Saturday, March 7, 2009

WBC, Bruce Chen's From Panama

Just some random World Baseball Classic notes from a lazy Saturday:
  • I caught the end of the Netherlands-Dominican Republic game, with the later winning 3-2 in a big upset. Apparently they scored all three runs on two first-inning infield hits and only had one other hit (a bunt single) the rest of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, the DR had Willy Tavares on as the tying run, but he got thrown out trying to steal. Yeah; small-ball wins baseball games.
  • Sidney Ponson pitched for the Netherlands. Hahahaha.
  • The US beat Canada 6-5 in a really exciting game. Both teams have a lot of talent, but the US roster is really stacked.
  • Mariners pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont has some wicked stuff showing an explosive mid-90s fastball and a big sharp breaking-ball. He pulled the Houdini, getting out of a bases-loaded no-out jam by breaking David Wright's bat on a soft looper to short and striking out Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson.
  • Adam Dunn - who hates baseball - was happy to play for team USA and his big two-run homer ended up being the difference in the game. The Big Donkey really is a good nickname for him - Ryan Braun (37 HR last year) followed him in the line-up and looked like a lead-off guy by comparison.
  • Chipper Jones - even at age 36 - is still one of the best hitters in baseball. I wonder how many more years he can put up .900-1.000 OPSs.
  • Joey Votto is a pretty good young hitter, but the Reds offense might still not be enough to support what may be one of the better pitching staffs in baseball this year.
  • Javier Vavquez - who holds the record for all-time strike-outs by a Puerto Rican pitcher - has a really good curveball. Maybe this will be the year where his (very good) peripherals finally match up to his ERA (usually merely OK).
  • Another former Orioles, Bruce Chen, is Vazquez's mound opponent for Panama. Mwahahaha. Ahaha. Hahaha. Heh.
  • Carlos Delgado takes Chen deep to right in the second, and the Puerto Rican fans celebrate like they just won the whole tournament. Nice to have baseball back on.
  • Pudge Rodriguez is still without a job and might have to retire unless he wants to take a league-minimum deal. He's making his case, with a solo home run.
  • They're going to have to eventually figure out a way to work the WBC such that the best players get to play - maybe by extending the All-Star break and playing it then. I still like the idea of it though.

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