1-1, 3 G, 2 GS, 12.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 SO, 0.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP
Jung Keun Bong
2-0, 3 G, 2 GS, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0.66 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
Early reports indicate that Johjima will be hitting clean-up and that both Kurihara and Kataoka will be in the starting line-up (Hara is loading up the line-up with righties).
RF Suzuki CF Lee, Y
SS Nakajima DH Lee, Jin
CF Aoki LF Kim, H
C Johjima 1B Kim, T
1B Ogasawara RF Choo
LF Uchikawa 3B Lee, B
DH Kurihara 2B Ko
2B Iwamura C Park, Ky
3B Kataoka SS Park, Ki
SP Iwakuma SP Bong
For those wondering, this article mentions that Darvish could be available to pitch in relief again tonight against Korea.
Here are his exact comments from the article:
"I threw that last pitch with all my might so I'm not sure how my shoulder will feel tomorrow, but I intend on being ready if needed."
Umpires: HP: Derryl Cousins. 1B: Carlos Rey. 2B: Ron Kulpa. 3B Willie Rodriguez. LF: Paul Emmel. RF: Paul Hyham.
Weather: 70 degress, clear.
Wind: 10 mph, Out of CF.
Top of the First
Decent inning there for Japan. They made Bong throw 28 pitches (15 strikes) that inning. Johjima had a really nice 9-pitch at bat -- he was down 0-2 and managed to fight his way back to get a walk.
I'm not really sure how I feel about bunting Nakajima so early in the game.
Bong also seemed to be struggling with his command a bit, like having a hard time getting his curve over for a strike.
Bottom of the First
Nice first inning for Iwakuma: a strike out and 2 ground ball outs.
10 pitches (6 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Second
Japan threatened again, getting two runners on after 2 out. Ichiro ended the inning with a ground out to first.
With the 23 pitches (13 strikes) Bong threw that inning, he's now sitting on 51 (28 strikes) for the game.
Bottom of the Second
1-2-3 inning for Iwakuma. Foul out, strike out, and a ground out to second. So far so good for Iwakuma.
13 pitches (7 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Third
Tough inning offensively for Japan. They did manage to score the first run of the game, but they ruined a great chance to put a couple more runs on the board when Kurihara grounded into a double play. This is where you begin to wonder how things would have turned out had Murata not gotten injured.
Japan did make Bong throw more pitches that inning -- 74 pitches (46 strikes) overall.
Bottom of the Third
Iwakuma continues to pitch well -- he's on a really nice pace right now. Pop out to first, strike out looking, and a ground out to second.
7 pitches (5 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Fourth
First 1-2-3 inning for Bong. He only needed 8 pitches (5 strikes) for that inning. He's now sitting at 82 pitches (51 strikes) for the game.
Bottom of the Fourth
Iwakuma had a bit of a problem in the fourth in his last start against Korea (he held Korea hitless through 4 innings in that game as well) and he almost ran into some problems again here after getting the first two outs of the inning.
But he got out of the inning on a LONG fly ball to right.
17 pitches (10 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Fifth
Another inning where Japan should have been able to score at least 1 more run. Instead Johjima strikes out for the first out and a strike 'em out (Ogasawara), throw 'em out (Aoki) double play for the final 2 outs of the inning.
Jong really did a great job in relief there for Korea.
Bottom of the Fifth
Iwakuma gave up a lead-off gaming-tying homer to Choo, but bore down and got the next three outs (including a great play Uchikawa made for the second out).
Incidentally, Iwakuma only has 5 ground ball outs and 4 fly ball outs in the game so far. Based on these two numbers alone, Iwakuma isn't really having a very effective game.
13 pitches (8 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Sixth
1-2-3 inning for Jong -- Japan is having hard time catching up to his fastball. Jong now has 3 strike outs over 2 inning of work.
Bottom of the Sixth
A bit of a scary inning there for Japan. Walks have come back to haunt Japan a number of different times and Iwakuma walked Lee, Y after getting the first out of the inning -- he's probably the last batter you really want to walk.
Fortunately for Japan, they managed a strike 'em out (Lee, Jin), throw 'em out (Lee, Y) double play to end the inning.
14 pitches (6 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Seventh
Another bad inning for Japan's offense. They did manage to score a run, but they really should have been able to score at least one more run. Instead, Johjima hits into a double play to end the inning.
Bottom of the Seventh
1-2-3 inning for Iwakuma, but all three outs came on fly balls.
10 pitches (6 strikes) that inning.
Top of the Eighth
Iwamura comes through with a really big sac fly to give Japan another run.
Now the question is, who pitches the 8th and 9th for Japan?
Bottom of the Eighth
For some reason, Hara trotted Iwakuma out against for the eighth. Why he did, I have no idea. If that weren't enough, he left him in even after giving up a lead-off double.
They bunt in the first inning to try and get a run and yet they don't take a pitcher out to protect a 2-run lead in the 8th. Makes no sense.
And not only did Japan give up a crucial run, Korea gets to send up their 2, 3, and 4 batters to plate in the bottom of the 9th.
Iwakuma's final line:
7.1 IP, 27 BF, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO, 7 GO, 8 FO, 96 pitches (54 strikes)
Top of the Ninth
Japan had another good chance to tack on a run (runners on first and second with 1 out), but failed. This is why giving up that second run in the 8th is big.
Bottom of the Ninth
It looked like Sugiuchi would start the ninth, but after Korea announced a pinch hitter, Hara made the move to bring in Darvish.
Sugiuchi's final line:
0.1 IP, 1 BF, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 GO, 1 FO, 5 pitches (2 strikes)
Darvish quickly got the first out, but then walked the next two batters. He struck out Choo for the second out, but then gave up a game-tying single to Bum Ho Lee. Darvish struck out Ko to end the inning.
Top of the Tenth
Just as Hara suffered from a brain fart in leaving Iwakuma in, seems like Korea also suffered a bit of a brain fart in the top of the 10th by pitching to Ichiro. They probably felt they could get him out based on how they've pitched to him in the past 4 games, but this isn't the same Ichiro they faced in those 4 games.
Bottom of the Tenth
Darvish walked the lead-off batter but bore down after that and got Choi to strike out swinging, Lee to fly out to center, and Jeong to strike out to end the game.
Darvish's final line:
2.0 IP, 10 BF, 1 H, 3 BB, 5 SO, 0 GO, 1 FO, 41 pitches (25 strikes)