Archive for the 'China' Category

Cuba Advances to Second Round with Win Over Australia; Italy with Wild Win Over Mexico

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Despite their watered down roster Cuba was able to beat Australia 4-3 to advance to the second round of the WBC. Alfredo Despaigne hit a grand slam homerun in the fifth to provide all the scoring for Cuba. It was his second homerun of the WBC.

Australia got a solo homerun from Trent Oeltjen in the seventh to cut the lead to 4-2. They scored another run in the eighth on a two out Luke Hughes double and an RBI single in the eighth. Tim Kennelly singled to put runners on first and second for Oeltjen to play hero but he struck out. Australia was retired in order in the ninth by Migual Lahera, the last two by strikeouts.

The Aussies did have some trouble making contact with runners in scoring position. In the third inning with the bases loaded and two out Logan Wade struck out to foil a rally. In the fourth inning with two runners on Luke Hughes struck out. After they had scored a run in the fifth Brad Harman struck out to end the inning, stranding an additional two runners. With runners on first and third and no out in the sixth Luke Hughes struck out and Mitchell Denning grounded into a double play. So the opportunities were there for Australia to win the game, ultimately stranding 15 runners on base.

Australia also had two outs in the fifth with no one on when Cuba began their rally with two singles and a walk to load the bases. Lachlan Wells stayed on to face Alfredo Despaigne and Despaigne deposited a ball into the left centerfield bleachers.

Warwick Saupold pitched four innings of shutout ball for Australia in his start. Australian pitchers combined to strike out 10 Cubans while Cuban pitchers combined to strike out 11 Aussies. The attendance was listed at over 38,000 but most of those fans were not there, waiting to attend the night game with Japan playing China.

Italy 10 Mexico 9

Italy stunned Mexico with five runs in the bottom of the ninth. Roberto Osuna and Oliver Perez could not retire a batter as Brandon Nimmo singled to pull Italy within one and John Andreoli hit the walk off single, scoring two.

Mexico was in charge for most of the game. Esteban Quiroz led the game off with a homerun. Italy bounced back with a homerun by John Andreoli, their number two hitter in the game.

Quiroz doubled in the third inning to give Mexico a 2-1 lead. In the fourth a Japhet Amador solo shot and a Sebastian Elizalde single upped the lead to 4-1.

Italy came back and tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth. Rob Segedin launched a two run homerun and Chris Colabello hit a solo shot.

Mexico took what appeared to be in control of the game with three runs in the fifth. Efren Navarro walked to force in a run and Luis Alfonso Cruz doubled to drive in two. Drew Butera homered for Italy to close the lead to 7-5.

Mexico scored two in the seventh on a two run single by Sebastian Elizalde. With the score now 9-5 the game looked done. Italy went down meekly in the seventh and eighth. Roberto Osuna came on to start the ninth. The home crowd was celebrating their victory.

The bats came to life for Italy with back to back to back doubles by Francisco Cervelli, Chris Colabello and Alex Liddi to make the score 9-7 and get the fans a little bit nervous. An error on a ground ball to shortstop Luis Alfonso Cruz put runners on first and third with no outs. Drew Maggi walked to load the bases. Roberto Osuna left the game and Oliver Perez came on to replace him with the tying run on second. Brandon Nimmo lined a single to right field to pull Italy to within one and John Andreoli grounded a single to second baseman Luis Urias where two runs scored to give Italy the win.

There were 14,296 crushed Mexican fans who left the park.

Japan 7 China 1

Japan had already clinched first in the first round. China scored their first run of the WBC but still lost 7-1. After finishing last in this round China will have to qualify for the next WBC.

Japan scored early getting two run homeruns from Seiji Kobayashi in the second and Sho Nakata in the third to jump out to an early lead. For Nakata it was his second homerun of the WBC.

China scored their lone run in the third on a Ray Chang single. They had runners on first and third with one out but Chuang Na grounded out to end the inning. They had no real scoring opportunities after that. Japanese pitchers struck out 12 Chinese hitters.

Israel Downs Netherlands; Korea and Aussies Win

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Since the game did not mean anything it would be difficult to call it an upset. The Netherlands started Rob Cordemans, their hero of many Olympics, World Baseball Cups and World Baseball Classics. The 42 year old lasted just one inning with Israel strafing him for four hits and three runs in their eventual 4-2 win. Nate Frieman hit a double to score one run, Ryan Lavarnway singled to score another. It could have been worse with Israel loading the bases for Scott Burcham who struck out to end the inning.

