18 and Under World Cup - Lots of Wet Weather

September 2nd, 2019

Rain was prevalent in Korea causing four games to be postponed. Two games were played but they were shortened to five innings, which Japan couldn’t have been happy about, suffering their first loss of the tournament to Taiwan.

Taiwan 3 Japan 1

Taiwan scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a Lo Wie-Chieh single to break a 1-1 tie. Wang Shun-Ho scored his second run of the game in the fifth. The game ended after five and Taiwan was declared the winner. Wang Yen-Chang was declared the winning pitcher for Taiwan, limiting Japan to two hits in his five innings of work.

Two errors by the Japanese shortstop Toyo Kumada in the fifth inning resulted in two unearned runs. Takaya Ishikawa produced the only two hits for Japan in the game.

Korea 9 Nicaragua 0

Lee Min-Ho held the Nicaraguans hitless in his five innings of work. The offense gave him lots of support, scoring 9 runs in the last three innings. Nam Jim-In led the team with three RBIs.

Under 18 World Cup - Day Three

September 1st, 2019

After 18 straight wins the four time defending champion United States suffers a loss. Japan took batting practice against the United States pitching staff, scoring 16 runs. Canada and Nicaragua also took their first losses leaving Japan as the only undefeated team in the tournament.

Japan 16 United States 7

The Japanese bats were ruthless, scoring 10 runs in the third and fourth innings to seal their victory. Down 11-1 the United States got to 11-7 going into the bottom of the seventh but that was as close as they got. The eight and nine hitters in the Japanese lineup, Haruki Yokoyama and Shoma Sakashita delivered seven RBIs between them. Yokoyama had an RBI walk and hit by pitch and sealed the win with a momentum breaking solo homerun in the bottom of the seventh. Sakashita drove in two runs in the fourth with a single and again two more runs in the eighth with a single. Toyo Kumada also drove in four runs.

Korea 8 Canada 5

Korea recovered from their 1-0 loss to Australia to give Canada their first loss. The first seven hitters in their lineup delivered hits in their six run explosion in the first. Canada could not recover after that. They did bring the tying run to the plate in Micah McDowell in the ninth inning but he grounded out to second to end the game.

Netherlands 4 Nicaragua 2

Nicaragua lost their first game to the winless Dutch team. The Netherlands received three RBIs from Darryl Collins. Darryl got the scoring started with a two run homer in the first. He also added a sacrifice fly in the two run fourth. Arij Fransen closed out the ninth inning to pick up the save.

Samuel Mendoza kept Nicaragua in the game with 4.2 innings of shutting out ball.

Australia 13 China 2

Australia took over first place in pool A with their rout of China. They got another solid pitching performance from their starters, this one from Brandan Bidois, who allowed just one hit in his six innings of work. Australia put the game away with a six run second inning. Byron Armstrong drove in three runs and Jaylin Rae crossed the plate three times to lead the offense.

Taiwan 5 Spain 4

Yu-Min Lin pitched 6.2 innings of one hit ball to lead Taiwan to their second win. Spain rallied for three runs in the eighth but they came up short. Yu Chien struck out the side in the ninth inning to secure the victory for Taiwan. Hao-Yu Lee led the offense with two doubles.

18 and Under World Cup - Day 2

September 1st, 2019

The games were more competitive yesterday but there were a couple upsets on the day. The big game will be on the third day when the United States plays Japan.

Australia 1 Korea 0

The hosts were stung by the second straight excellent pitching performance from the Australian starting pitchers. This time it was Lachlan Waite who shutout the Korean bats for six innings. Unlike the previous day, the Aussie bullpen was up to the task, finishing off the last three innings without allowing Korea to score. Korea had some fielding issues, committing four errors, one of those scoring in the fourth inning on a Solomon Maguire RBI single to account for the only run of the game.

Korean starting pitcher Heo Yun-Dong was almost unhittable, striking out 10 in his 5.2 innings of work, but he was hurt by one of the four Korean errors.

