Archive for November, 2014

Other Results of the 21 and Under World Cup

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Taiwan remained undefeated with their 9-3 victory over Australia. Chia Hao Sung threw seven innings of two hit shutout ball to quiet the Australian bats. Chih Chieh Su and Chieh Hsien Chen each drove in three runs with their three hits.

The Australians rallied for three runs off the Taiwan bullpen in the eighth to close the game to 5-3. Zachary Shepherd hit a two run single to fuel the inning. Taiwan exploded for four in the bottom frame to put the game out of reach. Su drove in two runs with a double and Po Jung Wang added two more runs with his third hit of the day.

Australia committed two of their four errors in the second and third allowing the first four runs to score to be considered unearned. Two errors in the sixth allowed a fifth unearned run to score.

In games to determine 7th-11th place the Netherlands won their first game with a 7-2 spanking of a weak Mexico team. Cezan Rafaela drove in three runs in the seventh with a double to put the game away.

Venezuela pulled out of their funk with a 9-8 win over New Zealand. As well as New Zealand has played in this tournament they did not deserve their low finish. The bullpen coughed up five runs in the ninth to hand Venezuela the game and blow their second lead in a row. A bases loaded walk tied the game and a walk off single by Jose Caguana ended the game. Boss Moanaroa drove in four runs for New Zealand with an RBI single and three run homer.

Kim Leads Korea to Win Over Nicaragua

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The Nicaraguans battled South Korea for the first five innings, the two locked into a 2-2 tie. Doh-Yun Kim got the second of his four hits and Juh-Yun Kim followed with a triple to break the tie. Kim scored on a sacrifice fly by Ye-Il Seo and the Koreans went on to waltz to a 9-2 win.

The Koreans got to starting pitcher Gerald Rojas early. A walk, two singles and a ground out plated two runs. The inning ended when Korea attempted the double steal with runners on first and third and the plodding Doh-Yun Kim was thrown out trying to steal home on the catcher’s throw to second. Rojas settled down after that, quieting the Korean bats until the sixth inning.

Early the Nicaraguans outhit the Koreans. They tagged Korean starter Kyeong-chan Moon for two runs in the third. Moon started the inning walking the first two hitters he faced. Singles by Jorge Narvaez and Felix Castillo plated the two runs to tie the game at 2-2.

Nicaragua had the opportunity to tack on more runs in the fifth and sixth. They loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but a force out at home and popup squelched that inning. They put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth but back to back whiffs and a fly out stranded the runners.

After scoring two in the sixth the Koreans bunched together three in the seventh to pull away. Four consecutive singles with a wild pitch thrown in allowed the three runs to score in the seventh and give the Koreans a 7-2 lead. The Koreans tacked on two more in the ninth. Doh-Yun Kim ended his day with his fourth hit driving in his third run of the game.

Game Notes: No admission for this game played at Taichung Stadium, which may explain why many of the box scores have no attendance figures…Nicaragua bench was quite nosy with constant whistling and banging on the drums in the dugout. Once the game got out of hand the noise stopped…First baseman Juh-Yun Kim complained about a base runner spiking him at first in the ninth inning. According to a scout there Kim had complained about being spiked in an earlier game, so maybe he plays too much on the bag to allow runners to step on his foot…The Korean pitchers were hitting 139 to 144 kilometers per hour. The hardest thrower was Jong-Yoon Park, who hit 144 while striking out the two hitters he faced. The Nicaraguan pitchers sat at 130 to 135 kilometers per hour…Arnol Rizo continues to hit for Nicaragua. After grounding out to the pitcher in the first, he walked and singled twice in his next three at bats. Rizo also showed a rifle in centerfield, gunning down Doh-Yun Kim at third in the ninth inning. At 23 he could be a bit old to find a major league roster…Myworld has watched a game and a half of Korean games and Kim has been thrown out on the bases three times.

boxscore

Japan Clubs Czechs in Day 6 of 21 and Under

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The Czechs hung with the Japanese baseball super power for two innings. Kensuke Kondo blasted a three run homer into right center and the rout had begun. Masaru Nakamura threw a perfect four innings, striking out six, using a diving curveball to frustrate the Czech hitters. Martin Cervenka broke up the no hitter with double into the left centerfield gap in the fifth off reliever Kentaro Taira.

