Chi Chou?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  Actually, it's basically because of their condition recently.  Chien‑Ming Chang actually is playing well in international games, but Szu‑Chi Chou is hotter these days.

It's not the comparison between Chou and Chang.  It's actually Yi‑Chuan Lin and Chien‑Ming Chang's comparison.

Q.  This question is probably similar to the previous one.  During six innings, did you intend to come out in the seventh inning?  After 61 throws what kind of conditioning will you do after the game and what do you think as a free agent this game will do to help your way back to the Major Leagues?

CHIEN MING WANG:  The organizers regulation has said I can only throw 61.  I can only have 55 throws, but I have to follow the direction of the manager.

Q.  (No microphone)?

CHIEN MING WANG:  Basically working on my regular regimen.  I will probably practice two or three times.

I don't think too much about signing contracts.  I just focus on the World Baseball Classic.  I try to do my best, and I would like to have everyone see my game on the field.

Q.  We have another game tomorrow.  Can you talk about playing for tomorrow's game?  How do you feel about the Netherlands in terms of the pitchers and the offense?  What kind of strategy do you have?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  We basically finished the strategies and plans one week ago, and we'll follow our plan.  Netherlands, they have very explosive batters, just as we learned about the Australians.  They're very good at pitching and defense, and actually, it is the case.

So we hope that our offense could be better tomorrow.  I believe that we will have a very exciting game tomorrow.

Q.  Who will be the starting pitcher for tomorrow?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  We will announce the starting pitcher at 9:00 p.m. tonight.

Q.  During the practice game, Hung‑Chih Kuo acts as closer in the ninth inning.  But today was a little bit different.  Will he continue to play in the 8th inning instead of the closer or what will be your plan?

CHANG HENG SHIEH:  Our two closers are both very experienced Hung‑Wen Chen will probably go ahead of Kuo or vice versa.  But that doesn't really matter.  We'll just see how they feel about the game and make the decision.

Q.  Pang, as a player of Chinese Professional Baseball League, we haven't seen so many audience for years.  How do you feel about the hope for CPBL in the future?  And you've been hit by the ball today during the game, how did you feel at that time?

CHENG MIN PENG:  Yes, during recent years, baseball in Taiwan was not as popular as it was before due to some issues.  I think the players are still trying very hard to fight for baseball, fight for our careers.  I believe, if we perform well in international tournaments like this, we will motivate more fans to support us.

As for the second question, yes, it hurts.  But it was cold, and I was nervous.  I actually do not remember how I felt at that time.  Thank you.