Israel trotted out nine pitchers for the nine inning game, Jason Marquis finishing the first inning. The strategy seemed to work as the Netherlands bats never found their groove. Jurickson Profar was their only offense, getting three of the five Dutch hits. A Profar double after Randolph Oduber drew a leadoff walk put runners on second and third with one out where a ground ball scored the first run for the Dutch in the third inning.

In the sixth Profar led the inning off with a double but was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple. Israel scored in the bottom frame to pull ahead 4-1, taking advantage of an error, walk and hit by pitch to load the bases with no out. A ground out double play got two outs but a run scored.

The best opportunity Netherlands had to win the game was in the eighth when an error and two walks loaded the bases. Another error cut the lead to 4-2, keeping the bases loaded with one out. Didi Gregorius grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The Dutch also saved their pitching staff throwing seven different pitchers. Josh Zeid was the most worked Israeli pitcher, the manager calling on him to get five outs. Attendance was listed at 2,700. Both Israel and Netherlands advance to the second round.

Korea 11 Taiwan 8

The two Asian teams battled it out in an important game that did not have playoff implications but the winner got an automatic bid for the next WBC, if there is one and the loser had to qualify. The Korean bats finally came alive for the 11-8 win, scoring three in the tenth inning to secure the victory. Tae-Kyun Kim mashed a two run homer to close out the three run tenth.

Korea had jumped out to an early 6-0 lead but Taiwan battled back with three in the bottom of the second. Pitching was non-existent for the first four innings with Korea leading 8-5 at that point. The Korean bats quieted the next five innings while Taiwan scored three to send it into the tenth.

Korea relied on Seung-Hwan Oh to pitch the last two innings to capture the win. When rosters were being considered Korean fans did not want Oh on the roster because of his implications to overseas gambling. Oh is currently under suspension if he wants to ever come back to the KBO to finish his career.

Australia 11 China 0

Australia kept their hopes of advancing to the first round with a 11-0 clobbering of China. This sets up a final match with Cuba with the winner advancing to the second round. Travis Blackley allowed just two hits in his 4.2 innings of work. The game ended after eight when Australia scored four runs on a James Beresford grand slam.

Ex-major leaguer Luke Hughes had a big bat for Australia with two hits and four RBIs, including a two run homer in the third. James Beresford walked three times to allow him to score three runs and Brad Harman also scored three runs. China has yet to score a run in these games, their offense only accumulating just six hits. Their final game is against Japan, who has already clinched a first seed advancement to the second round. China has no hope of finishing away from the basement and will have to qualify for the next WBC.

Only 3,013 attended the game between Australia and China.

Netherlands Clinches Second Round Advance in WBC

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

One of the disadvantages of bracket play with the top two teams advancing is how early teams can clinch their advancement to the second round. Israel and Netherlands have already clinched advancing to the second round with Netherlands 6-5 win over Taiwan. Now it is just a matter of determining who advances as the number one seed. The remaining two games in the bracket do not amount to much.

Netherlands inched past Taiwan 6-5 last night, taking advantage of a ninth inning error, a hit by pitch and a single to load the bases with no outs. Jurickson Profar coaxed a walk off walk to allow Netherlands to come out victors.

It did not come easy for the Netherlands. In the fifth Taiwan erupted for three runs to take a 5-4 lead. Chih-Hao Chang slugged a two run homer to tie the game at 4-4. Taiwan strung together two more singles after the homerun to put runners on first and third and still there were no outs. A ground out when the Netherlands could not turn two scored a run. After a strikeout Taiwan again loaded the bases with a hit by pitch and infield single. Che-Hsuan Lin flied out to end the inning.

The Taiwan pitchers shut down Netherlands for three innings. In the eighth back to back singles by Xander Bogaerts and Wladimir Balentien put runners on first and second with no outs. A double play ground out appeared to put the embers out for a rally. Fu-Te Ni came on to pitch to end the threat. Didi Gregorius lined a double to left field to tie the game and leading to the exit of Ni. Hung-Wen Chen came on to retire Yurendell Decaster on a ground out to send the game into the ninth inning tied.

Balentein finished the game 4 for 4 for the Netherlands and Didi as the DH was 3 for 4 with 3 doubles and three RBIs. Mike Bolsenbroek pitched three late shutout innings to allow the Netherlands to get back in the game. Chang was the big bat for Taiwan with his three hits including his big two run homerun, the only extra base hit for Taiwan in the game. Attendance was listed at 3,606.

