On The (Baseball) Road toTokyo (if there’s a Tokyo…)

I think this is actually better for the defense, since a ground ball can get you 2/3 of the way out of the inning, whereas with only a runner on second, it puts the guy on third with one out.
But if you start with only a runner on 2nd, the pitching team always has the choice to issue an intentional walk if it wants. Why not leave that decision to the managers instead of mandating it?
 
The worst part of this rule in a short tournament format like this is that it DRAMATICALLY benefits the "home" team. It's like being able to get the ball second in every overtime period in college football, knowing exactly what you have to win - which has always the case in pre-COVID MLB baseball, of course, but having the runners on base means a leadoff bunt when you only need one run in the bottom of the 10th or 11th (etc.) should be pretty automatic. Why not rotate who bats first in extra innings, like they do in CFB?
 

Remagellan

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But if you start with only a runner on 2nd, the pitching team always has the choice to issue an intentional walk if it wants. Why not leave that decision to the managers instead of mandating it?
I think managers are pretty risk averse, so you're not going to see that unless the leadoff hitter is the team's best hitter.

I know nothing of the Japanese team, but I bet their team right now is not relying on their league's Todd Frazier and Edwin Jackson in these crucial spots.
 

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Well, they pitched to Kai who is having a good tournament but is mostly known as a great defensive catcher with not much of a bat. Pitching to him instead of loading them up for Yamada was probably the right call but oh well. Shame McGough couldn't close it out so close to home.
 
Home plate ump calls a balk on Kazmir that would have scored Joey Bats but it got called back. Still 2-0 US.
We had two really bizarre incidents in the baseball games yesterday. This was one of them - a fake pickoff throw to third base is always legal, right? No idea what the umpire was thinking. And then the other came in the Japan vs. Korea game last night when a Japanese runner (Kondoh Kensuke) was called safe at 1st base on what would have been the second part of a double play...and then he turned left instead of right after running through the bag and was tagged out, but somehow he was ruled not out and allowed to stay on 1st. I still have no idea how that happened, and it basically cost Korea the game because that would have been the third out of an 8th inning in which the Japanese went on to score the winning runs on a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double.
 

B H Kim

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Watching this last half inning (with multiple Korean pitchers brought in to face just a single batter) has really made me appreciate the MLB three-batter minimum rule.
 
atching this last half inning (with multiple Korean pitchers brought in to face just a single batter) has really made me appreciate the MLB three-batter minimum rule.
Quite. I'd mistakenly thought the three-batter minimum rule was in the tournament before last night, as I couldn't recall seeing any relievers come in to face only one or two batters before the end of an inning. I was clearly wrong!

FWIW, I've posted some highlights of our commentary on USA-Korea over in my Diary thread:

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/diary-of-a-commentator.20448/post-4540900
 

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Baka Gaijin
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So Morishita Masato will start the Gold Medal game for Japan. He's in his 2nd year for the Hiroshima Carp, and turns 24 in a couple weeks. He was last year's Central League RoY when he posted a 1.91 ERA in 120+ IP. This year he's got a 2.29 / 1.05 line, and while he's striking out fewer guys than last year he's been a bit tougher to hit, with a .214 BAA.

He's been murder on my Swallows this year, allowing 2 ER total across three starts in 23 IP.

If USA can pull off a Gold medal here, they'll have earned it.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
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He got out of it! Nice play by Frazier then a check swing K by Kikuchi who is inexplicably hitting in front of Murakami.
 

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Baka Gaijin
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Squander for the visiting team, though.

question from ignorance: why are all the graphics on the field in English?
Because it’s an international tournament, I guess? These are the “Tokyo 2020” games, not the “東京2020年五輪” or whatever.
 

DrBlinky

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Squander for the visiting team, though.

question from ignorance: why are all the graphics on the field in English?
Probably also has to do with English and French being the two official languages of the Olympics, though it seems like there has been less focus on French lately. (I haven't been paying attention, but perhaps French is still being spoken during announcements, medal ceremonies, opening and closing ceremonies, etc.)
 

JoePoulson

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Top of the 9th, let's gooooooooooo.

Triston had a tough AB in the 8th there, getting down 0-2 then check swing that 3rd strike. Never looked good in that at bat for sure.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
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I’m happy the Swallows players scored both the runs, I guess?

Congrats to Eddy Alvarez for medaling in Winter and Summer.

I can’t wait for Casas.
 

Remagellan

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Congrats to Japan. And no one need ever complain again about Joe Buck underplaying a championship call after listening to these two capturing the excitement that must be evident in the host nation now. Who needs a crowd when you have Benetti and Perez on the call?
 

Ale Xander

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We should have sent Judge, Stanton, Cole, Kittredge, Bichette, Biggio, and Meadows over there.
 
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Ale Xander

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Congrats to Japan. And no one need ever complain again about Joe Buck underplaying a championship call after listening to these two capturing the excitement that must be evident in the host nation now. Who needs a crowd when you have Benetti and Perez on the call?
I prefer DK