Archive for the 'Dominican Republic' Category

Little League World Series - Day 5

Monday, August 21st, 2017

All the teams that played today are 1-1. A loss means elimination. A win means one more day in Williamsport. The major leaguers have left for larger cities. The nosy nights of anticipation waiting to come fact to face with a major leaguer has been replaced by the intense desire to survive one more day to win the Little League World Series, which Todd Frazier is the only current major leaguer who can make claim to a championship.

Mexico 1 Asia Pacific (Korea) 0

This was an old fashioned pitchers duel. Jorge Garcia and Andre Garza combined to limit Korea to just one hit. Jorge Garcia went four innings, giving up the lone hit and walking three. Garza walked two but five of the six outs he recorded were by strikeouts. For Korea Ahn Ky-Um did not allow a hit but walked four in his 2.2 innings of work. In the third inning his two walks finished the day for him. Shin Jin-Won gave up the one hit, to Jorge Lambarria to plate the one run in the game to give Mexico the 1-0 victory and one more day of life.

Mid-Atlantic (Holbrook) 12 West (Santa Margarita) 9

Mid-Atlantic erupted for 9 runs in the third inning to take a 12-1 lead then hung on to complete the victory. R.J. Vashey went deep twice for Mid-Atlantic to drive in three runs. Charlie Meglio also went deep for Mid-Atlantic to drive in two. Drew Rutter drove in three runs with his two doubles in a losing cause for the West.

Latin America (Venezuela) 3 Caribbean (Dominican Republic) 2

The two countries with the most major leaguers outside the United States are always making claims that they have the best baseball talent. Venezuela proved to be the best on this day. Barely. They had to rally for two runs in the last inning to win the game. Omar Romero lined a one out walk off triple with two runners on base to win the game. The Dominicans could only manage one hit off the duo of Dario Cardozo and Jorge Daboin, but took advantage of the two passed balls to score both of their runs.

New England American (Fairfield) 14 Northwest (Walla Walla) 6

An 8 run fourth inning wiped out a 5-2 Northwest lead and was enough to give New England the victory. Michael Iannazzo was a perfect 3 for 3 with a homerun and three RBIs. Christian Smith also drove in three runs with his homerun. Matthew Vivona pitched a scoreless sixth inning to secure the victory for New England.

Little League World Series - Day Three

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

A couple laughers and a couple close games in four elimination games.

Caribbean (Dominican) 8 Australia 7

Australia made a valiant comeback scoring five runs in the last two innings, but still fell short. Edward Triunfel went 3 for 3 with three hits and three RBIs. Australia committed five errors in the game, resulting in two unearned runs scoring for the Dominicans. Australia has now been eliminated from the tourney.

Northwest (Walla Walla) 4 Midwest (Sioux Falls) 3

Caiden Thompson drove in three runs with a two run double in the first inning and an RBI single in the fifth to give the Northwest enough runs to secure a victory. The Midwest rallied for two in the final inning, but just like Australia the runs came up short. Marcus Phillips drove in all the runs for the Midwest with a solo homerun in the first and a two run homer in the sixth. Andrew Hall for the Northwest and Ethan Burns for the Midwest each pitched a complete game in a match that meant elimination for the losing team.

Mexico 13 Europe/Africa (Italy) 0

In another elimination game Italy could not record a hit off four Mexican pitchers. On the flip side Mexican hitters banged around the Italian pitchers for 13 hits and five walks to complete the four inning rout. The top two hitters in the lineup accounted for much of the Mexican offense. Saul Soto, the number two hitter was a perfect 4 for 4 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Isaac Miranda drove in a team leading four runs from the leadoff spot, scoring three times on a 2 for 3 day with a double and a homerun. Andre Garza also drove in three runs with a homerun in the second inning.

Mid-Atlantic (Holbrook) 15 Great Lakes (Gross-Point Woods Shore) 5

This game was tied 5-5 after two, but a 9 run fourth inning ended the game early because of the 10 run slaughter rule. Great Lakes was eliminated from the tournament. Chris Cartnick slugged two homeruns and a double to drive in six runs to lead Mid-Atlantic. For Cartnick he now has three homeruns and 8 RBIs in the two games Mid-Atlantic has played. Ryan Kinsman was a perfect 2 for 2 from the leadoff spot with two doubles to drive in three and score twice.

