Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Canada Screws Japan - In Baseball

As a writer from Canada  - who loves Canada - writing about his former adoptive country, Japan - and who loves Japan - writing about the two countries in the same article should be more fun and less troubling.

But... just like a story I wrote last week about how Canada came back to rob Japan of its first World Cup of Rugby win in 20 years, I get to writ now about Canada beating a much favoured Japanese team in baseball.

In fact, Canada defeated the defending World Baseball Classic champs at the 39th (baseball) World Cup being held in Panama City, Panama. 

The win puts Canada's record at 2-0, good for first place in Pool A standings.

"It was a great effort today," said Canadian manger, Ernie Whitt. "Japan always has good pitching and defence, and that's exactly what we saw today."

After Japan went scoreless in the top of the first, Canada opened the scoring when Skyler Stromsmoe led-off with a walk and proceeded to steal second base. With two out, Van Ostrand doubled to the gap in left-centre which brought Stromsmoe home.

In the fourth, Canada again struck with two outs when Tim Smith singled on a hard shot back to the pitcher and Shawn Bowman doubled to put runners on second and third base. Armstrong came to the plate and hit a double to right field, putting the Canadians up by three.

"Our veteran guys were huge for us today," Whitt said. "They know what it means to represent their country and they came through for us today."

Hill was outstanding from the get-go for Canada as he held Japan to only one hit through four innings and ended up giving his team five scoreless innings of work. After five, Hill gave up three hits and a walk, striking out three and facing 18 batters.

"Shawn did a great job for us," Whitt said. "It was probably one more inning that we expected his first time out, so hopefully he feels good tomorrow and will be ready to go in another four days."

Japan scored their only run in the sixth inning when a ball bounced off Stromsmoe's glove into centre field, allowing a runner on third to score. Jay Johnson had started the inning for Canada and walked the leadoff batter before two consecutive groundballs advanced the runner to third.

Johnson walked the next batter and was relieved by Chris Kissock, who got the next batter to groundout before coming back out for the seventh where he kept Japan off the scoreboard.

Jimmy Henderson came into pitch the final out of the eighth inning and earned the save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Pool 1
Pos GP   W     L    AVG

1 CanadaCanada                  2      2     0     1.000
2 NetherlandsNetherlands           2      2     0    1.000

3 PanamaPanama                 2      2      0    1.000

4 Puerto RicoPuerto Rico           2      1      1      .500
5 Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei      2      0      2      .000
6 GreeceGreece                  2       0     2      .000
7 U.S.A.U.S.A.                   1      0     1      .000
8 JapanJapan                    1       0     1      .000
Pool 2

1 CubaCuba                     2       2     0    1.000
2 VenezuelaVenezuela             2       2     0    1.000
3 NicaraguaNicaragua             2       1     1      .500
4 ItalyItaly                      2       1     1      .500
5 Dominican RepublicDominican Rep.   2       1     1      .500
6 South KoreaSouth Korea         2       1     1      .500
7 AustraliaAustralia              2       0     2       .000
8 GermanyGermany              2       0     2       .000

Canada plays Greece October 4 with Mark Hardy of Campbell River, B.C., getting the start, while Japan takes on the Netherlands.

I'll follow up with more results shortly.

Files by Andrew Joseph

No comments:

Post a Comment