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Postby Hollywood2 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:37 am

The games in the Asian region have started. Pool A in Japan includes Japan, China, Cuba, and Brazil. Pool B in Taiwan includes South Korea, Netherlands, Australia, and Chinese Taipei (aka Taiwan).

The games started late Friday night and here are the results through Saturday morning:

Image AUSTRALIA 1
Image CHINESE TAIPEI 4

<boxscore>

This one was on late night Friday/ early morning Saturday TV. The Taiwanese fans packed the place and were noisy from start to finish. The Ozzies could not hit worth beans. Taiwan has produced many good players for many years and has been a disappointment in the prior WBCs, even losing to China last time. IMO, China would not have qualified from any pool for this tournament had they been required to do so.

Image JAPAN 5
Image BRAZIL 3

<boxscore>

After Brazil shocked just by getting here they darn near pulled off one of the biggest upsets in baseball history. Brazilian baseball has been grown through Japanese oil industry immigrants, so this was somewhat of an intra-racial matchup. I am hoping this game will be re-broadcast. Otherwise I shall have to settle for highlights, available here:
http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/wbc ... d=31426364

Image SOUTH KOREA 0
Image NETHERLANDS 5

<boxscore>

The Kingdom of the Netherlands now includes the Dutch Antilles in some sort of configuration so Aruban players are eligible for their roster. They shocked by winning the world championship last year. There were no MLB players in that tournament, but they still beat Cuba in the final. (Canada was 3rd and the bronze game against 4th place USA was rained out.) Still a bad loss for the Koreans, who were the underdogs in 2006 and 2009 to the delight of all fans everywhere.

Tonight's late game (9;30 CT in North America) is Cuba v Brazil. Oddly, China does not start play until Sunday. Games are on SportsNet.
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Postby Jimmy Pop » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:07 pm

Like the World Championships in hockey, it's hard to get overly excited when the best of the best are not playing.

No Russell Martin. Joey Votto still not 100% committed. A pitching staff missing Dempster, Bedard and Harden. I hope they do well, but the team they've fielded is a little underwhelming on paper.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:20 pm

Jimmy Pop wrote:Like the World Championships in hockey, it's hard to get overly excited when the best of the best are not playing.

No Russell Martin. Joey Votto still not 100% committed. A pitching staff missing Dempster, Bedard and Harden. I hope they do well, but the team they've fielded is a little underwhelming on paper.


The guys there are still worth watching. The comparison to hockey's world championships is apt. Hopefully MLB will see fit to promote this like the NHL did with the Canada Cup.

Image CUBA 5
Image BRAZIL 2

<boxscore>

You have to hand it to Brazil for not looking out of place against good teams. Their tournament will end after round 1 but this is a good start for international baseball there.

Image CHINESE TAIPEI 8
Image NETHERLANDS 3

<boxscore>

Both teams entered with a win in game 1, so this was a big game. Now, if South Korea beats Australia and Chinese Taipei, and Netherlands also beats Australia then there will be a 3-way tie. Netherlands had a 3-0 lead.

Image CHINA 2
Image JAPAN 5

<boxscore>

This was on from 4-7 am my time, so I watched on PVR. But for some reason it stopped at 1:43, in the 5th inning when Bobby Valentine was talking. China looked lost at the plate. Their two runs came in the top of the 9th, which I did not see.

Watch video highlights of all games:
http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/wbc ... o/play.jsp

Next up:
China v Cuba (1:30 am CT)
South Korea v Australia (4:30 am CT)
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Postby Hollywood2 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:05 am

Image CHINA 0
Image CUBA 12

<boxscore>

China looked hopelessly outclassed in this game. They were fortunate to be drawn in a pool with Brazil. They may well be the two weakest teams in the tournament. Early in the game the Chinese stole second and the craft Cubans pretended it was a foul ball. The Chinese guy went back to first and got tagged out, Hgr! I like the Cuban manager. In fact their whole team is so old school. Too bad they weren't wearing those all-red uniforms.

Image SOUTH KOREA 6
Image AUSTRALIA 0

<boxscore>

The Ozzies cannot hit a watermelon rolled at them. Still, if they get it together a win over Netherlands is possible. The Koreans looked more like the darlings of the baseball world that they were in 2006 and 2009. I enjoy Asian-style baseball. One thing missing in past years has been Latino v Asian games. This year we will at least get Cuba v Japan.

