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WBC Day One: pitch counts, other notes
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/3/2006 8:55:00 AM
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Some notes on Day One of the WBC on Friday, especially on pitch counts for those on MLB rosters:

Jae Seo (Dodgers) started and got the win in the first game in WBC history in the Korea-Taiwan opener, throwing 61 pitches (39 strikes) in 3.2 innings. Seo won't be allowed to pitch again until the first game of the second round on Sunday, March 12, presuming Korea advances. Seo looked as if he was laboring a bit in the third and fourth, so he'll need the breather. Most MLB teams started Citrus/Grapefruit league seasons on Thursday, and none of those starters worked anywhere near as hard as Seo, either in pitch quantity or effort.

Chan Ho Park (Padres) threw 37 pitches (28 strikes) in pitching the last three innings to earn the save for Korea. Park will now have to take Saturday off, but he would be eligible to pitch against Japan on Sunday.

Byung Hyun Kim (Rockies) threw 29 pitches (22 strikes) in pitching to six batters in middle relief. Kim is eligible to pitch Saturday against China. However, if he pitches at all Saturday, he wouldn't be eligible to pitch against Japan on Sunday, so look for the Koreans to rest Kim on Saturday to keep him eligible for Sunday.

Neither Sun Woo Kim (Rockies) or Jung Bong (Reds) pitched for Korea on Friday. Kim almost certainly will start on either Saturday or Sunday.

We also had our first we-told-you-so injury of the tournament. Korean third baseman and cleanup hitter Dung Joo Kim, who didn't get the word this was a "meaningless exhibition", suffered a dislocated shoulder in the sixth inning on a head-first slide. Into ... first ... base. Aaaarrrrggghhh. He's certainly out for the rest of the first round, likely out for the whole tournament, and probably misses a chunk of the Korean season.

One last note: crowds at the Tokyo Dome on Friday were, well, pathetic. Only 5,193 fans saw the Korea-Taiwan afternoon game (a game certainly played by both sides as if it was a playoff game, except for the pitch count rule), and just 15,869 saw the home team beat up on China. This from a city and nation supposedly jacked sky-high about this tournament.


Interesting note on Dung Joo Kim. I didn't realize sliding into the first base was an international phenomenon. I would like to see a study on why players apparently can't help themselves from sliding into first base, even though it obviously illogical -- it doesn't get you there faster. I mean, if this were limited to a certain segment of baseball players (Little Leaguers, Americans, slow players, fast playes, great sliders, dummies, etc.) it would be more easily explained. But apparently it is an infliction that plauges all baseball players, even Koreans.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/6/2006 3:17:00 PM

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