Michal Sobotka pitched well for the Czechs in the first two innings. He gave up one hit in the first and allowed one run in the second. A walk, stolen base and single by Sho Azegumi drove in the run. In the third inning he let the game get away from him, struggling with his command. He walked the leadoff batter, allowed a single by Taisei Makihara and got behind Kondo 3-1. Forced to throw a meatball Kondo drove it over the fence into right center.

Two more walks were followed by a couple singles and the game got out of control. In one play the Czechs committed two errors to almost clear the bases on what should have been just an infield single. Jakub Ondracek made a diving stop at third on a ball driven by Kengo Takeda. His throw skipped past the first baseman and after the runners had stopped after advancing the extra base a throw from the outfield sailed over the catcher’s head allowing a second run to score and advance Takeda to third. He scored the seventh run of the inning on a Aoi Enomoto sacrifice fly.

A walk and single in the fourth ended the day for Sobotka. The Japanese bats kept hitting. Seiya Suzuki blasted one over the centerfielder’s head to score one. Aoi Enomoto scored two more when he roped a dying quail double down the left field line to close out the six run inning.

Japan ended the game in the bottom of the fifth by the slaughter rule after a one out double by Takumi Miyoshi. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a fly ball to centerfield, a good throw home almost nailing him.

Game Notes: There was no admission for the game. The crowd was a bit sparse, with the squeaks of the chairs audible as you tried to sit…The foul balls are retrieved by the ushers. They do not allow the fans to keep them…Watching the Czech infield practice provided evidence the players need a lot of work with their mechanics. Their hands are a bit hard and their arms at short and third do not have the strength to gun a ball to first. The fungo hitter attempted to hit a foul ball to the catcher as the other players watched to put an end to the infield practice. He failed on his first two attempts but there were loud cheers from the players after his third attempt succeeded. The players were quite enthusiastic about playing the game…The three outfielders, Richard Sazavsky, Petr Sila and Ivan Aubrecht all exhibited strong arms. Cervenka is the one player myworld thought showed the most potential for major league possibilities…The top three hitters in the Czech order, Sila, Jakub Ondracek and Tomas Junea combined to strike out five of the six times they batted in the order…Ondracek made three diving stops at third. He lacks the arm to play the position and would probably be best suited for second base. He certainly displayed a strong glove…The Czech pitchers sat at 125 kilometers per hour while the Japanese pitchers hit 130 to 135, with Kentaro Taira hitting 140 kilometers…The Japanese stole five bases in the first three innings and stopped stealing after the seven run third. It appeared they could steal at will, with the catcher’s throws too loopy, the fielder unable to handle the throw or the runner able to get too good a jump off the pitcher the main culprits for allowing the larceny…After the victory the Japanese players bowed to the 40 or so Japanese fans seated along the third base line.

Maeda Silences Major League Bats

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Team Samurai shutout the major leaguers 2-0 with Kenta Maeda working five shutout innings in a show case event. While it is only exhibition Maeda showed he could get major leaguers out. Shohei Otani the 20 years old pitcher who has hit triple digits with his fastball pitched a perfect inning in the eighth.

Japan scored early off Matt Shoemaker with a run in the second and a run in the fourth. Nobuhiro Matsuda drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Tetsuto Yamada drove in the second run with an RBI single.

The major leaguers put two runners on base in the opening frame, but after that failed to put more than one runner on base.

The major league diva came out. Rather than conforming to the mound at Koshien the major leagues insisted that the mound and batter’s box conform to major league requirements. It took the ground crew six hours to work on the mound to meet the specifications.

The boxscore for the game can be found here:

boxscore

21 and Under World Cup - Our arrival

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Myworld arrived in Taiwan and was able to catch the last five innings of the Korea versus New Zealand match. It was almost an upset with New Zealand ahead 1-0 after eight credited to the eight inning one hit pitching of James Boyce. He seemed to tire in the seventh, hanging a number of breaking balls so we were surprised in came out in the eighth. He pitched through the eighth but did not come out in the ninth and the Korean bats ripped apart the New Zealand bullpen. Myworld can’t fault the New Zealand manager for going to the bullpen. We would have done that in the eighth inning.

There was a little altercation in the seventh between the Korean slugger Doh-Yun Kim and the New Zealand team. Perhaps he was upset at being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. There were some words exchanged (unclear whether any of them were understandable unless Kim spoke them in English), some players came out from the bench, the umpires raced to the melee to break up the pockets of anger and the interpreters came out to have both the Korean and New Zealand manager discuss with the Taiwanese umpires what started the incident.

