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World Baseball Classic Update: Saturday, 3/7/09, 1100ET


The World Baseball Classic is under way, RowBots! I made a quick fanpost the other day regarding Japan's strong start, and since then, 3 additional games in Pool A have already been played! I can touch on the rules and regulations later, I just want to get something in print so that there can be some conversation!

The results of the first games are as such:

Pool A:

Game 1: Japan (0-0): 4 v China (0-0): 0

A healthy start to the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Defending WBC champs Japan 4-hit the Chinese squad en route to a 4-0 victory, a vast improvement for the Chinese team on the 18-2 crushing they received in 2006.

Lines of the game:

Japan SP Yu Darvish: 4IP, 3K, 1BB, 0H, 0R 

Japan CF Kosuke Fukudome: 0-0, 4BB, 1R

Game 2: Korea (0-0): 9 v Chinese Taipei (0-0): 0

A solid trouncing of Taipei, Korea giving all indications that they indent to fight all the way to the end, much like their 2006 performance.

Lines of the game:

Korea Pitching Staff: 9.0 IP, 0R, 5H, 7K, 4BB

Korea 1B T. Kim: 1-2, 2BB, 1R, 2RBI

Game 3: China (0-1): 4 v Chinese Taipei (0-1): 1 (elimination game)

In the first elimination game of the WBC, China struck early and held a lead to stave off elimination, but send their Taiwanese counterparts home early.

Lines of the game:

China SP Lu: 5.1IP, 4H, 1R(ER), 2K, 1BB

China SS Chang: 3-4, 1R, 2RBI

Game 4: Japan (1-0): 14 v Korea (1-0): 2

In a rematch of the 2006 WBC semifinal matchup, Japan crushed team Korea to advance to the next pool of play. Daisuke Matsuzaka was effective through 4IP and earned the W in the game.

Line of the game:

Japan SS Nakajima: 3-4, 1BB, 2R, 2RBI


Pool C:

Pool C play begins at 2PM ET with Team USA v Team Canada (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLB.TV), and then continues at 8PM ET with Team Italy v Team Venezuela (MLBN, ESPN Deportes, MLB.TV)!


As many of you may have already seen, Team USA held on through a tough battle against Team Canada, despite leaving the bases loaded twice late in the game and JJ Putz arriving without his A game.

Having been to this game, I did make a decent number of in-game notes.

  1. Announcing the Team USA lineups, CDI/VSB/DOOM was pronounced "Ee-anetta"
  2. A very aged Tommy LaSorda threw out the opening pitch
  3. Both sides exchanged caps after the national anthems
  4. Russell Martin has like 9 middle names, and his jersey reads "J. Martin"
  5. Before the game, Canada 1B Justin Morneau was awarded the Lionel Conacher Award for Best Canadian Male Athlete of the year
  6. Matt Stairs looked downright haggard. I laughed.
  7. Phillippe Aumont is going to be awesome. Seattle should be pleased.
  8. The SkyDome was packed. I haven't had that much fun since Rocktober.
  9. Ryan Braun's running catch of the line drive by Matt Stairs in the 6th was awesome. That said, I found myself rooting for not only Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia, but JIMMY ROLLINS and RYAN BRAUN. I'm going to hell.
  10. Canadian fans are diehard into their sports. It's downright impressive. I wish we appreciated our sports and our National Pride enough to cheer as loudly as they did, and to sing our anthem as proudly as they do.

USA: 6, Canada: 5

Lines of the game:

Canada DH Joey Votto: 4-5, 1R, 2RBI, HR

USA RF Adam Dunn: 1-1, 2BB, 2R, 2RBI, HR

USA 1B Kevin Youkilis: 1-2, 2BB, 3R, 2RBI, HR

Later that evening, National Pride came out to play again as the rambunctious fans of team Venezuela took the stands by force with flags and face paint and all the noise noise noise noise! Starting pitchers Carlos Silva and Mark DiFelice held each other's squads scoreless through an exciting 4 innings. The deadlock was broken in the top of the 5th where Italian reliever Jason Grilli took the mound and proceeded to give up a home run. The Italian bullpen collapsed from that point, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits in a 7-0 rout of the Italian squad.

In-game notes:

  1. Mario Chiarini's diving catch to put out Bobby Abreu in the 1st was AWESOME. He just secured himself a spot in WBC lore
  2. Italian 2B Davide Dallospedale slid into 1B during a 3-unassisted groundout in the first. I was expecting that kind of play out of Nick Punto.
  3. Venezuelan 1B Miguel Cabrera's 4th inning popout hit the catwalk in the ceiling, leading to a quick - but successful - adjustment on the part of Italian 3B Mike Costanzo.
  4. Speaking of Mike Costanzo, I was impressed by his aggressive defense at 3B.
  5. The Italian uniforms look pretty much exactly like the Texas Rangers' uniforms. Down to the font on the "I" on the hat. I actually caught myself referring to the Italian team as the Rangers at one point. Hilarious.

Venezuela: 7, Italy: 0

Lines of the game:

Italy SP Mark DiFelice: 4.0IP, 3H, 1K, 0R

Venezuela SP Carlos Silva: 4.0IP, 6H, 1BB, 2K, 0R

Venezuela P Felix Hernandez: 4.0IP, 1H, 2BB, 4K, 0R

Venezuela 3B Melvin Mora: 2-4, 1R, 3RBI, 1BB


Pool D:

Game 1: Netherlands (0-0) v Dominican Republic (0-0) (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, MLB.TV) is already underway, and Panama (0-0) v Puerto Rico (0-0) (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLB.TV) will be playing at 5:00PM ET.


As many of you have seen, The Netherlands has upset the Dominican Republic in a 3-2 victory. Edinson Volquez gave up 3 runs, all unearned, during an error-ridden 1st inning, including an error on himself and a wild pitch, and one on Hanley Ramirez. Dominica did their best to recover, pitching 1-hit ball the rest of the game and adding 2 runs, including a solo homer from Migel Tejada, but the Dutch pitching staff was effective enough through the rest of the game to squeeze out a 3-2 victory.

Netherlands: 3, Dominican Republic: 2

Lines of the game:

Dominica CF Willy Taveras: 1-2, 3BB, CS (3BB? Where was this in 2008?)

Netherlands RF Gene Kingsale: 2-4, R

Dominica P Pedro Martinez: 3IP, 1H, 4K, 0R

Netherlands P Robbie Cordemans: 2.2IP, 2H, 1BB, 1K, 0R

Later that evening, Puerto Rico, led by the destructive Pudge Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado, took Panama to the schoolyards. Putting tallies on the board in 5 of 8 innings played, Puerto Rico dominated the game in both the pitching and the batting.

Puerto Rico: 7, Panama: 0

Lines of the game:

Puerto Rico C Ivan Rodriguez: 4-4, 3R, 4RBI, 1BB, SB (I'm as shocked as you are)

Puerto Rico 1B Carlos Delgado: 3-4, 2R, 1RBI

Puerto Rico SP Javier Vazquez: 4.1IP, 4H, 1BB, 3K, 0R