Archive for June, 2019

Football or Baseball in London

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

If you were told the score of the game was 17-13 you would have thought it was a football game played in England in the middle of the summer. If you saw that two teams had scored “6″ in the first you would have thought two teams had each scored a touchdown and missed the extra points or had kicked two field goals and it was quarters you were talking about, not innings. But it was baseball they played in London and the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 17-13.

The game lasted four hours and 42 minutes, the second longest major league game in history. It missed being the longest game by three minutes. That game was also played by the Red Sox and Yankees. Ironic that baseball was brought to England because it was a faster game than cricket, which has been known to take a couple days to play one game.

The attendance was just short of 60,000 at London stadium, a cricket field turned into a baseball field. Myworld doesn’t know what the site lines were for the game but with all that action who really cares. Only six times in major league history, or at least since 1912 have two teams combined for 12 runs in the first inning. The 37 combined hits are the second most in a Red Sox/Yankees game since 1908. So there was a lot to see at the game.

It had a little international flair to the game too with Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka getting the start for the Yankees. He did not last past the first inning. It would have been nice to have honored all those major league players born in England. Most of those players were born prior to World War II so there are not many of them. Players who were born in England after 1950 who played major league baseball are:

Danny Cox
Paul Marak
Lance Painter
Chris Reed
Phil Stockman

There are enough there to make a basketball team, but not enough for a major league baseball team. The second game is today. Let’s hope this one is more representative of what baseball should be.

Clippers Hold Off Indians

Friday, June 28th, 2019

The Columbus Clippers scored three early runs, two of them plated as a result of a fifth inning homerun by Tracye Thompson to down the Indianapolis Indians 3-2. Aaron Civale kept the Indians off the scoreboard for seven innings, retiring the last 11 hitters he faced. The Indians fell short of a victory at Victory Field.

Alex McRae started strong for the Indians, retiring the first seven hitters he faced, four of them on strikeouts. In the third he loaded the bases before escaping the jam. In the fourth he hit Brandon Barnes, who eventually stole second base and advanced to third when the catcher’s throw sailed into centerfield. Mark Mathias drove him in with a single for the first run.

In the fifth he gave up a two run homer to Thompson. After a two out single from Ryan Flaherty, McRae was gone.

Chih-Wei Hu had a rough ninth inning for the Clippers. After striking out the leadoff batter he gave up a hit to Tracye Robinson and back to back doubles to Logan Hill and Eric Wood, the last driving in two runs. Neil Ramirez replaced Hu and retired the last two hitters to get the save.

Myworld likes Victory Field. It has an old fashioned look to it, with a power plant lurking in the background. They also have a pretty large bar out in leftfield. Myworld was not too impressed with the concessions, the standard fare of hot dogs, chicken tenders, pizza or burgers. They have a rather ordinary looking bear mascot by the name of Rowdie.

The interesting aspect about AAA is finding the ex-major league players on the roster. Brandon Barnes has blasted 16 homeruns. Ryan Flaherty was playing shortstop for the Clippers and J.B. Schuck did not look too happy to roam centerfield in AAA. Jake Elmore was hitting .362. The only players I would identify as prospects are Cole Tucker and Kevin Kramer for the Indians and Adam Civale for the Clippers. Another Clipper Daniel Johnson, is a borderline prospect. Myworld does not believe he has enough game power to make it as a corner outfielder.

The Clippers had some big bats in the lineup. Tracye Thompson and Eric Haase each have 18 homeruns, with Tracye hitting his 19th tonight. Brandon Barnes has 16 homeruns

Futures Game Rosters

Friday, June 28th, 2019

The Futures game will no longer be the United States versus the World. Now it will be the American League versus the National League. This could make it more prospect heavy. The problem with the United States versus the World concept was a player from South Africa could make the roster even though there were a number of prospects more deserving, but because he was from South Africa he made the team. Myworld does not doubt that he is a good player, but it would not be a world team if it was filled with 25 players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba.

Below are the rosters for the Futures game for American League versus National League.

American League

RHP - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers), J.B. Bukauskas (Corpus Christi), Justin Dunn (Arkansas), Deivi Garcia (Trenton), Matt Manning (Erie), Nate Pearson (New Hampshire), Grayson Rodriguez (Delmarva), Brady Singer (Norwest Arkansas)

LHP - D.L. Hall (Frederick), Brendan McCay (Durham)

Catchers - Ronaldo Hernandez (Charlotte), Sam Huff (Down East), Jake Rogers (Toledo)

Infielders - Wander Franco (Charlotte), Nolan Jones (Lynchburg), Royce Lewis (Fort Meyers), Nick Madrigal (Birmingham), Jorge Mateo (Las Vegas), Isaac Paredes (Erie), Evan White (Arkansas)