Korea should have scored a run in the fifth, but on a hard ground ball caught by the firstbaseman he hesitated whether to go to first to get the sure out or go home. He went home and the home plate umpire thumbed the runner out. Myworld thought the runner had beat the throw, the New Zealand catcher was trying to convince the next Korean batter that he tagged the runner while the Korean manager was arguing with the home plate umpire to no avail until the interpreter came out to sell his point. It tends to hinder your negotiating position when you are yelling and screaming to make an impact, but the umpire has no clue what you are saying, spending most of their time looking at the interpreter for a translation, which who knows whether the translation was correct or had an impact in words what the umpire wanted to convey. Needless to say, the call stood.

Rather than summarize the day 4 and 5 results, my world will identify the teams to advance to the second round, though games will still by played by teams not advancing to the second round to determine their place in the tournament. The first number indicates their record after the first round and the second number indicates their record entering the second round. Results from teams you played in the first round are carried into the second round.

Japan (4-0, 2-0) - They won most of their games pretty convincingly, with their closest game against their opening day opponent Australia. In games yesterday to determine the first place team from Group B Japan trounced Nicaragua 14-1. Seiya Suzuki is their top hitter with a .615 average, half of his hits going for extra bases (two double and two triples) for a 1.077 slugging percentage. Fumiya Hojo is their leading run producer leading the team in runs scored (7) and RBIs (8). He has more runs scored than hits (6) but still carries a .500 average with one homerun and a .917 slugging percentage. Aoi Enomoto may only be hitting .273 but he has drawn 7 walks.

Yuya Yokahama (2-0, 1.12) has been their top pitcher, making one start and one appearance in relief. He has struck out 16 in his 8 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Dragon Number one pick Roysuke Nomura appears to be used in the closer role picking up one save in two appearances. Kento Kumabara struck out five of the nine batters he faced in his two innings of work. As a team they have yet to commit an error in their four games.

Taiwan (5-0, 2-0) - With one more team in their pool they got an extra game. The big win was their 7-1 win over second place Korea. Yu Ning Tsao is their top hitter with a .542 average. All of his tournament leading 13 hits have been singles. He has stolen four bases in five attempts and his 8 runs scored is tied for the team lead while his 7 RBIs are tops on the team. Chih Chieh Su only has four hits with a .308 average, but he has been walked nine times to help him score 8 runs. One of his hits has been a homerun. Tsung Hsien Lee is second on the team in hitting (.429) and is a perfect 3 for 3 in stolen bases.

The pitching staff has only allowed two runs in the tournament. They have had each of their five starters pick up a victory. Jhih Long Wang, Tzu Wei Lin and Chia Hao Sung have yet to give up a run. Lin and Sung have limited the opposition to a .125 batting average while Wang has the most strikeouts (9) and worked the greatest number of innings (7). As a team they have only committed one error in the five games they have played.

South Korea (4-1, 1-1) - South Korea got spanked by Taiwan 7-1 and trailed New Zealand 1-0 after eight on the final day. If New Zealand had won they would have been playing in the second round as the second place team instead of Korea, who would have advanced as the third place team, but with a record of 0-2. Korea beat the Czech Republic which advanced as the third place team in the group.

The big slugger for the tournament has been the burley left fielder Doh-Yun Kim, who has hit two homeruns for the tournament. He looks more like a first baseman forced to play left. He is hitting .389 with a team leading .778 slugging percentage. Kim also leads the team in runs scored with 8. Catcher Joong-yeol An is their leading run producer with seven RBIs despite only a .231 batting average and three hits. Ji-Chan Lee is their leading hitter (.429) and has walked five times for a .579 OBA.

Yun-Dong Kim (1-0, 2.38) appears to be their top pitcher with two starts. He has struck out 13 in his 11 innings of work but he has also give up 11 hits. Dong-Hyun Choi (1-0, 4.15) has appeared in three games in relief, getting his lone win with his three plus innings of scoreless relief against New Zealand.

Nicaragua (3-1, 1-1) - Nicaragua beat Australia 3-2 to take second place in what turned out to be a weak pool. Arnol Rizo raked (tournament leading .636 average), with three of his seven hits going for extra bases (1.000 slugging). Arnol had a team leading five runs scored and was a perfect 3 for 3 in stolen bases. His 6 walks also lead the team giving him a .765 OBA. Jorge Narvaez (.563) has the only homerun for Nicaragua and is their RBI leader (7).

