Twins Club Dinos in KBO Playoff Opener

October 19th, 2014

The NC Dinos took third place in their second season in the KBO. The Twins took advantage of that inexperience by piling on the runs in their 13-4 win, scoring six in the opening frame and five in the eighth to take control of the game. Kyung-Cheol Choi slugged a three run homer in the first to close out the six run frame.

Dinos starter Jae-Hak Lee failed to survive the first inning. Twins starter Jae-Kuk Ryu was relieved after the fourth, giving up two runs including a solo homerun from Sung-Bum Na. The Twins finished the day with 16 hits, none more than the three collected by Brad Snyder.

Fighters Bring Series to Final Game

October 19th, 2014

Don’t know what will happen if the game remains tied after 12. Yesterday the game went 11 innings before the Nippon Ham Fighters pulled it out 6-4 to even the series at three games apiece. The Hawks were awarded one game already for winning the division. Takuya Nakashima came through with a clutch two out base loaded single to drive in the two runs to give the Fighters the victory. It was his first hit of the game. Haruki Nishikawa had struck prior to his at bat.

The Softbank Hawks got off to a quick start off the Nippon Ham Fighters 20 year old ace Shohei Otani, bashing him for four runs in the second inning. The Hawks do what they do best, accumulating hits to put runners on base. Yuki Yoshimura drove in two with a bases loaded double and Kenta Imamiya tallied another run with a single. A fourth run scored after a ground out by Yuki Yanagita. Otani settled down after that, working through the seventh without allowing another run.

This allowed the Fighters to battle back. Jason Stanridge worked through six shutout innings for the Hawks, tossing only 87 pitches and allowing just three hits. The Hawks chose to go to their bullpen, Yuito Mori, to start the seventh. He retired the first two hitters before two singles, a double and a triple pulled the Fighters to within one. Shota Ona blasted the double that scored the first two runs and Haruki Nishikawa hit the triple to score the third.

Sho Nakata continued to show his power in the eighth. He had homered in four consecutive games until the streak broke yesterday. He started a new streak hitting a solo shot in the eighth to tie the game, his fifth post season homerun. Nakata is turning into a Mr. October.

The bullpens took control after that. Dennis Sarfate was working his second inning when the Fighters got to him for a walk and two singles to load the bases in the 11th. After he gave up the two run single to Nakashima he was gone. Hirotoshi Masui worked the last inning to close out the victory for Nippon Ham.

Monkeys Win Opener in Taiwan Series

October 18th, 2014

In the first game of the Taiwan championship series the Lamiga Monkeys shutout the Chinatrust Brothers 3-0, Mitch Talbot going seven innings to get the win. Chih-Yao Chan was the offensive star driving in two of the three runs.

Chris Cody got the start and took the loss for the Brothers. He gave up two runs in his five innings of work.

A near sell out crowd of 19,000 packed Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium to witness the Monkey victory.

Hawks One Win Away from Nippon Series

October 18th, 2014

Yuki Yanagita led off the bottom of the first with a homerun and Nobuhiro Matsuda collected four hits in four at bats to drive in two runs and score one, giving the Softbank Hawks a 5-2 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters. The win gives them a 3-2 lead in their Climax Series with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Hawk Starter Kenichi Nakata was a bit wild walking five in five innings of work, including three in a row in the second inning to load the bases. Shota Ono singled to score one but with one out and the bases still loaded Nakata struck out Haruki Nishikawa for the second out and induced Takuya Nakashima to ground out to end the threat. Nakata struck out seven in the game, including striking out the side in the third inning.

A second Yuki, Yuki Yoshimura stroked an RBI single in the bottom of the second to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. They added two more in the third on a 2-run bases loaded single from Matsuda to take a 4-1 lead.

Dennis Sarfate was on the mound to close out the game and pick up his first career Climax Series save. He took a polite bow to acknowledge the victory.

Tigers Sweep to Advance to Japan Series

October 18th, 2014

The Giant fans showed up in mass to watch their team play, but many were wondering if these were the same players who won the Central Division. The Tigers swept them, winning the final 8-4. Matt Murton slugged a three run homer in the first and Kosuke Fukudome made it back to back with a solo shot. The hefty contract Fukudome signed a couple years ago after being released from the major leagues is finally starting to pay off.

If that was not enough, another ex-major leaguer Tsuyoshi Nishioka made it 6-0 with his two run shot in the second inning. For those Giant fans arriving late, by the time they got in their seats the game was just about over. Giant starter Yuki Koyama was gone after the third homerun.

