11/15/12 11:08 AM ET
Philippines, Chinese Taipei slug way into matchup
By Debby Wu / Special to MLB.com
Fans can watch a free, live stream of the game at worldbaseballclassic.com at 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
Chinese Taipei overwhelmed New Zealand in a 10-0 victory Thursday and closed the game at the seventh inning by mercy rule.
Successive singles and doubles from Chinese Taipei's powerful lineup in the bottom of the fifth lifted the team into the matchup vs. the Philippines, probably its toughest competition in the qualifier.
"'I've been following the Philippines' pitchers, including [Friday starter] Ryuya Ogawa, to make sure our hitters will be familiar with their pitching before the game," said Chinese Taipei manager Chang-Heng Hsieh.
Ogawa, who pitches for the Chunichi Dragons farm team in Japan, finished the season 4-5 this season with a 3.50 ERA. He also started one game for the Dragons big league squad, giving up two runs over four innings and taking a loss.
"Chinese Taipei is a very good team, very polished," Philippines skipper Jim Ramos said. "We hope to be able execute the basics and try to score more runs than them."
Philippines routed Thailand, 8-2, on Thursday's game, taking advantage of an error-prone Thai defense, which committed seven miscues.
The Philippines, with a pitching staff filled mostly lefties, used five pitchers against Thailand and successfully suppressed Thai hitters including former Red Sox and Yankee slugger Johnny Damon.
Debby Wu is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.