Archive for August, 2014

Little League World Series - Day 8

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Japan earned another game with Korea while team favorite Philadelphia was eliminated, giving Chicago a rematch against Las Vegas.

Japan 12 Mexico 1

Mexico did not give the Japanese team much of a game. Suguru Kanamori slugged two homeruns to drive in four runs to lead the Japanese team to the rout. Japan scored at least one run in all five innings. Mexico actually scored the first run in the game as the visitors to take a 1-0 lead but it was shortlived with Hayato Ueshima and Kanamori clubbing solo shots in the bottom of the first. Ren Takeuchi and Ueshima limited the Mexican bats to just one hit in the five innings. Mexico played a sloppy game, committing five errors.

Chicago 6 Philadelphia 5

There will be no Mo’ne Davis to pitch in the championship game. The Chicago team scored six runs in the first two innings and used that for a 6-5 win over the Philly team. Three errors by Philly helped give the Chicago team a couple runs.

It will now be a rematch between Korea and Japan in the finals of the International division and Chicago plays Las Vegas in the United States division. The last time Great Lakes played the West division team they were beaten 13-2. They hope to make the rematch a little more competitive.

History of Foreign Players in the KBO

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

An interesting article in the Korean times about the history of foreign players in the KBO. You can read the article here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2014/08/136_163229.html

The first draft of foreign players occurred in November 1997 becuase of a down turn in attendance in the KBO.  Some players struggled but others had a lot of success like Tyrone Woods who broke at the time was the KBO homerun record with 42.  This year a drop in attendance motivated the KBO to allow teams to add a third foreign player to their rosters, as long as they did not stock the rosters with three offensive foreign players or three foreign pitchers.

Little League World Series - Day seven

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

A couple upsets in the two games played today, one more of an emotional upset.

Asia Pacific (Korea) 4 Japan (Tokyo) 2

The young Koreans are not supposed to be as established as the Japanese, who have been playing the game longer and have a more robust youth program.  Don’t tell that to these Korean kids, especially Jae-Yeong Hwang who hit a homerun in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and give Korea the lead.  Hae-Chan Choi also delivered big with a two run homer in the third inning to give Korea an early 2-0 lead.  Japan tied it in the bottom half where it stayed until the heroics from Hwang.  Takuma Takahashi was pretty impressive for Japan on the mound, striking out 10 in his three plus innings of work.

West (Las Vegas, Nevada) 8 Mid-Atlantic (Philadelphia) 1

No one is invincible, but many of us would have liked to see Mo’ne Davis continue her artistry.  After two straight complete game shutouts she gave up three runs in her first two innings of work against Las Vegas.  Six of her seven outs were strikeouts, so she did not pitch badly.  Las Vegas erupted for five runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach, Brennan Holligan fueling the inning with his two run homerun, but by then Davis was no longer pitching.

Both teams can achieve revenge for their losses.  Japan drops down to the losers bracket to play Mexico while Philadelphia dukes it out with Chicago for the right to play Las Vegas.  If the cards are right Mo’ne Davis could still pitch in the championship game against a team in the International Division, if Philadelphia can beat both Chicago and Las Vegas in the championship game.

Despaigne Injured for Marines

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Another big name Cuban player is injured in Japan.  Alfredo Despaigne, the Cuban star signed by the Chiba Lotte Marines has a right lumbar spine contusion and will miss at least two weeks, joining Yulieski Gourriel on the disabled list.  Despaigne has been showing some power for the Marines with his five homeruns in 20 games, but that power has come with a low average (.233) and a low OBA (.306).

Two other star Cuban players have also had trouble producing for their teams.  Yulieski Gourriel of the Yokahama Bay Stars was injured early in his season with a side injury (oblique) after having some success. He was hitting .340 with six homeruns in 26 games before the injury has sidelined him for at least a month now.

The third Cuban player Frederich Cepeda has been ineffective with the Yomiuri Giants and was demoted to their minor leagues after 30 or so games. He was recently promoted but has been relegated to just pinch hitting opportunities. In 51 games Cepeda has hit six homeruns but is only hitting .192. His .336 OBA is a sign pitchers show him respect when facing him, not giving him good pitches to hit, but what pitches Cepeda is making contact with are not dropping for hits.

The Yomiuri Giants signed a Cuban pitcher Hector Mendoza but he has only recently arrived in Japan and has not yet pitched in a game. The 20 year old fireballer does not have the veteran presence of his three offensive players, but he does have a 95 mile an hour fastball that could create problems for Japanese hitters if he ever appears in a game.