Yoshiyuki Kamei brought a little spurt of life to Giant fans with his solo homerun in the bottom of the second. They added another run in the third on a Shuichi Murata sacrifice fly. They were able to get at least two runners on base in the first four innings but could only score two runs.

Mauro Gomez sent many of the Giant fans home with a two run single in the seventh with the bases loaded to negate the brief Giant comeback and give the Tigers an insurmountable 8-2 lead with just three innings to wake up the offense.

Cuban star now turned Giant pinch hitter Frederich Cepeda and lead off hitter Hayato Sakamoto hit back to back homeruns to begin the bottom of the ninth. Both shots were off Korean closer Seung-Hwan Oh, who was appearing in his fourth straight game. Oh gave up one more single but retired the rest of the order to complete the Tigers a victory. Don’t know why the Tigers chose to use Oh in an 8-2 game after he had appeared in three straight, but he’ll have some rest before the Hawk/Fighter series is decided.

The Tigers become the first Central League team without home field 1-0 advantage to advance to the Nippon (Japan) Series. Only the 2007 Yomiuri Giants and the 2010 Softbank Hawks have won their division and not advanced to the Nippon Series. My guess is the 1-0 game advantage was instituted after the Giants lost in 2007.

LG Twins Back Into KBO Playoffs

October 18th, 2014

On the last day of the season the LG Twins clinched a spot for the KBO playoffs. They had lost to the Lotte Giants 8-5. They were fortunate when the SK Wyverns lost to the Nexen Heroes 7-2 to walk into the last playoff spot. The KBO playoffs begin tomorrow with the fourth place Twins playing the third place NC Dinos. The winner of that series plays the second place Nexen Heroes. The winners of that series plays the first place Samsung Lions for the KBO championship.

MyKBO points out the stat of the day, which conflicts with the major leagues down turn in offense. In 2013 there were 798 homeruns hit by KBO teams. In 2014 KBO teams slugged 1,151 homeruns. This calculates to 353 more homeruns in 2014 or about 39 more homeruns per team. Much of this power increase can be attributed to the addition of a foreign position player. These foreign position players could have made the overall lineup that much stronger.

Fighters Even Series with Homer Barrage

October 17th, 2014

The Nippon Ham Fighters clubbed the Softbank Hawks 12-4 blasting four homeruns, two of them by Dai-Kang Yang. Mitsuo Yoshikawa was the benificiary of all that power, getting the win after going six innings.

Yang started the homer barrage in the first inning with a two out solo shot. Two singles later and Eiichi Koyana smoked a three run shot to give the Figthers an early 4-0 lead. Both homers were off Tadashi Settsu.

Yang would victimize Settsu again in the second inning blasting a three run shot to give the Fighters a 7-1 lead. Again the rally was started after Settsu had retired the first two hitters. The inning was extended after an error by Hawk catcher Toru Hosokawa preceded the Yang blast. Settsu retired the last batter in the second but did not come out for the third inning.

The Hawks had their opportunity to do damage in the bottom of the first. They accumulated four hits but could only score one run. Yuki Yoshimura grounded to third with the bases loaded. The Hawks would get two more hits in the second, but that failed to produce a run. Six hits in two innings and only one run.

Seiichi Uchikawa showed the Hawks were more than singles by hitting a two run homer in the fifth. The Hawks had scored a run in the top of the inning on an RBI single by Kensuke Kondo for their eighth run. The two run shot by Uchikawa only closed the gap to 8-3.

The Fighters widened the gap in the sixth, Yang driving in his fifth run of the game with an RBI single and Sho Nakata clubbing a three run homer to make it 12 -3. For Nakata it was the fourth straight Climax Series game in which he has homered.

The Fighters did not get another hit after the Nakata blast. They rested. The Hawks bunched together four more hits in the ninth but could only score one run. Akira Nakamura flied to left with the bases loaded to end the game. The Hawks out hit the Fighters 14 to 12 but the Fighters were able to take greater advantage of their baserunners with two three run homers.

There were 31,000 to attend the game, short of a sellout, but more than the opener. The Hawks averaged 34,000 plus during the regular season, more than the number attending the Climax Series. Perhaps Hawk fans are discouraged by the higher prices often associated with post season ticket sales.

Tigers One Win Away from Japan Series

October 17th, 2014

The Hanshin Tigers won their third straight Climax Series game against the Yomuiri Giants, this one 4-2. Randy Messenger got the start and went five innings. He gave up a Shinnosuke Abe RBI single in the first and a solo shot to Yoshiyuki Kamei in the third, but he was not in long enough to get the win. That went to Yuya Ando.

