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WBC: USA at Japan – Game day – Japan beat the US, 9-4; Darvish pitches the 9th

by on Mar.22, 2009 @ 2:56 pm, under WBC

Starting pitchers:

Japan
Daisuke Matsuzaka
2-0, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1.80 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

USA
Roy Oswalt
1-0, 2 G, 2 GS, 7.2 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 3.52 ERA, 1.70 WHIP

Starting line-ups:

Code:
JAPAN            USA
RF Suzuki        2B Roberts
SS Nakajima      SS Jeter
LF Aoki          DH Rollins
DH Inaba         3B Wright
1B Ogasawara     RF Dunn
CF Fukudome      LF Braun
C  Johjima       C  McCann
2B Iwamura       1B DeRosa
3B Kawasaki      CF Granderson

SP Matsuzaka     SP Oswalt

Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Kazuhiro Sasaki are in the booth as guest commentators on TBS in Japan.

Umpires: HP: Paul Emmel. 1B: Paul Hyham. 2B: Derryl Cousins. 3B: Carlos Rey. LF: Ron Kulpa. RF: Willie Rodriguez.

Weather: 60 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 12 mph, L to R.

===============

Top of the First
Other than the lead-off home run, Matsuzaka looks pretty good on the mound.

14 pitches (9 strikes) that inning.

Bottom of the First
1-2-3 inning for Oswalt and the US.

12 pitches (7 strikes) that inning.

Top of the Second
The US is doing a pretty good job of making Matsuzaka throw pitches -- through 2 innings, 35 pitches (19 strikes). Matsuzaka also appeared to struggle with his control a little that inning. His control definitely isn't as crisp as it was when he pitched against Cuba.

21 pitches (10 strikes) that inning.

Bottom of the Second
Good to see Japan making the most of their outs in the inning. I was a little disappointed in seeing Fukudome go after the first pitch he saw from Oswalt and fly out to shallow left. Outside of Ichiro, he may be one of the worst hitters on the team.

18 pitches (10 strikes) that inning.

Top of the Third
Matsuzaka continues to struggle with his control. It did seem like he might pull things together in the inning after he quickly got the first two outs (6 pitches), but he sort of fell apart after that and his pitches started going all over the place.

30 pitches (17 strikes) that inning.

Bottom of the Third
Kawasaki tried to get a bunt single, but Wright made a great play and managed to throw him out at first. Ichiro then reached first and went on to second on a bad throw by Wright. The next two batters swung at the first pitches and couldn't get the run home. Not a very good inning for Japan. And they really need to stop swinging at the first pitches -- they should make Oswalt throw a little more.

7 pitches (5 strikes) that inning.

Top of the Fourth
Nice 1-2-3 inning for Matsuzaka, but he's still throwing a lot of pitches. At this rate, Matsuzaka can probably go one more inning (maybe 2).

15 pitches (10 strikes) that inning.

Bottom of the Fourth
Good for Japan to come back to score 5 runs in the inning after a 1-2-3 inning by Matsuzaka. This should also give Matsuzaka a nice little charge to pitch the 6th.

Oswalt was knocked out of the inning after throwing 29 pitches (17 strikes) in the inning; 66 pitches (39 strikes) overall.

Oswalt's final line:
3.2 IP, 20 BF, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 SO, 5 GO, 5 FO, 6 R, 4 ER, 66 pitches (39 strikes)

Top of the Fifth
Matsuzaka got Roberts to ground out for the first out of the inning. But he gave up a single to Jeter and walked Rollins. He bore down and struck out Wright for the second out of the inning and was taken out of the game in favor of Sugiuchi after that.

Sugiuchi closed out the inning by striking out Dunn.

Matsuzaka's final line:
4.2 IP, 22 BF, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 SO, 8 GO, 2 FO, 2 R, 2 ER, 98 pitches (57 strikes)

Bottom of the Fifth
1-2-3 inning for Grabow. Good on him to get the offense back out on the field as quickly as possible.

Top of the Sixth
If Japan continues to hold a 4-run lead, they could decide to save Darvish for the Finals game.

Put another scoreless inning of work down for Suguichi. Although I hear he also almost gave up a shot to DeRosa, but that it stayed in the park because of the wind (there was a news break on TV).

Bottom of the Sixth
Japan had a nice start to the inning, getting runners on first and second with only 1 out. But Ichiro hit into a fielder's choice and Nakajima struck out to end the inning.

Top of the Seventh
Sugiuchi was taken out before the inning in favor of Tanaka.

Sugiuchi's final line:
1.1 IP, 5 BF, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0 GO, 3 FO, 0 R, 0 ER, 20 pitches (11 strikes)

Nice way to end the inning for Tanaka after giving up a 2-out triple to Rollins.

