Sunday, March 22, 2009

The WBC

I'm sure everyone has been following the World Baseball Classic with rapt attention... Well, last Tuesday, I got a chance to check it out personally as Round 2 came through San Diego. Mom and I braved a very busy and drunk St. Patrick's day crowd down town for some dinner, then headed to Petco to watch Japan take on Korea...


















We had killer seats in row 17, just to the left of home plate.
The crowd was relatively small, but extremely loud and surprisingly coordinated - especially the Koreans. They were also very...interesting.










































Pitching for Japan was young phenom Yu Darvish - 22 years old with a consistent fastball @ 94mph, a good 2-seamer, a cutter, a wicked curve, and an unhittable slider coming in around 72mph. Crazy good. He had a rough first inning and gave up a few runs, but then he settled down and just cruised. Here's a clip of him striking out former Mariner Shin-Soo Choo.
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Unfortunately, team Japan just couldn't get anything going. Here's Ichiro reaching on a fielder's choice... but that was about as good of a night as he would have.

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And here's Akinora Iwamura striking out for the final out, as Korea won to advance to the finals in LA. The WBC definitely has some flaws - I'd love to see some format changes before next time around - but it was a sweet experience, and I'm glad I got to check it out.

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