Day Two Under 12 - United States Shuts Down Japan

July 25th, 2015

As expected some lopsided games in the pool play. The only surprise was how easily the United States beat Japan in the second day of action at the under 12 World Cup in Taiwan.

United States 8 Japan 0

Nicolas Kurtz threw a complete game three hitter, striking out 10 in his six innings of work. The United States blew the game wide open with five runs in the third, Ryan getting the big hit in the inning with a three run homer. Ryan finished the day 2 for 2 with three runs scored, adding an RBI double in the fourth inning to give him half of the runs driven in for the United States. Japan committed an uncharacteristic four errors to allow four unearned runs to score.

South Korea 12 Russia 0

South Korea rebounded from their opening night loss to Taiwan with an easy win over Russia. A collection of three South Korean pitchers shut out the Russian bats on one hit in five innings. South Korea erupted for six runs in the fourth to end the game early. Kwon and Su Kim each went 2 for 2 with two runs scored. Su Kim got the big hit in the fourth with a bases clearing three run triple.

Nicaragua 17 France 0

Nicaragua showed no mercy with France. Two pitchers combined to one hit France, though they did manage to load the bases in the last inning but failed to score their first run of the tournament. Nicaragua got two homeruns, one from Marcel Vellaryena, who also pitched and got the last two outs of the game and the other from Loaisiga, who finished with four hits and four RBIs on the day. Loaisiga also blasted two doubles in the onslaught.

Cuba 8 Venezuela 2

Cuba gave Venezuela their first defeat. C. Hernandez hit a two run double in the second and Zamora added a two run double in the fifth to fuel the Cuban offense. Cuba only collected five hits, benefiting from eight walks by Venezuelan pitchers.

Mexico 9 Australia 1

Mexico got a grand slam from Johan Cruz to blow a 3-1 game wide open. Cruz also acted as the starting pitcher working two outs into the third inning. Oscar Servin got the win in relief, striking out five of the eight hitters he faced. The three Mexican hurlers only allowed two hits, both of them by Nati.

Taiwan 28 Brazil 2

Taiwan banged together 27 hits, 11 of them doubles in a four inning rout over Brazil. Wu padded his stats with two doubles, a single and seven RBIs. H. Lee went 5 for 5 with three doubles. Brazil committed five errors in the last two innings resulting in the last 13 runs scored by Taiwan unearned.

The big games tomorrow will see two undefeated teams in Group B Mexico and the United States do battle. The two undefeated teams in Group A, Cuban and Taiwan will also face each other.

Minor League Review

July 25th, 2015

Chris Davis will be a free agent next year but the Orioles have a couple alternatives tearing up the minor leagues. Christian Walker has an eight game hitting streak in AAA (15 for 35) with three homeruns and 13 RBIs during that streak. Trey Mancini hit .309 in the Carolina League, got promoted to the AA Eastern League and is only hitting .360 there. Trey also is cruising along with an eight game hitting streak (16 for 34) with one homerun and 8 RBIs during his streak.

The Cubs Jacob Hannemann is trying to break out of his season long slump. A 4 for 5 day has lifted his average 30 points (.230) above the Mendoza Line. Jacob was a homerun short of the cycle, legging out two triples, a double and a single in the game. The third round 2013 pick hopes this game will turn his season around.

The White Sox big 6′5″ first baseman who was a first round supplemental pick in 2012 has not showed the White Sox the power they had hoped for when they drafted him so high. He did rake a double in a 4 for 5 day to increase his average to .250. His slugging average sits at a disappointing .383. That is about equal to his career .384 slugging average, not what the White Sox were seeking when they used a first round supplemental pick on him. In his four year career he has yet to hit double digits in homeruns.

The Mets Eudor Garcia went 4 for 5 with three doubles and a homerun, good enough to drive in five runs and score three times. The third baseman now has a five game hitting streak (13 for 25) in which he has hit five doubles, a triple and a homerun. Eudor still has issues with plate discipline evidenced by a 12/71 walk to whiff ratio.

The Padres Hunter Renfroe is starting to justify his 2013 first round pick with a two homerun day to up his totals to 12. He went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .267 and his slugging to .448. He has been hot for the month of July with a .337 average and a .614 slugging with five of his 12 homers hit during the month.

