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    Korea 9 – 0 Taiwan

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 7日 Saturday

    The non-story in the WBC today was Korea thrashing Taiwan 9-0. Well, the Taiwanese starter could not find the strike zone. Taiwan starter C. Lee had one of the wildest outings I’ve ever seen with a 0.1IP 2H 6ER 3BB 1HBP 1GrandSlam (and he seemed to only hit the strike zone about 10-20% of the time).

    Game 2 of the Asia Round determines the winners and losers brackets. Saturday, Japan will face Korea in the nightcap in the Japan/East Sea rivalry and depleted Taiwan will attempt to avenge their Beijing Olympics loss to China in the day game in the battle of the Taiwan strait. 

    The announced crowd was a little north of 12,000, I should’ve set the over/under at 15,000 instead of 20,000, but I got it right nonetheless  😛

    Both the Korean and Taiwanese crowds were small in number but pretty loud, creating decent atmosphere. Attendance for non-Japanese games seems to be better than the Asia Series. Must be the marketing and the national teams factor.

    There seemed to be a couple of nationalistic incidents where both Korean and Taiwanese fans displayed large banners and were told by security to withdraw them. The Taiwan banner (we were sitting in the Taiwan section) clearly spelled out “Taiwan” (台湾) in Chinese characters (hanzi), so this may have had something to do with the no politics in the WBC policy.

    Photos after this break:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, olympics, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    WBC Opens

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 6日 Friday

    But Japan only beats China 4-0 (Japan Times) (box score).


    Some thoughts:

    • China’s definitely improving, their pitchers seemed much less like batting practice pitchers this time around, but their play on the field was still sloppy from time to time. Japanese baserunning was sloppy too though.
    • Darvish was pulled with less than 50 pitches so he’s eligible to pitch again in the Asia Round.. but unless he manages to gain command of some of his breaking pitches with the WBC ball, he’s not going to be too useful just with his fastball.
    • Murata bashed a homerun, and he’ll be useful in the Asia Round in the friendly confines of the Tokyo Dome, but his big swings aren’t gonna become homeruns in Petco Park and Dodger Stadium which are pitcher’s parks. Ideally I’d like to see Hara try Uchikawa at first and Ogasawara at third, but this probably won’t happen unless Murata is a total disaster, and with this homerun he’s secured third base for himself even if he’s useless once the team travels across the Pacific.
    • Nakajima and Fukudome showed great plate discipline, but they needed guys behind them to drive them in. Super free swinger Johjima also managed to draw a walk. Japan left 24(!) runners on base, so even though they had the same number of hits as the Chinese, the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
    • Ichiro went 0 for 5 and looked horrible at the plate. But then again he didn’t start hitting in 2006 until the games moved to the States, and he’s a notorious slow starter even in regular MLB seasons (he seems to really start hitting in June).
    • Kyuji Fujikawa closed out the game, but his fastball wasn’t up to his usual velocity. If he doesn’t gain velocity, he’ll be an easy target for the sluggers from the Americas (but not A-Rod).
    • Japan now awaits the winner of the Taiwan-Korea game tonight. Taiwan has a depleted roster with major leaguers and half the CPBL players missing (2 of 4 teams didn’t release the players). So, it should be Korea pulling through, but stranger things have happened in baseball (China pulling a fairy dust extra innings upset over Taiwan at the Beijing Olympics, for one).
    • Koreans are going to get to see WBC games on free TV thanks to a last minute deal between the rights holder and TV stations. Korea seems to take a similar approach to big ticket sporting events where multiple TV stations share broadcasting rights. This time around TV Asahi has exclusive rights for the Tokyo Round, and TBS has exclusive rights from round 2 to the finals (though pay sports channel J Sports will show all WBC games). In 2006, NTV was also in the mix, and it’s surprising that they’re not this time around considering that Yomiuri is a sponsor for the event and a group company.
    • If the over/under for tonight’s Korea-Taiwan attendance is 20,000, I’ll take under  😛

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, olympics, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Ichiro at bat

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 2日 Monday

    Whenever Ichiro was at bat, the camera flashes went crazy like fireworks in the stands. This video doesn’t quite do justice as the campact digital camera’s video mode’s not sensitive enough to capture all the flashes. There were at least 2-3x more visible than what is captured here.

