Archive for October, 2018

Hawks Take Series Lead Over Carps

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The defending champion Hawks have taken a 2-1 series lead in the Japan Series over the Hiroshima Carp with their 4-1 win. Nao Higashihama worked five innings for the Hawks, limiting the Carp to just one run to earn the win. The bullpen did the rest with four different pitchers working one shutout inning each. Yuito Mori came on in the ninth to pick up the save.

As he has done throughout these playoffs, Seiji Uebayashi was the big hitter for the Hawks in this game. His two run homer in the third gave the Hawks an early 2-0 lead. It would be all the runs they needed to win the game.

When Seiya Suzuki launched a solo shot in the fourth to give the Carp their only run of the game, Alfredo Despaigne responded back with his solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth to again put the lead at two runs.

Heroes Even Series Against Wyverns

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The Nexon Heroes relied on two 19 year old pitchers to throw eight shutout innings to take a 4-2 win over the SK Wyverns and even their best of five series at two games apiece. The final game will be played Friday, with the winner rewarded with the opportunity to play the Doosan Bears in the championship game.

Seung-Ho Lee went the first four innings. He was a bit wild walking five hitters, but only allowed one hit. After walking the first hitter in the fifth he was replaced by 19 year old Woo-Jin Ahn. Ahn has been unhittable in the playoffs, giving up just one run in his 11 innings of relief. He struck out the side and shutout the Wyverns for three more innings, allowing just one hit. His ERA in the playoffs is now 0.60 in his 15 innings of work.

Jerry Sands was the offensive force for the Heroes. The Heroes only collected five hits in the game. Jerry Sands got four of them in a 4 for 4 day. His two run homer in the fourth inning gave the Heroes an early 2-0 lead. They added two more in the sixth when a Jerry Sands single advanced a runner to third. He scored on an error by the Wyverns. A Ha-Seong Kim single, the only hit not by Sands, scored Sands with the fourth run.

The Wyverns were able to break through with two runs in the ninth on a two run homerun from Dong-Min Han off Bo-Guen Lee. Sang Su Kim came on to get the last two outs to secure the Heroes win.

Hawks Even Series with Wild 9-8 Win

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

It was anything but a pitchers duel in the Softbank Hawks 9-8 win over the Hiroshima Carp. The Hawks had a three run homerun from Alfredo Despaigne in the sixth and a solo job from Hiroaki Takaya in the seventh to jump out front 8-3. For Takaya, the homerun he hit in the Japan Series equaled the number he hit during the regular season.

The Carp were not finished, rallying for five runs in the eighth to pull within one. Tomohiro Abe, who had hit a solo homerun in the fifth, connected on another in the eighth, this one a grand slam to finish the game with five RBIs. The two homeruns in this game almost equaled the four he hit during the regular season. Seiya Suzuki also hit two homeruns, solo jobs in the sixth and eighth innings.

Hawks closer Yuito Mori issued two hits in the ninth, but was still able to retire the Carp without allowing them to score to notch a save.

Heroes Stay Alive in KBO Playoffs

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Facing the brink of elimination the Nexon Heroes were able to eek a win against the SK Wyverns 3-2. The big hit was the two run single by Ju Hyu-Sang in the second inning that gave the Heroes a 2-1 lead. After the Wyverns tied it in the top of the fifth Kim Hye-Sung led off the bottom frame with a triple. He was driven in on a fly ball by Song Seong-Moon to give the Heroes a 3-2 lead.

The bullpen was able to throw zeroes for the next 3.2 innings. Kim Sang-Su came on in the ninth and retired the side in order to seal the Heroes victory. They now trail the best of five series two games to one.

Jamie Romak (second inning) and Kang Seung-Ho (fifth inning) each hit solo shots for the Wyvern runs. Both homeruns were hit off Heroes starter Han Hyun-Hee, who gave the Heroes 5.1 innings, allowing just six hits and striking out seven.

Tomoyuki Sugano Wins Sawamura Award

Monday, October 29th, 2018

For the second year in a row Tomoyuki Sugano of the Yomiuri Giants wins the Sawamura award, which is equivalent to the Cy Young award in the major leagues. Unlike the Cy Young a Japanese pitcher must meet certain qualifying criteria in order to even be considered for the Sawamura award. In some years no pitchers have met the criteria resulting in no award being given.

A pitcher has to get at least 15 wins, strike out at least 150, complete ten games, have a 2.50 ERA or better, pitch at least 200 innings, appear in at least 25 games and have a .600 or better winning percentage. Sugano met all those criteria with a 15-8 record resulting in a .652 winning percentage, 202 innings pitched with 200 whiffs with a 2.14 ERA while starting 28 games. He had 10 complete games, 8 of them shutouts.

Lions Beat Monkeys in Game Two

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The Uni Lions won the second game of their Taiwan Series, beating the LaMigo Monkeys 4-2. They still trail the series two games to one because the Monkeys got a free game for winning both halves of their standings.