Spain 12 Panama 3

Spain looks tough. Their bats pounded Panama for seven runs in the first two innings and rode that to victory. Justin Castillo launched the first four bagger for the tournament, a two run homer in the sixth inning. He finished the day 3 for 5 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Ruben Fernandez got the big hit with his three run double in the first inning. Fernandez drove in both runs against Japan the previous day when Spain almost pulled the upset. This was the first win for Spain and hit Panama with their first loss.

Japan 19 South Africa 0

Japan roughed up South Africa, scoring runs in all six innings. Sota Asada no hit South Africa for the first five innings, striking out eight. Yuki Hayashi completed the no hitter in the sixth and final inning of the game. Junya Nishi drove in eight with a three run homer in the fourth and a two run homer in the sixth. He also added a two run single in the fifth.

United States 8 Taiwan 1

The United States stayed undefeated, knocking Taiwan to their first loss. The United States scored five of their eight runs in their last two innings to put the finishing touches on the game. Tyler Soderstrom drove in three, his only hit of the game a big two run double in the eighth.

Canada 11 Netherlands 0

Canada scored all their runs in the two middle innings to retire the Dutch in seven. Connor O’Halloran threw six innings of shutout ball. Ryan Leitch and Owen Diodati each went deep for Canada and drove in two runs and scored twice. The Dutch pitchers walked 10 hitters in the game, contributing to the Canadians victory. Canada only needed five hits to score their 11 runs, two of those hits traveling over the fence.

Nicaragua 6 China 3

Nicaragua remained undefeated with their win over China. A four run second proved to be the difference in the game. Yeffry Montiel and Felipe Aguilar each contributed two run doubles in the inning to contribute to the win.

Shen-Gao Yang hit two doubles to account for two of the three runs for China, scoring twice.

Strasburg Almost Perfect; Rendon More of the Same

September 1st, 2019

The Nationals relied on their Cy Young contender Stephen Strasburg and their MVP candidate Anthony Rendon to cruise over the Miami Marlins 7-0. Strasburg was almost perfect, giving up two hits in the first inning and then retiring his last 22 hitters, 14 on strikeouts, 12 of those whiffs of the swing and miss variety. Rendon mashed two homeruns into the left field bleachers to continue his assault on National League pitchers.

Strasburg struggled a bit in the first inning. He gave up back to back singles to Harold Ramirez and Starlin Castro with one out. Neil Walker grounded one up the middle, which was fielded by Strasburg, who started the 1-6-3 double play. After that only 7 of the next 21 hitters put the ball in play as Strasburg showed his dominance with 14 strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first Rendon put his stamp on the game. He launched a 3-2 pitch from Pablo Lopez high into the left field bleachers. Juan Soto followed by going the opposite way on the second pitch he saw, trying to kiss the Rendon shot by also depositing it into the left field bleachers. The back to backs were the 30th homeruns for Soto and Rendon.

Pablo Lopez did not have it this night. In the second inning he gave up a run, Stephen Strasburg ripping a two out single into the third base hole to score Kurt Suzuki. In the third inning Rendon was hit on the elbow with a pitch. Soto lined a hit and run double down the right field line, scoring Rendon. Kurt Suzuki mashed a pitch into the center field bleachers to make it 6-0.

Wei-Yin Chang replaced Lopez and pitched well. He gave up a leadoff double to Victor Robles. After that he retired the next 12 hitters he faced, combining with Strasburg to pitch a perfect game. He was not quite as dominant as Strasburg, striking out just two in his four innings of work, but he got seven ground ball outs with the 13 hitters he faced.

Adam Conley came on to pitch the eighth. Anthony Rendon took his first pitch and launched it into the left field bleachers to finish off the scoring. Tanner Rainey came on to complete the shutout striking out three and walking one. He tested the patience of the National’s fans by getting behind Harold Ramirez 3-0 after walking Jon Berti, but he recovered to strikeout Ramirez.