    As for the WBC warmup games themselves. Saitama Seibu Lions beat down the Japanese national team 7-2, and the Yomiuri Giants barely lost 1-2 in extra innings on a wild pitch. And both club teams were lacking a few regulars to the national team, and were in full spring training mode by the latter half of the games, with lineups full of bench players and minor leaguers taking the mound. Needless to say, Samurai Japan looked horrible on both days, but hopefully this (and the opening game against China on Thursday) serves as a wakeup call for the team, otherwise they may not even make it out of the 1st round held at home in the Tokyo Dome. Notorious slow starter Ichiro is also having a horrible lead up to the WBC with only 3 hits in 23 at bats (and at least 2 of them were of the infield kind).


    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    WBC2009 各国一次候補発表

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 January 22日 Thursday


    Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    WBC warm up games for Asian teams

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 18日 Thursday


    2/24(Tu) 19:00 Japan vs Australia Kyocera Dome Osaka Goes on sale 

    17 Jan 10am~

    2/25(We) 18:00 Japan vs Australia
    2/28(Sa) 12:00 China vs Yomiuri Giants Tokyo Dome
    19:00 Japan vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    3/1(Su) 12:00 China vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Japan vs Yomiuri Giants
    3/2(Mo) 12:00 Korea vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Taiwan vs Yomiuri Giants
    3/3(Tu) 12:00 Taiwan vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Korea vs Yomiuri Giants


    World Baseball Classic 2009, Asian teams warm up games that take place in Japan has been officially announced.

    Interestingly Australia will play 2 games early against Japan (in 2006 it was Japan vs PL and Japan vs CL at Fukuoka, if I remember correctly).

    Also, Japan seems to have set up the warm up games and tournament schedule with full control of the schedule, giving Team Japan 3 days rest between the last warm up games while Korea and Taiwan only get 1 day of rest. And Japan gets the first of 2 wins needed to enter round 2 of WBC out of the way early with its opening match against China all but guaranteed. It’s obviously rigged in Japan’s favour as hosts for the Asia round, but this tournament is still in its infancy and this is one of the kinks that needs to be worked out in the future ensure better fairness.

    Giants and Lions are rewarded(?) with the right to play against the 4 Asian WBC teams in warm up games. Well, Yomiuri’s involvement is obvious what with Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper being a WBC sponsor.


    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    WBC2009 強化試合日程

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 9日 Tuesday



    Japan vs Yomiuri Giants
    S. Korea vs Yomiuri Giants
    Taiwan vs Yomiuri Giants
    China vs Yomiuri Giants

    Dominican Republic vs. Florida Marlins
    Panama vs. Atlanta Braves
    Canada vs. Toronto Blue Jays
    United States vs. New York Yankees
    Puerto Rico vs. Minnesota Twins
    Italy vs Washington Nationals
    Venezuela vs Detroit Tigers

    Italy vs. Florida Marlins
    未定 vs. Seattle Mariners
    未定 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    Dominican Republic vs. Baltimore Orioles
    United States vs. Toronto Blue Jays
    Puerto Rico vs. Tampa Bay Rays
    Panama vs Detroit Tigers

    未定 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
    未定 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    未定 vs. Texas Rangers
    未定 vs. Oakland Athletics
    Australia vs. Milwaukee Brewers
    Canada vs. New York Yankees
    Puerto Rico vs. Boston Red Sox
    Venezuela vs. Atlanta Braves
    オランダ vs. Minnesota Twins