Outfielders - Jo Adell (Mobile), Jarren Duran (Portland), Daniel Johnson (Columbus), Jarred Kelenic, Luis Robert (Birmingham)

National League

RHP - Adbert Alzolay (Iowa), Ian Anderson (Mississippi), Dustin May (Oklahoma City), Luis Patino (Lake Elsinore), Sixto Sanchez (Jacksonville), Devin Williams (Biloxi)

LHP - Ben Bowden (Albuquerque), MacKenzie Gore (Lake Elsinore), Anthony Kay (Syracuse), Adrian Morejon (Amarillo)

Catchers - Miguel Amaya (Myrtle Beach), Joey Bart (San Jose), Daulton Varsho (Jackson)

Infielders - Alec Bohm (Reading), Will Craig (Indianapolis), Isan Diaz (New Orleans), Nolan Gorman (Palm Beach), Carter Kieboom (Fresno), Gavin Lux (Oklahoma City)

Outfielders - Dylan Carlson (Springfield), Monte Harrison (New Orleans), Cristian Pache (Mississippi), Heliot Ramos (San Jose), Alek Thomas (Kane County), Taylor Trammell (Chattanooga)

Some players like Brendan McKay may be replaced on the roster if they are called up to the major leagues prior to the game. Taylor Trammell has the opportunity to win back to back MVPs.

Japanese All Star Starters

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Below are the names of the players who will be starting in the All Star game as voted on by the fans.

Pacific League:

Starting Pitcher: Kodai Senga (Hawks)
Relief Pitcher - Naoki Miyanishi (Fighters)
Closer - Yuki Matui (Eagles)
Catcher - Tomoya Mori (Lions)
First Base - Hotaka Yamakawa (Lions)
Second Base - Hideto Asamura (Eagles)
Third Base - Brandon Laird (Marines)
Shortstop - Kenta Imamiya (Hawks)
Outfield - Shogo Akiyama (Lions), Masataka Yoshida (Buffaloes), Yuki Yanagita (Hawks)
Designated Hitter - Kensuke Kondoh (Fighters)

All six of the Pacific League teams will have starters in the All Star game.

Central Division

Starting Pitcher - Daichi Ohsera (Carp)
Relief Pitcher - Pierce Johnson (Tigers)
Closer - Yasuaki Yamasaki (Baystars)
Catcher - Ryutaro Umeno (Tigers)
First Base - Kazuma Okamoto (Giants)
Second Base - Tetsuto Yamada (Swallows)
Third Base - Munetaka Murakami (Swallows)
Shortstop - Hayato Sakamoto (Giants)
Outfield - Seiya Suzuki (Carp), Koji Chikamoto (Tigers), Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh (Baystars)

Five of the six teams are represented in the Central League. The Dragons are the only team without a starter.

Vanderbilt Wins College World Series

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Michigan was the talk of Omaha. They were the Cinderella team that had eliminated number one UCLA in the Super Regionals. Now they had to beat the equally strong Vanderbilt. They won the first, but they could not finish it. Vanderbilt won the final two, taking it to Michigan in the final game 8-2.

The game started off well for Michigan early, scoring in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. A Pat DeMarco solo shot in the second tied the game. After that Vanderbilt piled it on, rallying for three runs in the third after two were out. Michigan helped them out with three walks in the inning. Michigan also walked two in the fourth that came around to score to give Vandy an unrelenting 6-1 lead. In total, Michigan pitchers walked 8 hitters.

Myworld could only watch videos of the dog pile. Perhaps next year we will stay long enough to watch the final.

LaMiga Monkeys Continue Taiwan Dominance

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

The LaMiga Monkeys again won the first half title to qualify for the CPBL Taiwan series. This is their fifth consecutive half a season win. If they win the second half they get a bye and watch two CPBL teams battle it out. They would play the winner of that match and also get a free win to go up in the series 1-0.

The Monkeys have also won four of the last five CPBL championships. The EDA Rhinos won the championship in 2016, defeating the Brothers Baseball Club to break their streak. The China Trust Brothers lost in the finals four consecutive years between 2014 to 2017.

Kumar Keeps Vandy Alive

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Kumar Rocker did not have his best stuff, but it was good enough to shut Michigan down to just one run in 6.1 innings. His 93-94 mile per hour fastball early in the game had dropped to 88-90 after the third inning. He still battled relying on his breaking stuff to lead Vanderbilt to a 4-1 win over Michigan. Tyler Brown pitched the last 2.2 innings to preserve the win.

It did not look like this game was going to be played today. Thunderstorm warnings with threats of tornados and hail were in the forecast. Two hours before game time the rain was coming down pretty hard. But by 5 PM it had stopped and despite the dark clouds encircling the stadium the game was played with no rain.

