Results tagged ‘ World Baseball Classic ’
Wow, the Pirates and Red Sox played a great game today. If I had time to write a full recap, I would, but I don’t (not that anyone reading this blog truly cares anyway). But just looking at the linescore shows how great of a game it was. The Red Sox won the game 15-14 in 10 innings, a game that lasted 4 hours and 10 minutes. Jose Tabata was the top performer, going 3-3 with 4 RBI. Other good performances at the plate were given by Freddy Sanchez, Andrew McCutchen, Adam LaRoche, and Neil Walker. The Pirates forced the 10th frame by scoring 3 in the 9th. The pitching wasn’t so great of a story, as Tom Gorzelanny and Chris Bootcheck both struggled mightily, although Bootcheck rebounded nicely striking out 3 in a row to end the 4th inning.
It was one heck of a day for baseball. A full slate of minor league games and 6 world baseball classic games. Of course, I was not awake to see Japan blow out Korea 14-2, a game that started at 5:30 am eastern time. I did happen to catch most of the Dominican/Netherlands game at work though. I was really excited to see Edinson Volquez pitch, but my excitement was not fulfilled. Volquez had a rough time in the first inning. He gave up 3 runs in the first inning, however 2 of them were due to Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error on a ball that he made a heck of an effort to even get to. Volquez finished the game with 3 innings pitched, 3 runs, 0 earned, 2 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Not a terrible line, but he definitely didn’t have it today. After that the Dominican staff was excellent, featuring Pedro Martinez with 3 great innings of 1-hit ball. However, their offense was not clicking and they could only put up 2 runs on the Netherlands, who completed one of the biggest upsets the classic has seen.
Well this is just gonna be a quick update, because I’ve gotta get back to work on a project here, but I’d just like to let you all know that I bought 4 more player t-shirts today, for 3 bucks a piece. I purchased Geovany Soto, Russell Martin, K-Rod (it literally says K-Rod on the back), and Carlos Gomez. So that puts my collection at 9 and means I have 8 out of 30 teams in my closet. Gotta love Gabriel Brothers.
Alright well we’re 6 days into the spring training games, and this year, that means that the World Baseball Classic begins today. I guess pool play doesn’t start today, but a couple of the country teams are taking on some major league squads today to get ready for when it counts. Let’s run it down real quick!
- Canada vs. Toronto (on MLB.TV) : Some notable names on the Canadian squad are Russell Martin, Justin Morneau, Joey Votto, Jason Bay, Matt Stairs, and Mark Teahen. Altogether there pitching staff does not impress me at all, they have major league pitchers in Jesse Crain (MIN), David Davidson (PIT), Christopher Leroux (FLA), and Scott Richmond (TOR). Now, honestly, how many of us can say we are familiar with more than 1 of those guys? I’m not liking this Canadian’s team chances just because of the pitching, but the offense could definitely provide some pop. Watch for Justin Morneau to have a big tournament. I’ll take Toronto in this game.
- Dominican Republic vs. Florida : The Dominican is always a popular pre-tournament pick, and it looks no different this year, they have a stacked lineup. Big names on the offense include Willy Aybar, Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Jose Guillen, and Willy Taverez. Now that is an unbelievable infield. The pitching is definitely not as strong as the offense, but they still have solid pitching in Jose Arredondo, Juan Cruz, Johnny Cueto, Ubaldo Jimenez, Pedro Martinez (still unsigned), and Edinson Volquez. Give me the Dominican to take this game with the help of Hanley Ramirez, who is facing his major league team.
- Italy vs. Washington : Well this is kind of looking like a Orioles vs. Mariners game to me. Both teams are pretty sub-par. Italy is anchored by Frank Catalanotto and Nick Punto on offense, and their pitching has only one name I’ve heard of in Mark DiFelice. I don’t expect this team to do anything at all, but I’m gonna take them to get a win over the Nationals here, just because Washington doesn’t have Adam Dunn anymore this spring.
- Netherlands vs. Pittsburgh : Another matchup that does not look good on paper. The Pirates are hot this spring, starting off 5-1, and this Netherlands team is made up of almost ALL Netherlands league players. There only major leaguers on this team are Rick VandenHurk, Greg Halman, with a couple of minor leaguers spread around to. Give me the Pirates to win this one.
- Panama vs. Atlanta : This Panama team looks better than the last couple I’ve typed about here, I see some pretty good players on this squad. Manny Acosta and Manuel Corpas along with young gun Paolo Espino (from the Indians) anchor this squad in hopes to make a run. They will be bolstered by Carlos Ruiz, Luis Durango, and slugger Carlos Lee. All-in-all, I think this Panama team could quietly have a pretty good tournament. I shall pick team Panama to beat the Braves today.
- Puerto Rico vs. Minnesota : Puerto Rico! This team also is shaping up nicely for the tournament, featuring stars like Carlos Beltran, Felipe Lopez, Ramon Vazquez, Alex Cora, and Carlos Delgado hitting the ball and Pedro Feliciano, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Sanchez, Saul Rivera, Ian Snell, and Javier Vazquez throwing it. Twins win by 2
- Venezuela vs. Detroit : Team Venezuela has a lot of veteran talent, along with a couple young guns, altogether this team could be a major threat to the big guns like USA, Japan, and Dominican Republic. The seasoned vets on this team include Magglio Ordonez, Bobby Abreu, Carlos Silva, Ramon Hernandez, Carlos Guillen, and Melvin Mora. The young guys to watch for are Felix Hernandez, Endy Chavez, Gregor Blanco, and Ramon Ramirez. Personally, Felix Hernandez is one of my favorite players in the league, and he’ll probably be pitching today, so I’m gonna go ahead and take Venezuela to win this one.
- USA vs. New York (Yankees) (on MLB.TV) : The game we’ve all been waiting for, team USA vs. America’s team, the New York Yankees. The Yankees will be without shortstop and captain Derek Jeter, who is starting for the USA team, that should be an interesting story line. I don’t even know where to start on this team, it’s stacked. Notable pitchers include Roy Oswalt, Jake Peavy, J.P. Howell, LaTroy Hawkins, Jeremy Guthrie, and John Grabow. The offense is just a machine anchored by sluggers Brian McCann, David Wright, Chipper Jones, Dustin Pedroia, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun, and Jimmy Rollins. This team is deep, which is good to see in a tournament, because they aren’t going to want to overuse these players and jeopardize their regular seasons. I really like Ryan Braun, he’s a guy who is seemingly never not at his best, so I think he’ll jump out and spark the USA team in the early stages. If everyone gets rolling at the right time, this team will take the tournament easy. I’ll take them to beat the Yankees today, for the sole reason that the Yankees roster is crippled by this tournament.