I must admit that I went into the Asia Series with an attitude of, "I spent 4000 yen for this Passport, and I'm going to get the most I can out of it." Since the Japan representative was not a team I normally cheer for, I ended up treating the series mostly as a social event. Which, to some extent, it was.
For the first game on Friday, the matinee featuring Korea's SK Wyverns taking on China's Tianjin Lions, I attempted to meet up with Michael Westbay when I arrived at the dome. I was about 15 minutes late to the game; he told me to join him in the seats behind home plate... of course, you can't actually GO there with a jiyuu passport, so I gave up and found a slightly better vantage point -- first row behind the SK Wyverns dugout.
Eventually, me and my camera were joined by Westbay, Matt, and Simon, and we watched Korea pretty much stomp the Chinese representatives into the ground. Eun-Beom Song started for the Wyverns, and Wei Chen for the Lions.
The score held at 0-0 for two innings, and then the Wyverns just broke open the game in the top of the 3rd, batting around the entire order and scoring 7 runs in the process, stealing bases at will.
After that the Chinese team sort of seemed to lose concentration on the game and not only made terrible fielding errors but even simple baserunning errors. In the bottom of the 4th, there was a runner at first with one out, and the batter hit a pop fly out to left field. The runner had already gotten past second base, so when the ball was caught he started sort of jogging/walking back to first base. We were all like "DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, RUN RUN RUN" but he didn't, so the Wyverns left fielder threw in the ball and the runner was tagged out.
The game was called after 7 innings on the mercy rule with a score of 15-0. Jae-Hyun Kim just added insult to injury by blasting a home run into the empty right-field seats in the top of the 7th.
To be fair, Tianjin's players have some potential -- some great outfield arms there and a lot of speed. They just sort of gave up way too easily.
Wyverns starter Eun-Beom Song.
Lions starter Wei Chen.
SK Wyverns cheering section in the infield.
Jae-Hyun Kim hits a huge pop foul in the 3rd inning.
Lions catcher Min Ren goes after the foul ball and gets it.
Wyverns catcher Sang Ho Chung.
Lions pitcher Wan-Jun Zhang.
Wyverns pitcher Song is airborne for some reason.
Zhi-Cheng Liu strikes out.
Pitcher Eun-Beom Song again.
Wyverns relief pitcher Byung-Doo Jun. (I don't know why, but the lady sitting a row behind us who also had a huge camera was really excited when he came out to pitch.)
Final lopsided score.
Song was the game hero, apparently.
We were kicked out of the stadium after that, and adjourned to have lunch with Aaron from EWC and his boss. I learned many interesting things, none of which I can blog about.
And then back to the Dome for the night game, which will be in the next entry.