Archive for August, 2019

Little League World Series - Day 5

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

More teams get eliminated. Below is a summary of yesterday’s games.

Latin America (Venezuela) 8 Mexico 7

In a wild game Venezuela scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of two errors and two hit by pitches. The only hit of the inning was a single by Luis Atencio that drove in the tying run. An error by the right fielder allowed the go ahead run to score. Jonathan Rangel finished Mexico off in order in the sixth to secure the victory. Rangel quieted Mexico’s bats after they scored six runs in the first two innings. Rangel limited them to just one run in his 4.1 innings of work, striking out eight. Davirik Fuenmayor scored the go ahead run but also drove in two runs with a homerun in the first.

Angel Castillo went 3 for 3 for Mexico but that was not enough to keep them in the tournament.

Caribbean (Curacao) 8 Canada 1

Curacao eliminated Canada from the tournament with a convincing victory. Four early runs in the first two innings and four late runs in the fifth were too much for Canada to overcome. Six different players drove in runs with Kevin Rosina pitching all six innings to get the win.

West Region (Hawaii) 6 Mid-Atlantic (New Jersey) 0

Hawaii knocked Elizabeth into the loser’s bracket. Hawaii scored all their runs in the first three innings. Jaren Pascual got the scoring started with a solo shot in the first inning and Nicholas Nashiwa closed out the scoring with a pinch hit three run double in the third. Two different Hawaiian pitchers, Logan Kuloloia and Isaac Imamura, shutout New Jersey through six innings.

Southwest (Louisiana) 10 Midwest (Minnesota) 0

Southwest scored five in the fourth to end the game via the slaughter rule. Connor Perrot drove in four runs and Reece Roussel was a perfect 3 for 3, scoring three times to lead the offense. Reece is hitting .700 for the tournament. Derek DeLatte also went 3 for 3 with a run scored and one RBI. Three different pitchers combined for the shutout.

Great Lakes (Kentucky) 4 Australia 1

In a crossover game between two teams eliminated from the tournament, both teams accomplished a first. Kentucky got their first win while Australia scored their first run of the tournament. Chaze Huff pitched a complete game while Jackson Idlett drove in two runs to lead the offense.

Little League World Series - Day 4

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The Little Leaguers got to see the Cubs beat the Pirates in a Sunday night baseball game. These games were winner bracket games, with the losing team dropping down to the loser’s bracket. Prior to the Pirate/Cub game the below games were played.

Asia (Korea) 4 Caribbean (Curacao) 0

Korea used the duo of Su-Ho Yang and Jin-Won Na to each work three innings of shutout ball, holding the Curacao team to just one hit. Combined the two struck out 12 batters in six innings of work, each striking out six. Yang walked two and Na gave up the lone hit. Na also hit leadoff and scored twice with a walk, single and hit by pitch. Korea put the game away in the fifth with three runs, taking advantage of two errors, two walks and a hit by pitch scoring their three runs with the benefit of just one hit. Curacao drops to the loser bracket.

Japan 5 Mexico 0

The Japanese pitchers threw their second shutout of the World Series, dropping Mexico into the loser’s bracket. Yuto Kakeba got the start and pitched 3.1 innings, striking out six. In his first appearance he pitched one inning of relief and struck out all three hitters he faced. Kakeba also came through with the bat whacking a solo homerun to lead off the second to give Japan their first run. He was the only position player with two hits. Japan put the game away with four runs in the third, taking advantage of Mexico’s only two errors in the game.

Southeast (Loudoun County, Virginia) 11 Midwest (Coon Rapids, Minnesota) 0

Virginia only needed three innings to score their 11 runs. Justin Lee pitched four innings of shutout ball and the game ended after Minnesota could not score in the fourth. Liam Thyen drove in five runs with just one hit. He doubled, walked and hit a sacrifice fly. Colton Hicks drove in three runs and scored twice. He also doubled. Maddy Freking, the first female player to play in the Little League World Series since Mo’ne Davis in 2014 went hitless in her lone at bat. She also got to pitch one inning and gave up three runs. She normally plays second base. For the tournament she is 0 for 2 with one strikeout, two errors and one inning of pitching, giving up three runs.