The Giants Aramis Garcia has a nice RBI streak for the month of July. Currently he has driven in a run in five consecutive games (8 RBIs) but he has also driving in a run in 12 of his last 14 games (25 RBIs). During that time he has 16 more RBIs than strikeouts.

Keyvius Sampson was once a top prospect with the Padres. The Reds have him now and with a number of starting pitchers on the trade market Keyvius could get an opportunity to see major league time. Yesterday he threw eight innings of five hit shutout ball to lower his ERA to 5.08. Consistency and command have been his biggest problems as evidenced by his four walks and six runs he gave up in an outing that did not last three innings. In eight starts in AA Keyvius was dominant (1.85 ERA) but AAA has not been so kind.

The Indians have not given up on their 2012 second round pick, especially after he pitches a two hit, six inning shutout while striking out nine. He has won all four games he has started in the month of July, lowering his ERA to 5.45. The walk to whiff ratio still sits at an unattractive 56/68.

The Rockies Antonio Senzatela also had a eight inning five hit shutout. He struck out seven without walking a batter. Antonio has been a little more consistent with a 2.40 ERA in 18 starts, though he has given up seven runs in his previous two starts covering 14 innings.

The Dodgers seem to find pitchers at every level of their farm system. Add Chase DeJong to that list. The Dodgers acquired DeJong from the Blue Jays for three international slots. The Blue Jays had drafted DeJong in the second round of the 2012 draft. Those international slots are looking pretty pricey after Chase threw five innings of no hit no walk ball, striking out nine. This was his second appearance as a Dodger.

Matt Boyd had two starts and a 14.85 ERA for the Blue Jays. He is back in AAA trying to reestablish himself. Yesterday he threw seven innings of two hit shutout ball, striking out seven. His ERA dropped to 2.77. That is better than his last major league outing when he failed to retire any of the seven hitters he faced.

United States Women to Play for Pan Am Gold

July 25th, 2015

For the first time ever the Pan Am games has women’s baseball as an event. The United States beat Canada 3-1 to set themselves up for the gold medal game. Canada will be playing Venezuela in a match earlier today for the right to play the United States for the gold medal. Cuba and Puerto Rico were the other two teams in the event but Cuba fell short of the playoffs and Venezuela knocked out Puerto Rico.

The United States is the lone undefeated team in the tournament. Malaika Underwood is the top hitter with a .583 average. Michelle Snyder is tied for first with two Canadian women for the RBI lead with 6. There have been no homeruns hit in the tournament.

On the pitching side the United States has been led by Marti Sementelli, who has one win and a 0.00 ERA. The Canadians have three pitchers with 0.00 ERAs (Melissa Armstrong, Vanessa Riopel and Autumn Mills). Sarah Hudek and Stacy Piagno are tied for second in the tournament in strikeouts with six, one behind Canadian pitcher Jessica Berube who has seven.

Netherlands Waits in Finals; Cuba Eliminates Taiwan

July 25th, 2015

Netherlands 19 Curacao 1

It was not much of a match in the finals of the winners bracket. Netherlands jumped on the Curacao pitchers for eight runs in the opening frame and did not stop hitting, accumulating 21 hits in the game shortened by seven innings. Danny Rombley had a perfect 3 for 3 day with two sacrifice flies to lead Netherlands. Leadoff hitter Kevin Moesquit also drove in three runs. Diegomar Markwell went the full seven innings to get the win, scattering seven hits. Curacao scored their lone run after two were out in the seventh inning.

Cuba 4 Taiwan 3

Yasiel Santoya drove in the first three runs for Cuba with a two run homer in the third and an RBI double in the seventh to give Cuba a 3-0 lead. Alberto Bicet had a two hit shutout after seven. He gave up singles to the first three hitters he faced in the eighth and Jose Angel Garcia could not hold the lead allowing Taiwan to score two more runs to tie the game. Yoelvis Fiss saved the day with a clutch two out RBI single up the middle to give Cuba a 4-3 lead. Garcia held Taiwan in the ninth to capture the win.

Cuba will now face Curacao for the honor of gaining revenge on the team that has beaten both teams twice.