Game Notes: The Nationals honored the South Loudoun Little League team, who were the first team from Virginia in 25 years to advance to the Little League World Series. They represented themselves well in the games, reaching the finals of the winner’s bracket before losing their last two games…The last time two Nationals had 30 plus homeruns in the same season was in 2009 when Adam Dunn hit 38 and Ryan Zimmerman swatted 33…The homerun in the first inning advanced the hitting streak for Rendon to 16 games…The 14 whiffs gives Strasburg the league lead in strikeouts with 215. He also leads the National League in innings pitched (179) and wins (16). A couple bad outings puts his ERA at 3.47…Strasburg now has a 12 game winning streak against the Marlins…Lewis Brinson was ejected from the game in the eighth inning for objecting to a called third strike, the last of Strasburg’s strikeouts. The replays show that the ball crossed over the plate into the strike zone. Perhaps that is a reason Brinson is struggling to hit major league pitching…With a runner on third and one out Trea Turner grounded out to third, not a place you want to hit the ball. If you want to score that run you have to hit the ball to the opposite side of the infield or find the outfield.

World Cup 18 and Under - Days One

August 31st, 2019

Myworld has been a bit busy with two a days in volleyball so the blogging has taken a hit. But the 18 and under World Cup has completed two days. Below are the results from the first day. There were no homeruns hit the first day but a lot of close games.

Canada 17 China 3

T.J. Schofield went a perfect 4 for 4, driving in four runs and scoring two as Canada cruised in their opener. Austin Gomm also drove in four runs with a double and triple. China scored three runs in the fourth to pull to within 5-3 but Canada erupted for 12 runs in the next two innings to put the game away.

Taiwan 4 Panama 1

Panama proved pesky trailing by only one run until Taiwan scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to give themselves some breathing room. Tsai Chia-Yen scored twice and drove in a run in the eighth with a double. He scored the first run in the third after hitting a two out triple. Chen Po-Yu worked six innings and gave up just one run, that run scoring on a balk in the sixth. Yu Chien pitched two shutout innings to earn the save, striking out four.

Japan 4 Spain 2

Japan had to rally for four in the eighth to sneak out a victory over a tough team from Spain. Justin Luna had shutout the Japanese for the first seven innings, allowing just two hits. When Spain went to their bullpen Japan erupted for four runs. All the runs were unearned after a two out error extended the eighth inning. After the error Yuya Nirasawa drove in the first run with an RBI single. Takaya Ishikawa tied the game with a single and Jo Endo gave the Japanese the lead with his two run double. Shuto Iizuka worked the ninth to pick up the save.

Ruben Fernandez drove in both runs for Spain with a two run triple in the fourth.

Nicaragua 3 Australia 2

Yeffry Montiel broke a 1-1 tie with a two run single in the ninth. Chris Burke hit his second double of the game and scored after a wild pitch and ground out pulled Australia to one. Samuel Mendoza was able to retire the last two hitters on ground outs to secure the victory. William Sherriff pitched eight strong innings for Australia, allowing just the one run and striking out nine.

Both runs Nicaragua scored in the ninth were unearned after a two out error by Australia extended the inning.

United States 11 South Africa o

Kyle Harrison pitched 5.1 shutout innings to earn the victory. He gave up two hits and struck out nine. Leadoff hitter Robert Hassell scored four runs and drove in two. He went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a walk. Tyler Soderstrom drove in three. The United States scored in every inning but the fourth in a game shortened to seven innings by the slaughter rule.

Korea 5 Netherlands 4

It took 10 innings but the hosts were able to squeak past a stubborn Netherlands team. The Netherlands rallied for four runs in the eighth to tie the game. Despite putting a runner on first and second to start the 10th Netherlands could not score. Korea was able to get their run across after a single by Min Park loaded the bases and Ju-Hong Park drove him in with a SF.

Hyeong-jun So pitched six shutout innings for Korea. The Netherlands were able to score their four runs off the Korean bullpen. Ji-Chan Kim was 4 for 5 with two stolen bases and one run scored for Japan.