Down 2-0 the Tigers struck back against Giant starter Toshiya Sugiuchi for two in the sixth. Mauro Gomez drove in the first of his three runs with an RBI single. Matt Murton chased Sugiuchi with a single and Kosuke Fukudome tied the game at 2-2 with a RBI double off Kentaro Nishimura.

Mauro Gomez broke the 2-2 tie in the seventh with a two run single. Tsuyoshi Nishioka started the inning with a single and Takashi Toritani advanced him to third with a double.

The Tigers turned to Seung-Hwan Oh to pick up his third save of the series, striking out two of the three hitters he faced.

The Giants are now down three games to one. If the Tigers win one more game it will be their first Japan Series appearance since 2005. The Giants played last year against Masahiro Tanaka and the Rakuten Eagles.

Ishikawa Walkoff Lifts Giants to World Series

October 17th, 2014

Short series can create unexpected heros. It can also create goats. Travis Ishikawa was a little of both in the Giants 6-3 win yesterday. He misjudged a fly ball early in the game to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead. With the score tied 3-3 he made amends for that play by hitting a 3-run walkoff homerun to give the Giants a 4-1 series win in the National League Championship series. Travis Ishikawa was playing left field only because of an injury to Michael Morse.

The Cardinals had an opportunity to score one more run in that third inning after the misjudged Ishikawa fly ball. With runners on second and third and one out Matt Holiday lifted a shallow fly to center not deep enough to score Matt Carpenter from third. Jhonny Peralta lined to left for the third out.

The Giants struck back with a rookie who was a Nationals killer in their short series. Joe Panik hit a two run homer to right to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. With Madison Bumgarner on the mound Giant fans hoped it was enough. It wasn’t.

In the top of the fourth Matt Adams and Tony Cruz hit solo shots two outs from each other. It gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner would not allow another hit after the Cruz homer, retiring 13 Cardinals in a row before being lifted for a pinch hitter.

The injured Michael Morse finally had an opportunity to influence the game in the eighth inning when he pinch hit for Madison Bumgarner. Pat Neshek had replaced Adam Wainwright on the mound. Morse took Neshek deep over the left field fence to tie the game at 3-3.

The Cardinals loaded the bases in the top of the ninth off Santiago Casilla. Oscar Taveras hit for Peter Bourjos. Bruce Bochy countered with Jeremy Affeldt. This was a matchup of rookie phenom versus veteran lefthanded pitching specialist. Affeldt won the battle getting Taveras to ground back to the mound to spoil the rally. The Cardinals would not get another opportunity.

Michael Wacha came in to pitch the ninth, having not pitched in twenty days. He gave up a single to Pablo Sandoval and issued a one out walk to Brandon Belt. That brought up Ishikawa to do his magic. Another battle between a phenom prospect versus a journeyman player who had been released by the Giants earlier in the year. The journeyman won, becoming a hero for the day with his 400 foot shot to right field. The hot shot prospect will probably have to wait at least another year to get his opportunity again. It was the first homerun ever hit to end a National League championship series.

This is a World Series matchup of wild card winners, the first time two World Series opponents have faced each other where both teams have less than 90 wins. It is also the first time the Royals are playing the Giants in a World Series matchup. They have played 12 times since interleague play began with Kansas City winning nine of the 12. The Royals swept the Giants in three interleague games this year.

The Philadelphia Athletics, who became the Kansas City Athletics played the New York Giants, who became the San Francisco Giants back in 1911 and 1905. Those Kansas City Athletics then moved to Oakland. The Kansas City Royals were an expansion franchise in 1969 that has appeared in only two World Series, one in 1980 against the Philadelphia Phillies and the other in 1985 against the St.Louis Cardinals. The Royals were World Series winners in 1985.

Madison Bumgarner was voted the MVP of the championship series. For Michael Wacha, this is the second straight playoff elimination game in which he has been the losing pitcher. Last year he lost to the Red Sox in game six of the World Series. There is always next year.

ESPN.com gets credit for most of the statisitical information.

AFL Update

October 17th, 2014

Myworld will try to provide an update of the various winter leagues that are being played in multiple countries. This is the time when prospects can show whether they are ready for the major leagues or journeyman can find a new pitch or eliminate that hitch in their swing to become a different ballplayer. Our first look is the heavily laden prospect league, the Arizona Fall League.

