Archive for November, 2014

Gaxiola Tosses No Hitter in Mexican League

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Amicar Gaxiola, a 24 year old lefty threw a no hitter in the Mazatlan Venadors 8-0 win over Hermosillo Naranjeros in a Mexican Winter league game. Amicar walked four and struck out four in the outing, going the full nine innings, a rarity in the Mexican League. The Venadors allowed Amicar to throw 118 pitches because he is not affiliated with any major league team at this time. That may change after this outing.

Currently in the winter league Amicar is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA. He doesn’t really have strikeout stuff with a 14/23 walk to whiff ratio in 36 innings. The opposition is hitting only .219 off him with right handed hitters averaging slightly better against him. Last year in the Mexican Summer League he was 10-7, 4.84 with a 42/49 walk to whiff ratio in 102 innings with the opposition tagging him for a .292 average.

He appears to have briefly pitched for the Braves Dominican Summer League and Rookie league teams in 2009 and 2010. The Mexican Leagues have been his only action after 2010.

The boxscore for the game can be found here:

boxscore

Myworld Under 21 All Tournament Team

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Myworld gave deference to the players we actually witnessed. We also gave deference to those who played for teams that advanced to the top six. It is a team dominated by players from Japan and Taiwan, but they were easily the more talented of the 11 teams in the tournament.

Catcher - Martin Cervenka (Czech Republic) - .231 average but four clutch hits in the last two games to put his team in fifth place. He also played solid defense and controlled an inexperienced pitching staff.

First Base - Guy Edmonds (Australia) - .308 average with 3 doubles, 1 triple and 1 homerun. Defense was weak

Second Base - Fumiya Hojo (Japan) - .350, 1, 8 with 8 runs scored and 7 walks. His defense in the finals was sloppy.

Third Base - Tsung Hisen Lee (Taiwan) - .333, 8 runs scored and 4 for 4 in stolen bases. The best of a weak bunch.

Shortstop - Taisei Makihara (Japan) - .448 average with 8 runs scored, 4 for 5 stolen bases. Excellent glove.

Utility Infield - Chih Chieh Su (Taiwan) - .304 with 10 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 12 walks

Left Field - Po Jung Wang (Taiwan) - .452, 5 doubles, 9 RBIs and 23 total bases led tournament

Center Field - Yu Ning Tsao (Taiwan) - .486, 5 for 7 in stolen bases, 18 singles, tops in tournament. Excellent defense.

Right Field - Seiya Suzuki (Japan) - .500 average, 1.000 slugging and 4 triples tops in tournament. 3 for 3 in stolen bases and 8 runs scored

Utility outfielder - Arnol Rizo (Nicaragua) - .381 average with 10 walks and .581 OBA.

Designated Hitter - Doh-Yun Kim (Korea) - .400, 2, 10 with a .633 slugging. 9 runs scored. His two homeruns led tournament.

Starting Pitchers - Chun Lin Kuo (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.64 starting against Korea to win pool and Japan in the finals. MVP of tournament.

Starting Pitchers - Chia Hao Sung (Taiwan) - 2-0, 0.00 did not give up a run in 12 innings pitched with a .100 opposition average.

Starting Pitchers - Naoyuki Uwasawa (Japan) - 2-0, 0.75, 21 K’s in 12 IP. only pitcher to beat Taiwan.

Starting Pitchers - Yuya Yokahama (Japan) - 2-0, 2.70 with 20 K’s in 10 IP. Taiwan blistered him for two runs in finals.

Closer - Yi Hao Lin (Taiwan) - 0.00, 2 saves, five appearances with 10 whiffs in 6 IP

Set Up - Ryosuke Nomura (Japan) - 4.50, 2 saves in four appearances. He gave up two runs against Japan in the finals.

Middle - Dong-Hyun Choi (Korea) - 3-0, 2.35 in five appearances. 11 K’s in 7 plus IP

Middle - Sam Holland (Australia) - 0.00 ERA in 3 appearances, .105 opponent average.

Long - Francis Valdiva (Nicaragua) - 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 1 save

Long - Maickel Rietel (Netherlands) - 0-1, 0.79

Major Leaguers Take Second in a Row Against Japan

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Perhaps it was the jet lag in the earlier games. The United States won their second game in a row against Team Samurai, trotting out five pitchers to four hit Japan 3-1. Japan still leads the series three games to two.

Matt Shoemaker got the start and limited Japan to two hits. Four other relievers followed him, Mark Melancon picking up the save. Randy Choate gave up the only run when he gave up a lead off triple to Ryosuke Kikuchi, who eventually scored on a groundout. With a 3-0 lead at that point the Major League team sacrificed a run to get an out.