Little League World Series - Day Three

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Day three of the Little League World Series were all loser’s bracket games. A loss eliminated a team from the bracket, though they will still get to play one more consolation game.

Latin America (Venezuela) 2 Australia 0

It is the second game Australia has been shut out. Randy Soto pitched a complete game three hitter striking out four. Australia also had a complete game from their pitcher Max Miotto. He gave up back to back doubles to Ibrahim Ruiz and Hendrik Maestre in the second to seal his fate. Moises Concho drove in an insurance run in the fifth with a single.

Canada (British Colombia) 10 Europe (Italy) 0

Italy also failed to score for their second straight game. The game was ended after four once Canada exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth. Matt Shirley drove in three runs with two doubles.

New England (Barrington, Rhode Island) 6 Great Lakes (Bowling Green Kentucky) 1

Barrington faced some controversy from the first game for allegedly stealing signs, even though they lost the game. This time Lucas Tanous led the Rhode Island team to victory with his bat, recording three hits, two of them doubles to drive in three runs. Owen Pfeffer went the full six innings to get the win. A four run fourth, highlighted by a Tanous double put the game out of reach.

Southwest (River Ridge, Louisiana) 3 Northwest (Salem, Oregon) 2

River Ridge eliminated Salem. Both teams scored all their runs in the third inning. Reece Rousel had the big hit for River Ridge with a two run double.

Brewers Outslug Nationals 15-13

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

The balls were flying out of Nats Park Friday night. Sean Doolitle came into pitch with a three run lead and he threw five strikes to the first four hitters he faced. He gave up three homeruns and a double into the gap. The last homerun, the eleventh in the game, was the game winner by Eric Thames, a two run shot in the top of the 14th inning to give the Brewers a 15-14 win. The Nationals scored one in the bottom of the 14th and had the go ahead run of first, with the tying run on third, but ran out of position players and had to pinch hit Joe Ross for Javy Guerra. He struck out to end the game.

The game started out innocently enough with the Brewers erupting for five runs in the top of the third off Anibal Sanchez without benefit of a homerun. With one out Anibal walked the pitcher Jordan Lyles and the leadoff man Trent Grisham. That proved costly as five consecutive hits, four singles and one double plated five runs for the Brewers to jump into a 5-0 lead.

The Nationals were the first to hit the ball out of the park. That came on a two run homer from Juan Soto in the bottom of the third, a ball that just reached the left field bleachers. The Nationals got three more in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game on a three run homer from Adam Eaton into the right field bullpen. What appeared to be a Brewer rout early was now a game.

The Brewers got their first homerun when Ryan Braun hit a ball off the top of the right field bleachers off Matt Grace. The umpires originally ruled it a double, but after review they reversed the call and gave Braun the homerun. Matt Grace gave up another homerun in the top of the sixth, hit by lefthander Trent Grisham to give the Brewers an 8-5 lead. That was it for Grace. As he left the mound the crowd was roaring something other than “Doooo”.

Just when they thought they had gained the momentum the Nationals struck back off Freddy Peralta, who could not get anyone out. Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a double off the right field scoreboard. Victor Robles followed with a run scoring blooper down the left field line that he turned into a double. Peralta walked Howie Kendrick and then Trea Turner turned on a Peralta pitch and lined it into the left field bleachers just to the right of the left field foul pole for a three run homerun. The Nationals had the lead for the first time 9-8.

It appeared the Nationals put the game away in the seventh when Howie Kendrick launched a ball into the centerfield bleachers for a two run homerun and a 11-8 lead. Fernando Rodney retired the Brewers in order in the eighth. Doolittle had pitched the day before. Most in the stands wanted a rest day for Doolittle and felt a three run lead was enough for Daniel Hudson to pitch, but on came Doolittle.

