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WBC Game Chat: Japan vs USA, 1 pm PT
2006-03-12 15:30
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Angel Stadium This game should be live on ESPN Deportes and ESPN2. Your TV listings might say something else, but that's what ESPN is stating on air.

Jake Peavy takes the mound for Team USA against Koji Uehara of Japan. On a 2004 tour of Japan, Peavy won two games for an MLB all-star squad. But Uehara also pitched well on the same tour against the MLB hitters.

After almost being eliminated with an 8-6 loss to Canada, Team USA bounced back with a 17-0 win over South Africa. Japan destroyed China and Taiwan in its first two games and then lost to Korea 3-2. The Japanese hitters didn't show much in exhibition games against Texas and Milwaukee.

The game might not feature a lot of scoring and won't be played in the greatest conditions. It's been cold and rainy in Southern California recently, but the weather should be OK for Sunday's games. There hasn't been much talk about the tournament in Southern California papers, so just how many people show up for this game will be interesting. There is only one Angel on Team USA and that's Scot Shields, who is not exactly the most well-known local player. There are no Dodgers on Team USA and Peavy is the only Padre.


WP -- Brad Lidge
LP -- Kyjui Fujikawa
HRs - Ichiro Suzuki, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee

In a tense game in Anaheim, the U.S. rallies from 3 runs down thanks to homers from Jones and Lee. It was Jones's 2nd and Lee's 3rd. Ichiro led off the game with a homer.

Japan loaded the bases in the 8th and 9th and failed to score. Tyusoshi Nishioka appeared to have scored on a sacrifice fly by Akiniro Iwamura to left, but the umpires ruled Nishioka out on appeal for leaving too soon.

Japan loaded the bases again in the ninth, but Brad Lidge got Hitoshi Tamura to strike out. The USA loaded the bases again in the ninth and with two outs, Alex Rodriguez singled in the winning run.

2006-03-12 12:43:11
1.   Bob Timmermann
Japan lineup:
Ichiro RF
Nishioka 2B
Tamura LF
Matsunaka DH
Fukudome CF
Iwamura 3B
Ogasawara 1B
Tanishige C
Kawasaki SS

US lineup:
Young 2B
Jeter SS
Griffey CF
Rodriguez DH
Jones 3B
Lee 1B
Schneider C
Wells RF
Winn LF

2006-03-12 13:11:47
2.   Bob Timmermann
I guess the ball is carrying OK as Ichiro takes Peavy to lead off the game.
2006-03-12 13:32:40
3.   Bob Timmermann
Oh has one of his best hitters sacrifice two runners along in the second inning.

Japanese baseball has arrived!

2006-03-12 13:34:19
4.   Bob Timmermann
Kawasaki with a 2-out, 2-run RBI single and Japan leads 3-0 in the 2nd.
2006-03-12 13:51:51
5.   Bob Timmermann
Wow, this game is drawing both crickets AND tumbleweeds.
2006-03-12 14:03:43
6.   overkill94
A-Rod should have bunted instead of hitting into a DP.
2006-03-12 14:29:38
7.   Bob Timmermann
67 pitches through 5 for Peavy. 72 for Uehara.

They should both be done.

2006-03-12 14:41:05
8.   Bob Timmermann
Shields pitching for USA. Shimizu for Japan.
2006-03-12 14:47:04
9.   Bob Timmermann
Lee (Derrek) ties Lee (Seong-Yeop) for the WBC lead in homers with 3. (Adrian Beltre also has 3).

And it's 3-3.

Trey's awild!

2006-03-12 14:53:31
10.   Andrew Shimmin
Erm, anybody else getting a weird, reverse echo on the ESPN2 broadcast? It's possible, I guess, that I have auditory ESP, but that would surprise me.

(Sorry Bob)

2006-03-12 14:56:56
11.   Bob Timmermann
No apologies necessary. They are OBLIGATORY!

Is Todd Jones the best the USA has to offer?

2006-03-12 15:00:17
12.   Andrew Shimmin
Also, what's the deal with Japanese baseball players and hippie sideburns? It was just the Japanese, either. The Koreans and Tiawanese had a high incidence of them, too. Pointing it out makes me feel like Mr. Burns's immitation of George Steinbrenner, but, still.
2006-03-12 15:03:37
13.   Bob Timmermann
The long awaited duel between Ichiro and Fuentes!
2006-03-12 15:08:17
14.   Bob Timmermann
Japan really needed a hit from Ichiro there. Scoring in the next two innings against the likes of Street, Nathan and Lidge won't be easy.
2006-03-12 15:09:41
15.   Icaros
Why is there a part of me rooting against my own country?
2006-03-12 15:11:12
16.   D4P
Nothing wrong with that. I often root against the US.
2006-03-12 15:12:23
17.   Bob Timmermann
I think you might be assuming the baseball players are like the underachieving basketball players.

Also, we are familiar with some of the players from other countries.

And we want to root for the underdogs.

2006-03-12 15:12:51
18.   Icaros

I get the impression that only Americans would root against their own country.

2006-03-12 15:16:00
19.   Icaros
Chin music for Ken Jr.
2006-03-12 15:18:44
20.   Bob Timmermann
I imagine that a certain section of South Africa used to root against South African teams prior to the late 1980s.
2006-03-12 15:23:08
21.   Bob Timmermann
Good thing Jeter sacrificed in that inning because you now that the other guys after him (Griffey and Rodriguez) were just bums!
2006-03-12 15:27:38
22.   Bob Timmermann
Japan is using Yomiuri Giants style helmets that don't have a shiny outside. They look more like they're made of metal.
2006-03-12 15:28:44
23.   Bob Timmermann
That was #3 hitter trying to sacrifice.