Shoei Otani got the start for Japan. He hit 100 miles per hour on one pitch, a swing and a miss for a strikeout from Evon Longoria. He got himself in trouble in the third after giving up a leadoff double to Lucas Duda. Alcides Escober put runners on third and second with no outs with his single. A passed ball and a ground out scored the two runs to give the major leaguers an early lead. Otani continued to struggle in that inning with a hit batsman and walk, but struck out the last two hitters to end the inning. Otani struck out seven in his four innings of work.

The United States banged out 12 hits, Jose Altuve, who is replacing the injured Robinson Cano at second, ripping off two singles and a double from the leadoff spot. The boxscore for the game can be found below:

Boxscore

Top 12 Countries for Baseball

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Japan vaulted to the top spot in baseball with their second place finish in the 21 and under tournament in Taiwan last week. Despite winning the tournament Taiwan stayed at the number 4 spot. The United States did not enter a team in that event, dropping to second.

The new rankings with their previous rankings identified in parenthesis.

1. Japan (2)
2. United States (1)
3. Cuba (3)
4. Taiwan (4)
5. Netherlands (6)
6. Canada (7)
7. Dominican Republic (5)
8. South Korea (8)
9. Puerto Rico (9)
10. Venezuela (10)
11. Italy (11)
12. Panama (13)

Mexico dropped from number 12 to number 14 eliminating them from the Group of 12. Panama replaced them in the 12 spot You can see the full list here:

Top 12

Major Leaguers Get a Victory

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

After losing to the Japan Samurai three straight, the major leaguers gained a little pride with their 6-1 win yesterday, especially after being no hit the day before. Justin Morneau was again the big star for the major league team with four RBIs. His double in the first scored the major leaguers first run. His three run homerun in the third broke a 1-1 tie.

Evan Longoria had a solo homerun in the fifth. Chris Capuano worked five innings to pick up the win.

The United States first victory was not against Team Samurai. The first win was against a team of Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tiger players. This win makes the series against Team Samurai at 3-1. They can tie the series if they can pull out the last two games.

boxscore

South Korea Takes Third in Under 21 World Cup

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Nicaragua had played South Korea tough in an earlier game, knotting them up 2-2 after five. They saw the game slip away, eventually losing 9-2. South Korea made sure of this game early, turning a 1-0 lead after three into a 8-0 rout after five. They eventually won 10-4.

Ja-Wook Koo went deep with a solo blast for Korea. Seong-Ho Kang drove in three runs with his bases loaded triple in the fifth. The three Asian dragons, Tawian, Japan and South Korea took the gold, silver and bronze in the tournament. They were ranked 4-2-8 entering the tournament.

The final standings of the tournament:

Taiwan
Japan
South Korea
Nicaragua
Czech Republic
Australia
Italy
Venezuela
Netherlands
New Zealand
Mexico

Czechs Upset the Aussies for Fifth Place; Cervenka Stars

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The tournament did not start well for the Czechs. They lost their first three games and playing with the Big Six did not seem likely, until New Zealand lost a 1-0 lead in the ninth to backdoor them in. It ended well for them as they were celebrating their fifth place finish after coming back from a 4-0 deficit to win 6-5, just like the tournament, pulling themselves out from a ditch to pull out a victory.

The Aussies looked to be in control of the game from the start. They scored a run in the second after an error by the shortstop with two outs extended the inning. James Phillibossian lined a single to center to score the first run. Another run was scored in the third after a double by Guy Edmonds and a sacrifice fly to left from Robbie Perkins upped the ante to 2-0. Starting pitcher Marek Cervenka had put the first runner on in each inning with a walk and hit batsman.

After the first two hitters struck out in the fourth the Aussies struck for two more. Jared Cruz singled and Phillibossian coaxed a walk. Jacob Younis, who drove in four runs yesterday in a tough loss that prevented Australia from playing for third, roped a double over the head of the rightfielder to score two. It was now 4-0 Australia.

It was now time for Martin Cervenka to become a hero. Aaron Thompson had shut out the Czechs for the first five innings, not allowing a runner to advance past first base. A leadoff walk to Jakob Ondracek and a bunt down the third baseline that Adam Hajtmar beat out for a single put two runners on. That brought up Martin Cervenka, who seemed to be the big hitter for the Czechs in this tournament. He came up big again gapping one into leftcenter to drive in the first run. The Czechs scored their second run in the inning on a grounder to second.