It was a classic pitcher’s duel between Isaiah Paige and Kumar Rocker. Rocker gave up just one hit in his first five innings. Paige went four innings allowing just two hits. Poor fielding and walks were the Wolverines undoing.

The collapse began in the fifth. Harrison Ray began the inning with a single to left center. Ty Duvall swung at the first pitch and grounded what looked to be a double play ball up the middle. Wolverine shortstop Jack Blomgren appeared to try to run to second to start the double play before he actually fielded the ball. The ball zipped past his glove into centerfield for an error, Ray advancing to third. Paige struck out Julian Infante for the first out. Ben Keizer came on in relief. Austin Martin topped a slow grounder to third, Blake Nelson fielding the ball, but his only play was to first, giving the Commodores a 1-0 lead. The Wolverines chose to walk J.J. Bleday intentionally and then a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out. Ethan Paul was walked intentionally to load the bases. Keizer ran the count to 3-1 to Philip Clarke who appeared to swing at ball four and grounded out to short to end the inning.

It got worse in the fifth. Pat Demarco started the inning with a single. A walk to Stephen Scott put two runners on, Ray bunting the runners to second and third. That ended the day for Keizer and the call went to Jack Weisenburger. Weisenburger had trouble finding the strike zone. He threw a wild pitch to allow DeMarco to score. After walking Ty Duvall he threw another wild pitch to allow Scott to cross the plate. Another walk to Julian Infante was the end for Weisenburger. Angelo Smith came on to strike out the next two hitters to end the inning.

Angelo made it three whiffs in a row when he struck out Ethan Paul to start the seventh. Philip Clarke then smashed a pitch into the right field bullpen to extend the Commodore lead to 4-0.

Kumar gave up a leadoff single to Jack Blomgren in the seventh. A balk advanced Blomgren to second. The Commodores turned early to Tyler Brown to finish the game, knowing that tomorrow they would be done if they did not get the win. Ako Thomas greeted Brown with a single into the third base hole, scoring Blomgren and ending the shutout.

Brown was solid the rest of the way, not allowing a hit after the Thomas single and retiring the last seven hitters in a row.

Game Notes: Myworld prefers to sit on the left field side for general admission. There, you can see the scoreboard and don’t have to continually turn around to eye the video screen…Kumar struck out the side in the second inning and at one point had struck out four in a row. Hitters were swinging and missing at his high fastballs. He finished the day with 11 whiffs…Beach balls were bouncing around the general admission stands between innings while pitchers warmed up. Once the game started the fans showed enough restraint to hold the balls…Fans in general admission chant back and forth “Leftfield sucks” and the people in leftfield would counter with “rightfield sucks”…Vanderbilt likes to use whistles during their at bats. The NCAA would not allow them to use whistles inside the stadium. So they whistled using their mouth instead…The Vandy team has a lot of lefthanded bats in the lineup. A team with lefthanders in the bullpen might be able to tame a number of Vandy rallies.

Missions Slam Stormchasers in Extended Game

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Myworld thought we would have our first triple header here in Omaha, but it was not to be. The continuation game took 13 innings to complete, starting in the fifth inning. It ended on a grand slam by David Freitas that looked like a routine fly ball when it left the bat. The Missions went on to win 12-9.

Myworld did not score the game since it was starting at 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth. We were hoping to score the second game. Because of that we will only provide some of our thoughts of the game and the park.

The Omaha foot long hot dog was tasty. It came with beef, bacon and melted nacho like cheese on the dog. I would highly recommend it. Normally ballpark food is very bland, but maybe I was hungry.

Nothing really special about the park. They do have some stands in foul territory just beyond the infield in left field that face home plate. That is where the Stormchaser bullpen sits. It is the first time I have seen something like that. Those seats curl in just behind the infield area.

Lucas Erceg is not a big guy. While he is supposed to hit for power I don’t see that on a consistent basis. It will be tough for him to make it as a third baseman.

Mauricio Dubon hits the ball hard. He had a couple ground ball singles that flashed through the infield. I don’t like the way he runs or rounds the bases. Too conservative. He doesn’t look like he has the arm or the speed to play shortstop. The Missions would have won the game earlier if he had not lost a popup and let it drop in the infield, allowing the tying run to score.

Samir Duenez needs to lose some weight if he wants to be taken seriously by the major leagues. He hits a lot of homeruns but his weight will be a factor as he gets older. I liked his offensive numbers. Now that I see him I would be hesitant to call him up.

There was a Kyle Zimmer siting. He threw the ball hard hitting 93-96 miles per hour with his fastball. He had no command of his curveball.