Cuba 6 China 0

China could manage only one hit against the Cuban pitching. Bladimir Banos gave up that hit with one out in the fifth. Cuba scored four of their six runs in the fourth to put the game on ice. Roel Santos had the big hit with a two run triple. He finished the game 3 for 5. Alexander Ayala was 3 for 4 with an RBI double in the fourth inning.

Bruce Chen shut out Cuba for the first 2.2 innings of work. He was taken out of the game after getting Ayala to ground into a double play. His replacement Xia Luo would give up the four runs in the fourth inning.

There were 39,102 who came out to see the game at the Tokyo Dome, a good crowd considering Japan was not playing. That must have been a misprint because attendance was sparse according to reports myworld received of those who attended the game. It was so empty that many filtered down to the lower section to watch the game.

Japan 4 Australia 1

Through the first four innings an Allen de San Miguel homerun was the only run of the game, giving Australia a 1-0 lead. Tim Atherton finally cracked giving up a leadoff double to Hayato Sakamoto. An infield single put runners on first and third where Lachlan Wells replaced Atherton and gave up a sacrifice fly to Nobuhiro Matsuda to tie the game.

In the seventh a Sho Nakata homerun put Japan up 2-1. They put the game away in the eighth on a two run homer from Yoshitomo Tsutsugo.

Australia had an opportunity to take the lead in the fifth after Japan had tied the game 1-1. With the bases loaded and one out James Beresford grounded into a double play. That was really the last opportunity the Japanese pitching staff allowed them to score a run.

There were 41,408 at the Tokyodome.

China 2017 WBC Review

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Overview: Not much is known about the ballplayers that litter the China roster. They have not participated in many international events since baseball under Chairman Mao was prohibited. They used to have a professional league but that has fallen out of popularity. Major league baseball has a big interest in seeing that baseball succeeds in China because there is a huge economic benefit from it.

China has participated in the Asian Series baseball tournament but has never finished better than the bronze medal. They always fall behind the three power houses of baseball in Asia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. When the World Cup was in their final stages they would participate in the event but they never finished with a medal, their overall record 6-19.

They have been able to surprise Taiwan in the Beijing Olympics and in the 2009 WBC but those victories were tainted by gambling concerns. A number of players on that Taiwan roster were implicated or convicted of throwing matches in the CPBL.

In the WBC China has never advanced past the first round. They have not had to qualify for future WBC events based on the fact they have always managed to pull out a victory in the last two events. In 2013 they beat Brazil. In 2009 they upset Taiwan in a losers bracket game, forcing Taiwan to have to qualify for the 2013 event. In 2006 they did not win a game but there was no qualifying round for the 2009 games.

Current World Ranking - China is currently ranked 18th in the international baseball rankings, which puts them too low to qualify for the Premier 12, which is composed of the top 12 ranked countries in baseball. They are in a tough pool with Japan, the top ranked team in baseball, Cuba, who used to be number one, but after a number of defections from players to the major leagues dropped to five and Australia at ten.

Roster

Pitchers - Bruce Chen, Kun Chen, Andrew Chin, Quan Gan, Haicheng Gong, Kwon Ju, Xin Li, Yu Liu, Chao Lu, Yusong Lu, Xia Luo, Jiping Qi, Menghao Wang, Chaoqun Zheng

Catchers - Ning Li, Weiqiang Meng, Wei Wang

Infielders - Ray Chang, Yanpeng Chen, Fujia Chu, Xiaolei Du, Zeyuan Li, Joey Wong, Gui Yuan Xu

Outfielders - Zhenhong Lu, Chuang Na, Shunyi Yang, Yanyong Yang

Strengths - Myworld would not call these strengths but they will make China competitive. Bruce Chen used to be a nice middle or back end of the rotation starter in the major leagues. He was actually born in Panama but his parents are Chinese. He gives them a nice ace who could shut an offense down. Wei Wang is a solid catcher who was touted as the first major league signing. He did not make it to the major leagues and at 38 his time has passed. But he can provide his veteran knowledge to the young pitching staff. In the Beijing Olympics he was the catcher that was bowled over by a United States player that caused bad blood between the two teams. Joey Wong is a minor leaguer who has reached AAA after eight seasons in the minor leagues. He could play a role in the middle infield position. Wong will team with Ray Chang another minor leaguer who played shortstop for China in the Beijing Olympics. That will probably be the position he plays in this WBC. Neither player has a lot of pop to make a difference in the offense, but their defense up the middle should be solid.