Watch video highlights of all games:
http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/wbc ... o/play.jsp

Next up:
Mon, Mar 4, 10:30 PM Australia v Netherlands
Tue, Mar 5, 2:00 AM Brazil v China
Tue, Mar 5, 4:30 AM Chinese Taipei v Korea
Wed, Mar 6, 4:00 AM Japan v Cuba

These games will mark the end of round 1 in these pools. In round 2 they revert to the 4 game quasi-double-knockout format from 2009. I don't know why they just don't finish a full round-robin and be done with it. IMO, it would be much fairer as teams would have to rotate through all pitchers and teams would need more than one win to stay in the WBC for 2017.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:30 am

Image AUSTRALIA 1
Image NETHERLANDS 4

<boxscore>

Australia joins China and Brazil in the gonzo department. They fell behind early (4-0 after two) then never mounted a comeback at all. However, with one out and two on in the 9th they cranked one to the warning track. Netherlands is in. Korea has to win by at least 4 runs over Taipei to advance.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:45 am

Image BRAZIL 2
Image CHINA 5

<boxscore>

This is the only game I have yet to watch on PVR. China trailed 2-0 and then scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th. So China will be back at the 2017 WBC. Too bad. There are many countries much more capable of putting up a fight against good teams.

Image CHINESE TAIPEI 2
Image SOUTH KOREA 3

<boxscore>

The Koreans won the battle but lost the war. This result means that these two teams and Netherlands all won twice and lost once. The runs +/- eliminates Korea. Same thing happened to Canada in the 2006 WBC and a couple of recent world cups. I don't like that. Why not use the tie-breaker to advance one team and make the other two play for it? Taipei had a 2-0 lead before the Koreans rallied to win. Using past WBC performances this was an upset. But in reality these teams have been very close in the rankings for many years now. Korea is currently 4th and Taipei 5th in the IBAF rankings.

Watch video highlights of all games:
http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/wbc ... o/play.jsp

Next up:
Since the 2nd round for the Asian pools is almost confirmed, here is a more comprehensive schedule (all times Central):
Wed, Mar 6, 4:00 AM Japan v Cuba
Thu, Mar 7, 2:00 PM Italy v Mexico
Thu, Mar 7, 5:30 PM Venezuela v Dominican Republic
Thu, Mar 7, 9:00 PM Pool A Runner-Up v Chinese Taipei (1)
Fri, Mar 8, 4:00 AM Netherlands v Pool A Winner (2)
Fri, Mar 8, 1:30 PM Canada v Italy
Fri, Mar 8, 4:30 PM Spain v Puerto Rico
Fri, Mar 8, 8:00 PM Mexico v United States
Sat, Mar 9, 4:00 AM Game 1 Loser @ Game 2 Loser (3)
Sat, Mar 9, 10:00 AM Dominican Republic v Spain
Sat, Mar 9, 1:30 PM Canada v Mexico
Sat, Mar 9, 4:30 PM Puerto Rico v Venezuela
Sat, Mar 9, 8:00 PM United States v Italy
Sun, Mar 10, 5:00 AM Game 1 Winner @ Game 2 Winner (4)
Sun, Mar 10, 11:30 PM Spain v Venezuela
Sun, Mar 10, 3:00 PM United States v Canada
Sun, Mar 10, 6:30 PM Dominican Rep. v Puerto Rico
Mon, Mar 11, 5:00 AM Game 3 Winner @ Game 4 Loser (5)
Tue, Mar 12, 5:00 AM Game 5 Winner @ Game 4 Winner

Links:
<IBAF Official Site>
<IBAF Rankings>
<Baseball Canada>
<USA Baseball>

Exhibition Game:

Image CANADA 7
Image MILWAUKEE BREWERS 4

<Boxscore>
<Game Story>
<Votto/Swindle Story>

Hey, it's a win! Team Canada beat Team Beer. A 4-run outburst in the top of the 8th did it for TC. In offensive highlights, veteran Pete Orr went 3-for-4, Tyson Gillies went 2-for-3, and Michael Saunders hit a homer. Six different pitchers were used. TC will face the Cincinnati Commies on Wednesday.

Joey Votto is also confirmed. But reliever Jesse Crain had to back out due to a training camp injury. His replacement is lefty R.J. Swindle.

Image
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Postby Hollywood2 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:11 pm

Image JAPAN 3
Image CUBA 6

<Boxscore>

I accidentally heard the score in this one so I have it saved for future viewing on my PVR. Japan scored 3 runs in the top of the 9th to make the score look a lot better. The result did not matter much, since both sides advance and start a modified double-knockout afresh. The Toyota-makers will face Taiwan and the Cigar Boys open against Netherlands.

Exhibition Games:

Image CANADA 2
Image CINCINNATI REDS 12


<Boxscore>
<Game Story>
<WBC Brett Lawrie Story>
<Mark Hardy - at Baseball Reference>
<Trystan Magnuson - at Baseball Reference>

The first two pitchers for TC gave up 10 runs between them in the first 3 innings. Since I never heard of them, I looked them up. Mark Hardy is a AA prospect, and he is not the former Swiss d-man for the LA Kings. Trystan Magnuson is related to former Blackhawk d-man Keith Magnuson, possibly the worst fighter ever. Trystan appears to be coming back after a year off.