Thompson was replaced by Lachlan Madden to begin the seventh. He walked the leadoff hitter Ivan Aubrecht, but got the next two hitters out. Jakob Ondracek kept the inning alive by dragging a bunt down the third base line, the second time in the tournament myworld saw him leg out a two out bunt. Petr Sila looped a single over second base to drive in one run. A walk to Adam Hajtmar loaded the bases for Cervenka. He came through again slapping the first pitch into right field for a two run single to put the Czechs up 5-4.

The Aussies came back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. An RBI double by Robbie Perkins that one hopped the wall drove in the tying run. That ended the day for Marek Cervenka, who is a year and five months older than Martin. Jan Tomek replaced Cervenka and kept the game tied 5-5.

Both teams saw rallies die in the eighth. The Czechs had runners on second and third with two out but failed to score. The Aussies loaded the bases with one out but a nice diving stab by Jakob Ondracek and his throw home got the second out. A grounder to short recorded the third out.

In the ninth Petr Sila drew a one out walk. He tried to advance to third after a single from Hajtmar, but a one hop throw from Phillibossian nailed him at third. It appeared to be another opportunity lost. The Czechs never gave up. Hajtmar stole second. Instead of walking Martin Cervenka with first base open the Aussies pitched to him. He pulled a 2-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. Hajtmar raced home, scoring when the throw from the leftfielder was off line.

The Aussies still had a chance in the bottom half. Ben Leslie drew a leadoff walk. Aaron Sayers pinch hit and hit one back to the pitcher for a nicely turned 1-6-3 double play by Tomek. After Jared Cruz struck out the Czechs raced to the mound as if they had won the championship. It is too bad only five or six Czech fans were in the stands to witness the celebration of victory.

Game Notes: There was a $200 NT admission to Taichung Field to watch the battle for fifth. That is the equivalent of about $7 dollars. The admission limited the crowd of the curious young people who attended the school adjacent to the field and watched the game…There were also a handful of Aussies at the game, including the administrator of the Aussie baseball program. With Ondracek up in the eight myworld was tempted to walk over to him and tell him he better tell his thirdbaseman to watch for the bunt. With the count 3-1 Ondracek laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line, easily beating the throw to first.

Taiwan KanOs Japan for Under 21 Championship

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

They say life imitates art. In a movie named Kano a high school team from Taiwan living under Japanese occupation during World War II go to Japan to play in the high school Koshien tournament. The centerfielder for the under 21 Taiwan team, Yu Ning Tsao, is one of the principal characters in the movie. The high school team is not expected to be competitive in the tournament since baseball in the late 1930s was in its infancy in Taiwan. Not only did this team do well, but they finished second in the tournament, an amazing feat that was celebrated in Taiwan. It is credited with popularizing the sport of baseball in Taiwan.

Taiwan is not so much the underdog these days, ranked in the top five in the IBAF baseball rankings. However, when facing Japan they are considered the underdogs. Life was sweet and celebratory for those in attendance after their 9-0 pummeling of Japan yesterday. It was a party in the stadium all night long, beginning with the electronic music forcing people to bounce in their seats to the flinging of the paper ribbons that ensnared you like a spiderweb after it came down from its flight once victory was complete.

The opening day pitch began with the actress from the movie Kano riding her bike on the field and parking it in front of the mound to throw out the first pitch. Tsao was there to greet her and not having seen the movie myworld is assuming she portrayed his girlfriend in the movie. Japan was the home team for this game and they seemed a little antsy with these festivities. In twenty years there may be a movie of this event and another actor will play Tsao, who led his team in hitting beginning this game with a .458 average.

Taiwan appeared to have lost an opportunity in the first inning when after two were out they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. With the hopes of the fans built up for an immediate strike Kuo Lin Lo popped to second to end the inning.

Starting pitcher Chun Lin Kuo worked seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits. In the bottom of the first he retired all three batters on groundouts to the cheer of the Taiwan faithful.

It was the second inning where you began to feel something special was about to happen. Taiwan took advantage of three walks and a crucial error to score two runs. With the bases loaded and one out starting pitcher Yudai Mori had already walked in a run throwing four straight balls to Tsung Hsien Lee. Yuya Yokahama came in from the bullpen to replace Modi. Yuya appeared to get out of the inning when he got Tai Chan Yang to ground one back to him for what appeared to be a home to first double play. Unfortunately for Japan Yuya threw the ball over the head of the catcher to the backstop to allow the second run to score. Taiwan scored a third run in the inning on another possible double play grounder to short, but the second baseman’s throw to first was wide.