He got behind Christian Yelich 1-0 and Yelich hit homer number 40 on the next pitch into the left field bleachers. He got behind Keston Hiura 2-0 and Keston ripped the next pitch into the left centerfield gap for a double. He got behind Mike Moustakas 2-1 and the Moose tied the game rifling a pitch over the center field wall. Not wanting to get behind anymore Doolittle threw his first pitch to Ryan Braun across the plate and Braun sent it deep into the left field bleachers to give the Brewers a 12-11 lead. Doolittle did face one more hitter, Eric Thames, who got the barrel of the bat on the ball and hit one deep into center, but Robles was able to catch the ball. That was it for the Doo.

Josh Hader came on to seal the game in the bottom of the ninth. Yan Gomes drew a walk. No pinch runner but no bench players left for Davey. Kurt Suzuki lined a 2-0 pitch into leftfield. Gomes raced for third and the throw from Braun was way off line. Suzuki advanced to second. Now you had two catchers on base. There had to be a pitcher that was faster than Suzuki on second who represented the winning run. Victor lined a single into right field to score Gomes but Suzuki was held at third. Robles advanced to second on the throw because the throw went home to get Suzuki. Robles run meant nothing. Kendrick was walked intentionally to lead the bases with no outs. Trea Turner ran the count to 3-2, even fouling a pitch into the left field bleachers but just foul. He swung and missed for strike three. Adam Eaton was overmatched against the lefty Hader, failing to make contact on three pitches. Anthony Rendon came up with two outs and he too struck out. Extra innings.

The Brewers got another homerun from Christian Yelich in the top of the 13th to take the lead again. The Nationals made it four comebacks with a Victor Robles sacrifice fly to tie the game.

A two run homerun from Eric Thames in the top of the 14th to make it 15-13 appeared to seal the deal. The Nationals still battled back thanks to a throwing error by Keston Hiura with two out that allowed one run to score and advance Soto to second. The Brewers chose to walk Asdrubal Cabrera intentionally to put the game winning run on base, knowing the pitcher’s spot was coming up next and the Nationals had no position players left to pinch hit. Davey pinch hit Joe Ross for Javy Guerra and he struck out. No fifth come back was in the cards because the Nationals had run out of players.

Game Notes: Victor Robles threw out two runners at second, Mike Moustakas and Keston Hiura, who were trying to turn singles into doubles. That is four assists for Robles in the week….After Joe Ross pinch hit for Javy Guerra the Nationals had run out of bullpen pitchers. If the Nationals had tied it would Davey had pitched Joe Ross in the 15th…Patrick Corbin had pitched the previous night. It was Patrick Corbin bobble head tonight…Christian Yelich inched closer to becoming the first player in major league history to 50/30 by hitting two homeruns and stealing a base to put him at 41/24…Both Hader and Doolittle are struggling. Hader has blown four of his last five save appearances with an ERA of 10.50 in his last seven appearances. Doolittle has given up seven homeruns in his last 10 appearances and seen his ERA rise to a non closer like 4.33. In his last seven appearances his ERA is 15.00, even though he has been credited with four saves during that time…The Nationals gave up five homeruns after the ninth inning, which tied a major league record, another one of many homerun records being broken or tied this year. Who says the ball is not juiced?…Other than Sean Doolittle Matt Grace is the lone lefty in the Nationals bullpen. He has given up 11 homeruns in 44 innings. Lefthanders are hitting .313 against him (righthanders .320). He is not too successful at getting anyone out.

Little League World Series Update Day Two

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

There were a full slate of games yesterday because of the cancelled games on Thursday. Below is a summary of the games, with the International games first.

Asia (Korea) 10 Latin America (Venezuela) 3

Korea overcame an early 2-1 Venezuelan lead to score three runs each in the third to fifth innings to pull away. Ji-Won Na was the big bat, driving in five runs with a three run homer in the fifth and a two run triple in the fourth. He also scored the go ahead run in the top of the third on a Min-Wook Park triple. Gib-Eom Jung got the last seven outs without giving up a run to pick up the win.

Japan 20 Europe (Italy) 0

Japan exploded for 14 in the fifth to put the game away after five. Yuto Misake and Yuta Kakeba each drove in five runs for Japan. Misake hit a grand slam homerun in the 14 run fifth. Taishi Kawaguchi had a 3 for 4 day with a solo homerun. Ritsu Nishikawa allowed the only two hits in his three innings of work. The three Japanese pitchers combined for 10 whiffs, with relievers Yuto Kakeba and Yuto Misake striking out all six hitters they faced in their one inning of work.

