Saturday, March 25, 2017

#122---Australia v. Mexico, 3/8/2009 (World Baseball Classic)

This was the opening game of the WBC for each country, with the game being played in Mexico City. The result was fairly surprising, as Australia is on the lower end of the WBC spectrum (albeit boasting a handful of current/future major leaguers including Trent Oetljen, Chris Snelling, Damian Moss, Liam Hendriks, Justin Huber on their roster) while Mexico has more talent by any measure (the Hairston and Gonzalez brothers make up 4/9 of the starting lineup).

But they also had their ace, Oliver Perez on the mound, and to the surprise and dismay of Mets fans everywhere, that didn’t go so well. Perez surrendered back-to-back homers in the first, gave up another run in the second leaving the bases loaded, and walk and hit the first two batters in the third before being reliever. But Mexico countered with a five-run first capped by Jorge Vazquez grand slam.

Mexico led 6-4 heading to the fifth and then the wheels fell off as Australia scored 3, 3, 4, and 3 in the remaining innings before it ended on the mercy rule, touching up a handful of major league hurlers in the process and getting a second homer from Chris Snelling.

A note on the scoresheet: this is my “mini” scoresheet, which actually provides space to score two games laid out landscape style on a single 8.5x11 sheet of paper. I cut this image down to just show the one game, but it is a sheet I use sometimes when I don’t want to record pitch-by-pitch detail and thus can make due with small scoreboxes.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#121---China v. Korea, 3/8/2009 (World Baseball Classic)

The previous scoresheet showed Taiwan’s opening game loss to Korea in the 2009 WBC, but they followed that up with an 4-1 upset loss to China that knocked them out of the tournament. Korea fell 14-2 to Japan, setting up this game that would advance the winner to the second round of the WBC. As expected, Korea won, and did so in mercy rule fashion. The mercy rule and the extra inning rule are elements of international play that you don’t usually see in a scoresheet--I don’t yet have an example of the latter, but have several of the former. China never threatened with only two baserunners over seven frames on a single and a double.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

#120---Taiwan v. Korea, 3/6/2009 (World Baseball Classic)

Korea had no trouble with Taiwan in the WBC opener, rolling them 9-0. Note the solid but very brief start from Hyun-jin Ryu, 3 1/3 innings, one hit, two walks, three Ks, 43 pitches and done. A grand slam to cap a six-run first had already taken most of the drama out of the Tokyo Dome.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

#119---China v. Japan, 3/5/2009 (World Baseball Classic)

This opening round WBC game saw China play credibly against Japan. The Chinese didn’t manage much in the way of offense, with just five hits (all singles) and a walk, failing to advance a runner to second in the entire game. But they managed to hold Japan down better than they did in 2006 when they were trounced 18-2. This included holding Ichiro 0-5.

Of course there are a number of recognizable names on the Japanese side, but the most interesting is Masahiro Tanaka working in middle relief in the seventh, coming in with two outs and no one on, surrendering a single and then getting a fielder’s choice to get out of it. At this point, Tanaka was just twenty with two fairly average seasons under his belt (albeit as a teenager); he would take a big step forward in this coming season, going 15-6 with a 2.33 ERA, before going beast mode on the Pacific League 2011-2013 (ERA under 2.00 all three seasons with a 43-9 record).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

#118---US @ NYA, 3/3/3009 (World Baseball Classic Exhibition)

Remember that time Derek Jeter played against the Yankees, for the yanks? Here it is, an exhibition played between the 2009 US WBC team and the eventual world champion 2009 Yankees in Tampa. Jeter hit into a very Jeterian double play on a grounder to second in the first, but drove in two runs on a single up the middle in the third, reached and scored on a Jeterian infield hit to second in the sixth, walked in the seventh, and struck out in the ninth.

