Sunday, March 19, 2006

Third time's the charm

Japan Finally Beats Korea 6-0

But this time, it counts a little more.

Kosuke Fukudome has been godAWFUL this entire series (.105/.182/.263 in 19 AB), but today he came in and pinch-hit a home run. In Petco Park. With the wind blowing in. In the rain. To start the scoring for Japan at 2-0, with the inning eventually ending with a 5-0 lead by the Japanese team.

Koji Uehara was as magnificent as ever, and with a little help from Petco (I swear, in the fourth inning, three batters in a row, I yelled "NO!!!" and then "Whew!" as one of the Korean players launched a ball really far into the outfield, only to have it caught a few feet short of the wall. Tamura had a particularly impressive diving catch against a set of doors in the left field foul territory; I was amazed he wasn't injured or unconscious after it) and some rain, came out of this outing looking pretty good. Considering he threw 86 pitches in 7 innings, I almost wondered if he could get a complete game, but the rain delay sort of killed that.

It amused me how ESPN still kept playing the Roger Clemens WBC ad where he said "There's no way we'll lose" and all, even after the US has been knocked out.

So, Monday night, Cuba faces Japan. It'll be crazy. Even better, Cuba used up their two best pitchers today to beat the Dominican Republic team, but Japan still has Matsuzaka and Watanabe available for the next game.

(Yeah, in case it hasn't been obvious, I've been hoping for Japan to make the finals all along. I've probably worn my Uehara #19 jersey more times in the last few weeks than I have in the last year.)

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