This morning, in a World Baseball Classic matchup between the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei, a Yu Chang Grand Slam proved to be the difference. So far at the 2023 version of the World Baseball Classic, Chang has had a flair for the heroics as Chinese Taipei battles for a spot in the second round.
Pool A Drama
As the Pool with most games played so far, Pool A has been filled with amazing games as evenly match teams battle for an edge. Panama has finished the round with a 2-2 record while Chinese Taipei faces off against Cuba while Italy matches up with the Netherlands. If Cuba and Italy win their final games, the entire Pool will finish with matching 2-2 records.
Perhaps the biggest advantage for Chinese Taipei has been the home field advantage they’ve enjoyed. Watching the Yu Chang Grand Slam it’s easy to see how passionate the crowd is for their home team. With one game left in the Pool, the local crowd might be able to push their team through into the second round.
Meanwhile, they’ll face off against a powerful Cuba team that has been off to a slower than expected start. With a loss against Chinese Taipei, Cuba will be one of the more shocking first round exists.
Yu Chang in Boston
So far, the Major League Baseball career for Yu Chang has been off to a rocky start. Chang joined Boston last year after spending time in Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. Expected to compete for a middle infield position in Boston, it will be worth monitoring if the Yu Chang Grand Slam, and his play at the World Baseball Classic will help him secure a spot on the Red Sox starting lineup.
The Yu Chang Grand Slam isn’t the only time Chang has stepped up for his team in the spotlight. Yesterday, with the team losing 7-5 in the sixth against Italy, Chang lifted his team with a critical game-tying home run. With still plenty of tournament left, Chang is quickly becoming the newest World Baseball Classic hero.
Chinese Taipei would eventually win the game, and a win against Cuba in the Pool finale will send the home town team through into the second round at the top of the Pool.
This offseason, it appeared that the Red Sox would look to add a middle infield option after losing long term star Xander Bogaerts in Free Agency to the suddenly heavy spending San Diego Padres. With Trevor Story expected to shift back to shortstop, a position he played during his entire tenure with the Colorado Rockies, and with Rafael Devers holding down third base for the foreseeable future, Chang now has a chance to find meaningful playing time at second.
So far, the Yu Chang Grand Slam, and game tying home run, have been some of the top moments at the World Baseball Classic for Chinese Taipei. It remains to be seen if Chinese Taipei has more magical moments waiting them this year.
Meanwhile, back in Boston, Red Sox fans will be excitingly watching, hoping that Yu Chang can put it together this season and perhaps be the unexpected star to lead the franchise back to the playoffs. At the very least, they’ll be hoping that they have found their second baseman of the present and the future.
Let us know your thoughts on the Yu Chang Grand Slam, if Chang will end up as the starting second baseman for the Red Sox and how far Chinese Taipei will progress in the 2023 World Baseball classic in the comments below!