Asia pulled off their second impressive split to have a 2-2 record against California and Texas with only two pool games left against the weaker Central American team.
Texas' Greg Maddux allowed only one infield single and one walk in six innings, but finally yielded a run in the 7th. Asia's right fielder Hideki Matsui had his fourth hit of the 2-game series and speedy Nori Aoki came in as a pinch runner, stole second and scored to tie the game 1-1. However Aoki had to stay in the game in right field, and ended up coming to the plate in the 8th with bases loaded and two outs and trailing Texas 3-1. Aoki send a drive down the rightfield line and Frank Robinson's Clutch Defense could not get to it as it fell for a game-winning 3-run double for the 4-3 win.
With Asia's set-up reliever Tomo Ohka on the mound in the bottom of the 8th, Trevor Story hit a smash that was stopped only because fellow shortstop Ha-Seong Kim was a Clutch Defense 5 (CD-5), and closer Takashi Saito pitched the 9th for the 4-3 win. Yu Darvish allowed four base runners and registered eight strikeouts in six innings before leaving for a pinch hitter. Current Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts was born in Japan so is on the Asian team and pinch runs often.
In the first game, Texas' Joe Morgan had a double and stolen base and went 3 of 5 to lead Texas to a 5-4 win. Modern day Trevor Story was the only player in the Texas line-up not yet in the Hall of Fame since he is still playing, and he and 1920s star Ross Youngs both tripled in the series, but he Asian pitchers did not allow a single home run.
Here are the composite box scores for the two game series. Texas improves to 3-1 with two games left in pool play, and Asia is a surprising 2-2 with only two games left against Central America so both teams are in strong position to advance to the playoffs.
|Pos||Asia Line-up||AB||R||H||RBI||Other||Pos||Texas Line-up||AB||R||H||RBI||Other|
|CF||Ichiro Suzuki||9||1||2||0||SB||2B||Joe Morgan||7||2||3||1||2-SB 2B 2-W|
|LF||Shin-Soo Choo||7||1||2||0||OF||Tris Speaker||7||0||1||0|
|1B||Shohei Ohtani||8||2||1||1||2B||3B||Eddie Mathews||7||1||2||2||2B|
|2B||Tadahito Iguchi||7||2||2||1||HR||OF||Frank Robinson||5||0||2||0||3-W|
|SS||Ha-Seong Kim||7||1||2||1||GS-Glove||SS||Trevor Story||8||1||1||0||3B|
|RF||Hideki Matsui||6||0||4||1||2B||1B||Ernie Banks||8||1||1||0|
|PR-RF||Nori Aoki||1||1||1||3||2B SB||OF||Ross Youngs||8||1||2||2||3B|
|3B||Jung Ho Kang||8||0||1||0||C||Biz Mackey||7||0||2||0|
|C||Kenji Johjima||7||0||1||0||PR||Don Buford||0||1||0||0|
|P-1||Hisashi Iwakuma||1||0||0||0||Sac||P-1||Bill Foster||0||0||0||0|
|PH||Ji-Man Choi||1||0||0||0||P||Tex Hughson||1||0||0||0|
|PH||Seiya Suzuki||0||0||0||0||W||PH||Lance Berkman||1||0||0||0|
|PR||Dave Roberts||0||0||0||0||CS||PH||Rogers Hornsby||1||0||0||0|
|P-2||Yu Darvish||2||0||0||0||PH||Norm Cash||0||0||0||0||W|
|PH||Seiya Suzuki||1||0||0||0||PR||Don Buford||0||1||0||0|
|PH||Ji-Man Choi||1||0||0||0||P-2||Greg Maddux||2||0||0||0|
|Asia Totals||66||8||16||7||BA 0.242||PH||Rogers Hornsby||1||0||1||1||2B|
|Texas Totals||64||8||15||6||BA 0.234|
|Asia Pitchers Gm 1||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec||Texas Pitchers Gm 1||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||6||5||3||3||4||5||Bill Foster||1||4||2||2||0||3|
|Shigetoshi Hasegawa||2||3||2||2||2||0||L||Tex Hughson||3||0||0||0||3||1|
|Asia Pitchers Gm 2||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec||Texas Pitchers Gm 2||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec|
|Yu Darvish||6||3||1||1||1||8||Greg Maddux||7||5||1||1||1||6|
|Hideo Nomo||0.1||4||2||2||0||0||Ryan Pressly||0.2||3||3||3||1||1||L|
|Kenta Maeda||0.2||0||0||0||1||0||W||Joe Nathan||1.1||0||0||0||0||1|
With the split, here are the updated Standings in our All-Time World Baseball Classic. The top two in each division after six games make the playoffs, and the third place team from the Pacific and South will play for a final playoff spots. Since lowest runs against is the tie-breaker, right now Asia and Canada would play one game for the final playoff spot, but if Asia can win both against Central America they would guaranty a spot without the playoff game unless it ended up as a 3-way tie with Texas and California for 1st.
Click for the free Statis-Pro Master Baseball Game. Click here for 60 of the all-time great MLB teams, or on teams of many of the all-time great players on teams by nation or state with one sheet for each team. Or click on the 2023 pitchers and 2023 batters in card form. You simply print two teams and then either print the master link above and fast action cards in master link or buy the dice to start playing.
Because the all-time players come in sheet form, the set-up looks a little different. I put the visiting lineup sheet and the home pitching sheet on top, and then reverse on the bottom as I play the game.