I wonder who will pitch the 8th.

Bottom of the Seventh
1-2-3 inning for Thornton -- he struck out the side.

Top of the Eighth
Mahara in to start the eighth.

Tanaka's final line:
1.0 IP, 4 BF, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 GO, 0 FO, 0 R, 0 ER, 16 pitches (10 strikes)

Nice job of pitching by Mahara after giving up 2 runs -- he struck out Longoria and got Roberts to tap back to him for the last 2 outs of the inning.

Bottom of the Eighth
A throwing error by Jeter opened the gates for Japan and led to three runs crossing the plate.

Top of the Ninth
Darvish in to start the ninth.

Mahara's final line:
1.0 IP, 6 BF, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 GO, 1 FO, 2 R, 2 ER, 30 pitches (19 strikes)

Darvish gave up a single to Rollins, but handled the other players he faced without too much trouble.

Darvish's final line:
1.0 IP, 4 BF, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 GO, 0 FO, 0 R, 0 ER, 21 pitches (12 strikes)

====================

Code:
      1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   R  H  E
USA   1  0  1  0  0  0  0  2  0   4  9  3
JPN   0  1  0  5  0  0  0  3  x   9  10 1

44 comments on “WBC: USA at Japan – Game day – Japan beat the US, 9-4; Darvish pitches the 9th

  1. emath

    Well, I am heading out to watch this.

    Hopefully it is a good game. My TV is no where near my office, so I probably wont be on here at all… Enjoy the game everyone.

  2. Gwynar

    First pitch from Matsuzaka: ball

    UPDATE 1: Ouch, lead-off homer for Roberts on the second pitch from Matsuzaka.

    UPDATE 2: Rollins dunks a single between Fukudome and Nakajima with 1 out.

    UPDATE 3: Matsuzaka strikes Dunn out to end the inning.

  3. Gwynar

    Matsuzaka appears to be struggling with his control a little. Almost gave up another home run to DeRosa there.

  4. McExpos

    Ok, this is really starting piss me off. A lot of these Japanese players are unknown commodities to American audiences, but several of them might come over to the Major Leagues at some point. So this is a great opportunity to educate the fans a little bit about these players, their customs, and the way the game is played.

    So what does ESPN do? They put Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips in the booth. Morgan doesn’t even (expletive) research the AMERICAN players, so there’s no chance he’ll have any insight to offer.

    God bless Jon Miller for trying.

  5. Gwynar

    Japan has something going here.

    Ogasawara hit a single to left with Inaba running. Runners on first and third and no out with Fukudome up to bat.

    UPDATE 1: Fukudome flies out to shallow left on the first pitch.

    UPDATE 2: Johjima with a sac fly to right to score Inaba from third. Score tied, 1-1.

  6. Gwynar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McExpos;bt2874

    Ok, this is really starting piss me off. A lot of these Japanese players are unknown commodities to American audiences, but several of them might come over to the Major Leagues at some point. So this is a great opportunity to educate the fans a little bit about these players, their customs, and the way the game is played.

    Of course, if you’ve been following this blog, you should know all you need to know about the Japanese players.

  7. McExpos

    It’s not me, it’s the casual fans. I think it’s cool that they could learn about the Japanese game.

    Missed opportunity.

    (BTW, party in the IRC chat too)

  8. Tavarin

    Is Darvish not going to be pitching then? Or are they waiting until later to warm him up?

  9. Gwynar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tavarin;bt2880

    Is Darvish not going to be pitching then? Or are they waiting until later to warm him up?

    I hear that he isn’t in the dugout anymore. I’m not exactly sure when they intend on using him though.

    EDIT: I also don’t think Japan is about to give up on Matsuzaka just yet.

  10. Gwynar

    Inaba starts the inning off by hitting one by a diving Roberts for a single.

    UPDATE 1: Ogasawara follows with a single into center. Runners on first and second, no out. With Fukudome at the plate, do you bunt?

    UPDATE 2: Fukudome tried to bunt on a 1-0 pitch, but failed. He then hit a hot-shot to second that Roberts couldn’t handle (fielding error). Inaba scored from second and Ogasawara went to third. Game tied at 2. No out.

    UPDATE 3: Ogaswara scores on Johjima’s sac fly to right. Japan up, 3-2.

    UPDATE 4: Iwamura hits a double to push Fukudome across the plate. Japan up, 4-2. Iwamura to third on the throw to home. 1 out.

    UPDATE 5: Kawasaki singles to right to score Iwamura from third. Japan up, 5-2. Still 1 out.

    UPDATE 6: Ichiro grounds out to third, Kawasaki to second. 2 out.

    UPDATE 7: Nakajima doubles to right-center scoring Kawasaki from second. Japan up, 6-2. 2 out.

    Pitching change USA: Grabow in, Oswalt out.

    UPDATE 8: Aoki grounds out to second to end the inning.

  11. Gwynar

    Pitching coach to the mound to check on Matsuzaka. Runners on first and second with only 1 out. Not the way you want the next half-inning to go after you team puts up 5 runs on the board.

    Matsuzaka is currently sitting on 90 pitches.

    Nice at bat by Wright, but Matsuzaka wins the battle by striking him out looking.

    Pitching change Japan: Sugiuchi in, Matsuzaka out.

  12. JMDurron

    I have to admit, watching the successors to Youk and Pedroia bungle their positions (Roberts in particular) was mildly amusing to me. Matsuzaka sure reverted to form, though. Nibble into and out of trouble (usually), throw a ton of pitches, and leave early.

  13. Gwynar

    Nice hit to left by Kawasaki.

    Runners on first and second, 1 out.

    UPDATE 1: Ichiro hits into a fielder’s choice, runners on first and third, 2 out.

  14. Gwynar

    Aoki and Ichiro are a combined 0-for-7 now.

    The top three batters are now 1-for-11 (after Nakajima strikes out to end the 6th).

  15. Gwynar

    Darvish is warming in the pen with runners on first and second with 1 out.

    UPDATE 1: DeRosa hit on into the corner and Aoki couldn’t come up with it cleanly. Two runs score and DeRosa goes to third.

    Definitely not how Mahara wanted the inning to do.

    Longoria in to bat for Granderson.

    UPDATE 2: Longoria strikes out swinging on the fork.

  16. Gwynar

    Fukudome walks to start the inning. Kataoka in to pinch-run for Fukudome.

    UPDATE 1: Kawasaki hits it grounder to deep short and Jeter can’t make a good throw to first. Kawasaki safe at first, Kataoka scores from third. Japan now up, 7-4. Big run for Japan.

    UPDATE 2: Kawasaki steals second.

    UPDATE 3: Ichiro with a single to right, Kawasaki scores from second. Japan now has an 8-4 lead.

    UPDATE 4: Nakajima hits a double to right scoring Ichiro from first. Japan now had a 5 run lead.

    UPDATE 5: Aoki grounds out to end the inning.

  17. Gwynar

    I’m guessing Fujikawa will come in to pitch the 9th. That means Japan might be able to "save" Darvish for tomorrow (should they hold onto the lead).

    UPDATE 1: looks like Darvish is still warming in the pen.

    UPDATE 2: it’ll probably be Darvish in the ninth.

  18. Gwynar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by knucklehead7;bt2899

    Jeter’s error is leaving Johnson open to even further second guessing.

    I wonder why they didn’t put in a defensive replacement for him.

  19. Gwynar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by knucklehead7;bt2906

    I am looking forward to a whole summer of that.

    Oh man, do I feel for you. I mean, he was going the wrong way. The announcers over here were laughing up a storm.

  20. Gwynar

    Defensive changes for Japan to start the 9th. Kamei comes in to play left and Aoki moves over to center.

  21. Gwynar

    Wow… Japan just can’t get Rollins out tonight. 4-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and a run scored.

  22. knucklehead7

    BTW, the whole defensive alignment tonight left a lot to be desired. I understand wanting Jeter to get some work in at short over the course of the tournament, but once you’ve reached the semi-finals, it just doesn’t make sense to use Rollins as a DH instead of as the shortstop. That’s not the only questionable decision either. If you put stock into UZR, Victorino was a lot better last season than Granderson in centerfield. Not to mention using Dunn in the field when you have the DH option available to you.

  23. knucklehead7

    Congrats to Japan. I like the idea of such a good rivalry in the final, but it would be even better I think if they hadn’t have already played so many times in the tournament.

  24. Gwynar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by knucklehead7;bt2912

    Congrats to Japan. I like the idea of such a good rivalry in the final, but it would be even better I think if they hadn’t have already played so many times in the tournament.

    TBS (the channel that has broadcast rights to the game) is really trying to pumped things up with their commercials, but honestly, I’m not sure what to expect in terms of TV ratings for the game tomorrow. I know a lot of Japanese people have been saying that they’re getting a little tired of seeing Japan play Korea so many times. I think the players aren’t too happy about it either.

  25. JMDurron

    I feel that this blog title should reflect Matsuzaka getting the win over Darvish pitching the 9th, although I might be biased.

Comments are closed.