Rendon Walkoff Secures Sloppy Victory Over Marlins

August 31st, 2019

The Nationals played the game last night as if they did not want to win. Sloppy fielding plays and the usual poor pitching by the bullpen would have resulted in a loss against most teams except they were fortunate to be playing the Marlins, who have their own issues finding victories. The Marlins can play as poorly as the next team and Anthony Rendon took advantage of a wild pitch that put two runners in scoring position and blooped a single into left field that scored the tying and winning run to give the Nationals a 7-6 win.

Neither starting pitcher had their best stuff. In the first inning Harold Ramirez deposited a pitch from Anibal Sanchez into the centerfield bleachers, just to the right of the bullpen. Elieser Hernandez gave the run right back and added another in the bottom frame. The first three hitters in the order, Trea Turner, Gerardo Parra and Anthony Rendon all singled for one run. A ground out scored the second run and it was 2-1 Nationals.

In the second inning Victor Robles started it off with a double. Anibal bunted him to third and on a slow grounder to Starlin Castro at third he chose to go to first rather than taking the risky throw home. Hernandez settled down after that, retiring the Nationals in order in the next three innings.

The Nationals exhibited some poor fielding in the third inning. A walk by Sanchez to Jon Berti started the inning off. Harold Ramirez hit a sharp grounder to Turner that should have been a double play. Turner’s throw to Asdrubal Cabrera was high, Asdrubal tried to catch it barehanded to make the throw to first but dropped the ball. The error was given to Turner. With one out Neil Walker hit a hard grounder to Matt Adams at first that could have been two. The ball popped out of his glove. He recovered quickly and flipped the ball to Sanchez covering first but Sanchez bobbled the throw and the runner was safe to load the bases. The Nationals got out of the inning when Sanchez struck out Jorge Alfaro on three pitches and Isan Diaz popped to short.

Anibal gave up a run in the fourth, but it was a sloppy fielding play from former gold glover Parra that created a run. He poorly tracked what should have been a routine fly ball to right, turning the wrong direction and letting the ball bounce to the left of him and into the right field bullpen for a ground rule double. What should have been an out was a double for Brinson. Sanchez had trouble throwing strikes and walked his fourth hitter of the game. Hernandez bunted the runners over and a ground out to second scored a run for the Marlins that shouldn’t have scored.

The Nationals took advantage of some sloppy fielding by the Marlins in the sixth. In some generous scorekeeping by the home team Rendon hit a single that bounced in front of the right fielder and then glanced off his leg. If he could have fielded the one hopper cleanly Rendon would have been held to a single. Because it bounced off his leg and trickled behind him Rendon was able to advance to second on what was ruled a generous double. A balk advanced Rendon to third where he scored on a legitimate double by Juan Soto.

Hunter Strickland came back from his paternity leave and the Marlins treated him rudely in the seventh. Jon Berti started the inning off with a bloop single to right. Harold Ramirez and Starlin Castro followed with hard singles to center to score one. Strickland walked Neil Walker to load the bases and after striking out Jorge Alfaro for the first out was replaced by Roenis Elias to face the lefthander. Elias walked Isan Diaz, a player who doesn’t like to walk, to force in a run and tie the game. Lewis Brinson grounded into a double play to Rendon to keep the game tied.

The Nationals scored one run off Kyle Keller without putting the ball in play. Keller walked two and struck out two and was replaced by the lefty Jarlin Garcia to face Juan Soto. Soto lined one into the right field bullpen wall for a double scoring Max Scherzer, who had pinch run for Adam Eaton. With the uncertainty of the Nationals bullpen it would have been nice to score more, but they didn’t.

In the ninth Dan Hudson came on to close the game. Harold Ramirez hit a slow roller to Rendon and beat the throw the throw to first by an eye lash. The play was reviewed and the call could have gone either way. Starlin Castro lifted one into right center and the ball hit off the top of the fence just in front of the right field bleachers for a delayed call homerun. Castro had stopped at third when the third base umpire circled his fingers to complete the four bagger. Hudson was able to retire the next three hitters to keep the deficit at one.