This was my first extra inning game in the minor leagues where a runner starts at second. Both the Missions and the Stormchasers had difficulty bringing that run in resulting in the 13 inning marathon. The purpose of the rule was to shorten the time of the games.

The Stormchasers had four different mascots on the field. Sue Nami is a female mascot that looks like a giant wave. There is a giant steak and a lion by the name of Casey. Then there is the unidentifiable character by the name of Stormy who is green and has a large belly. There are too many of these mascots colored green with large bellys and big snouts.

Michigan Keeps on Rolling

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

That got on the College World Series road map when they upset the number one team in College Baseball, UCLA, beating them in the Super Regionals. Now they are one win away from being crowned College World Series champions after they dominated Vanderbilt 7-4 tonight.

Drake Fellows, the Vanderbilt ace did not have his best stuff struggling with command. He walked the leadoff batter in both the first and second innings and it came back to bite him. In the first after walking leadoff batter Jordan Nwogu he appeared to get a little reprieve from his defense. Jessie Franklin singled to center, Nwogu tried to advance to third and centerfielder Pat DeMarco gunned him out short of the base. Franklin advanced to second on the throw, but scored when Jordan Brewer lined a pitch into the right field corner. Brewer scored on a clutch two out single past the shortstop from Blake Nelson. The Wolverines had attacked quickly to take a 2-0 lead.

Fellows walked the first two hitters he faced in the second inning. They both went on to score, Jack Blomgren scoring on a Ako Thomas bloop double down the left field line. Despite trailing by three the Vanderbilt defenses were back and Joe Donavan scored on a ground out.

Tommy Henry pitched a masterful game, going two outs short from getting a complete game victory. He did run into some trouble in the second, giving up a leadoff single to Philip Clarke to end his no hit bid. After two whiffs Harrison Ray and Ty Duvall hit back to back singles to score Vandy’s first run. Harrison Ray scored the second run on a wild pitch from Henry.

In the fourth Michigan threatened again, putting runners on second and third with just one out. Jordan Nwogu grounded out to the pitcher and Jesse Franklin grounded out to second to diffuse the rally. Fellows would work two more innings without allowing a run, taken out with two outs in the sixth after walking the number nine hitter Ako Thomas to put runners on first and second with two outs. Zach King struck out Jordan Nwogu to end the threat.

J.J. Bleday gave the Commodore fans hope when he blasted a pitch from Henry into the right field bleachers to lead off the sixth. This put the Commodores to within one. A Jack Blomgren error and a wild pitch put a runner on third with two out. Tommy Henry was able to strike out Stephen Scott to strand the tying run on third.

Michigan used the long ball to run away from the game after that. Jimmy Kerr hit a two run homerun in the seventh to cushion the Michigan lead to 6-3. Joe Donavan hit a solo shot in the eighth to up the ante to 7-3. Michigan was able to load the bases with two walks and a single and only one man retired in that eighth inning. Jimmy Kerr went from hero to goat by popping up to third. Blake Nelson flew out to right to end that threat.

In the top of the ninth Michigan put runners on first and third with no outs. Patrick Raby kept the damage contained, striking out the next two hitters and allowing Jordan Nwogu to fly out harmlessly to right.

Tommy Henry was two outs short from throwing a complete game. He struck out eight. Pat DeMarco hit a leadoff double off him in the ninth. Jeff Criswell came on to retire the last two hitters to put Michigan one more win away from a College World Series championship. Criswell was used as a third starter for Michigan, but he has been used as closer for this College World Series.

Game Notes: Though it was a sellout crowd with 24,707 in attendance it was not a raucous crowd. Because Nebraska is a Big Ten school most people in attendance were rooting for Michigan…The General Admission ticket I bought did not guarantee me a seat. It was standing room only, but the early birds got to sit…During batting practice there was a player walking around with a bag collecting the batting practice balls. Other players would throw balls at him that they had retrieved during batting practice. They were eventually used to refill the basket for more batting practice. You don’t see them do that in the major leagues…The video screen listed all the people who played Little League ball (I think it was 1 in 20), all the people who played high school ball, all the people who played college ball and then all the people who played in a college world series. That last figure was 1 in 20,000 people get an opportunity to play in the college world series…It takes some getting used to hearing the ping off the bat instead of the crack of the ball off the wooden bat. College baseball uses aluminum bats…Drake Fellows struggled with getting his breaking ball over in the first two innings. In the third he only threw two balls as he struck out the side. He walked four on the day…Vanderbilt used three pitching visits in the first four innings. The fourth pitching visit in the sixth inning led to the departure of Fellows…Tommy Henry did not walk a hitter until he walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth inning. Jordan Brewer rifled a throw to third on a Ethan Paul single to get Austin Martin to eliminate him as a baserunner.

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.