East

Salt Lake Rafters (6-2)

Eddie Rosario is hitting .444 with four stolen bases in five attempts. He has only one extra base hit, a double to go with 11 singles and has yet to walk in 27 at bats. Peter O’Brien has a 1.028 OPS because of his three homeruns and his 9 to 6 walk to whiff ratio. His six RBIs lead the team. Despite a .182 batting average his 9 walks put his OPS at .438. Bryon Buxton was the top prospect in baseball last year but could not stay healthy. With the Rafters he has played in six of the eight games hitting .280 with only one extra base hit (.320 slugging).

Marc Appel has looked pretty good on the mound in his two starts. He has yet to allow a run in his seven innings of work, giving up just two hits and walking three with eight whiffs. His WHIP is 0.71. On the other end of the spectrum is Archie Bradley, who in two starts has a 7.20 ERA. He has given up nine hits in just five innings of work for an opposition average of .375. The team has four saves, one each shared by four players. Jake Reed has one save and was voted the first pitcher of the week as a result of his three appearances and five shutout innings. Jake is second on the team to Appel in strikeouts with seven.

Scottsdale Scorpions (5-4)

Greg Bird put together a two homerun day to give him three for the season. There is a lot of swing and miss with his bat (10) but he is hitting .394 with a 1.202 OPS. Six of his 13 hits have gone for extra bases. Roman Quinn has proven to be a terror on the bases with six stolen bases in seven attempts. A four hit day upped his average to .300. The Giants recent Cuban signing Danny Carbonell has gotten off to a slow start (.200) but he has gone deep once.

Tyler Glasnow has shown he is still a bit wild with four walks in his three plus innings in two starts. He has limited the opposition to just one run to keep his ERA respectable (2.45). Nefi Ogando is proving formidable in the bullpen with one save and two wins in four appearances. He has a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.

Mesa Solar Sox (2-5)

Matt Olson has clobbered three homeruns but it has only resulted in four RBIs. Add a double to his ledger and all four of his hits have gone for extra bases for a .235 average. Dalton Pompey is a multi tooled athlete hitting .260 with four stolen bases in five attempts. Boog Powell has a name that makes you think of RBIs and he leads the Solar Sox with six, with two homeruns and a .353 average.

C.J. Edwards is making progress towards the starting rotation for the Cubs with his 1.80 ERA in two starts. His numbers are still pedestrian with four hits and four whiffs in five innings of work. A Cuban Cub signing Gerardo Concepcion has proven to be a disappointment since his debut in 2012. In two relief appearances his ERA sits at 15.00 with five runs given up in just three innings of work. He has walked four and given up four hits.

West

Surprise Saguaros (5-4)

Patrick Kivlehan is their homerun leader with three. He is batting .292 with a .414 OBA to put his OPS at a team leading 1.164. The first AFL player of the week is RBI leader (9) Jesse Winker. He is hitting .350 with one homerun. Rusney Castillo has scored eight runs with his .360 batting average but both numbers are second on the team to Kyle Waldrop who has crossed the plate nine times with a .429 average. Kyle has yet to walk but he has two doubles, a triple and a homerun to go with his 12 hits.

Taijuan Walker has struck out 11 in his nine innings of work in two starts. His ERA sits at 2.00. He will be competing for a rotation spot with the Mariners in spring training next year. Burch Smith got toasted for five runs in less than an inning to sky rocket his ERA to 20.25 after three appearances.

Glendale Desert Dogs (3-3-1)

Tim Anderson (.360) and Steven Moya (.308) each have three stolen bases in three attempts. Anderson is a shortstop who needs to improve on his 0/9 walk to whiff ratio. Moya could be starting in right field for the Tigers with the retirement of Torii Hunter. He leads the team with seven RBIs. Corey Seager has four doubles and a triple among his seven hits. He is hitting .259 with 10 whiffs in the seven games he has played.

Chris Bassitt has been limited to three relief appearances but he leads the team in strikeouts with 10. Chris has a 1.29 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. Robbie Ray struggled in his major league debut in 2014 but in two AFL starts he has yet to give up a run. He has struck out seven in his five innings of work, allowing just two hits.

Peoria Javelinas (2-5-1)

Francisco Lindor has a shortstop opening if he can show he is ready to hit. In seven games he is hitting .290 with one homerun. Two slow starters are Hunter Dozier (.179) and Bubba Starling (.167). Each of the prospects has 10 strikeouts.

Sam Tuivailale can hit triple digits with his fastball but struggles with his command. In three relief appearances he has yet to walk a batter in his three innings of work. Kyle Zimmer leads all AFL pitchers in strikeouts with 14. In two starts he has a 3.12 ERA.