Black Cloud Hangs Over Pirates Korean Prospect Bae

October 16th, 2018

First Ji-Hwan Bae’s contract with the Braves was voided when it was found the Braves had circumvented their international signing cap. It is not clear if Bae had knowledge of the machinations of the Braves when circumventing the cap and under reporting his salary. The Pirates signed Bae after he was ruled a free agent.

Now Bae has been found guilty by a Korean court for assaulting his former girlfriend during a New Years eve incident in 2017. He has been ordered to pay his former girlfriend two thousand dollars. This will probably result in a suspension or fine by minor league baseball.

This has not been a good start for Ji-Hwan Bae’s major league ambitions since incidents like these tend to define you as a young player. Hopefully he can find a way to hide from this black cloud that has been hanging over him the last couple years.

Arcia and Chacin Lead Brewers to Win

October 16th, 2018

Two names that are not normally linked to greatness. Last year Orlano Arcia showed some slugging ability with 15 homeruns. The 2018 season saw him digress with only three homeruns and a .307 slugging percentage. The poor hitting saw him relegated to the minor leagues twice last season. Last night he hit his third homerun of the playoffs, a two run shot in the seventh inning to seal the Brewers 4-0 win over the Dodgers, matching his entire output of the regular season. Now that is an unlikely hero.

When the name Jhoulys Chacin comes up your first thought isn’t of an ace in your rotation. Chacin has pitched for six different teams, but this year he shined with the Brewers for a career high 15 wins and a 3.50 ERA. That shine continues through the playoffs as he went 5.1 shutout innings allowing just three hits and striking out six. For Chacin that is his second consecutive shutout start. Based on his last outing against the Dodgers this was totally unexpected. The last time Cchacin faced the Dodgers on August 2 they assaulted him for nine runs in 4.1 innings smashing three homeruns.

When you mention Travis Shaw you usually think of a slugging third baseman now second baseman who carries balls over the fence. His lack of speed does not have you thinking about triples. In his four major league seasons he has three triples. Add one more for the playoffs. Shaw tripled in the sixth and then continued to use his legs to race home on a wild pitch.

Jeremy Jeffress added some stress in the ninth by loading the bases with just one out. With luck back on his side he was able to strike out Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier to preserve the shutout. With the struggles of Jeffress many were hoping that Josh Hader would come out to finish the ninth.

Yasmani Grandal heard some boos from the LA crowd. He continues to have too many balls travel to the back stop. Last night he had one passed ball and a wild pitch. His strikeout with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and with runners on second and third in the second, both with one out, did not sit well with LA fans. My bet is that Austin Barnes catches tonight.

Hawks Use Long Ball to Eliminate the Nippon Ham Figthers

October 15th, 2018

The Softbank Hawks went deep five times, with two of them hit by Alfredo Despaigne to eliminate the Nippon Ham Fighters with a 5-2 win. Despaigne hit two solo shots in the fourth and sixth innings to fuel the offense. The Hawks also got solo shots from Akira Nakamura, Nobuhiro Matsuda and Kenji Akashi.

Toshitaka Yokoo hit a solo homerun for the Nippon Ham Fighters for one of their two runs. The Hawks Nao Higashihama worked the first four innings then handed it to the bullpen for the last five innings.

The Hawks will now face the Seibu Lions in a six game series with the Lions having a 1-0 game one advantage as a reward for them winning the conference. The winner will play in the Japan Series against the winner of the Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Carp.

Rouen Huskies Win - Again

October 15th, 2018

They have won 12 of the last 13 French championships. Only the Senart Templiers in 2014 prevents the Rouen Huskies from winning 13 straight championships. They made it 13 of 14 French baseball championships with a three game sweep over the Montigny Cougars.

Owen Ozanich pitched nine innings of one hit ball in the Huskies 2-0 win over the Cougars. He struck out nine without allowing a walk. Gerwuins Velazco provided all the offense for the Huskies with a two run homer in the second inning. Take away the two run homer and Yorfrank Lopez pitched 8.2 innings of two run ball, allowing just four hits.

Red Sox Even Series

October 15th, 2018

Jackie Bradley is not noted for his bat. His major league career batting average is .236. There has only been one season in which he has hit over .250 and slugged more than 20 homeruns and that was in 2016. The Red Sox rely on him for his defense.