Results for the game can be found at the link below:

port tournament results

12 Year Old World Cup Begins in Taiwan

July 25th, 2015

It does not reach the Little League World Series yet in popularity, but these players are the best of the 12 year olds in their respective countries, not just the best little league team in their district. The results were not surprising.

United States 15 Nicaragua 3

The United States scored in every inning in downing the overmatched Nicaraguans. Diaz was the batting star for the United States team going 4 for 4 with four RBIs and one double. Foley Jr. walked twice and collected two hits to cross the plate four times. The United States pitchers only allowed three hits, but they walked five to give Nicaragua all their opportunities to score three runs.

Cuba 13 Russia 0

These Cuban players are probably a little too young to defect, but there were some impressive performances. Ernesto Cabrera worked four shutout innings and struck out 10, allowing just one hit. Only three hitters made contact off him on balls hit in fair territory. C. Hernandez smoked a double and homerun for his two hits in four at bats to drive in five runs. Ramirez stole four of the 12 bases the Cubans stole off the Russian catchers.

Japan 12 Australia 0

Asagiro Shiina struck out all nine hitters he faced and left after Japan had built a 6-0 lead after three innings. Japan only managed to put together three hits in the game, but seven walks, four hitbatsmen, four errors and six stolen bases accounted for almost all of their 12 runs. Australian pitchers also threw five wild pitches. Australia got their only hit in the fifth inning, a double by Bojarski down the right field line.

Venezuela 11 Brazil 4

Venezuela scored eight runs in the last two innings courtesy of five Brazilian errors. Perez hit a two run single to give Venezuela a 5-4 lead and Barroso followed with a pinch hit two run double to extend the lead.

Taiwan 7 South Korea 2

The hosts did not disappoint the 4,000 plus that came to watch their home team play. Taiwan scored five in the bottom of the fifth to pull out the victory. Tung ripped a bases loaded single to drive in two runs and break the 2-2 tie. Chung followed with a two run double to extend the lead to 6-2. My Kim hit a solo shot for Korea to tie the game at 2-2, the only hit off reliever Li Chang-Chou.

Mexico 18 France 0

Mexico needed only four innings to rout France. They hit two grand slams in the game, the first by Benitez in the opening frame and the second by Carlos Vallejo in the second. Three Mexican pitchers including Vallejo combined to no hit France for four innings. Mexican pitchers struck out eight of the 12 hitters they faced in the four inning game.

For results you can go here (rosters still not available):

results

Nakamura Big Day for Lions

July 24th, 2015

Takeya Nakamura had a big day yesterday in a game against the Nippon Ham Fighters against perhaps one of the best pitchers in baseball, the 21 year old Shohei Otani. In the fourth inning Nakamura hit a solo shot for his 300th homerun and 1,000th hit that gave the Seibu Lions their first run.

Trailing 5-1 Nakamura came up again against Otani with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. He hit a grand slam homerun to tie the game. The grand slam was the 15th of his career and ties him with the legendary Sadaharu Oh for most career grand slams in the NPB.

Brandon Laird hit a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning to give the Nippon Ham Fighters a 6-5 lead and they would go on to win the game 13-6. For Laird it was his second homerun of the game, his 16th and 17th of the year. Despite the quantity of homeruns Laird is struggling, hitting only .193.

Shohei Otani pitched the sixth inning and got the win to improve his record to 11-1. His ERA rose to 1.79 with the two homeruns he gave up to Nakamura.

At 5′9″ and 225 pounds Nakamura has a nickname “Okawari-han” which means “another helping” a good explanation for his wide girth. His 83 high school homeruns were just three shy of the record held by Hiroyuki Oshima. Like American sluggers he does have a tendency to strike out (about 130 times a year in 144 game seasons) which results in a low average (.257 career).

The Seibu Lions find themselves sitting at third place in the Pacific League with a 44-39-5 record, enough to make the playoffs. They are five games ahead of the fourth place Rakuten Golden Eagles. That record would put them in first place in the Central with no team there with a record over .500. In the Central only four games separates the first place team from the sixth place team as they all battle for the best in mediocrity.

Info from yakubaka and baseball reference used in this piece.