Weakness - There are not a lot of young prospects on this team scouts can look for as possible major league fodder. The experience should help them in games, but it won’t be the same as the experience received by the major league players.

Prospects to Watch - None that myworld is aware of. The youngest player is Gui Yuan Xu who is 21. There are a number of players who lack birth dates on the WBC roster site.

Expected Finish - It will be an accomplishment if they can win a game to again not have to qualify. This will be a tough division to do that in. The prediction - 0-3.

Japan Wins 12 and Under Asian Tournament

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Japan continued their dominance in baseball with a 4-1 win over Korea to win the 12 and under Asian tournament championship. The win qualifies them for the World Championship to be held in Taiwan in 2017 between July 28 to August 7. Korea also qualified for the World Championship for their second place finish.

The number four ranked Taiwan, who won the last under 12 Asian tournament took the last spot (third place) by beating the hosts China 4-0. The Philippines between a surprisingly strong Pakistan team 3-2 to take fifth place. Indonesia took seventh place by beating Hong Kong 6-5.

Women’s World Cup Results - Day Two and Three

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Pool play was completed and the one surprise is the United States elimination from the super round.

Day Two

United States 2 Taiwan 1

The United States scraped out a victory over Taiwan, a two run homer by Megan Baltzwell proving the difference. Marti Sementelli limited the Taiwan bats to four hits and one run for the first six innings and Jade Gortarez retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up the save.

Korea 4 Cuba 3

The host country scored three in the sixth to steal a victory over Cuba. Sel Yang Lee collected three hits in three at bats to drive in one run to help Korea secure the victory.

Venezuela 18 Pakistan 1

A 10 run first inning spelled doom for the Pakistanis. The Venezuelans emptied their bench after that.

Japan 12 Netherlands 0

Japan spanked the Netherlands, three different pitchers limiting the Dutch hitters to one hit in five innings. Mana Taguchi drove in four runs to lead the offense.

Canada 18 India 4

Canada scored 7 in the first inning and 9 in the fifth to put this game out of reach. Daniella Matteucci blasted three doubles to drive in two and score three times to fuel the Canadian offense. Katie Hagen survived a rough start, giving up three runs in the opening frame, but worked the full five innings to get the win.

Australia 13 Hong Kong 0

Australia easily handled Hong Kong scoring in all five innings. Kim McMillan went five innings to get the shut out.

Day 3

Australia 10 United States 2

The Aussies punished the United States team for 14 hits in their surprise win, knocking the United States out of the super round. Tammy McMillan sported the big bat with two hits and a sacrifice fly to drive in four runs. Abbey Kelly was two outs away from a complete game victory before running into trouble in the seventh.

Cuba 15 Pakistan 0

Cuba got their first win stealing 19 bases in their four turns at bat. Yadira Boffil completed the five inning one hit shutout.

Japan 18 India 0

Japan scored crooked numbers in all four of their at bats. Miki Atsugase and Yukiko Kawabata each scored four runs in the rout. Kawabata also drove in four runs with her two doubles. Yurika Arisaka also drove in four runs and slammed the second homerun of the tournament.

Canada 7 Netherlands 1

Nicole Luchanski doubles twice and adds a triple to drive in two and score three runs to lead the Canadians to victory. Kelsey Lalor also drives in three runs with a triple. Amanada Asay went the full seven innings to get the win.

Taiwan 13 Hong Kong 3

Taiwan rolled over Hong Kong, Chia Wen Shen scampering for two triples to drive in two and score three from the lead off spot. Pei Jung Lin also added a triple to drive in three.

Venezuela 12 Korea 1

Venezuela sent their hosts down to their first defeat, putting the game away with a six run fourth. Osmari Garcia drove in four runs with her two hits.

Final standings after the first three days of pool play, top two teams advancing to the super round.

Group A

Venezuela (3-0), Korea (2-1), Cuba (1-2), Pakistan (0-3)

Group B

Japan (3-0), Canada (2-1), Netherlands (1-2), India (0-3)

Group C

Taiwan (2-1), Australia (2-1), United States (2-1), Hong Kong (0-3)

The teams advancing to the super round:

Taiwan (1-0), Japan (1-0), Venezuela (1-0), Australia (0-1), Canada (0-1), Korea (0-1)

The loss by Taiwan to the United States was negated when the United States did not advance to the super round. Only the results of the teams advancing to the super round count in the super round standings.