Ryne Stanek, who came from the Rays was asked to close out the game. For the Marlins coming into this game he had been given four save opportunities, succeeded in one and blown three. Howie Kendrick led off the ninth with a pinch hit single and Trea Turner took a walk. Para tried to bunt the runners over and popped it up to the pitcher. Stanek though could not take the generosity and advanced the runners over, throwing a pitch high over the catcher’s head that was for some reason ruled a passed ball. Stanek succeeded in doing what Parra could not. With the count 2-1 Rendon did not hit the ball hard, but hard enough, blooping it over the shortstop for a single and allowing Turner to race home with the winning run. That was the fourth blown save for Stanek, who was used a lot as an opener for the Rays.

Game Notes: The Marlins had two players from Colombia in their starting lineup, Jorge Alfaro and Harold Ramirez. That has to be a first for a major league team to have two Colombians as regulars in the starting lineup…Myworld still likes the construction of the Nationals new bullpen once Sean Doolittle gets healthy. Daniel Hudson and Hunter Strickland are two setup relievers who throw 95 plus along with Wander Suerro. They can get the ball to Doolittle. Myworld is also comfortable using either Hudson or Strickland as closers if Doolittle continues to struggle. Roenis Elias is a better lefthanded option than Matt Grace…After the leadoff hitter got on in the second inning Elieser Hernandez retired the next 12 hitters before running into trouble in the sixth…Anibal Sanchez takes a long time getting to home plate from his stretch position. The Marlins runners were getting some big jumps off him…The three hits by Rendon extended his hitting streak to 15 games and he is leading the National League in hitting with his .333 average.

Louisiana Wins First Little League World Series

August 26th, 2019

It appears that with these Little League participants, on any given day one team can beat another. Yesterday it was Louisiana’s opportunity to shine. Egan Prather pitched a complete game two hitter in Louisiana’s 8-0 domination over Curacao. His teammates put the game away scoring six runs in the last two innings.

Marshall Louque was again the big bat for River Ridge. In the semi-final game he drove in his first four RBIs of the Series. Yesterday he drove in three runs with two doubles and a single. In the last two games he was 6 for 7 with four doubles, a triple and a single, driving in seven runs. Reece Roussel continued to assault pitchers with a 2 for 3 day, scoring three runs and driving in one. For the series he batted .739, scoring 10 runs and driving in 10 runs. He also hit two doubles yesterday to give him 7 for the Series.

Louque drove in the first run of the game with the first of his two doubles in the first inning. He drove in his second run with a double in the third inning. It was all Prather needed to win the game. When River Ridge exploded for four runs in the fifth the game was all but over. Russell and Louque each drove in runs in the inning.

It was the first Little League World Series win for the state of Louisiana.

Lindblom Wins 20 for Bears

August 25th, 2019

Paul Lindblom can not lose. In his 25th start he won his 20th game against just one loss. His second place Doosan Bears just nipped the Hanwha Eagles 3-2.

Lindblom gave up two runs in the second, but settled down after that. He pitched long enough for the Bears to nip away at the Eagle lead, scoring one run each in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Lindblom pitched eight innings before turning it over to Hyung-Bum Lee, who picked up his 15th save.

This is Lindblom’s fifth season in the KBO. His first three years were spent with the Lotte Giants. Last year he was 15-4 with a 2.88 ERA. He leads the league in wins, ERA (2.04) and strikeouts (161). If this pace continues he will win the triple crown of pitching in the KBO.

Ryu Hyun-Jin became the second pitcher in KBO history to win the Triple Crown in 2006. He is now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sun Dong-yul won multiple triple crowns in 1986, 1989, 1990 and 1991. Yoon Suk-Min was the last pitcher to win the triple crown and he accomplished that feat in 2011. Lindblom is trying to become the first foreigner to win the triple crown and the fourth pitcher.

Santander Leads O’s to Rays Mauling

August 25th, 2019

The Orioles scored in five innings. In a five for five day Anthony Santander delivered hits in four of them to score, drive in or keep the rally alive to lead the Orioles to an 8-3 win. For Santander it is his first five hit game in the major leagues.

Diego Castillo got the opener start. He retired the first two Orioles then ran into trouble when Trey Mancini, Santander and Renato Nunez singled to drive in one run.

