WBC Round 2: 3/16/09: 6:30 MT

Here is your WBC Update for Monday

Pool 1 - San Diego, CA, USA:

Japan: 6, Cuba: 0

The Japanese handled the Cubans very well, breaking open a scoreless match with a 3 run third and then trickling in 3 more runs over the rest of the game on 12 hits and 4BB. The first several innings looked tough for Cuban starter Aroldis Chapman, but the Japanese helped them by getting themselved picked twice and making 2 errors on pop fly foul balls (both on the same batter!). Meanwhile, the Cubans managed 8 hits of their own, but the Japanese staff, led by 6 innings of spotless work from Daisuke Matsuzaka, kept the Cubans from stringing any of those hits together.

Lines of the game:

Japan SP Daisuke Matsuzaka; 6.0IP, 8K, 5H, 0R

Japan 3B Shuichi Murata: 1-3, R, 2RBI

--

Later that night, team Mexico faced off with team Korea. Starters Oliver Perez and Hyunjin Ryu kept the game relatively close. Perez pitched into the 5th, while the Korean staff was on a short leash last night. The two teams knotted the score up at 2 in the 2nd inning, and Korea tallied 2 more runs over the 4th and 5th innings, until they unleashed a 4-run barrage onto Mexican relievers Rafael Diaz and David Cortes in the 7th to bring the score to a 8-2 margin over Mexico, from which Mexico was unable to recover.

Lines of the game:

Korea P Hyun Wook Jong: 2.2IP, H, BB, 2K, 0R

Mexico SS Augie Ojeda: 2-4, 2RBI

Korea 1B Tae Kyun Kim: 2-5, 2R, 3RBI, HR

Tonight at 9PM MT, Cuba will play Mexico, and tomorrow at the same time, Japan will once again face Korea.

------------------------------

Pool 2 - Miami, FL, USA

USA: 9, Netherlands: 3

Despite the magic of Honkbal we saw in the first round, Team USA had a mighty chip on their shoulder after being made fools of against Puerto Rico - not only in the massive score deficit, but also the Mercy Ruling which the Americans weren't even aware of.

Riding the solid pitching of Roy Oswalt and a batting performance with featured 12 hits and 8 walks, the USA silenced the Dutch Cinderella story that had captured the attention of so much of the international community.

Leading the game 8-1 going into the 8th inning, USA pitcher Matt Lindstrom left one up and in for Dutch LF Bryan Engelhardt, and Engelhardt took full advantage and sent it into RF stands. The next pitch was behind 3B Vince Rooi, which prompted the Dutch team to begin walking out onto the field, ready to back their teammate. The umpire staff cooled everyone down, and Lindstrom finished the AB with Rooi and faced 3 more batters before being lifted with a hurt shoulder for John Grabow.

When later asked about the incident, Lindstrom stated "I thought that he took a little bit too long [rounding the bases]. He knew he got it. Whatever. I wasn't trying to hit [Rooi]."

Lines of the game:

USA SP Roy Oswalt: 4.0IP, 5H, 5K, 0R

USA SS Jimmy Rollins: 2-4, 4R, 4RBI, HR

USA 2B Brian Roberts: 3-3, 2R, RBI, 2BB (missed the cycle AND the Natural cycle by a HR - BB in his 4th AB)

USA Manager Davey Johnson still confuses me. I'm not terribly opposed to the Relief Parade in this game, as with such a large lead, there really was no reason NOT to work all your pitchers a bit, especially with a day off following, despite his handling of the pitching staff being a complaint of mine thus far.

My biggest head scratcher is:

WHY WOULD YOU EVER PUT YOUR 2ND CATCHER IN LF EVER WHY DAVEY WHY!??!

Perhaps the reaction is a bit....well, overreactive, but there was no reason for this move. I understand Braun was sore or something, and had to come out, but make Jeter move to 3B and put DeRosa in LF and forfeit the DH for the last 3 outs of the game. This was simply foolish. His response? He basically said that if both catchers went down, he would consider forfeiting rather than asking a non-catcher to catch. Not a bad sentiment, but if you are putting your catchers into the field for no reason, and putting them at risk of injury, you are clearly not thinking the game through hard enough.

I sincerely hope that Team USA reconsiders its choices in management in 2013.

Overall a good game and a good win for Team USA. It feels like we're beating up on the short kid, but we lose, we go home, right?

--

Happening as we read/type/speak, Puerto Rico and Venezuela are facing off, live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Two All-Star teams facing each other, and the loser will face a bruised-but-not-beaten team USA tomorrow. The Venezuelans left runners on 2nd and 3rd on a Carlos Guillen strikeout. Puerto Rican SP Ian Snell struck out the side, despite allowing a single and a double. Felix Hernandez is taking the mound for the Venezuelans.

That's your update, RowBots!

--

Ex Post Facto Rowbot Roll Call:

RoxGirl, Hizilla, dederk16, holly96, Silverblood, The Lodo Magic Man, AtkinsandTulofan, Russ

Thanks for chatting!

 

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