    Australia vs. Chicago White Sox

    未定 vs. San Francisco Giants

    未定 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
    未定 vs. Chicago Cubs

    オランダ vs Pittsburgh Pirates

    Venezuela vs 中米球団 
    Foro Sol にてメキシコダービーの可能性有



    Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 4日 Tuesday

    第一ラウンドをトロントで主催(アメリカ、ベネズエラ、イタリア、カナダ)するWBC2009 のカナダ代表についてちょっと考えてみる。とりあえずカナダ人メジャーリーガーを並べてみた。穴が多いw ガイエルは手術明けだから無理だろうし…穴は北京五輪代表の選手で埋めてみた。

    SP Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster, Jeff Francis, Erik Bedard, Scott Richmond, 
    P Jesse Crain, Eric Gagne笑, Steve Green, Brooks McNiven, Robert Swindle 
    C Russell Martin 
    1B/DH Justin Morneau, Joey Votto 
    2B Stubby Clapp 
    3B/SS Peter Orr 
    SS Emmanuel Garcia 
    1B/OF/DH Matt Stairs 
    OF Jason Bay, Aaron Guiel, Mike Saunders, Adam Stern, Nick Weglarz 




    Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Japan’s WBC 2009 Manager

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 3日 Wednesday

    It looks like the new NPB commissioner, and former diplomat, Ryozo Kato is doing the sensible thing to avoid appointing Senichi Hoshino as the manager of Team Japan for the World Baseball Classic 2009. Hoshino failed miserably in player selection (taking along too many injured players or those having subpar seasons like Abe, and not taking players who were in top form such as Matsunaka and Iwakuma) and ingame management (unfathomable dedication to Iwase who is clearly starting his decline or having an off year, but he was used in high leverage situations, playing many players out of position, hardly using Darvish or Uehara, etc.) Hopefully this means that someone other than Hoshino will become the manager, anyone’s got to be better than him (well, maybe not Nakahata).

    From Kyodo via Japanball.com:

    ”We all agreed it is necessary to have a strong team that can
    win in the WBC,” said Kato, adding that he plans to get opinions
    from several sources in the selection process, including Softbank
    Hawks skipper Sadaharu Oh.

    There has been some talk of Senichi Hoshino leading the national
    team, but Japan finished in a disappointing fourth place with Hoshino
    at the helm at this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

    And from Yomiuri:

    “It’s important for me to seek the opinion of knowledgeable and respected people, take that into consideration and then make the decision as soon as possible,” Kato told reporters after a meeting of Nippon Professional Baseball’s board of directors.

    Japan Olympic manager Senichi Hoshino had been the front-runner for the job, but the position is now up for grabs after his team finished a disappointing fourth in Beijing.

    Oh is not in the running because of health reasons.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, olympics, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Out of the Olympic Limelight (kinda)

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 21日 Thursday

    From 20 August.

    Japan’s Takayuki Matsumiya failed to qualify in his 5000m heat. That in itself is nothing special but take a look at this picture.

    Yup, missing left shoe. In the jostling for positions midrace he came in contact with another runner and his left shoe partially came off, so he just took it off entirely and decided to run with one barefoot, that must’ve been odd and probably painful, as he’s no Abebe Bikila, but he completed his heat.

    In other Olympic news, Paulie Walnuts of the Sopranos has been located in Beijing, and CCTV only paid about $9m for the broadcast rights for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they should expect to pay more than 10 times as much for the upcoming Olympics with it going into triple ($100m) figures.

    In baseball action, Japan and the US faced eachother to determine who will have to play Cuba in the semifinals (the winner of the game gaining that unnecessary honour). US won 4-2 with the new extra innings rule, taking advantage of Hitoki Iwase’s 2nd inning of work. Darvish started the game and pitched 2 innings, followed by Tanaka for 5 innings. Expect this to be the end of 19 year old Tanka’s 2008 Olympic experience (and he probably gained some valuable experience for WBC 2009), and also expect to see Darvish in the semifinal game against rivals Korea, as he looked good striking out 3 Americans on the way to completing 2 perfect innings (and Hoshino will most likely dare not bring Darvish back out against Cuba if they meet in the medal game). This sets up the semifinals nicely with two regional rivalries in Korea v Japan (10:30) and Cuba v USA (18:00) on the 22nd Friday.