Last night his bat came up clutch with a bases clearing three run double in the third inning that gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. They went on to win the game 7-5. He is the winner of myworld’s most unlikely hero.

David Price went on to have another ineffective outing giving up four runs in his 4.2 innings of work. He walked four and coughed up five hits. Marwin Gonzalez tagged him for a two run shot in the third inning. He has yet to win a playoff start, but this is the first time his team has won in a playoff game he started. Because he pitched only 4.2 innings he was not eligible to take the win.

Gerritt Cole lasted six innings but he was assaulted by the Red Sox bats, allowing five runs on six hits. Lance MuCullers allowed a run to the Red Sox in the seventh without allowing a hit. He walked Mookie Betts, who then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on back to back passed balls that squirted behind Astros catcher Martin Maldanado.

Rick Porcello again pitched an inning of shutout ball in an eighth inning setup role. Craig Kimbrel came on to make Red Sox fans sweat, giving up a George Springer double and a Jose Altuve RBI single to put the tying run at the plate in Alex Bregman with two out. Bregman hit a high pop that carried to the edge of the green monster, but was caught a foot in front of the wall to end the game. Kimbrel is 4 for 4 in playoff save opportunities, but he has yet to retire the side in order in those playoff appearances.

Yomiuri Giants Advance to Central League Finals on Sugano No Hitter

October 15th, 2018

The Yomiuri Giants advance to the finals of the Central Conference with their 4-0 win over the Yakult Swallows, winning the best two out of three match. Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano pitched a complete game no hit shutout, walking one and striking out seven. The one walk happened in the seventh inning. It was the first no hitter in a Climax playoff series. The Chunichi Dragons Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase combined for a perfect game in the fifth and final game of the 2007 Japan Series.

Hisayoshi Chono gave the Giants an early 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the second inning. Casey McGehee tacked on an insurance run in the fourth with a solo blast and Yoshiyuki Kamei added two more with a homerun in the same inning. Swallows starter Juri Hawa gave up all three homeruns.

The Giants will now play a six game series against the Hiroshima Carp with the Carp already up one game to zero.

Nippon Ham Fighters 4 Softbank Hawks 2

The Fighters got back to back to back two out doubles from Haruki Nishikawa, Taishi Ota and Kensuke Konda to break a 2-2 tie. Naoya Ishikawa worked a perfect ninth to pick up the save.

Nick Martinez worked seven innings for the Fighters, allowing just two runs, one on a solo homerun from Akira Nakamura in the fourth. Kodai Senga worked six innings, giving up just two runs, one of them unearned. Toshitake Yokoo hit a solo blast off Senga in the third.

The series is now even at one game apiece with a possible final game tomorrow.

Dodgers Even Series; Astros Strike First Against Red Sox

October 14th, 2018

Dodgers 4 Brewers 3

Normally myworld would not consider Justin Turner an unlikely hero, but after the game last night when he struck out to end the game with the tying run on third, one of his four strikeouts in five at bats, we had to reconsider. He was the hero last night with a two run homer off Brewer closer Jeremy Jeffress in the top of the eighth to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. The bullpen was able to secure the victory, with Kenley Jansen pitching the ninth to get the save.

The Brewers had jumped out to a 3-0 lead with Wade Miley throwing 5.2 shutout innings but the Brewers bullpen coughed up two in the seventh and two in the eighth to take the loss.

Myworld has a saying - forget the past, focus on the present because that will impact your future. Turner forgot about his ineptness last night, focused on his current at bat and won the game.

The probable MVP of the National League, Christian Yelich came up with the tying run on second and grounded out to end the game. Perhaps he will be the hero in game three.

Astros 7 Red Sox 2

Yulieski Gurriel was a big time player in Cuba. He is a solid hitter in the major leagues, but doesn’t really hit for the power teams expect from their first baseman. That power comes in spurts and last night he had one of his spurts. His three run homerun in the ninth inning sealed the win for the Astros, turning the Red Sox seats empty as they won the opening game in their American League championship series. Josh Reddick had opened the inning with a homerun, turning a 3-2 lead into 4-2. The two homeruns in the ninth extended the Astros streak of homeruns in playoff games to 13, becoming the second team in history to accomplish that feat.

Carlos Correa provided the game winning hit with a broken bat single off a 100 mile per hour fastball delivered by Joe Kelly. Chris Sale lasted just four innings, walking four and hitting one batter. The Astros were only able to collect five hits, but 10 walks and three hit batsmen gave them the opportunities they needed to score runs.

Yomiuri and Softbank Strikes First

October 13th, 2018

The Yomiuri Giants and the Softbank Hawks have traditionally been the best in the Central and Pacific Conferences for the last decade or so. In the first round of the wild card playoff games that dominance appears to be intact.

Yomiuri Giants 4 Yakult Swallows 1

Hayato Sakamoto broke a 1-1 tie with a solo blast in the third inning. Ex-major leaguer Koji Uehara pitched to four batters in relief and struck out three of them in his perfect 1.1 inning of relief. Shun Yamaguchi pitched a perfect eighth and ninth innings to earn the save. Nobutaka Imamura got the call to start but fell one out short of five innings to get the win.

Sofbank Hawks 8 Nippon Ham Fighters 3

Orlando Despaigne crushed a grand slam homerun in a five run first inning that proved to be the difference for the Hawks. Kai Takuya extended the lead to 7-1 with a two run homer in the third.

Kia Tigers Win Last KBO Post Season Spot

October 13th, 2018

The defending champion Kia Tigers won the last wild card playoff spot on the next to last day with a 6-4 win over the Lotte Giants. The Tigers will play the Nexen Heroes in the first round of the wild card playoff round. In the first wild card action the Tigers must win two games to advance while the Heroes need to only win once.

The winner of that match will face the third place Hanwha Eagles in a best of five series. The winner of that playoff series will play the SK Wyverns in a best of five. The winner of that playoff series will then qualify for the Korean Series where they will play the Doosan Bears in a best of seven.

Last year the Kia Tigers won the KBO regular season. They played the Doosan Bears who finished in second place and defeated the NC Dinos, the fourth place team. Since this new wild card format was started in 2015 no fifth place wild card team has won a championship.

Also, for the first time in KBO history they had five players reach 40 homeruns or more. Those players are Jae-Wan Kim (44), Jamie Romak (43), Mel Rojas (43), Byung-Ho Park (42), Dong-Min Han (40).

Brewers Hang on Against Stumbling Dodgers

October 13th, 2018

The Brewers took advantage of some poor fielding plays and a homerun from a most unlikely source to beat the Dodgers 6-5 in their opener. It truly was a most unexpected person that was the difference in this game in our continued quest to identify the most unlikely heroes.

Rookie Brandon Woodruff took over for Gio Gonzalez after he could go only two innings by design. The Brewers only wanted Gio to go through the order once and let the bullpen do the rest. Enter Woodruff who worked two perfect innings, striking out four to get credit for the win. But it was not his arm that won the game. It was his bat. In the bottom of the third, against Clayton Kershaw, Woodruff went deep with a blast measured at just over 400 feet. It is the first time in post season play that a pitcher hitting lefthanded has hit a homerun against a lefthanded pitcher. It is not the first time that Clayton Kershaw has pitched poorly, as his disappointing playoff appearances continue.

That tied the game at 1-1. Nothing could go right after that for the Dodgers in the next two innings. A single and walk put two runners on when Yasmani Grandal had a nightmare inning. A passed ball advance the runners to second and third and a catcher’s interference loaded the bases. Hernan Perez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 but Grandal allowed the throw home to get by him allowing the other runners to advance. Fortunately the last error did not hurt.

The poor fielding continued in the fourth when Chris Taylor allowed a single to get by him to put runners on second and third. Santana singled to score both runners. With one out Santana stole second but was originally called out. Replay reversed the call and the Brewers took advantage with a Ryan Braun single to score Santana. That made the score 5-1.

Josh Hader was extended three innings, keeping the Dodgers at one run going into the eighth. With a 6-1 the Dodgers fought back with three in the eighth. Chris Taylor hit an RBI triple in the ninth to make it 6-5 but Corey Knebel was able to strike out Justin Turner to win the game. For poor Justin it was his fourth whiff in five at bats.