Horace Rigby (1.93) appears to be their top starter but failed to last five in his only start. Only one of their four starters has gone five, Gerald Rojas (1-0, 5.40 ERA). Deyvin Averruz got a win in his two inning relief stint while Jaysson Aburto has picked up one save in his two relief appearances.

Czech Republic (2-3, 0-2) - They only advanced when New Zealand lost their ninth inning lead against Korea. To their credit they won their last two games against Italy (3-1) and a surprisingly weak Mexico team (12-9) to advance. They were not competitive against the two Asian powers Taiwan (16-1) and South Korea (15-5).

Tomas Junec was their top hitter (.400) in batting average but Jakub Ondracek (.333) is the player teams do not pitch to, drawing 8 walks for a .583 OBA. He leads the team in runs scored while Junec is tied for first with RBIs (4). Richard Sazavsky (.316) has the team’s only homerun and add two doubles to his six hits gives him a team leading .579 slugging average.

Marek Cervenka (1-1, 2.70) has gotten two starts. He has limited the opposition to a .118 average. Onddreg Satoria (1.59) has appeared in three games in relief, picking up one save. Jan Novak (1-0, 9.00) has picked up one win in his two relief appearances.

Australia (2-2, 0-2) - They battled Japan (7-9) in their opener and were beaten by Nicaragua (2-3) to fall into third place. Adam Silva (.455) leads the team in hitting, RBIs (4) and runs scored (6). He also has hit two triples. Another big bat has been Robbie Perkins (.429). Zachary Shepherd (.273) has only three hits, but two of them have been triples. He also leads the team in walks with five.

Aaron Thompson (1-0, 1.50) pitched well in his one start limiting the opposition to a .150 average and striking out seven with no walks in his six innings of work. Joshua Guyer picked up a win in his three inning relief stint, allowing only an unearned run to cross the plate. Sam Holland has had two relief appearances covering four plus innings and has yet to allow a run to cross the plate. The opposition is hitting him at a .125 clip.

Some of the other top bats from teams who did not advance to the second round include Javier Erro from Mexico who hit .538 with seven walks. His .700 OBA was second in the tournament to Rizo. Frank Tineo from Venezuela hit .500. Albert Mineo of Italy led the tournament with four doubles. Two players from New Zealand were among the top leaders, Boss Moanaroa in walks (7) was tied for third in the tournament and Max Brown with his 4 for 4 stolen base effort was tied for first in the league leaders.

On the pitching side Valerio Simone was tied for first in ERA (0.00) with a tournament leading .071 opposition average. His 8 whiffs also were tied for eighth among the league leaders. Anferney Hoeve (Netherlands) limited the opposition to a .133 average while James Boyce (New Zealand) followed him with a .140 average, including allowing just one hit against Korea in eight innings. Boyce led all pitchers in innings pitched with 13.

Lions Win Korean Championships

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The Samsung Lions rallied from an opening day loss to take four of the next five to win their fourth straight Korean Series championship. They won 2-1 in game five, rallying for two in the bottom of the ninth for the win. They pulverized the Heroes in the sixth game 11-1, Yamaico Navarro driving in five runs to lead the offense, three with his fourth homerun in the Series.

The Lions hero in game five against the Heroes was starting pitcher Rick Vandenhurk, who pitched seven innings and allowed only one run. He did not get the decision as the final two runs were not driven in until the bottom of the ninth on a Hyung-Woo Choi walkoff two run double. Henry Sosa pitched six plus shutout innings for the Heroes.

Navarro was the offensive hot spot in game six, driving in five and scoring three runs from the leadoff spot. Sung-Hwan Yoon limited the Heroes bats to just one run in his six innings of work. With a 4-0 lead the Lions pulled away with back to back three spots in the sixth and seventh.

Padres Highest Bid for Kim

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

It appears the SK Wyverns were hoping for $10 million when they put lefthander Kwang-Hyun Kim up for posting but the San Diego Padres made the highest bid at only $2 million. Unlike in the modified Japanese posting system the highest blind bidder gets the opportunity to negotiate with the player. The Wyverns still can turn down the bid.

If the Wyverns accept the bid Kim still must negotiate with the Padres for an acceptable contract. Korean players are still not paid as much as Japanese players so it will not take much of a contract offer to convince him to go to the major leagues.

This report was based on a Twitter feed from Ken Rosenthal that you can find at myKBO or hardballtalk and possibly other sites.

MLB Stars Win Opener Versus Japan

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

After going scoreless in the first three innings the United States scored plenty in the middle innings to take an 8-1 lead. Evan Longoria hit a grand slam homer in the fifth and Salvador Perez and Dexter Fowler each hit solo shots in each subsequent inning. Japan rallied back and even loaded the bases in the ninth with one out but could not bring the tying run to score, losing 8-7.

Franklin Morales (5 runs in less than two innings) and Yuki Egarashi (4 runs in one inning) were the two big duds who contributed to the team’s two five spots. Chris Capuano pitched four innings of shutout ball, allowing only one hit and one walk in the start for the United States. Jeff Beliveau got the last two outs for the United States to preserve the opening day victory. Without quality pitching from the United States these two teams should engage in high scoring games if the United States has any hopes of winning.

Yamato Maeda was the offensive star for Japan collecting three hits in three at bats and scoring two runs. Hiroki Uemoto and Taishi Ota each contributed two RBIs for Japan. Japan pitchers combined to strike out 15 United States hitters.

You can see a box score from the game here:

boxscore

On the Road to Taiwan

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Myworld will be silenced for a day as we hit the road for Taiwan. We’re taking an Amtrak from D.C. to New Jersey, flying to Hong Kong and then from Hong Kong to Taichung. With the low crowd turnout at many of the games and no U.S. team playing in the tournament myworld should be easy to spot. But then that guy you think is my world could be just an Aussie fan. The Aussie fans will usually have a beer in one hand. Myworld will have his scorebook.

21 and Under - Day 3 Filled with Tight Games

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The first two days were filled with one sided games with one team scoring in double digits while the other team struggled to score. For day three it was a pitchers day as no team scored in double digits and each game was filled with the intensity that comes with close games. The biggest of the games was Taiwan versus Korea.

Taiwan 7 Korea 1

This turned out to be the biggest blow out of the game, but it was a classic pitcher’s duel through the first six innings. Both teams are expected to advance to the next round. Korea will have to advance with a loss. Chun Lin Kuo held the Korean bats to one run in seven innings of work. His counterpart Ki-Jun Lim had shutout the Taiwan bats on two hits through the first six innings. Taiwan exploded for four runs in the seventh to turn this game around quickly. Po Jung Wang turned the tide, crushing a two run triple after Taiwan witnessed their first potential run thrown out at home on the previous hit. The final two runs of the inning scored on wild pitches. Chih Chieh Su put the game away in the eighth with a booming three run homerun.

Nicaragua 3 Australia 2

In a mild upset Nicaragua remained undefeated at 2-0 with their win over Australia who drops to 1-2. Arnol Rizo scored twice and Jordan Pavon drove him in twice with two RBI singles in the third and fifth. Australia stranded two runners in the top of the ninth to put their left on base total to ten.

Japan 7 Netherlands 2

Japan moved to 3-0 with the win while Netherlands dropped to 0-2. Japan stole five bases, four of them in a three run second that proved to be the difference in the game. Yudai Mori pitched five innings to get the win, giving up the two Netherlands runs. Toshiki Sakurai shut down the Dutch bats in the last two innings to preserve the victory. Sho Azegami and Seiya Suzuki were the two hitting stars driving in two runs apiece.

New Zealand 6 Czech Republic 5

New Zealand earned their second win against one loss getting a walk off single from Daniel Bradley in the bottom of the ninth to send the Czechs to their third defeat. The Czechs had tied the score in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch but stranded runners on second and third. The four New Zealand pitchers only allowed four hits, but they were a bit wild with 9 walks. Bradley drove in two while Scott Drinkwater also drove in two to lead the offense. Drinkwater drove in the first two runs for New Zealand with his single in the second.

Italy 5 Mexico 1

Italy pulled off their second win to go against one loss beating the now winless in three tries Mexico. Back to back hit by pitches loaded the bases and forced in what proved to be the go ahead run for Italy. Matteo Bocchi pitched three plus innings of shutout relief to pick up the victory. Alberto Mineo had a clutch two run double in seventh to pull Italy away by three.

Boxscores for the game can be found here:

http://www.ibaf.org/en/competition/2a0636f8-f9c1-40e4-a97a-2c085be5e0a7/results

boxscores