Netherlands Defeats Cuba Again in Port Tournament

July 24th, 2015

In the double elimination round of the port tournament Netherlands downed Cuba a second time 8-4. Triples from Dwayne Kemp and Gilmer Lampe fueled a five run fifth to march the Netherlands towards the victory. Mike Bolsenbroek went seven innings and limited the Cuban bats to just one run on five hits. Jonder Martinez failed to reach the fifth inning for Cuba, getting lit up for four runs. The Cubans had their big bats Osvaldo Vazques (2 hits and two RBIs) and Yurisbel Gracial (4 hits, 2 RBIs, 3 doubles) account for all of their offense.

In the other double elimination game Curacao avenged an earlier loss to Japan by burying them 14-5. Raydel Isabella was one out short of a complete game, throwing 121 pitches in the victory. Rojean Cleofa drove in three runs to lead the Curacao offense. The Japanese pitchers had trouble finding the strike zone, walking six hitters and giving up 15 hits.

Taiwan finished in fifth place failing to qualify for the double elimination final.

Netherlands Claims Number One Seed in Port Tournament

July 22nd, 2015

They had already won the number one seed by virtue of them beating Cuba the day before. The Netherlands had nothing to play for today, but still nipped japan 2-1. Quintin de Cuba hit a walkoff sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to give the Netherlands the win. Kevin Kelly gave up just two hits and an unearned run in five innings of work.

Cuba rallied for eight runs in the last two innings to beat Curacao 11-7. Cuba banged out 18 hits and walked seven times.

The teams begin playing a double elimination tournament tomorrow,

Netherlands Slams Cubans in Port Tournament

July 22nd, 2015

There once was a day when the Cubans would not allow themselves to be beaten 12-7 by the Netherlands. Their pitching was just too good to allow that kind of offensive output. Now most of the talented Cuban pitchers have defected to the United States to pitch in the major leagues. It was the first loss in three games for the Cubans.

The Cubans were up 6-2 after six. Netherlands rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning off Frank Monthiet, the big inning being started by a player named Quintin de Cuba. A bases clearing triple by Dashenko Ricardo scoring three runs was the crippling blow. Cuba did hit two homeruns, one by Osvaldo Vazquez and the other by Yurisbel Gracial. Gracial also contributed two doubles. For Vazquez he is heading for the triple crown for the tournament with a .636 average, three homeruns and 8 RBIs, the tournament leader in all three categories.

Bayron Cornelisse retired all six hitters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, striking out three and Loek Van Mil retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the game.

In other games Curacao picked up their first win with a 4-0 victory over Taiwan. Marvin Brown pitched the first five innings to get the win, walking five and giving up five hits. Kelvin Silvania drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in a three run third and drove in the only run in the fifth with a double.

The next day Taiwan was able to pick up their first victory with a 6-4 win over Japan. Po Ting Hsiao had the big hit for Taiwan in the four run eighth with a three run triple that gave Taiwan the lead. Teppei Ueda had a big day for Japan with four hits, including a double, triple and two singles. Shih Ying Peng got the win with two shutout innings.

Before their game against Netherlands Cuba beat Japan 13-5. Osvaldo Vazquez ripped two homeruns and drove in five to lead the onslaught. Cuba cranked out 20 hits against the Japanese pitching. The game was tied 4-4 after regulation play but Cuba cranked it up for nine runs in the eleventh inning. Vazquez drove in the first three runs of the inning with a homerun.

Netherlands (3-0), Cuba (2-1), Japan (1-2), Curacao (1-2) and Taiwan (1-3).

Taiwan wins Berth in Little League World Series

July 22nd, 2015

A Taiwan team from Tung Yuan elementary School in Taipei defeated South Korea 3-2 to earn an opportunity to play in the Little League World Series. Taiwan used to dominate the event but now must compete with teams from Korea, Philippines and Thailand to qualify. Japanese teams have their own tournament to qualify for the Little League World Series.

Last year a team from South Korea represented the Asia Pacific in the Little League World Series and won the championship. In 2013 a team from Taiwan represented Asia Pacific in the Little League World Series but lost to Japan and was eventually eliminated by a team from Panama in the international bracket.