Next year there is no requirement that these players must sign with the team they are playing with this year. New contracts will have to be negotiated with the Cuban government, but based on the tepid success of those stars who have signed there may not be a lot of teams banging on the door inquiring about Cuban players.

Nationals in a Stomp

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The previous three games the Nationals had won in walkoff fashion. In the Tuesday game the Nationals chased Chase Anderson for five hits and a walk to score six runs in a 8-1 stomper. Not as dramatic as their previous victories, but certainly more relaxing.
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Stephen Strasburg had a solid game, going eight innings for the win. He struck out four and only threw 95 pitches in the three hitter. David Peralta took him deep in the opening frame after two were out to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead. Aaron Hill hit a leadoff double in the fourth, but that was the only time a Diamondbacks baserunner touched second base. Jerry Blevins pitched the ninth, retiring all three batters he faced.

Ian Desmond had a big bat for the Nationals with three hits. Two of his singles drove in four runs. Jayson Werth contributed three hits and Asdrubal Cabrera had a bases clearing double off reliever Eury de la Rosa in the six run third to drive in half of those runs.

Game Notes: Addison Reed came on to pitch in the eighth. Reed was a third round pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2010, a year after Strasburg was drafted. He was also drafted out of San Diego State. He was the closer for the Aztecs when Stephen Strasburg was their starting pitcher. Ironic he should come in after Strasburg pitched his last inning after the top of the eighth…The Nationals had two stolen bases without a throw in the second and third innings by Ian Desmond and Denard Span. That is usually because the runner is getting a good jump off the pitcher. It did appear Miguel Montero could have thrown out Desmond, but he chose to hold the ball…Didi Gregorious bobbled a slow roller in the second inning that was originally ruled an error. The call was reversed to a hit after two batters. Myworld kept the error in our scorebook.

Hosting Rights Awarded for Youth Tournaments

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The 15 and under has been awarded to Japan for 2016. Sinaloa, Mexico has been rewarded the 21 and under games. Sinaloa just completed the 15 and under games with Cuba defeating the United States in the championship. The second 21 and under games will be played in Taichung, Taiwan in November of 2015. The 2016 Women’s World Cup will be held in South Korea.

Little League World Series - days five and six

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Mexico 6 Australia 2

Mexico eliminated Venezuela with a four run fourth proved too much for the Australian contingent to overcome. Erick Vela clubbed a 3-run homerun in the inning to account for almost all the runs. Ruy Martinez also blasted a homerun, a solo shot in the fifth, the third of his three hits. Aldair Tellez was one out from a complete game, striking out 12 Aussie hitters.

Mexico 11 Venezuela 1

Mexico battered Venezuela with 15 hits to send them home for the tournament. Daniel Quiroz, Ruy Martinez and Abraham Zambrano each banging out three hits in the win. Juan Garza got the win working five innings.

Great Lakes (Chicago) 6 Southwest (Pearland, Texas) 1

Joshua Houston worked five innings to allow Chicago to stay alive another day.

The only teams still alive in Pennsylvania are South Korea, Japan and Mexico in the international division. Chicago, Philadelphia and Las Vegas are the three teams still alive in the United States division.

Little League World Series - Day 4

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A few winner’s bracket games to up the heartbeat for many of the fans in attendance.

Asia Pacific (Seoul, South Korea) 8 Caribbean (Humacao, Puerto Rico) 5

Korea scored seven runs in the last two innings to beat a scrappy Puerto Rico team. Jun-Hyeok Yun stole home in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie. Jae-Yeong Hwang pitched two plus innings of hitless relief to get the win. He also homered in the third and added an RBI single in the fifth to finish with two RBIs. Dong-Hwan Ahn led the two teams with three RBIs.

West (Las Vegas, Nevada) 13 Great Lakes (Jackie Robinson Chicago, Illinois) 2

Las Vegas scored in every inning in their rout of Chicago. The team collected 13 hits in four innings and homered in every inning but the third. Austin Kryszczuk blasted two homers, one in the second and the other in the fourth. He finished the game with three RBIs. Brad Stone homered in the opening frame and led all players with four RBIs. Dominic Clayton and Zach Hare each slugged two run homers in the five run fourth.

Japan (Tokyo Kitasuna) 9 Mexico (Guadalupe Linda Vista) 5

It will be an all Asian winners final with the Japanese win. Japan scored four in the fifth to break a 5-5 tie and shut down Mexico in the sixth to ensure the victory. Shozo Kamata broke a 5-5 tie with his two run single.

