WBC Round 2 Elimination Game
Petco Park, Sand Diego, CA
Second only to the final game, this was definitely the most outstanding game of the entire classic. Exciting moments in the Japan @USA confrontation a few days after this notwithstanding, here was a matchup that had many doubters in the loop (after Japan’s 2 losses to Korea) but they underestimated the small ball prowess of the “Tatakau Nihonjin” (fighting Japanese).
JAPAN 6 15 3
KOREA 2 6 3
Both teams committed an equal number of uncharacteristic errors in this face-off that found Korea literally floundering for run support (a true shock) behind otherwise competent pitching. Hanshin Tigers Fujikawa Kyuji pitched a fantastic closeout inning, leaving base-stealing Bung Ho Lee (2-4, HR) stranded to wrap up the game. Murata Shuichi went 2-2, pinch hitter Inaba 2-2 in consecutive at bats, and Uchikawa Seichi hit a solo HR in the 2nd inning.
Great stuff, totally. Fell out of my chair during the 8th inning run rally that saw 3 consecutive base hits, a SAC, and one more base hit to score a total of 3 runs against Oh (the losing pitcher). Banzai!!!