Brett Lawrie was hurt and is out 3 weeks. After losing Martin, there goes the top two right-handed bats. Ugh.

The rest of Canada's pool also lost their exhibition games:
LA Angels 12, Italy 6 (tied 5-5 when Angels scored 7 in the bottom of the 8th)
LA Dodgers 10, Mexcio 2 (Fernando Valenzuela should make a comeback!)
Colorado 8, USA 7 (USA's bullpen falls apart, giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th)

On the other hand, only Spain lost in the Latino Heat pool:
Baltimore 19, Spain 7 (I got dibs on Spain for 4th)
Puerto Rico 8, Minnesota 7 (PR scored in 6 of 9 innings)
Venezuela 14, NY Mets 10 (Mets were down 12-0 when they scored 7 in the 5th)
Dominican Rep 8, NY Yankees 2 (DR could be on way to redemption after two disappointing WBCs)

<MLB Links to Boxscores>
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Postby Hollywood2 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:18 pm

Image ITALY 6
Image MEXICO 5

<Boxscore>

This was a crazy game. Pizza vs Tacos! Lasagna vs Burritos! Wine vs Tequila!

Italy led off with 3 runs in the 1st, Mexico answered with 3 of their own. Then things settled in. Mexico did enough to take a 5-4 lead into the 9th. But Sergio Romo (the Giants' closer in the World Series) got roughed up by the Mafia and blew the save. That left it to Italy's closer, Pittsburgh Pirate closer Jason Grilli. He darn near did the same thing. With two outs and two on, Adrian Gonzalez came to bat and was hit by a pitch, putting the winning run on 2nd base. That's where it ended as Jorge Cantu grounded out.

So, Italia gets a surprise win and are 1-0 and face Canada Friday at 1:00 CT (the start has been moved up) and Mexico faces the Yanks at 8:00 CT.

In games tonight, the Dominican Republic leads Venezuela 3-0 after a rain delay, and Netherlands v Cuba at 9:00 CT.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:22 am

Image VENEZUELA 3
Image DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 9

<Boxscore>

After a rain delay the DR held on to pound Venezuela. Those Venezuelan jerseys sure looked sharp though. All the Latin American teams like to get sharp colourful uniforms. This pool is hosted by Puerto Rico, so Venezuela is in a tough spot right now. This could be one of those situations where three teams go 2-1, and a -6 ain't a good start.

On Saturday, the DR will face Spain and Venezuela is do-or-die against PR.

As I post, the Dutch have just taken a 5-1 lead on Cuba.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:29 am

Image NETHERLANDS 6
Image CUBA 2

<Boxscore>

The day ends with a surprise. Well, technically this was a Friday game, starting at noon in Tokyo. This is the opening game of Round 2 in Far East zone. So Cuba is one loss away from elimination. Netherlands will face the winner of Japan v Taiwan, and the loser will face Cuba.

Geez, if JFK handled the Cubans the way the Dutch did, he'd still be alive.

Jonathan Schoop nailed a 3-run HR and went 3-for-6 with 4 RBI to lead the Dutch offence.

The Cuban manager kept touching the ball with his batting gloves when he made a pitching change, so the umpire would have to switch the balls. Bit of a tool, but it was funny. The Dutch got a break on a call when their 1st baseman picked a foul off the ground in the stands and got the out call. The game was nearly over at the time, but still.

Now, on to Friday and Canada's debut. Can the rookie starting pitching hold up? A rotation of Ryan Dempster, Scott Diamond, Jeff Francis, Erik Bedard and Scott Richmond would sure look good. Game 2 starter Chris Leroux (Pirates' bullpen) has a story at the Canadian Baseball Network:
http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/ ... ets-start/
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Postby Hollywood2 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:03 pm

I was watching Jets hockey and the Brier and saving baseball on the PVR, so this post comes a bit late. But here it is ....

Image JAPAN 4
Image CHINESE TAIPEI 3

(extra innings)
<Boxscore>

I had the PVR add 30 minutes to the recording, but that was not enough. The Taiwanese were up 3-2 when my recording expired. This game had it all. Atmosphere, fundamental,s aggressiveness, hitting, pitching, running, and tension. Japan moves on to face Netherlands and Taipei plays Cuba in an elimination game.

