7:26 PM JST: NikkanSports is reporting that Yu Darvish arrived at the ballpark with a buzz cut. It is customary in Japan to do this when you're either expressing sorrow / remorse (a la Tomohiro Nioka of the Giants after being caught in an extra marital affair), or if you're trying to get yourself psyched for a big event.
7:33 PM JST: JIJI Press is reporting that Team Japan was fined $2,000 for an incident during the game against Cuba. Manager Senichi Hoshino argued a ball/strike call and promptly stopped after being warned. However, immediately after that, he made a motion for a pinch hitter. Home plate umpire Juan Rodriguez Diaz thought Hoshino was still arguing the call and ejected him. After a translator intervened to inform the ump that Hoshino was merely making a call for a pinch hitter, it appeared as though the ejection was overturned. Honshino returned to the bench for the remainder of the game and was never warned again.
7:36 PM JST: SportsNavi is reporting that Softbank Hawks lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi will get the start against the Netherlands tonight. Sugiuchi throws a change, curve, slider, and fastball.
Here are his numbers from his current season with the Hawks:Code:G W L CG IP BF H HR BB HBP SO WP BK ER R ERA 18 9 5 7 142 556 115 9 22 2 151 3 0 41 42 2.60
7:48 PM JST: SportsNavi is reporting that Alexander Smit will get the start for the Netherlands. He is a prospect from the Cincinnati Reds farm system.
Starting Lineups NETHERLANDS JAPAN 8 Michael Duursma SS 7 Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B 21 Eugene Kingsale CF 23 Norichika Aoki CF 12 Sharnol Adriana 1B 31 Masahiko Morino DH 24 Sidney de Jong C 25 Takahiro Arai 1B 2 Yurendell DeCaster 3B 41 Atsunori Inaba RF 37 Bryan Engelhardt DH 55 Shuichi Murata 3B 27 Danny Rombley LF 10 Shinnosuke Abe C 18 Dirk van 't Klooster RF 46 GG Sato LF 5 Jeroen Sluijter 2B 3 Hiroyuki Nakajima SS
Top of the 1st
And we're off, first pitch from Sugiuchi for a strike at 8:02 PM JST.
Michael Duursma hits a floater caught by Hiroyuki Nakajima (SS) for the first out.
Eugene Kingsale broken bat grounder to third for the second out.
Sharnol Adriana walks on four straight pitches.
Sidney de Jong up to bat. Sharnol Adriana steals second on a 2-2 pitch. de Jong broken bat grounder to third for the third out.
Bottom of the 2nd
Tsuyoshi Nishioka walks on 7 pitches.
Norichika Aoki up to bat. Nishioka moves to first on a balk. Aoki singles through the right side of the infield. Nishioka to third.
Masahiko Morino goes the other way and lines a single to left. Nishioka scores, Aoki to second. No outs.
Takahiro Arai drives one into the gap in right, Aoki and Morino both score. Arai to second with a triple. Still no out. Arai registers his first hit of the Olympics.
Atsunori Inaba drives one to deep right for a sac fly. Arai scores.
Shuichi Murata grounds out to short for the second out of the inning.
Shinnosuke Abe strikes out swinging for the final out.
Top of the 2nd
Yurendell DeCaster grounds out to third.
Bryan Engelhardt caught looking on a fastball down the plate for strike three.
Danny Rombley flies out to right.
According to the announcers Masahiro Tanaka has also gotten a buzz cut (but it probably isn't as noticeable on him since his hair was already pretty short).
Bottom of the 2nd
GG Sato strikes out looking.
Hiroyuki Nakajima hits the ball off the right-field wall and slides into second with a double.
Nishioka grounds out to short for the second out of the inning. Nakajima stays put at second.
Aoki flares to short for the final out of the inning.
Top of the 3rd
Dirk van' t Klooster strikes out swinging.
Jeroen Sluijter grounds out to second.
Duursma strikes out looking on three pitches for the final out.
Sugiuchi appears to be throwing pretty free and easy right now. He's hitting his spots and he's making his pitches. He hasn't really gotten into any trouble over the first three innings. Other than the walk in the first, he hasn't thrown more than 2 balls to a batter.
Bottom of the 3rd
Morino grounds out to third.
Arai flies out to left for the second out of the inning.
Inaba grounds to third, bobbled by DeCaster, throw to first... Inaba safe at first.
Murata caught looking for strike three, inning over.
The ump appears to be have a fairly wide strikezone today -- balls off the plate for right-handed batters are consistently being called a strike.
Top of the 4th
Kingsale grounds out to short after working the count to 3-2.
Adriana flies out to deep right.
de Jong strikes out trying to check his swing.
Sugiuchi has thrown 47 pitches through 4 innings (17 10 8 12). He has retired 10 straight batters now.
Bottom of the 4th
Abe lines out to right.
Sato hits a hotshot to third, fielded there by DeCaster, throw over to first, in time!
Nakajima strikes out swinging for the third out.
The game is moving along fairly quickly. 4 innings in the books and we're only a couple minutes over an hour.
Top of the 5th
DeCaster grounds out to short.