Yesterday Taiwan lost to Japan 6-2 after leading 2-0 after five. The Taiwanese manager had removed their starting pitcher after the fifth and the bullpen imploded, coughing up six runs. This would not happen tonight.

In the fourth Hsien Chieh Chen started off the inning with a single off Yuya Yokahama. The Japanese outfielders seemed to be playing the Taiwan hitters shallow all night and it paid dearly when Tsung Hsien Lee split the left centerfield gap for a double to drive in Chen. Tai Chun Yang followed by powering one over the head of the centerfielder to make it 5-0 Taiwan. The fans were dancing in the aisles in celebration.

Japan seemed to have comeback in their mind in the bottom frame. Their first two hitters, Taisei Makihara and Kensuke Kondo singled to put the fans back on edge. Uncle R.J. began his chant of “Out, Out, Out” and ‘Strike, Strike, Strike”. The Japanese hitters complied, though Kuo probably had more to do with that than Uncle R.J., striking out the last two hitters to keep the Japanese scoreless.

Poor fielding by Japan in the seventh iced the game for Taiwan. A leadoff single from Tai Chan Yang started the inning. Po Jung Yang hit a hard grounder that secondbaseman Fumiya Hojo butchered. The scorer ruled it a hit. Ryosuke Nomura became the fourth Samurai reliever to come into the game. Hojo failed to reach another grounder that was legitimately ruled a single to load the bases setting the stage for Chieh Chih Su, who blasted a double over the head of the centerfielder. Two runs scored and Su was thinking triple. Unfortunately Yi Hung Chen had stopped at third and Su was caught in a pickle. Japan eventually threw Chen out at home when he broke for the plate. The score was now 7-0. The fans started passing out the rolled up paper ribbons smelling victory.

Taiwan scored two more runs in the eighth to make it 9-0. The Taiwan manager felt comfortable removing Kuo from the game to bring in Tzu Wei Lin. Lin had the fans screaming raised an extra decibel level by striking out the side.

Game Notes: Myworld was sitting in the cheering section of Taiwan for the game. My hearing may never recover…Yu Ning Tsao made a nice diving catch in the second inning with a runner on first to prevent Japan from scoring a run. He also laid down a bunt in the eighth inning and dove head first into first. Hojo was late covering first on the bunt…Japan was also not holding the runners on first in the eighth. Tai Chan Yang seemed to irk some of the Japanese players with his steal of second, despite the pounding. Myworld noticed the glare of the firstbaseman into the Taiwan dugout…To begin the game there was a teen band playing on top of the dugout. They seemed very popular with the fans, especially the young ladies…A wave was started in the fifth and lasted almost all inning…Kiss Cam was on the video board, but more couples were too embarrassed to kiss, and what kissing was done was of the cheek variety…In the eighth the stadium played the Queen’s “We will we will Rock you” which gave the fans great joy in chanting the chorus.

boxscore

Rafters Float to AFL Championships

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

The score was knotted up at 6-6 after six, each team exchanging leads. The Rafters then exploded for seven runs in the seventh to take control of the game. Max Kepler walked with the bases loaded to score the go ahead run and six more followed. Javelina pitchers helped the cause by issuing five walks. Taylor Featherston delivered the biggest hit of the inning with a 3-run double.

There were a number of homeruns in the game. Justin O’Connor hit two homeruns to drive in three runs for the Javelinas. Teammates Hunter Dozier and Bubba Starling each blasted solo shots. The Rafters had a solo shot from Eddie Rosario and a two run clout from Ryan Casteel. Rosario finished the day with four hits, a triple short of the cycle.

The boxscore for the game can be found here:

boxscore

South Korea Knocks Australia to the Fifth Place Game

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

South Korea did not really have anything to gain since they were already in the bronze medal game. An error by the Aussie shortstop with a runner on second ended the game for Australia, allowing the winning run to score in the 8-7 South Korea win.

At one time Australia had a 7-3 lead. South Korea took advantage of two more Australian errors to mount a four run rally to tie the game at 7-7 after six. Australia committed six errors to cough up six unearned runs. South Korea committed only one error, but it allowed three unearned runs to score.

Seung-Hyeon Kim pitched three plus one hit shutout innings of relief to give Korea the victory. Ja-Wook Koo stole three bases and scored twice to fuel the South Korean offense. In total the South Koreans were successful in seven of their eight stolen base attempts. Leadoff hitter Jacob Younis drove in four runs for Australia, but also committed the crucial error to end the game.

In other games Mexico defeated Venezuela 5-1 and Italy bested the Netherlands 4-3. With the Venezuelan loss the Netherlands could have finished in seventh with a victory, but seventh place went to Italy.