Image CANADA 4
Image ITALY 14

<Boxscore>

Italy pulled off yet another shocker. It was evident that TC is short of backup pitching, especially to play 3 games in 3 days under tight pitch counts. Still, Team Pizza had to hit the ball, and that they did. Wins over Mexico and Canada on back-to-back days is quite an accomplishment. TC's hot prospect Mike Saunders went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.

Image SPAIN 0
Image PUERTO RICO 3

<Boxscore>

Spain is the most "poached" roster in the history of international sports. I hear they have only one player actually born in Spain. They have loads of Cuban imports, including 2012 Goldeye Barbaro Canizares. They beat an equally poached Israel team in the qualifiers. Spain was the longest of the longshots entering the tournament. So when it was 3-0 after one inning there were many waiting for floodgates to open. They never did. There was barely any hitting at all by either side in the last 8 innings.

Image MEXICO 5
Image UNITED STATES 2

<Boxscore>

Holy Tacos, Batman! There was nobody out there who correctly forecast the results of all three games in this pool. This score was good news for TC. Their bad +/- won't matter because with wins over Mexico and USA they will advance no matter what.

iso_55 wrote:We lost 14-0 to Italy!! It was so bad they invoked the mercy rule!! Italy? How can we lose to Italy??? They never beat anyone in anything... Well, until us... :roll:
These are the New Jersey Italians!
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Postby Hollywood2 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:11 pm

Now, this event is really heating up ...

Image CHINESE TAIPEI 0
Image CUBA 14

<Boxscore>

It is a shame that Taiwan had to be eliminated in a mercy rule game. They are better than that. They were oh-so-close to beating Japan and moving within a game on the final four. Now they are gone.

Image SPAIN 3
Image DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 6

<Boxscore>

The Dominicans won convincingly, however the 9 hits did not exactly set the world on fire. Spain scored 2 runs in their last at-bat to make the scoreline more respectable. Goldeye Barbaro Canizares was 1-for-4 with an RBI for Espagna.

Image CANADA 10
Image MEXICO 3

<Boxscore>
<Baseball.ca Italy Game Story>
<CBN Italy Game Story>
<Sportsnet> : <Yahoo>
<TSN> : <Globe and Mail>
<Huffington Post/AP> : <National Post>

Canada scored 4 runs in the top of the 1st and from then on Mexico was floundering. With Canada leading 9-3 in the 9th the Taco Boys were getting ticked off with TC running up the score and after two failed attempts hit Rene Tosoni with a pitch. The benches emptied and a few Mexicans had their burritos kicked. So, they thought a fight against Canada would help? Really? Their team is all Mexicans. And they are going to fight guys who have played hockey. Really? Not even Rey Mysterio could have helped them.

If the USA beats Italy then Sunday's Canada-USA game will decide which team advances with Italy. However, if Italy beats the USA then Canada would advance with either a win against USA or a loss by less than 5 runs (I think). In the +/- between potentially tied teams Mexico is -4, USA is -3, and Canada +7.
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Postby Hollywood2 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:41 am

Saturday games have wrapped up, and what a difference a day makes.

Image PUERTO RICO 6
Image VENEZUELA 3

<Boxscore>

IMO after allocating Spain to 4th place, this was the toughest pool to handicap. As it happens, there have been many surprises throughout the draw. IAE, Venezuela was off to a 2-0 lead before PR rallied impressively. So one widely touted pre-tournament favourite is out.

Image UNITED STATES 6
Image ITALY 3

<Boxscore>

The USA was trailing this one from the 1st inning onwards until they amassed a 5-run outburst in the 5th inning. The big blow was David Wright's grand slam. Just think, if that was a pop-up to short ....

So Sunday at 3:00 CDT: Canada (1-1) v USA (1-1) - winner advances and loser is out. And Canada's starting pitcher is slated to be Jameson Taillon, a 21-year old. He seems to have confidence but this is one tough assignment.

Links:

There has been an explosion of brawl-related stories from the Canada-Mexico game, along with a smattering of game stories and some general tournament news. It seems Russ Martin wasn't really playable anyhow. Still, how could he have played shortstop?

And will the 4th place team in each pool have to qualify in 2017? Not if your country's initials are "U", "S", and "A".

|> [Shi Davidi Game Story and Video from SportsNet]
|> [Baseball Canada Game Story]
|> [Sporting News Game Story]
|> [Sporting News Brawl Story]
|> [Russ Martin story from Global]
|> [Jon Paul Morosi story about Team USA's approach to WBC]
|> [Baseball America: 2017 qualifying format not set]


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Postby Taynted_Fayth » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:47 pm

92 citi FM has a YouTube clip of that Canada/Mexico brawl, its fricken awesome. I bet baseballs popularity would increase if there were more fights like that but usually seems when benches clear its to hold ppl back not allow a few 4 on 1 curb stompings lol
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