    Oh yeah, Usain Bolt became a double world record gold medallist in premier sprinting events of 100m and 200m, the latter with the 19.30 time besting another sprinter with a distinctive, and very different upright, form in Michael Johnson who was a 200m and 400m specialist.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, olympics, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 20日 Sunday



    先発投手 (中継ぎ投手がいないので、もちろん中継ぎとして使用される事のある投手も結構いるでしょう)

    川上憲伸(中日)防御率2.31, 101.1回, 103/22 三振/四球


    ダルビッシュ有(北海道日本ハム) 防御率1.88, 148.2回, 142/31 三振/四球, 8完投


    成瀬善久(千葉ロッテ)防御率2.66, 105回, 80/20 三振/四球


    和田毅(福岡ソフトバンク)防御率3.97, 99.2回, 75/25 三振/四球


    杉内俊哉(福岡ソフトバンク)防御率2.69, 134回, 145/20 三振/四球

    2.06 FIP(左のリンクを参照、運やチームの打線援護や守備力による影響を省いた投手指標) を見るとダルビッシュや帆足以上の活躍をしている、NPB今季No.1 の先発投手。先発で使わないと間違いでしょう。

    田中将大(東北楽天)防御率3.37, 120.1回, 98/35 三振/四球

    19歳は代表一の若さ。将来の日本のエースに経験を積ませるという意味では良い選択かもしれないし、実際FIP 2.75 は堂々とプロ野球5位なので、間違った選出とは言えません。但し国際試合の中継ぎで、どういう活躍をしてくれるのかは未知数でしょう。

    涌井秀章(埼玉西武)防御率3.32, 122回, 89/36 三振/四球

    去年と比べると年々良くなってきていた成績が少し落ちています(2005-07までの防御率が7.32, 3.24, 2.79)。もし日本が先発4枚(グループ戦は3-1-3の7試合で、休みが2回入る)で行くのであればダル、川上の2枚看板の後に杉内、成瀬と共に3-4番手争いをする選手になるのかな。(もっとも星野がしっかりパリーグを見てるのであれば杉内は間違いなく先発の一人になるはずだが。)


    上原浩治(読売)防御率6.46, 39回, 25/12 三振/四球

    いくら今までの国際試合の経験があるといっても、選出されるには今年の成績が酷すぎる。代表に巨人が一人だけだとスポンサー的に寂しいから選ばれたのか、でもそれなら内海だろ?もし重要な試合で炎上したら、星野と共に完全に戦犯扱いされるでしょう。それ以前に重要な試合では出てこないかなw でも、そんな選手連れて行くなよ。中継ぎ候補としては阪神の久保田と渡辺、そして防御率2未満の東京ヤクルトの押本と松岡もいるのに。

    岩瀬仁紀(中日)防御率2.83, 35回, 29/8 三振/四球


    藤川球児(阪神)防御率0.86, 42回, 62/9 三振/四球



    阿部慎之助(読売)264/333/432 (打率/出塁率/長打率), 313打席, 9本

    打撃面だけを見れば年々好成績(OPS.850以上のシーズンが多い)を残してきているが、今年の打撃成績はイマイチ。守備とリード面の評判は良くないので、起用方法は主にDH か?でもDH 候補も余っているんだけどな(下参照)。

    矢野輝弘(阪神)292/309/388, 237打席, 3本


    里崎智也(千葉ロッテ)274/359/439, 223打席, 11本

    今の阿部の調子から見ると、WBC 経験者の里崎が北京では先発のマスクを被る事になるのかな?でもセリーグ重視な星野だから心配だなあ。


    新井貴浩(阪神) 一塁/三塁, 314/383/484, 360打席, 8本

    去年までは広島で三塁だったけれど、今年からは阪神で一塁、アジア予選でも4番一塁だった。狭い広島市民から広い甲子園に移って、逆にそれを上手く使える中距離ヒッターへ変身できたので、適応力はあり北京でも期待できるでしょう。今年は生涯ベストの出塁率をたたき出してるのも心強い(WBC の時は松中の驚異的な出塁率が密かに優勝に貢献していた。)