Women’s World Cup Results - Day One

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

The women began their baseball World Cup in Korea yesterday. The United States and Japan won their openers.

Japan 8 Canada 2

Canada jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but by scoring in the final five innings of the seven inning game Japan pulled out the victory. Leadoff hitter Ayako Rokaku scored three times on three hits from the lead off spot. She also stole three bases. Lori Miura stole five bases on two hits and two walks. Ayami Sato threw a complete game striking out 11.

United States 9 Hong Kong 1

The United States team scored early with six in the first two frames to rock Hong Kong. Malaika Underwood collected three hits to score three runs to lead the offense. She also stole three bases. Tamara Holmes connected for two doubles in three at bats to drive in two. Three different pitchers limited the Hong Kong gals to one hit.

Netherlands 9 India 3

Netherlands could only muster four hits, but eight walks assisted their offense. Sascha Egas drove in four runs collecting three of the four Dutch hits.

Korea 10 Pakistan 0

Yu-Ka Bae smashed three hits in three at bats to drive in two to lead Korea to an easy opening victory for the hosts.

Venezuela 12 Cuba 0

The Cuban women are not as strong as the men in their baseball skills and Venezuela took advantage of that, clobbering them in a game shortened to five innings. Astrid Rodriguez banged out three hits from the lead off spot and Ingrid Escobar scored three runs to lead the offense. Josefina Cuman finished with a complete game one hitter.

Taiwan 12 Australia 4

The Aussies usually bring a strong women’s baseball team but Taiwan put this game away with five in the seventh. Chia Hui Yang drove in three runs with two doubles in two at bats to help the Taiwan cause. Chia Wen Shen and Ya Ting Wen each scored three runs.

2017 WBC Pools Announced

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Below are the pools for the 2017 WBC held in March. The United States will have a tough haul to advance, placed in the same pool as the defending champion Dominican Republic.

Pool A (Tokyo at the Tokyo Dome March 7-10)

Australia, China, Cuba and Japan

Pool B (Seoul at Gocheok Skydome March 7-10)

Taiwan, South Korea, Netherlands (and winner of final WBC qualifier between Great Britain, Pakistan, Israel and Brazil)

Pool C (Miami at Marlins Park March 9-12)

Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic and United States

Pool D (Guadalajara, Mexico at Estadio Charros de Jalisco March 9-12)

Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela

Second Round

Pool E (March 12-15 in Tokyo at Tokyo Dome)

Pool A winner and runner up and Pool B winner and runner up

Pool F (March 14 - 18 in San Diego at Petco Park)

Pool C winner and runner up and Pool D winner and runner up

Semifinals (Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium March 20-21)

Pool F winner versus Pool E runner up and Pool E winner versus Pool F runner up

Championship (Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium March 22)

Semifinal 1 winner versus semifinal 2 winner

Japan Still Number One in Baseball

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

The World Baseball Softball Confederation has come out with their rankings and Japan remains number one. Below is the top ten countries for baseball:

1. Japan - 5515 points
2. United States - 5453
3. Korea - 4812
4. Taiwan - 4554
5. Cuba - 3813
6. Canada - 2650
7. Venezuela - 2642
8. Mexico - 2637
9. Italy - 2173
10. Netherlands - 2146

Itchy Gui Making Nice Debut for Orioles

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Back in July of last year myworld reported on the signing by the Orioles of outfielder/firstbaseman Yuan-Xu Gui. He became the first player from China signed by major league baseball that has progressed through their development centers in Wuxi and two other areas. He got the name Itchy because his favorite baseball player is Ichiro Suzuki. Since his last name Gui, which when spoken is pronounced like “shoe” the nickname Itchy shoe seemed to fit.

This year Gui has made his minor league debut in the Gulf Coast League. He has played five games but started only two, seeing time mostly at the designated hitter spot with one game at first base. In both pinch hitting appearances he got hits and in two starts he has collected three hits, giving him five hits for the year in 9 at bats. That is a .556 average. He was batting .600 until a 2 for 4 day on July 2 dropped his average.

Gui has not played since July 2. At 20 years old he needs to get through the short season leagues quickly if he wants to make a major league impact. While he has yet to collect any extra base hits he did when the homerun derby in 2012 at the China National Youth Baseball League, so the power is there.