Englehardt hits a chopper in front of the plate, rolling slowly towards the first-base side. Sugiuchi running to field the ball but it goes underneath his glove. Infield single.
Rombley strikes out swinging for the second out of the inning.
van' t Klooster bloops one that goes between the third baseman and shortstop. Englehardt is running hard and manages to get to third. Throw goes to the second baseman and van' t Klooster is caught in between first and second. Englehardt takes off for home, Nishioka throws to first and Englehardt is tagged out sliding into home.
Bottom of the 5th
Nishioka skies out to center.
Aoki lines out to the shortshort.
Morino singles to right.
Arai drills one off the left-field fence. Morino slides into third and is safe on a bad throw. Arai stays at first.
Inaba pops out to the shortstop for the final out of the inning.
The umpire doesn't appear to be calling pitches off the plate, with lefties batters in the box, a strike. Based on how the ump has been calling pitches off the plate for righties, Inaba appeared to be caught looking at strike three, but the pitch ended up being called a ball.
Top of the 6th
Sluijter singles to left.
Duursma taps one up the middle, Nakajima fields, steps on the bag for one out, throws to first for the second out, double play.
Kingsale flies out to center.
The announcers mentioned that Tsuyoshi Wada could be the starter for tomorrow's game.
Bottom of the 6th
Murata grounds out to third.
Abe grounds out to the pitcher.
Sato walks on four pitches.
Pitching change: Diegomar Markwell comes in for Smit.
Nakajima walks on 6 pitches.
Pinch hitter Masahiro Araki in for Nishioka (2B)
Araki walks on 6 pitches to load the bases with two outs.
Aoki grounds out to second. He hit the ball right on the button, but unfortunately it was right at Sluijter.
Top of the 7th
Adriana fouls out to the first baseman.
de Jong grounds out to short.
DeCaster drives one off the base of the centerfield wall for a double.
Pinch hitter: Percy Isenia comes in for Engelhardt (DH)
Isenia strikes out swinging.
This was probably the last inning for Sugiuchi (87 pitches). Masahiro Tanaka was warming in the pen so he'll probably be coming in for the 8th.
Bottom of the 7th
Morino grounds out to third. That was a pretty tough pick by DeCaster. He's made some pretty nice plays over at third.
Arai lines out to right.
Inaba singles up the middle with two outs.
Murata flies out to left.
Top of the 8th
Pitching change: Masahiro Tanaka comes in for Sugiuchi
ball (fb), bal (fb)l, strike (fb), ball (fb), strike (fb), ball (fb) - walk
van' t Klooster
ball (sl), strike (sl), swinging strike (fb), check swing strike (fk) - strikeout
swinging strike (sl), swinging strike (fk), ball (fk), swinging strike (fk) - strikeout
Pinch hitter: Raily Legito in for Duursma
ball (sl), strike (fb), strike (sl), fouled off (fk), ball (fb), ball (fb), ball (fk) - walk
ball (sl), strike (fb), ball (fb), fouled off (sh), strike (fb 151km/h) - strikeout
fb = fastball, fk = forkball, sl = slider, sh = shuto
Bottom of the 8th
Abe grounds out to second.
Sato hits a homerun to left center.
Nakajima grounds out to second.
Araki taps a slow roller to third. Tough play by DeCaster as he charges in, bare hands the ball, throws to first... Not in time. Infield hit.
Aoki steps into the batter's box. Araki steals second on the 1-0 count. Aoki drives one to center, Araki scores from second. Aoki coasts into second with a double.
Pitching change: Michiel van Kampen comes in for Markwell
Morino caught looking at strike three.
Top of the 9th
Pitching change: Kenshin Kawakami comes in for Tanaka
Adriana flies out to shallow center. The ball almost dunked in due to a problem with communication.
de Jong nubs one, fielded, but bobbled by Kawakami. Throw over to first, Arai scoops it... In time!
DeCaster fouls out.
Game over, Japan beats the Netherlands, 6-0.
Post Game Notes
- Aoki is now 5-for-12 (including a double) with 3 ribs, 2 runs, and a stolen base. He is also the only starter with 10 or more AB's and no strikeouts.
- Nishioka is 4-for-11 (including a double) with a walk, an rbi, 1 run, and a stolen base.
- Nakajima has done a solid job filling in for the injured Kawasaki. He has collected 3 hits (2 doubles) in 7 at bats to go along with 2 walks 2 rbi's. However, Nakajima has also struck out 3 times.
- After going hitless in his first 7 at bats (including 3 strikeouts), Arai managed to collect 2 hits (1 triple) in his 4 trips to the plate against the Netherlands.
- Morino also managed to break an 0-for-5 slump with his 2-for-5 performance.
- Japan, as a team, is now 28-for-100 (4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers) to go along with 14 rbi, 17 SO, 7 walks, 3 SB, and 3 GIDP.
- Tanaka has now pitched 2 innings, faced 10 batters, given up 1 hit, walked 3, and struck out 6.
- The Japanese pitching staff currently leads all teams in strikeouts with 32.
- Japan's team ERA is 1.73 (5 ER after 26 IP) after 3 games.