Mid-Atlantic (Philadelphia) 7 Southwest (Pearland, Texas) 6

Zion Spearman tied the game with a triple and a shortstop error allowed the go ahead run to score. The victory earns them the right to play Las Vegas, Nevada in the finals of the winner’s bracket. Spearman finished the game with two RBIs.

Little League World Series - Day three

Monday, August 18th, 2014

It was elimination round in day three of the Little League World Series. While each second game loser will get to play another game they have been eliminated from winning the World Series. Four teams were eliminated from the tournament.

Perth, Australia 10 Europe-Africa Brno Czech Republic 1

A losers bracket game saw Perth score eight runs in the last two innings to eliminate Czech Republic. Callum Schipp was lights out when the game was close, working five plus innings and striking out 11. Javier Pelkonen led all hitters with three runs driven in.

Northwest (Lynwood, Washington) 7 Midwest (Rapid City, South Dakota) 5

Northwest eliminated the Midwest on a 2-run homer from Colton Walsh to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 advantage. Walsh was a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Karsen Tjarneberg pitched two plus innings of shutout relief to get the win and contributed a two run single in the third. Matthew Hegre for the Midwest led the game with three RBIs, courtesy of his three run bomb in the first.

Latin America (Maracaibo, Venezuela) 10 Canada (Vancouver, British Colombia) 0

Jose Atencio pitched four plus innings of shutout ball and Venezuela broke out a 0-0 tie after two with a two run outburst to eliminate Canada. Cesar Vivas plated both runs in with his single in the third. Ronny Medina ended the game because of the slaughter rule with a grand slam homerun in the fifth.

New England (Cumberland, Rhode Island) 8 Southeast (Nashville, Tennessee) 7

Sam Slaughter slugged his second homerun in the game in a five run sixth to give Southeast a 7-5 lead. New England rallied for three in the bottom frame to survive another day, CJ Davock slapping the game winning two run double for the walkoff. Trey Bourque slugged a 3-run homer in the second to give him a game high three RBIs and give New England an early 3-1 lead.

Wilson Walkoff Double Completes Comeback Against Pirates

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

In his last at bat Wilson Ramos had grounded one back to the pitcher for a double play ground out. In a tie game at 3-3 with Bryce Harper dancing at second, Wilson lined one to the opposite field. Gregory Polanco was playing Ramos a bit shallow and went back for the ball, stabbing at it with his glove. The ball eluded his glove, hit the ground and bounced into the bullpen for a ground rule double, allowing Bryce to trot home, though he was running full speed.

It was an incredible comeback for the Nationals. They were down for most of the night 3-0, putting men on base and failing to drive them in after stellar defensive plays by Pirate outfielders. Travis Snider made a nice sprawling catch on a Bryce Harper line drive with a runner on first and no out in the fifth to spoil one potential rally. With runners on first and second and one out Danny Espinosa and pinch hitter Scott Hairston struck out. Starling Marte made a diving catch with two out in the seventh to rob Danny Espinosa of a hit.

Gio Gonzalez again threw a lot of pitches, hitting 102 after the third out was made in the fifth, his last inning of work. He gave up three runs in the third after striking out four hitters in a row. With two outs a walk to Russell Martin put runners on first and second with two out. Starling Marte lined a double over the head of Anthony Rendon and towards the ball girl to score one run. Gaby Sanchez singled past a diving Rendon to drive in two.

Jeff Locke pitched a superb game for five plus innings. He was removed after walking Adam LaRoche with two outs in the sixth to let the righthander Jared Hughes face Ian Desmond. Desmond lined one to short to end the inning.

The Nationals had a number of opportunities to score but hit 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. The newcomer Michael Taylor got everything started for the Nationals with a leadoff walk in the eighth. Denard Span slapped a single through the infield, allowing Taylor to race around second to advance to third. A bloop single by Kevin Fransden scored one. Anthony Rendon grounded one up the middle but Josh Harrison was playing him perfect and turned the double play. Adam LaRoche gave the 41,000 plus something to cheer about by lining a blast that just sneaked into the right field bullpen to tie the game.

Bryce Harper opened the ninth with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on the Harper double.

Game Notes: Jared Hughes sprints in from the bullpen ala Todd Coffey. Todd has a little more jiggle to his jog…The Pirates played the shift for Ian Desmond, putting three infielders on the right side. Ian grounded it into up the middle for an out on what should have been a single…Craig Stammen threw three shutout innings coaxing two double play ground outs…Gaby Sanchez racked up three hits…Kevin Fransden had three hits for the Nationals.