Liitle League World Series Day 2 - A Combined Perfect Game

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

There was a combined perfect game on the second day of the Little League World Series. Japan appears to be the team to beat, based on what myworld sees from the results.

Japan 8 Australia 0

Japan cruised past the Aussies. Japan used four different pitchers to pitch the shutout, giving up only two hits. Combined the Japanese pitchers whiffed 10. The Japanese scored a run in all five innings they batted, with a four run fifth putting the game out of reach. Keitaro Miyahara led the offense with three hits. Five wild pitches and two errors resulted in four runs scoring for Japan.

West (Santa Margarita) 9 Northwest (Walla Walla Valley) 0

Bobby Gray was two outs away from pitching a complete game no hit shutout, but had to yield to Bryan Ramirez to get the last two outs after giving up a one out single. Joey Gray hit a grand slam in the first to give the West an early lead. He finished 2 for 2 with a walk and five RBIs. Drew Rutter crossed the plate three times.

Korea (Asia Pacific) 10 Dominican Republic (Caribbean) 1

Korea spanked the Dominicans, slugging four homeruns. Jin-Won Shin powered two homeruns, driving in four and scoring three times He also doubled. Ye-Joon Khym and Dong-Heon Kim also went deep. Khym went a perfect 3 for 3 and scored four runs.

South East (Greenville) 6 Midwest (Sioux Falls) 0

Three different pitchers, Chase Anderson, Matthew Matthijis and Carson Hardee combined for a perfect game no hitter. Anderson worked three innings, striking out four of the 10 whiffs on the day. Matthijis struck out five in his 2.2 innings of work. Drew Fields and Ashton Byars each drove in two runs to lead the Greenville offense.

Little League World Series Participants

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

The Little League World Series is around the corner and most of the games have been played to determine the participants. Canada and some of the United States regions have championship games that will be played today to determine the Little League World Series representative.

International

The Asian Pacific Region was played in Korea. The two powers of that area Korea and Taiwan were placed in the same pool. South Korea blasted Taiwan 12-0 and eventually won the pool with Taiwan finishing second. Hong Kong was the winner of the other pool. In the playoffs the championship round found Taiwan playing Korea again. Korea wins 6-1 to advance to the Little League World Series.

Australia had 20 teams battle it out in four different pools. In the end Hills Little League played Swan Hills, two teams without a loss. Hills was the winner 8-4 and will represent Australia in the Little League World Series.

The finals for Canada will be played today between White Rock Little League in British Colombia and Diamond Baseball Little League in Quebec. White Rock is undefeated while Diamond Baseball has lost twice, to Port Arthur Little League in Ontario 9-4 and White Rock 6-5. Diamond Baseball got into the finals beating Port Arthur 8-5.

In the Caribbean tilt the Dominican Republic got upset by Aruba 6-2. That put them in second place in their pool where in the semi-final they had to play an undefeated Puerto Rican team. They downed Puerto Rico 5-4 and then got revenge by beating Aruba in the championship match 8-4 to advance to the Little League World Series.

In the European/Africa division there were no African teams represented in the series. Myworld has to wonder what happened to the feel good story of Uganda from a couple years ago. A number of European teams battled it out with Italy remaining the lone undefeated team with their 12-2 win over a United Kingdom team. The two teams had played earlier in pool play where Italy also won 11-2. A team of American military kids from Germany found the going tough finishing the series 1-2, failing to advance to the playoffs. The UK eliminated baseball powerhouses Netherlands, Spain and Czech Republic as they advanced to the finals. Since no African teams participated in this round the “European/Africa” name was a bit inaccurate.

Japan will be represented by Tokyo Kitasuna. They won the championship game 17-0 and breezed through their four opponents by scores of 53-6.