Welcome to Asian baseball.

2006-03-12 15:31:06
24.   Bob Timmermann
Foot music for Matsunaka!
2006-03-12 15:35:25
25.   Gary Garland
Ogasawara actually spent a season hitting in the two hole, but if he had more than 2-3sac bunts, I would be suprised.

I knew that the U.S. would come back once Shimizu got into the game, He has okay stuff, but he is too inconsistent with it to pitch in the major leagues.

The guy wearing 61 is Tomoyuki Kubota, not Hirotoshi Ishii, who is back in Japan. Kubota can get it up there 94-95, has been clocked as high as 97. Fastball, slider, cutter, just added a forkball. He used to turn his back to the plate more extremely like Nomo, but that has since been moderated.

2006-03-12 15:37:39
26.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, what an arm by Randy Winn!

Nishioka could have stopped and robbed a liquor store on the way home.

2006-03-12 15:38:21
27.   Bob Timmermann
Of course since Nishioka left early, I guess he did commit a crime.

And he got caught.

2006-03-12 15:41:18
28.   Icaros
Japan was robbed. I'm staying clear of Hawaii.

Does Winn get an assist on that?

2006-03-12 15:41:48
29.   Gary Garland
God, is Bob Davidson having a brutal day or what?
2006-03-12 15:42:28
30.   Bob Timmermann
Did the ball go back to the pitcher or did Schneider throw down right away?

I believe Winn does get an assist. Like a 7-2-5 or 7-2-6 DP.

2006-03-12 15:42:59
31.   Bob Timmermann
It's going down as a 7-2-5 DP.
2006-03-12 15:47:21
32.   Icaros
Well, that's got to be the saddest looking throw to ever earn an outfield assist in organized baseball history.
2006-03-12 15:47:59
33.   Bob Timmermann
Seems like Yabuta has done his job.
2006-03-12 15:51:07
34.   Gary Garland
Otsuka had a line drive hit off of his foot the other day and couldn't throw Saturday. So it will be interesting to see how Oh handles that.
Gaman ka na.
2006-03-12 15:57:22
35.   Bob Timmermann
Isn't he Ohtsuka now that he's back in Japan instead of Otsuka?
2006-03-12 16:00:35
36.   Bob Timmermann
Throwing out the intentional walk, Nathan and Lidge have thrown 12 strikes to 28 balls.
2006-03-12 16:02:18
37.   Bob Timmermann
But Lidge got a strikeout when he needed it.
2006-03-12 16:05:22
38.   Gary Garland
Good thing, actually, that Lidge got to Tamura. 2005 ARISP:

Tamura .268
Nishioka: .377 (lead Pacific League)

2006-03-12 16:09:15
39.   Bob Timmermann
Time for USA Littleball!
2006-03-12 16:10:00
40.   D4P
Is Japan better off not getting the out on the bunt at 1st? That run means nothing, and this way, they have a force play.
2006-03-12 16:11:39
41.   Bob Timmermann
I think getting an out is always a good thing.
2006-03-12 16:11:55
42.   D4P
Like I said...
2006-03-12 16:14:18
43.   Bob Timmermann
An advantage Fujikawa gives away after getting the out at third.
2006-03-12 16:18:18
44.   Bob Timmermann
All up to A-Rod right here.

Although Chipper Jones is "on deck", I'm betting he's not batting in the 9th.

2006-03-12 16:22:13
45.   Gary Garland
Remember the guy who made the Orta call? Davidson is going to be him for the Japanese.
2006-03-12 16:26:37
46.   Bob Timmermann
Bob Davidson was the home plate umpire the game back in 1995 when the Dodgers had to forfeit a game to the Cardinals because fans were throwing souvenir baseballs on the field in protest of his bad calls.
2006-03-12 16:29:25
47.   Andrew Shimmin
What a crappy way for the game to go. If only the U.S. team could have gotten screwed, instead. Then they'd be out, but it wouldn't really be their fault, which is the perfect solution.

Oh well.

2006-03-12 16:40:58
48.   Bob Timmermann
But what's a baseball game without people complaining about the umpires. And at least we had a game close enough where an umpire's call made the difference.

The USA really won in spite of itself there.

2006-03-12 19:41:53
49.   TheBigGrabowski
I was at the game today and haven't seen the highlights yet. How bad was the call? I had to call a friend to find out what happened, watching it live no one had any idea why they called the runner out.
2006-03-12 22:16:27
50.   Xeifrank
I saw the call on TV live but was unable to post about it til now, then I missed the last inning but I had taped it on the vcr. Looked the call was bad. The runner was pushing off before the ball hit the LFers glove, but his foot didn't actually leave the base until the ball hit the glove. I think the runner bending his legs to push off confused the home plate umpire who called the japanese baserunner out for leaving the base too early.
49. A guy I talked to at the SoupPlantation tonight also was at the game and also mentioned that he had no idea why they had called the runner out. I think it would be common sense that the only thing he could've been called out for was leaving too early, especially when they threw the ball to 3rd base to appeal the play.
vr, Xei

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