The Rays went with lefty Jalen Beeks in the third inning. The Orioles put together their second two out rally with no one on, though Hanser Alberto had hit a one out single. He tried stealing second and after originally being ruled safe the umpires in New York reversed the call. Mancini drew a walk and Santander kept the rally alive with a line single into left field. Nunez laced a double into the left centerfield gap and a bobble by Kevin Kiermaier allowed Santander to score. The throw home was high and to the back stop, Nunez advancing to third on the throw. A D.J. Stewart single scored the third run of the inning, putting the Orioles ahead 4-0.

Dylan Bundy pitched a solid five for the Orioles. The Rays started to hit him the second time they saw him in the batting order. In the fourth an error by Richie Martin when he bounced a ball to first put runners on first and third with just one out. Kevin Kiermaier drove in the first run with a single to center. Bundy issued a walk to load the bases but Joey Wendle grounded into a double play to end the threat, the second of four double plays the Rays hit into.

Jalen Beeks must have been in the game for the long haul, no matter how many runs he gave up. The Orioles got him for two more in the fifth to neutralize the Rays one run. Jonathan Villar became the Orioles sixth 20/20 player by blasting a drive deep into the left field bleachers for his 20th homerun. Again, the homerun came after the first two hitters were retired. Rio Ruiz, who came in for the injured Alberto, lined a double to the base of the right center field wall. The Rays chose to walk Mancini intentionally and Santander made them pay with a bloop RBI single into left field.

Bundy again struggled in the fifth, giving up two runs. He walked Mike Zunino leading off the fifth. Tommy Pham grounded a double just inside the third base line to score Zunino. The Rays scored a second run on a sacrifice fly hit by Ji-Man Choi. This pulled the Rays to within three, 6-3.

D.J. Stewart put a stop to that momentum, lining a pitch to deep right center. Kiermaier reached out for it, the ball hitting his glove and hitting the top of the wall. The umpires originally ruled a homerun, but after review reversed the call saying the ball hit the top of the fence and did not go over. Stewart ended up scoring, tagging up on two fly balls.

Santander ended the scoring with a line drive solo homerun into left field in the eighth inning. He hit an infield single in the ninth to finish his 5 for 5 day, but it was his first hit that did not result in an Oriole run.

Game Notes: The Rays were dressed in all white while the O’s were in all black. The all white uniforms had white numbers and letters so you could not see the number or name on the back of the uniform. The white writing on the black uniforms were so small that myworld could not see it. Don’t know whose idea this was but myworld did not like it…Hanser Alberto was shaken up on an attempted steal in the third and was taken out of the game (head contusion). Kiermaier hit the wall on the Stewart double in the fifth and was also replaced (left rib cage contusion). Chris Davis pinch hit for Renato Nunez after he experienced a tight hamstring running to second…Jalen Beeks worked five innings and gave up seven runs. The Rays had to be out of bullpen help to keep in Beeks that long…D.J. Stewart played a strong right field, making a diving catch on a liner in the third and made a running catch on a ball hit into the right centerfield gap in the fifth…Villar became the sixth Oriole to hit 20 homeruns and steal at least 20 bases. The last player to achieve that feat was Manny Machado in 2015. Brady Anderson accomplished the feat on three occasions. Villar also became the fifth player to accomplish the 20/20 club this year in the major leagues…The Rays collected 10 hits in the game but the O’s limited the damage with four double plays.

Rouen Huskies Win Another French Championship

August 25th, 2019

They are the New York Yankees of France, except they have not stopped winning championships. In a slugfest they outscored Templiers Senart 14-7, scoring a touchdown with an extra point in the fourth inning to take an 11-5 lead. The win gave them a 3-1 tally in a best of five championship series.

Enrique Sosa drove in five runs with an RBI single in the first, a two run double in the fourth and a two run homerun in the eighth. He finished the day with four hits. Louis Brainville contributed an RBI double in the fourth and a solo homerun sixth.

The Rouen Huskies have now won five straight championships. They were on a run of nine straight championships until Templiers Senart broke their run in 2014. The Huskies have now won 15 championships since 2003.