Mexico 5 Canada 0

Four Canadian errors allowed four unearned runs to score, but all Santiago Leija needed was the one earned run to beat Canada. Santiago worked all six innings, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits. Mexico also managed just two hits in the game, but five walks and four errors helped them with the win.

Southeast Region (Loudoun County, Virginia) 3 New England Region (Barrington, Rhode Island) 0

Three different Loudoun County pitchers no hit Barrington through six innings, striking out nine. Brady Yates had a two run homer in the three run fifth to give Loudoun County all the runs they required.

Midwest (Coon Rapids, Minnesota) 2 Great Lakes (Bowling Green, Kentucky) 1

Tyler Phillips had an RBI triple in the second and scored on a wild pitch with two outs to give Coon Rapids the win. Coon Rapids won despite committing four errors. Carson Timm got out of a two out two on situation in the fifth and retired Bowling Green in order in the sixth to secure the win.

West (Wailuku, Hawaii) 5 Southwest (River Ridge, Louisiana) 2

Hawaii erupted for four runs in the first and held on to get their opening day victory. Duke Aloy had a big two run single to finish off the four run first. Jaren Pascual went all six innings to get the win. Louisiana scattered nine hits off him but stranded 10 runners on base.

Mid Atlantic (Elizabeth, New Jersey) 6 Northwest (Salem, Oregon) 2

Elizabeth rallied for five runs in the top of the fifth to overcome a 2-1 deficit and bring home a victory. Jayden Capindica got the clutch two run single with the bases loaded to give Elizabeth a 3-2 lead.

Kepler Breaks European Homerun Record

Friday, August 16th, 2019

The 2019 season is seeing a number of homerun records broken. The Yankees hitting the most homeruns against one team (Orioles) and Gleyber Torres hitting the most homeruns against one team (Orioles). The Minnesota Twins approaching the single season homerun record for one season. And on and on it goes. Don’t know if anyone believes the ball is not juiced. With all these homeruns something is juiced and the players are taking drug tests so we have to hope it is not them.

A new homerun record was broken tonight, the most homeruns hit by a European player during a season. Bobby Thompson, born in Scotland hit 32 homeruns during the 1951 season, the same season he hit the shot heard round the world that clinched the pennant for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Max Kepler broke that record with his blast tonight giving him 33 on the season. Kepler was born in Germany and has been having a break out season for the Twins this year.

Curacao Defeats Australia in Lone Little League World Series game

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Rain and bad weather postponed all the Little League World Series games for Thursday with the exception of one. That was the Curacao/Australia game. It took Curacao just four innings to beat Australia 11-0. Shendrion Martinus pitched no hit ball in those four innings, walking just one and throwing only 37 pitches. Curley Martha went deep, driving in three runs to lead the offense. Jurdrick Profar scored twice as did Martha.

Three errors by Australia in the second inning allowed Curacao to score seven unearned runs. Martha hit his two run homerun in the third inning to give Curacao a 9-0 lead, crushing it just short of the second fence in left field.

Nats Bury Bauer for Sweep of Reds

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Juiced baseballs can result in long ball games. The Nationals scored 16 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 17-7. Stephen Strasburg got a ten run fifth started with an RBI single and Adam Eaton kept the train rolling with a three run homer. The game lasted just over three hours.

It started out as a pitchers duel between Trevor Bauer and Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals scored first using Victor Robles legs. He led off the third with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt by Strasburg and scored on a Trea Turner sacrifice fly to left. In the fourth the Reds scored a run when Kurt Suzuki could not prevent the ball from hitting the back stop. The inning started with a one hop single to Turner, who failed to handle the ball cleanly. Suarez advanced to second on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a swing and miss strike three wild pitch that went to the back stop.

