Game Notes: The 2007 IBAF World Cup
USA beats Japan, 5-1
Nov. 10, 2007
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TEAM USA RESULTS
|USA 3 - MEX 0
|USA 7 - PAN 0
|ITL 6 - USA 2
|USA 5 - JPN 1
TEAM USA SCHEDULE
Game One Wednesday, November 7 6:00 p.m. Mexico (Intercontinental)
Game Two Thursday, November 8 12:00 p.m. Panama (Intercontinental)
Game Three Friday, November 9 12:00 p.m. Italy (Taichung)
Game Four Saturday, November 10 6:00 p.m. Japan (Intercontinental)
Game Five Sunday, November 11 6:00 p.m. Spain (Taichung)
Off-Day Monday, November 12
Game Six Tuesday, November 13 12:00 p.m. South Africa (Taichung)
Game Seven Wednesday, November 14 6:00 p.m. Chinese Taipei (Intercontinental)
Off-Day Thursday, November 15
Quarter-Finals* Friday, November 16 TBD
Semi-Finals* Saturday, November 17 TBD
Finals* Sunday, November 18 TBD
USA BOUNCES BACK; BEATS JAPAN 5-1
After being upset by Italy yesterday, Team USA suddenly found themselves in a must-win game against a Japan team who was also beat yesterday by undefeated host Chinese Taipei. Manager Davey Johnson addressed the team before they took the field and a new-found confidence was apparent during batting practice. For a team that's been together since the middle of October, it was time to either come together as one unit or fall flat in Taiwan.
Starter Brian Duensing escaped a two-hit first inning with the help of catcher Jason Jaramillo, who gunned down Japanís speedy leadoff hitter Tsutomu Sasaki trying to steal second. The U.S. wasted no time in deciding their fate, jumping on Japan starter Teruo Kawawaki for three runs in the first inning. After Jayson Nix singled and Andy LaRoche walked, Delwyn Young crushed a 3-2 pitch over the centerfield fence for a 3-0 USA lead.
Duensing, a highly-touted prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization who played at Triple-A Rochester of the International League this year, pitched into the sixth inning, scattering just three hits. Duensing was helped by a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch from Young, who crashed face-first into the wall and managed to hold onto the ball and double up Kenji Yokoyama at first, saving at least one run.
After a leadoff walk to catcher Ken Suzuki in the sixth, Duensing gave way to Neal Musser. Suzuki came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Japanís leftfielder Takashi Yoshimura making it a 3-1 ball game and marking the first earned run given up by U.S. pitching in the World Cup.
Japan relievers matched the USA pitching all night, holding them to just two hits in five innings until Team USA broke through in the eighth. Two runs scored off Nix' leadoff double, LaRoche walked, and after Young popped to center, Evan Longoria ripped a double to left-center scoring two and giving the U.S. a 5-1 lead.
Chris Booker pitched the ninth and ran into some trouble after getting two quick outs. Japan loaded the bases on a triple, hit batsman and a walk before Booker closed the door by striking out right fielder Kei Nomoto.
HOME COOKING: In addition to the usual Peanut Butter and Jelly staple, Team USA is welcomed with McDonalds or Subway sandwiches in their clubhouse after batting practice each day, familiar snacks that help remind them of home, when they are so far removed from their usual comfort zone.
NOTES: Team USA relievers have pitched 15 innings in the 2007 World Cup, giving up seven hits, walking just two while striking out 13 and have yet to yield an earned run Ö USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler addressed the players on the team bus after the game and informed them Davey Johnson will be on the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee ballot. The team gave their skipper a nice round of applause Ö Team USA travels back to Taichung Stadium tomorrow night to play Spain (0-4) at 6:00 p.m. (local time) and has one of two scheduled off days in the tournament on Monday.