LaMigo struck first when Chu Yu-Hsien roped an RBI double off Josh Roenicke in the fourth inning. Lan Yin-Lun hit a solo shot in the fifth to extend the LaMigo lead to 2-0.

When the Monkeys went to their pen, pulling Michael Nix after six shutout innings, Su Chih-Chieh went deep in the seventh to give the Lions their first run of the game. Mai Chia-Yi gave the Lions the lead with a two run single in the eighth. The Lions tacked on an insurance run in the ninth.

Bonn Capitals Win the German Baseball Championship

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The Bonn Capitals won the German baseball championships, defeating the defending champion Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 7-5. The Capitals had to win the last two games in the best of five series to take the championship. This is the first German championship for Bonn. If I could read German I would provide a summary of the results but you would have to go to baseball-softball.de for the results.

Mexico Upsets Japan in Under 23 World Cup

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Mexico pulled a big upset beating the previously undefeated and number two ranked team in the world Japan 2-1. They did it with eight innings of one hit pitching from starter Carlos Morales. The bullpen continued to leave Japan hitless through 10 innings. In the top of the tenth Mexico captured the lead with a two run single from Fabricio Macias.

Japan could only counter with one run in the bottom of the 10th. They chose to sacrifice to move the runners into scoring position. A ground out scored one run but that left Japan with only one out left. A walk put the winning run on base. Japan called on Sergio Alvarado to get the last out. He walked the only batter he faced to load the bases. Erick Casillas was asked to save the day. He got a fly out to right and the Mexican celebration began.

Hiroki Kondo pitched well for Japan, throwing eight innings of shutout ball. He gave up seven hits. Mexico strung together three consecutive singles off him in the second, but had a runner gunned down at home to end the inning with zero runs.

Macias had an opportunity to win the game in the seventh, an intentional walk putting two runners on with two out. He grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Macias did not fail in his second opportunity grounding a single up the middle to drive in two.

Venezuela 5 Korea 4

Venezuela won the bronze medal game. They scored the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth when Korea tried to turn two but failed, the runner from third scoring on the play.

Nivaldo Rodriguez threw five innings of one hit shutout ball before he departed after the fifth inning. The Venezuelans were leading 3-0 after his departure. In his eleven innings of work Rodriguez had yet to allow a run and had only given up three hits. The Koreans found the servings of the Venezuelan bullpen more to their liking, scoring four in the next two innings to tie the game.

Carp Take First Game in Japan Series

Monday, October 29th, 2018

After the first game between the Hiroshima Carp and Softbank Hawks ended in a 2-2 tie the Carp got the first win with a 5-1 victory. Kris Johnson limited the Hawks to just one run on four hits in his seven innings of work. Seiya Suzuki made sure he had the offense he needed with an RBI single in the first and a two run single in the fifth.

Nobuhiro Matsuda drove in the only run for the Hawks with an RBI single in the seventh. By that time the team was down 5-0. Three of the four hits the Hawks collected were in the seventh inning. Relievers Geronimo Franzua and Shota Nakazaki each pitched an inning of relief to finish the game.

Rick VandenHurk got the start for the Hawks and gave up five runs in his five innings of work. Two of the runs were unearned.

Pearce Leads Red Sox to World Series Victory

Monday, October 29th, 2018

As myworld focused on pointing out players who would be the most unlikely heroes in these playoff games, one was voted the MVP of the World Series. Steve Pearce hit two homeruns yesterday to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win. He hit three homeruns in the World Series and drove in eight runs. Released by the Orioles three times and traded during mid season to the Red Sox by the Toronto Blue Jays, Pearce becomes our most unlikely hero that actually became a hero.

David Price also pitched a great game. Price has had a history of struggling in the playoffs, but in this post season he pitched mostly solid games. Last night he gave up just three hits, one of them a first inning solo shot from David Freese to lead off the Dodgers at bat. That turned out to be the only run of the game.

Clayton Kershaw continued his post season struggles, though he went seven innings. The Red Sox touched him for three homeruns, Steve Pearce with a two run blast in the first and Mookie Betts with a solo shot in the sixth and J.D. Martinez with a solo in the seventh. Kershaw only allowed four other hits, but it was the homerun ball that killed him. Steve Pearce slugged his second homerun of the game and the fourth for the Red Sox in the eighth inning, a solo shot off Pedro Baez.

Joe Kelly and Chris Sale closed out the game with one inning of splendid relief work each. They faced six hitters and struck out all six. Kelly was another World Series rock, appearing in five games and not giving up a run. When he was struggling during mid-season and Alex Cora was questioned for continuing to bring him in during tight games Cora’s response was “We’re going to need Kelly”. That proved very prophetic.

The 119 wins by the Red Sox for the 2018 season have only been topped by the 1998 New York Yankees (125) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners (120). Puerto Rico has to be proud with rookie manager Alex Cora guiding this 119 win team to a World Series championship. It was their fourth championship in the last 15 years, three more than the New York Yankees have won during that time. That has to irk some Yankee fans.