The Nationals blew the game open in the fifth. Bauer had only given up one hit entering the inning. It started innocently when Asdrubal Cabrera beat the shift by hitting a single by Freddy Galvis, who was in short right field. Victor Robles lined a double into right center. With the infield in and runners on second and third, Strasburg poked a single into right field. Trea Turner followed with a seeing eye hit up the middle that Bauer failed to back hand and the middle infielders fell short of reaching the ball. Adam Eaton took a 3-2 pitch into right center for a three run homer. Anthony Rendon followed by hitting a pitch just to the left of the Eaton shot in right center.

Bauer lasted two more batters, giving up a single to Juan Soto and walking Matt Adams. Dal Romano came in to pitch and could not contain the damage. Cabrera got another single and Kurt Suzuki blasted one into the left field bleachers to complete the 10 run inning. All nine Nationals players scored in the inning with Suzuki plated twice.

Stephen Strasburg struggled a bit in the top of the sixth, slated to a 11-1 lead. He gave up an RBI double to Jose Iglesias and a two run homer to Tucker Barnhardt. After getting a second out Davey Martinez went out to the mound. Strasburg tried to wave him back with the glove but Davey continued his trek to the mound. After a discussion he decided to leave Strasburg in. Strasburg walked Jesse Winker on four pitches and he was gone.

In the sixth the first eight hitters in the lineup for the Nats got on base. It could have been back to back double digit innings, but Davey Martinez let Matt Grace hit even though he was not going to pitch in the seventh. Grace struck out. Trea Turner grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Nationals only plated six runs.

Javy Guerra pitched the last three innings for the Nationals. He gave up a solo shot to Aristedes Aquino in the seventh, his ninth homerun in 14 games, the fastest player to nine homeruns in major league history. Freddy Galvis took him deep in the ninth for a two run homer.

Nats Notes: Matt Adams hit a ball foul down the first base line that went out of the stadium. That is the first time myworld has seen a ball hit out of the stadium…The Giants came to town with playoff hopes and were swept by the Nationals. The Reds had the same hope and the sweep hurts their chances of making the playoffs…The ten runs in one inning are the most the Nationals have scored this season in an inning and the 17 runs in a game are also a season high…Myworld was surprised Gerrado Parra did not come in for Juan Soto late in the game. Martinez rested Rendon, moving Cabrera to third but Soto and his bad ankle stayed in the game…Suarez made a couple of border line baserunning errors in the fourth. When he was on second he failed to advance to third on a bloop single that fell in front of Soto. He did eventually get to third but went to far off the bag on a line drive to left field and was late getting back to the bag to tag up. He eventually scored on a strikeout/wild pitch.

Little League World Series - United States Qualifiers

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

The Little League World Series begins tomorrow. Last week we reviewed the international participants. Today myworld will review the United States participants and Canada.

Great Lakes - Bowling Green East had a convincing 15-6 win over a team from Illinois. This will be the third trip for Bowling Green in the last five years.

Mid Atlantic - Elmora Youth from Elizabeth, New Jersey had a revengeful 19-4 win over a New York team that had beat them earlier in pool play.

Mid West - Coon Rapids Andover won 8-6 over a team from Iowa. They had also lost to Iowa earlier in the tournament.

New England - Barrington, Rhode Island beat a team from New Hampshire 6-4 to advance. This was another revenge win as New Hampshire had beaten Rhode Island earlier. This is the fifth time in six years a team from Rhode Island is representing New England.

Northwest Region - Sprague, Salem Oregon beat a team from Idaho 5-4 to advance.

Southeast Region - Loudoun South from South Riding, Virginia defeated a team from Georgia 12-2 to advance. It is the first time in 25 years a team from Virginia qualifies for the Little League World Series.

Southwest Region - Eastbank from River Ridge, Louisiana defeated Texas West 6-2 to advance to the Little League World Series. This is their fifth straight Southwest Region title.

West Region - Central East Maui Wailuku, Hawaii defeated a team from Arizona 4-1 to advance.

Canada - Coquitlam in British Columbia defeated a team from Quebec 6-3 to advance. British Colombia had been spanked by Quebec earlier in pool play. The last time a team from Cogquitlam made it to the Little League World Series was in 1984.