Most of the action came in the sixth, with the US extending a 2-1 lead by plating four in the top of the inning, and the Yankees countering with three in the bottom to reach the final score of 6-4. The US rally was a station-to-station affair against a New York hurler I have no recollection of, Hacker (Apparently Eric Hacker, a righty would make his MLB debut that year with Pittsburgh and go on to have brief appearances with Minnesota in 2011 and San Francisco in 2012. So at least he got a ring out of the deal despite only making nine major league appearances). The Yankee rally was punctuated by a two-run double by Nick Swisher.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#117—Panama v. Brazil, 11/19/2012 (WBC Qualifier)

With the fourth (and hopefully not last) installment of the World Baseball Classic fast approaching, the next several scoresheets will be from the WBC. I start with this qualifier, played between favored Panama and Brazil in Panama City, with the winner qualifying for the 2013 WBC field. Panama had participated in the first two WBCs without having to qualify, but had failed to win a game (0-5). Brazil was seeking its first appearance.

It turned out to be a well-played, quick-paced, exciting game. The first scoring threat came suddenly in the top of the third; with two outs an a man at first, a muffed catch by Brazil’s second baseman allowed the runner to get to third, but he was thrown out in a rundown between third and home trying to score. In the bottom of the inning, Brazil used four straight singles to station-to-station home a run. In the thick of it were the two recognizable names on the Brazilian team, Paulo Orlando and Yan Gomes. Panama wouldn’t threaten again until the ninth, when they got national hero Carlos Lee to the plate with one out and runners on the corners. But Lee and former megaprospect Ruben Rivera struck out, and Brazil qualified for the WBC where they would go 0-3 against China, Cuba, and Japan.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

#116---CLE @ SEA, 4/10/2011

The Indians were playing well at the start of the 2011 season under first-year manager Manny Acta. After losing their first two contests to the White Sox, the Indians had won six in a row heading into this Sunday series finale at Safeco Field. They jumped all over Erik Bedard, plating six in his four innings of work, including homers from Asdrubal Cabrera and Jack Hannahan. After Bedard got the hook, David Pauley, Jamey Wright, and Brandon League combined to toss five nearly perfect relief innings, an eighth inning single by Orlando Cabrera the only blemish.

Josh Tomlin held Seattle to just one run over six frames, but things got dicey in the seventh when Ryan Langerhans clubbed a two-run homer and Michael Saunders greeted reliever Chad Durbin with a solo shot. After Durbin surrendered a single to once-and-future-and-future Indian Chris Gimenez, Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp, and Chris Perez combined to retire the last seven Mariner batters and give the Tribe a seven game winning streak.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

#115---MIN @ TOR, 5/18/2010

Apparently I had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon in May then to watch an afternoon tilt between the Twins and Blue Jays. It turned out to be about as exciting of a game as the description would suggest. Toronto hit Carl Pavano hard, scoring six in the first four frames, while Shawn Marcum held Minnesota to just one run in seven innings. Of note here is Jose Bautista, about to have a breakout season (but 0-3 with a hit batter in this game) and Edwin Encarnacion (two run homer) batting seventh and eighth in the Jays lineup.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

#114---SF @ PHI, 9/3/2009

This was Pedro Martinez’ fifth-to-last career regular season start, and it was a gem. He gave up a leadoff homer to Eugenio Velez, of all people, but then proceeded to go seven while scattering just four more hits, no walks, and striking out nine on 87 pitches. A Jayson Werth homer and a Ryan Howard double (after one of those oft-overlooked Chase Utley hit batters) provided all the offense Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would need to close it out. But Tim Lincecum, when he was reminding people of Pedro, was great as well, allowing just those two runs on four hits, one walk, and eleven strikeouts on 96 pitches over 7 innings.

And look at the time of game: 2:07.

Monday, July 25, 2016

#113---CLE @ LAA, 7/23/2008

This game was a slugfest, with the teams trading multi-run innings until Los Angeles’ five in the fifth gave them a 10-6 cushion, and pairs in the sixth and seventh allowed them to take a 14-7 lead. Down 14-10 going into the ninth, David Dellucci’s two-out RBI double off Jose Arredondo made it a save situation, which allowed Francisco Rodriguez to record the 42nd of his record 62 saves.

While any 14-11 game is bound to have plenty of offensive standouts, what makes this one interesting is how many of the big hitters were very marginal players. Ryan Garko drove in four of Cleveland’s runs, while Casey Kotchman went 5-5. But both pale in comparison to Jeff Mathis going 4-5 with a grand slam and a two-run double.