In the Latin American series it was Colombia Falcon versus Venezuela in the finals. Venezuela had beaten Colombia earlier in pool play 9-2. Colombia Falcon was able to upset a strong Panama team 4-3 to get to the finals. Panama had beaten Colombia Falcon earlier 3-0 and their only loss had been to Venezuela. Guatemala was a surprise to make the semifinals but Venezuela disposed of them 8-3 and then shutout Colombia Falcon 8-0 to make it to the Little League World Series.

Guadalupe Trevino rolled through their competition to represent Mexico in the Little League World Series. They beat a team from Matamoros 3-1 in the championship game.

United States

The Great Lakes will see Hinsdale Little League in Illinois play Gross Points Woods Shore Little League in Michigan. Michigan has a loss to Westside Little League in Ohio, which Illinois beat in the semi-finals to get to the championship. Michigan had to beat Ohio 11-3 to advance to the finals.

The Mid-Atlantic finds Thurmont Little League in Maryland playing Holbrook Little League in New Jersey in the championship game today. Maryland had to beat Upper Providence Little League in Pennsylvania, a team they had lost to earlier to make it to the finals. Their bats were smoking in their 14-4 semi-final win.

The Midwest has Sioux Falls Little League in South Dakota playing Webb City Little League in Missouri in the finals. South Dakota had beaten Missouri earlier 6-5.

New England will see Fairfield American Little League in Connecticut play South Portland American Little League in Maine in the finals. Connecticut beat Maine 8-0 early in the double elimination tournament but Maine pulled out three games in the loser’s bracket to make it to the championship.

The Northwest will see Walla Walla Valley Little League in Washington play La Grande Little League in Oregon in the championship. Oregon had beaten Washington earlier 8-4 to knock them into the loser’s bracket.

The Southeast will be represented by North State Little League in North Carolina who beat Peachtree City National Little League in Georgia 8-6 in the championship. Georgia had lost to Goodlettsville Little League in Tennessee earlier 12-3 but came back in the semifinals to beat them 4-1.

In the Southwest it was an all Texas final with Lufkin Little League representing Texas East beating McAllister Park National Little League representing Texas West 2-1 in the finals. The two had played each other earlier in the tournament with Texas East again beating Texas West 11-10 to knock them into the losers bracket early.

The West will see Santa Margarita Little League in Southern California play against Dixie Little League in Utah in the finals. Utah had been knocked into the loser’s bracket early 14-5 by Hilo Little League in Hawaii but was able to fight through the loser’s bracket and beat Hawaii 12-6 in the semifinal match.

Puerto Rico, Mexico and London Possible for Major League Games

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was made public and it appears major league baseball will be very aggressive in playing games internationally to expand their brand.

For this year it appears they have a post season for Mexico or Asia. These would usually be exhibition games after the regular season has ended. Korea may be an interesting choice with their new ballpark and the increased number of players moving to the major leagues. The fact nothing has been announced makes me think this will not happen.

In 2018 a game is already planned for the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians to play in Puerto Rico in a two game series in April. Also on the schedule are spring training games to be played in Mexico and an opening day for Asia. Mexico is also scheduled to have regular season games in May. At the end of the season a post season series is scheduled for Japan. Dominican Republic is listed for regular season games with Puerto Rico but myworld suspects that will be saved for 2019.

The 2019 season could see exhibition games in Mexico, Puerto Rico and/or the Dominican Republic. They also have an opening day for Japan. A couple years ago this consisted of exhibition games between the Japanese teams and the major league teams followed by a two game major league series. Shohei Otani could make his return to Japan if he signs with a major league club in 2018. Mexico and the United Kingdom are scheduled for major league games, but myworld suspects the London series will be in 2020. A post season series lists Mexico or Asia.

The 2020 season lists Mexico for an exhibition match with Asia schedule for an opening series. Major league baseball has always wanted to expose their game to China and this could be the opportunity. The real challenge would be to find a stadium large enough to have the series. The Olympic venue has been torn down for a shopping mall. Mexico, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and Dominican Republic are listed for major league games. Japan has another post season exhibition series scheduled.

The 2021 season only shows regular season games for Mexico.

The fact these games are listed does not mean they will be played. If the Collective Bargaining Agreement did not list the games then major league baseball would have to negotiate outside the CBA with the players union to get these games played, an arduous process. It will be interesting to see what games they try to put into place.

Myworld would like to see Netherlands selected as a place to play a major league series. Unfortunately, the major leagues is a bit greedy and are always looking for large market places to brand their product. The Netherlands is not a large market.

Future Games Rosters Selected

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The futures game is played before the All Star team and features the best prospects outside of the United States against the best prospects inside the United States. The game is scheduled for July 9. Below are the rosters of the two teams.

World Team

Pitchers

Domingo Acevedo (Dom Rep/Yankees), Yadier Alvarez (Cuba/Dodgers), Jaime Barria (Panama/Angels), Luis Escobar (Colombia/Pirates), Tayron Guerrero (Colombia/Marlins), Jonathan Hernandez (Dominican Republic/Rangers), Jairo Labourt (Dom Rep/Tigers), Cal Quantrill (Canada/Padres), Mike Soroka (Canada/Braves), Thyago Vieira (Brazil/Mariners)

Catchers

Tomas Nido (Puerto Rico/Mets), Francisco Mejia (Dom Rep/Indians)

Infielders

Yordan Alvarez (Cuba/Astros), Josh Naylor (Canada/Padres), Yoan Moncada (Cuba/White Sox), Mauricio Dubon (Honduras/Brewers), Lucius Fox (Bahamas/Rays), Ahmed Rosario (Dom Rep/Mets), Rafael Devers (Dom Rep/Red Sox), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Dom Rep/Blue Jays)

Outfielders

Ronald Acuna (Venezuela/Braves), Estevan Florial (Haiti/Yankees), Eloy Jimenez (Dom Rep/Cubs), Victor Robles (Dom Rep/Nationals), Alex Verdugo (Mexico/Dodgers)

United States team

Beau Burrows (Tigers), Jon Duplantier (Diamondbacks), Jack Flaherty (Cardinals), Foster Griffen (Royals), Jimmy Hegert (Reds), Brent Honeywell (Rays), Michael Kopech (White Sox), Triston McKenzie (Indians), A.J. Puk (Athletics), Tanner Scott (Orioles)

Catcher

Zack Collins (White Sox), Chance Sisco (Orioles)

Infielders

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies), Ryan McMahon (2B/3B) Rockies, Scott Kingery (Phillies), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays/Brazil), Nick Gordon (Twins), Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Brian Anderson (Marlins), Nick Senzel (Reds)

Outfielders

Lewis Brinson (Twins), Derek Fisher (Astros), Corey Ray (Brewers), Bryan Reynolds (Giants), Kyle Tucker (Astros)

First Dominican Batterymates to Win in Korea

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

It is uncommon for Asian clubs to sign catchers to fill their clubs. The language barrier and the ability to communicate with their pitchers is important. When the Hanwha Eagles signed catcher Wilin Rosario his position was to play first base or DH. Even in the major leagues Wilin was not considered a strong defensive catcher. When the Eagles signed Dominican Alexi Ogando for the 2017 season to be one of their starters the communication dynamic changed.

In the major leagues Alexi was used mostly in relief. Because his Korean is limited and both Rosario and Ogando are from the Dominican Republic it seemed only natural to pair them as a battery mate. The Eagles were scheduled a Dominican Republic day and Ogando requested Rosario to be his personal catcher. For this day at least it seemed natural they be paired.

Ogando threw six strong innings, allowing just one run in the Eagles 3-1 win over the defending champion Doosan Bears. After Ogando departed in the seventh and the Eagles went to a Korean pen Rosario moved to first base. The Korean pen shut down the Bears the last three innings to give the Dominican battery the win.

Ogando is pitching well for the Eagles at 5-4 with a 3.17 ERA. This is in a hitter’s league where ERAs are generally over 4. Rosario is also hitting well with a .311 average with nine homeruns. This after a slow start to the season. Last year Rosario hit .321 with 33 homeruns.

In other Eagle news, Tae-Kyun Kim mashed a two run homerun in the first inning in this game to extend his record breaking KBO on base streak to 83 games. He is hitting .377 with a .466 OBA this year. That batting average is second in the league to Dae-Ho Lee who is hitting .385.

The only other foreign battery to win a game in Korea was when Andy Van Hekken pitched to catcher Vinny Rottino.

United States Knocks Out Dominican Republic

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

The United States will be the new kid on the block in the 2017 final four of the World Baseball Classic. In 2013 Japan, Netherlands and Puerto Rico appeared in the final four with the eventual champions the Dominican Republic. The United States eliminated the defending champions and will join the final four party, facing off against two time champions Japan. A Giancarlo Stanton two run homer in the fourth broke a 2-2 tie and propelled the United States to a 6-3 win.

It didn’t start out well for the United States. It almost reminded the sellout 43,002 in attendance of the game against Puerto Rico when six straight hits to begin the game proved fatal to the United States team. An error by the gold glover shortstop Brandon Crawford got the inning started for the Dominicans. Robinson Cano followed with a double to score Manny Machado. A strikeout of Nelson Cruz got past the catcher to put runners on first and third with one out. Carlos Santana singled to make it 2-0 with Cruz advancing to third. It appeared the United States was on the verge of collapse again, digging themselves a big hole to start the game.

Starling Marte grounded a ball to Barandon Crawford at short. Nelson Cruz broke for home. The throw beat Cruz to the plate and the whole complexion of the game seemed to change after that. Adrian Beltre grounded out and the United States got out of the inning trailing only 2-0.

The Dominicans looked like they were going to score again in the second. Gregory Polanco started the inning with a single. Wellington Castillo followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Danny Duffy bore down, getting Jose Reyes to pop out. Manny Machado flied out to Adam Jones in center, too shallow to score Polanco (read further to read about a longer fly out hit by Machado to Jones). Robinson Cano hit a hard grounder to Brandon Crawford at short, who made the play to get out of the inning with no runs.

The United States bounced back in the third, Giancarlo Stanton getting the inning started with a single. Jonathan Lucroy moved Stanton to third with a single. Ian Kinsler grounded to short, Reyes going for two but falling short with Stanton scoring on the play. With two outs Christian Yelich laced a double into center to score Kinsler and tie the game 2-2.

The fourth was reserved for the Giancarlo Stanton two out two run homer. Brandon Crawford got the inning started with a two out single. That was it for Ervin Santana, replaced by Hector Neris to get the last out of the inning.

The Dominicans failed at another opportunity to score a run in the fifth. A leadoff single by Manny Machado ended the day for Danny Duffy. A one out double by Nelson Cruz to left field put runners on second and third with just one out. Again the Dominicans failed to score with Pat Neshek getting Carlos Santana to pop out and Starling Marte to strike out.

The Dominicans pulled to within one in the seventh after a Robinson Cano solo homer with one out. Read further for the hit that occurred earlier that created the one out.

The United States took advantage of the wildness of Alex Colome in the eighth. Christian Yelich walked and Eric Hosmer was hit by a pitch. Andrew McCutchen made that wildness pay with a big double into center field to score two runs and give the United States a 6-3 lead.

The Dominicans were deflated after that. The United States retired the Dominicans in order in the eighth and ninth innings to get the victory, Sam Dyson and Luke Gregerson doing the honors. Dyson also got the last two outs of the seventh after the Robinson Cano homer off Tyler Clippard.

Adam Jones perhaps made the catch of a lifetime in the seventh inning prior to the Cano homerun. Jones teammate Manny Machado led off the seventh mashing a ball that appeared to be clearly going over the fence. Jones never gave up racing back, jumping high and reaching his glove over the short fence to rob Machado of a homerun and robbing a fan of a souvenir. The fans erupted in cheers after the catch, many staring in disbelief. All Machado could do is tip his cap to Jones for the catch. He has seen him do that many times before while in an Orioles uniform. This time it was in a uniform that stated “USA”. Tyler Clippard could be seen mouthing from his lips “Oh my God”. It certainly defined what these games are all about. A collection of All Stars or semi All Stars making tremendous plays in the game.

Puerto Rico 13 Venezuela 2

In a game that didn’t mean much since Puerto Rico had clinched their final four advancement and Venezuela was eliminated, Puerto Rico thrashed the Venezuelans with 17 hits. Most of the damage was done in the later innings, when Venezuela went to its thin bullpen. Puerto Rico scored in every inning after the fifth, turning a 2-0 game into a rout.

The still unsigned Angel Pagan racked up three hits from the leadoff spot and Mike Aviles strung together four hits. Kennys Vargas closed out the scoring by slugging a two run homer in the ninth. Jose Deleon worked two outs into the third leaving Venezuela scoreless. Puerto Rico turned to what has turned into a very stingy bullpen to close out the game.

The semifinals begin Monday with the Netherlands doing battle with Puerto Rico. Both teams rely on young infielders to lead their teams. For the Netherlands it is Jonathan Schoop, Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar (playing the outfield), Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons. Puerto Rico relies on Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez.

On Tuesday the two traditional baseball powers Japan and the United States do battle. Both teams have a solid veteran presence, but Japan has some youth in Tetsuto Yamada and Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh who have carried the team offensively.

The fun that has defined the World Baseball Classic will continue for a few more days.

Dominicans Shut Down Venezuela

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Pitching gets better as the World Baseball Classic gets deeper into the final four. That proved true yesterday as Edison Volquez started the train with 4.1 innings of shutout ball. He struck out six. Five different relievers followed him, allowing just four hits and no runners to cross the plate. Dominican pitchers struck out 14 Venezuelan hitters.

Jhoulys Chacin matched Volquez through the first four innings. He got behind Gregory Polanco 3-1 to open the fifth inning and Polanco made him pay, taking him deep over the right centerfield fence for the first run, and the only run the Dominican pitching staff would need in the game.

The Venezuelans had an opportunity to score in the top of the fifth. A walk to Odubel Herrera and a bunt by Alcides Escobar moved Herrera to second. Robinson Chirinos singled to left, Herrera stopping at third. Fernando Abad came in to replace Volquez and he turned into “a bad” man by getting Ender Inciarte to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

It was the only time Venezuela would get a runner to third until the ninth inning. By then they were down 3-0 after Nelson Cruz slugged a solo homerun to lead off the eighth. Jeurys Familia had struck out the first two hitters. Jose Altuve blooped a single into right field that deflected off the glove of Robinson Cano. A Yangervis Solarte single advanced Altuve to third. With the tying run at the plate Omar Vizquel allowed his shortstop Alcides Escobar to come up to hit. He struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Vizquel chose to walk Robinson Cano intentionally in the third inning with a runner on second and two out to face Jose Bautista. The strategy paid off when Bautista struck out. Roughned Odor is having a rough time defensively, committing his third error, this one from his more natural position of second base. Venezuela chose to put Jose Altuve at third base for the game against the Dominicans. There were 16,390 who attended the game.

The Domincans next game is against the United States. The United States plays Puerto Rico today. A win by the United States over Puerto Rico and a Dominican win over the United States could result in a playoff round to see who advances to the final four if Puerto Rico then defeats Venezuela. Myworld is focused on a different form of March Madness as the World Baseball Classic winds down.

There is also the opportunity for the final four to repeat the 2013 final four when Puerto Rico upset Japan and the Dominicans crushed the Netherlands. It is looking more like at least three of the teams from last year’s final four will repeat.

Japan/Netherlands Advance to Final Four; Puerto Rico Upsets Dominican

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

The Netherlands left no doubt who had the superior team in their game against Cuba. They were up 12-0 after four and only needed seven innings to embarrass a once proud Cuban team 14-1 to advance to the final four. Twenty years ago those were scores the Cubans were putting up on the Netherlands in their games.

Wladimir Balentien hit two homeruns early, a three run shot in the first and a solo shot in the third to put a hurting on the Cuban pitchers. Yurendell DeCaster also homered in the third, a two run shot and contributed four RBIs in the game. He also lined a two run single in the five run fifth to put a dagger in the Cuban spirits to compete in this game. Kalian Sams finished off the scoring with a solo shot in the seventh and final inning.

The Cuban bats could not mount much of an offense against Diegomar Markwell, scoring just once against him in his six innings of work. That one score occurred after they were down 13-0. It didn’t matter who the Cubans trotted out to the mound. The Netherlands treated them all as if they were batting practice pitchers. Lazaro Blanco got the start and did not last two innings, giving up four runs. Vladimir Garcia could not last two inning before giving up five runs. Leandro Martinez, a 38 year old who would not have made a Cuban national team in the past, threw the best with three innings of mopup, allowing just two runs.

The crowd was listed at 40,680.

Japan 8 Israel 3

Japan ended a nice run by Israel with their 8-3 win, eliminating them from the final four. It was a pitcher’s duel for the first five innings with closer Josh Zeid getting the start and shutting out the Japanese bats for four innings. Israel just does not have enough depth in its pitching staff to keep the Samurai bats down for a full game. In the sixth Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh woke the bats up by leading off the inning with a homerun. Before the inning was complete four more runs had scored.

Dylan Axelrod replaced Josh Zeid and retired the side in order in the fifth. In the sixth he was not so fortunate, giving up two hits and a walk for three runs. His replacements were also ineffective and when the sixth inning was done you could put a fork in the game. Japan had a 5-0 lead.

The Israeli bats had trouble hitting Kodai Senga, producing a leadoff single from Sam Fuld in the first. After the leadoff single the Israelis could muster no more hits when Senga finished his outing after the fifth inning.

Japan put the game away in the eighth with three runs, Seiichi Uchikawa roping a two run double and Nobuhiro Matsuda tacking on one more run with a single.

Israel finally strung an offense together in the ninth with a walk and two singles off Kazuhisa Makita to score their first run, an Ike Davis single driving in the run. Ryan Lavarnway hit a two run double to pull Israel to 8-3, but that was as far as they were going to get. The good news for Israel is they get an automatic bid to play in the next WBC, not having to qualify as they did this year.

There were 43,179 who attended this game, much of the crowd already purchasing tickets for the Netherlands/Cuba game which counted against this attendance.

Puerto Rico 3 Dominican Republic 1

The Puerto Ricans proved the Dominicans could be beaten. Now the Dominicans have to sweep the United States and Venezuela to get to the final four. The bullpen of Hector Santiago, Joe Jimenez, Joseph Colon and Edwin Diaz quieted the Dominican bats to three hits in the last 6.2 innings. The momentum shifter may have been when right fielder Eddie Rosario threw out Jean Segura at home in the first to end a potential Dominican rally with zero runs. In the bottom of the first Puerto Rico used a couple walks and a Yadier Molina single to give them a 1-0 lead.

The Dominicans did not have the same fans in San Diego that they had in Miami. It was less of a home game for them. Nelson Cruz hit a leadoff homer in the second, but the crowd roar for the homer was not as loud as it was for his three run shot against the United States. The Dominicans play on emotion and the emotion was absent.

In the fourth Puerto Rico took the lead taking advantage of a throwing error by Adrian Beltre to allow Javier Baez to reach second. Eddie Rosario bounced a ball over the right field fence to give Puerto Rico a 2-1 lead.

The Dominicans never really threatened after the solo homer from Cruz in the second. They got runners to second but that was the extent of their threats. Yadier Molina led off the sixth with a solo shot to give Puerto Rico a little cushion that they did a much better job of protecting that the United States bullpen.

Of course the crowd was much quieter than in Miami. Tony Pena tried to motivate his team by getting tossed in the eighth. Nelson Cruz walked and with Adrian Beltre at the plate Cruz broke for second against Yadier Molina. He was thrown out to end the inning. Edwin Diaz mowed through the Dominican lineup in the ninth to pick up the save.

Only 16,637 attended the game at Petco Park in San Diego, a far cry from the 30,000 plus who showed up in Miami to support the Dominicans there.