Nats Hang on Despite Bullpen

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

When you are up 7-2 going into the eighth inning odds are good the victory is yours. Not with the Nationals bullpen. The Nationals survived a two run homerun in the eighth and two more runs in the ninth, and with the go ahead run standing on first, the Nationals closer was able to get a pop up to third for the final out in a 7-6 victory. Not the way you want to plan it.

Erick Fedde pitched well despite allowing his first pitch to Jessie Winker to be deposited into the left field bleachers. He was also helped by the Reds third base coach who sent Joey Votto home on a single to center. Joey does not have the fastest legs and he was thrown out by Victor Robles by five feet. Not much you can do when the catcher has the ball and you have not gotten far enough to home to start your slide.

The Nationals came roaring back in the bottom half. Adam Eaton started the rally with a walk. With two outs Matt Adams sent one deep into centerfield that hopped off the top edge of the fence and bounced back onto the field. The umpires reviewed the hit and it was confirmed to be a homerun. Asdrubal Cabrera continued his hot hitting since being acquired by the Nationals with a double to right center. Nick Senzel dove for the ball but it hit off his glove and rolled to the wall. Gerrado Parra lined a single into right center to score Cabrera to give the Nationals and Erick Fedde a 3-1 lead.

Fedde continued his early struggles giving up a one out hit to Tucker Barnhart. Jose Iglesias blasted a ball deep to right center for a double, scoring Barnhart. After that hit Fedde settled down facing the minimum number of hitters into the sixth. In the sixth he put two runners on with one out and got out of the jam with a whiff and a ground out. It would be his last inning of work.

Trea Turner provided Fedde with tremendous support in the fourth with a 3-run homer. Turner also delivered on an RBI single in the seventh to give the Nationals a 7-2 lead. But in the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs he grounded to short, meaning Sean Doolittle had to come on in the ninth for the save rather than Fernando Rodney.

The Reds started their comeback with a 2-run homer by Aristedes Aquino off Tanner Rainey. For Aquino that was his eighth homerun in 12 games, a major league record. Rainey started the inning by walking the first hitter he faced Joey Votto. Walks continue to be a big problem for Rainey.

Doolittle came on in the ninth. Phillip Ervin pinch hit for Barnhart and took Doolittle’s first pitch into the left field bleachers. Jose Igesias lined a single into right field. It appeared to be the Mets all over again with a three run lead looking thin. Doolittle was able to retire the next two hitters but Joey Votto hit one deep to left field. Parra made it an adventure trying to catch the ball, turning the wrong way and the ball hit against the fence, Iglesias scoring and Votto stopping at second. The Nationals chose to walk Eugenio Suarez intentionally to put the winning run on first but have Doolittle face the lefty hitting Josh Vanmeter. Josh swung at the first pitch and popped it up foul along the third base side. Rendon squeezed the ball to get the win and the fans all breathed a sigh of relief. Another win despite another bullpen meltdown.

Game Notes: Anthony DeSclafani surprised me with his fastball that hit 95-96. That was a surprise. he only lasted four innings, giving up six runs, one of his worst outings of the year…For Doolittle he finished his 48th game. That is more than any relief pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately his ERA is creeping closer to 4 as he gives up runs in the ninth inning. He has appeared in five of the last seven Nationals games and his ERA in those games sits at 11.57…Aquino hit his homerun off Tanner Rainey. Last year the two played for each other in AA Pensacola. Eight of Aquino’s 15 hits have left the park. They don’t call him the “Punisher” for nothing…Aquino has also driven in a run in seven consecutive games. That is three away from the Reds record of ten set by Joe Morgan in 1976…The Reds needed this win to keep their scant playoff hopes alive. The loss now drops them six games behind the Nationals for the first wild card spot…Kevin Guasman pitched two innings in relief. His career has taken a big down slide since he was a first round pick of the Orioles. Throwing strikes has always been an issue. His fastball was only 93, which is four miles slower than it was in his prime with the Orioles. He did pitch well in his two innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two…The throw home from Victor Robles to retire Joey Votto was measured at 99.5 miles per hour by Statcast, the fourth fastest throw to get an outfield assist…The sprained ankle from Soto has gotten much better. He should be back in the lineup in a couple days.