    荒木雅博(中日)二塁/外野, 249/291/307, 385打席, 24盗塁


    村田修一(横浜)三塁, 303/358/600, 349打席, 26本


    宮本慎也(東京ヤクルト)遊撃, 329/370/384, 328打席, 3本


    西岡剛(千葉ロッテ)遊撃/二塁, 306/366/469, 375打席, 9本, 16盗塁


    川崎宗則(福岡ソフトバンク) 遊撃, 327/358/402, 408打席, 16盗塁

    WBC では西岡と二遊間コンビを組んだ、国際試合の経験と守備力から北京でも先発かな。でも激戦の遊撃には他にはこの方がいる…

    中島裕之(埼玉西武)遊撃/三塁, 345/404/576, 364打席, 17本, 16盗塁

    守備範囲は狭いけれど、アベレージ、長打、走塁と他方面では素晴らしい成績を残している若獅子。遊撃で先発させて、試合後半に守備固めで交代させられるパターンも見えるし、DH の起用もありえるだろう。昨日の試合では五輪に備えて三塁も守った(2003年には20試合三塁で出場した経験もある)、狭い横浜球場以外で村田はイマイチかもしれないので、これは良い備え。でも新顔でパリーグだから、あまり星野が進んで起用しないような気がする。もしそうだったらもったいない(後に出てくるGG にも同じ事が言える)。


    森野将彦(中日) 外野/一塁/二塁/三塁, 302/383/525, 211打席, 8本

    荒木と同じくユーティリティな働きが出来る上、長打力を備えている。いろんな形でライナップに入る事になるでしょう。という事は外野の先発は下の三人衆か?でも稲葉とGG が共に本来は右翼だから、どちらかがDH (ほらきた)に回って、森のが左翼?

    青木宣親(東京ヤクルト)中堅, 339/410/570, 284打席, 11本, 21盗塁


    稲葉篤紀(北海道日本ハム)外野/一塁, 317/388/533, 343打席, 12本


    “G.G.”佐藤隆彦(埼玉西武)右翼, 316/384/584, 359打席, 20本

    日本代表の数少ない本物のスラッガー。だがパリーグの代表新顔だから、ちゃんと起用してくれるかが心配。守備に定評は無いのだが、近年のレンジ・ファクター(試合毎にどれだけアウトに関わっているか)は遜色無い、でも試合見てない選手だろうから評判先行な使い方がされそう。という事でまたまた出てきたDH 候補だろう。

    このチームの良いところは、バランスが良く、ユーティリティ的な使い方が出来る選手も多く、短期決戦で有利なスモールボールも戦える機動力もある(と書いておきながら、WBC 優勝の日本代表はホームラン数や長打率が大会1位だった、記憶が正しければ。あと、大会中静かだった福留が突然準決勝でホームラン打ったりしたから、何が起こるかはわかりません。)但し、選ばれた投手のほとんどが先発なので、彼らが中継ぎでどれだけ活躍できるのかは見ものであり、少し心配な部分でもある。

    今回のチームから欠けている選手の代表としては、打者では金本(阪神)と松中(福岡ソフトバンク)だろう。二人ともOPS は優に.950 を超えていて、今季は好調である。松中に対してはWBC でも影で出塁しまくり活躍した(が、一般的にはこれは評価されない)が、予選で新井が4番一塁の座を確保したので、ポジションが被り指名打者しか行く場が無いから、ダメだったのかな。金本については…連続イニング出場の記録が優先されたのか?と思わせる部分もある。



    Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, culture, information, NPB, olympics, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »