Archive for September, 2017

Under 18 Super Round - Day 2 United States Blanks Korea

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

It was a matchup between the only two teams who had yet to take a loss in the tournament. The United States knocked Korea off of that mountain and are now king of the hill. In two upsets Australia surprised Cuba and Canada knocked off Japan to send the crowd into a tizzy over who will face the United States in the championship. Korea does battle with Japan today and a win will clinch a rematch with the United States.

United States 2 Korea 0

As it has been throughout this tournament the United States pitchers carried the team. The Korean pitcher Be-En Gwak was not too bad either. Ethan Hankins was a mystery to Korea for his six innings of work. He gave up two hits and struck out 14 of the 22 hitters he faced. All those K’s impacted his pitch count and he was relieved by Ryan Weathers for 2.2 innings. Weathers gets into a little trouble in the 9th giving up a two out single and a walk to put two runners on. John Ginn gets the last out on a strikeout to preserve the shutout and give the United States pitchers 19 whiffs on the day.

Gwak did not have the high strikeout totals of Hankins but he had the United States hitters perplexed through the first seven innings. The score was 0-0 after seven when the United States struck first. It was Gwak himself who gifted the run when he made an error to put a runner on first. Jarred Kelenic singled Michael Siani to third and Anthony McNair was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch scores the first run.

The United States scores an insurance run in the ninth on a double by Nolan Gorman that drives Gwak from the game. A single by Brice Turang gives the United States a 2-0 lead, enough for the vaunted pitching staff to protect.

Australia 3 Cuba 0

Both teams banged out 12 hits. Cuba failed to get the clutch hit when they needed it, stranding 13 runners. Australia stranded 11 runners but they were able to get two big hits in the three run fourth that turned the ballgame. Jack O’Loughlin went seven innings, scattering nine hits, but not allowing a runner to cross the plate.

An RBI triple by Joshua Bedggood and a two run triple by Alex Hall in the fourth inning drive in all the runs Australia needs to escape with a victory. Cuba gets four hits in five at bats from Cesar Prieto, but they are all wasted.

Canada 6 Japan 4

Perhaps Japan was looking ahead to their game against Korea. Canada put them in the present, winning the game despite making 5 errors. Japan made two errors but it cost them the game in the 7th. Canada had just committed two big errors in the sixth to allow Japan to take a 4-3 lead. A one out error allowed Canada to put a runner on second. Archer Brookman drives him in with a single to tie the game at 4-4. A strikeout should have ended the inning but the ball gets past the catcher to put runners on first and third. A wild pitch gives Canada a 5-4 lead and a single by Victor Cerny extends the lead to 6-4.

Dondrae Bremner drove in two runs for Canada but also committed two errors at short. Harley Gollert pitches the last three innings of shutout ball to close out the victory for Canada. Japan gets a solo shot from Kotaro Kiyomiya, his second of the tournament.

For Japan to get into the finals they must beat Korea and hope the winless Cuban team downs Canada. If Canada wins it will throw second place into a three way tie if Japan beats Korea. If Korea wins they will play the United States in the championship. Australia needs to beat the United States to have any hope of getting into the bronze medal game with either Japan, Korea or Canada and hope for a couple upsets, i.e Cuba beating Canada and Japan beating Korea to put second place into a four way tie. Cuba has nothing left to play for.

Teen Sets KBO Hits Record

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Perhaps the next Ichiro Suzuki is playing in Korea. At 19 years of age Nexon Heroes outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee recorded his 158th hit that broke the record for most hits by a rookie in a season. That had been held by Yong-Bin Seo, who accumulated 157 hits for the LG Twins in 1994. Jung-Hoo is the son of Jong-Beom Lee, who won an MVP award while playing in the KBO. The younger Lee is almost a shoe in to win the rookie of the year award.

Turner Leads Nats Past Phils

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Trea Turner bounced a single just past the glove of shortstop Freddy Galvis to drive in the tying and go ahead run to give the Nationals a 4-3 win over the Phillies. The revamped Nationals bullpen did the rest with Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle each working one inning of shutout ball to seal the victory.

Tanner Roark got the start for the Nationals. He was plagued by the homerun ball in the third and fourth innings. Jorge Alfaro took him for a ride into centerfield in the third inning. Tommy Joseph lifted a high fly ball that settled just over the fence in the left field corner to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

The Phillies tacked on another run in the fifth. Cesar Hernandez slapped a one out double down the left field line. Freddy Galvis scored him with a single into right center. Another single by Odubel Herrera put runners on first and third with one out. Roark was able to battle out of the inning by striking out both Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams to end the inning.

The Nationals were gifted a run in the second after a throw by Tommy Joseph to the pitcher on a ground ball by Michael Taylor was muffed. The pitcher Aaron Nola took a poor route to first base and was approaching it at an awkward angle. Taylor stole second and scored on a clutch two out single into left by Alejandro de Aza. It was only the seventh hit for De Aza this season but it was his sixth RBI of the year.

The Nationals rallied in the sixth, Adam Lind starting the inning off with a single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a passed ball. Matt Wieters drove him in with a double into left center that split the outfielders, who appeared to be playing very shallow for Wieters. Howie Kendrick pinch hit for De Aza and walked. Rafael Bautista blooped a single into left center that fell just in front of Herrera, forcing Wieters to stop at third to load the bases. Turner drove them both in with a single.

An odd play occurred after the Turner single on a ground ball hit by Wilmer Difo. He hit a one hopper to shortstop Galvis. Bautista must have thought it was a line drive because he dove back to second. Galvis flipped to Hernandez, who stepped on the bag before Bautista got back to the bag forcing out Turner. Hernandez seeing Turner sliding just short of second and Bautista on the second base bag walked over and tagged Turner. Thinking they had completed the double play the Phillies walked off the field. Bautista began to return to the dugout but in a veteran move Turner told him to return to second. The umpires conferred and they ruled that Bautista had the right to get back to second after the force was made on Turner at second. Tagging Turner for the perceived third out did nothing. The play turned moot after Daniel Murphy struck out.

Michael Taylor made the defensive play of the game in the seventh inning when he leaped over the fence to rob Andres Blanco of a homerun. He was effortless in his leap that it appeared to be just another routine catch for Taylor.

Game Notes: Myworld has been absent a number of Nationals games because of volleyball commitments. This will probably continue until the playoffs. Once the playoffs start myworld has to relook at our priorities…Adam Lind moved poorly for a ball hit over his head in the third inning. The double put runners on second and third with two out but Roark was able to get out of the inning with a ground ball to short…Ryan Madson threw two 96 mile per hour fastballs that Ryhs Hoskins swung at and missed to complete a whiff…A young prospect driven lineup for the Phillies with Nick Williams in right, J.P. Crawford at third, Ryhs Hoskins in left and Jorge Alfaro behind the plate. Crawford made some nice defensive plays at third…With runners at first and third and one out Matt Wieters took three pitiful swings and misses at Aaron Nola curve balls…The Nationals magic number for clinching the division has dropped to four games…Victor Robles made his major league debut. He got a nice ovation from the fans when he stepped to the plate and the ovation returned after he flew out to right center. There was a lot of hustle in his legs as he almost reached second on his fly out to right…Odubel Herrera extended his hitting streak to twenty games with a double in the third. He finished the game with two hits.

Under 18 World Cup Super Round - No Surprises

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Korea came into the super round undefeated so it was no surprise they beat Cuba. How easily they beat them was a surprise. While Korea needed just eight innings to dispose of Cuba it took 11 innings before Japan could slay the battling Aussies. The United States walked their way past Canada.

Korea 17 Cuba 7

The Korean bats are impressive. When Cuba rallied for three in the top of the third Korea struck back with nine in the bottom frame. Cho Dae-Hyun got the nine run inning started with a two run double and it was off to the races for Korea after that. A six run rally in the eighth by Korea ends the game an inning early.

Cho finished with three RBIs, but Choi Hyun-Jun was the top run producer with four. Kang Baek-Ho and Jang Jun-Hwan also drove in three runs. Of the 15 hits the Koreans collected only two were for extra bases, both doubles. The Cuban pitchers also issued seven walks.

On the Cuban side Michel Triana drove in three runs. Both Cesar Prieto and Roidal Martinez each banged out three hits. The Cubans almost out hit the Koreans with 13 of their own, but none of the four pitchers they trotted out to the mound had an answer to the Korean bats.

Japan 4 Australia 3

It wasn’t easy for Japan. Hisanori Yasuda, who had a critical hit in a two run first and drove in a run with a double in the fourth ended the game in the bottom of the 11th with a bases loaded RBI single. Tatsuya Shimizu got them to the 11th with four innings of shutout relief. Fumimaru Taura avoided disaster after his walk loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 11th. He struck out the next two hitters to leave Australia scoreless and give Japan an opportunity to win the game.

Kyota Fujiwara, Kaito Kozono and Yasuda, the first three hitters in the Japan lineup each collected three hits to combine for nine of the 12 Japanese hits. Kyota scored twice from the lead off spot.

The bottom two hitters, Joshua Bedggood and Jordan Barnett, drove in all three runs for Australia, with Barnett driving in runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

United States 8 Canada 3

The United States pitching staff finally gave up more than one run. Canada felt like they had an opportunity to score more than three runs. Two runners were thrown out at home in the second inning and they grounded into a bases loaded double play in the seventh. The United States used three straight walks issued by Eric Cerantola to begin the first to score the first two runs of the game. Triston Casas took charge with his bat to control the rest of the game, hitting a solo shot in the third and a three run double in the eighth to finish the game with five RBIs.

Canada out hit the United States 10 to 6 but their pitchers issued 9 free passes to gift the United States with more opportunities to put men on base.

The big game will be played today when the two undefeateds, the United States and Korea do battle.

Under 18 Super Round Participants

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

The super round participants have been identified. The United States pool was easy to determine since the won loss record identified the United States, Japan and Cuba to advance. The Korean pool had a three way tie for second at 3-2 meaning one of Canada, Taiwan and Australia had to be eliminated. Korea advanced as the first place team.

The first tie breaker was head to head and each team finished 1-1 against each other. The second tie breaker was Team Quality Balance when playing against each other. The first criteria was the top ERA, the second was the best batting average and if you got to the last it was a coin flip. Taiwan got eliminated by having the worse ERA among the three teams when playing against each other. Overall Canada had the worst ERA (4.91), Taiwan was next (4.30) and Australia was on top (3.15), but it was different when the two teams competed against each other. The problem I have with ERA is a team can be rewarded with poor fielding when many of the runs they give up are unearned. The two game comparison is also a smaller sample size, even though you are comparing the teams when competing against each other and not how they are competing against the other teams.

The wins and losses from the first round carry over against the teams that advance to the first round. So the United States win over Cuba gives the United States one win and Cuba a loss. Their win over South Africa does not carry over. The standings beginning the super round are:

United States (2-0), Korea (2-0), Japan (1-1), Canada (1-1), Australia (0-2), Cuba (0-2)

Each team will play a game against the team from the other pool. The top two teams will play for the championship, while the third and fourth place teams will play for third place. Cuba and Australia will be a long shot to get to the championship round since they will have to win all their games and hope things play out where the other teams lose enough games to have multiple teams tied at 3-2.

Dennis Sarfate Breaks NPB Saves Record

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Dennis Sarfate broke the NPB save record with his 47th save in the Softbank Hawks 11 inning 6-5 win over the Orix Buffaloes. As is his usual routine he retired the side, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 0.95. With 22 games left in the season Sarfate has the opportunity to become the first Japanese pitcher to accumulate 50 saves in a season.

The previous record of 46 saves was held by the Chunichi Dragons Hiroki Iwase (2005) and the Hanshin Tigers Kyuji Fujikawa (2007). Fujikawa pitched three seasons in the major leagues with minimal success. He returned to the Hanshin Tigers in 2016 where he currently works out of the bullpen as a setup man. Iwase is still pitching with the Dragons as a setup reliever. He has 404 career saves.

Sarfate had a four year career in the major leagues between 2006 to 2009 with three different teams. He finished his last two years with the Baltimore Orioles, but during those four years he picked up zero saves. At 36 years of age his career is cemented in Japan where he has accumulated over 200 saves, more than any other foreign pitcher. Sarfate’s 222 saves is one behind Fujikawa, who sits at 223.

18 Under World Cup Rain Makeups

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

A couple blow outs in the rain makeup games from the second day. Two of the teams playing against each other had yet to win and have been eliminated from advancing to the super round. Canada has turned their tournament around with a three game winning streak. Nicaragua was the third winless team playing the rain makeup.

Canada 15 Nicaragua 3

A 10 run seventh turned a tight game into the slaughter rule, ending the game early. Canada bashed eight extra base hits in the game, Jason Willow going deep in a 3 for 4 day with two RBIs and Victor Cerny going deep as well as hitting a triple in a 3 for 5 day with three RBIs. Canada slashed 15 hits and drew 7 walks to have a plethora of baserunners throughout the day.

Mexico 14 South Africa 1

Mexico picked up their first win over a winless South Africa team. Saul Favella had a perfect 4 for 4 day with two doubles, a walk and three RBIs to lead the offense. The bottom of the order also contributed with Ramon Mendoza and Martin Perez going deep. Mendoza finished 1 for 1 with three walks and three runs scored.

Jorge Romero pitched six of the seven inning game, striking out 10. The one run he gave up was unearned.

San Marino Wins Italian League

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

San Marino swept through 2015 winner Rimini to win the Italian title three games to none. San Marino was a three time winner from 2011 to 2013 and has won a total of 13 championships. San Marino survived a solo homerun hit by Mattia Reginato to win the third game 2-1. Ricardo Hernandez pitched the first six innings allowing just one run on three hits. Jose Rosario took over for him in relief for the final three innings and retired the side in order in each of the innings.

Lino Zappone drove in both runs with an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI single in the 8th for San Marino.

18 and Under World Cup Standings

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

There are two makeup games, but for the most part teams have a bye today. Myworld felt this would be a good time to show the standings after five games for most teams.

Group A

Korea 5-0, Australia 3-2, Taiwan 3-2, Canada 2-2, Italy 1-4, Nicaragua 0-4

Group B

United States 5-0, Japan 4-1, Cuba 3-2, Netherlands 2-3, Mexico 0-4, South Africa 0-4

World Cup 19 and Under - Canada Escapes and United States Beats Cuba

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Canada escaped an upset from Italy to stay alive for the Super Round. They played the next day and upset second place Australia to improve their chances after two early game losses. The United States clobbered Cuba to remain undefeated.

Canada 6 Italy 5

Canada never had the lead in this game until a sacrifice fly hit by Marc Lebreux in the top of the ninth drove in the go ahead run to give Canada a 6-5 lead. Wesley Moore finishes the ninth, allowing just one hit to get the win. He shut down the Italian offense for 3.1 innings striking out five. Jason Willow drove in three runs with a double and triple.

Canada relied on 11 walks from the Italian pitching staff to pull out this victory, They ended the day accumulating just seven hits. Leonardo Seminati hit a homerun for Italy. Ricardo Poalini contributed two doubles to drive in two runs but the bats came up short for Italy late when it counted.

United States 8 Cuba 1

Cuba scored the first run in the second inning, but that is all they would score. In five games the United States pitching staff has not allowed more than one run to score against them. This time it was Mitchel Wilcox who stymied the Cuban bats, limiting them to two hits in seven innings. The lone run for Cuba was unearned.

The United States banged out 13 hits. Alek Thomas distributed three of them to knock in two runs. Anthony McNair also had two RBIs on his two hits. Raynel Delgado, born in Cuba and coming to the United States at six years of age went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. The United States scored runs in four consecutive innings to make this game a rout.

Canada 8 Australia 2

Canada got back into super round contention with a big win over Australia, who had only lost one game in the tournament. Two big three spots in the first two innings got them off to a good start. Archer Brookman got things started for Canada with a big two run homer in the first inning. For Brookman it is his second homerun of the tournament. Michael Stovman made it back to back with a homerun of his own, also his second of the tournament. In the second inning leadoff hitter Edouard Julien showed off his power bat with a 3-run homer to make it 6-0.

Jack Decooman lasted six innings, allowing just one run to get the win. Cade Smith finished the game for him by working the last three. Each pitcher allowed one run to score during his watch.

Korea 10 Italy 1

Korea stayed undefeated with an easy win over Italy. While the United States team has been winning with their arms, the Koreans have been winning with their sticks. Those bats did not wake up until the sixth when they erupted for five runs. They followed that with a four run seventh to put the game out of reach. It was their third straight game in which they have scored double digits in runs scored. The Koreans failed to hit a homerun in the game, but they did bang out 14 hits. Jin-Won Ye was a perfect 3 for 3 with two runs scored and two walks.

The Koreans used five different pitchers to get them through the game, with a bye tomorrow. One hitter they could not stop was Leonardo Seminati who finished the game 4 for 4, getting four of the five Italian hits. Leonardo accounted for the only Italian run, a solo shot in the fifth to tie the game 1-1. It was the second consecutive game in which Seminati homered.

Japan 12 South Africa 0

Japan strung together 10 hits, but they were also helped with 7 South African errors in a game that was stopped after 7. Kotaro Kiyomiya went deep for Japan in a 2 for 3 day with a double and homerun, driving in two. Kotaro scored three times. Kaito Kozono splashed together three hits in the rout.

Ginji Miura worked five innings in a start for Japan to get the win.

Netherlands 4 Mexico 0

The arm of Christopher Koeiman proved too much for Mexico. He went the complete nine innings, scattering five hits to spin together a shutout. Richgelon Juliana was the offensive star for the Dutch with his three hits, two of them doubles to allow him to cross the plate twice. Dylan Koster also had three hits, driving in one run and scoring once.

Taiwan 10 Nicaragua 5

Taiwan accepted the 10 walks Nicaragua pitchers gifted them and combined them with their 8 hits to score in double digits. Han-Yu Tseng was the bit stick for Taiwan with three hits and four runs driven in. He spanked two doubles. Tan Chiu drove in three from the bottom of the order and also scored four times in a 3 for 4 day with one double and a triple. Tan also stole two bases. The three hits were his first in the tournament after 10 hitless at bats.

Jeyner Sanchez went deep for Nicaragua, his second homerun of the tournament.