Pitch count impacts and other notes from
Sunday's WBC games:
Team USA: Jake Peavy threw 67 pitches
against Japan (an OK stint, but not great; appeared to have control issues).
He's now ineligible until the semis on Saturday, presuming the US gets that far.
Five other relievers saw action (Brad Lidge working the most with 24 pitches in
the ninth). However, every US pitcher except for Peavy and Roger Clemens is
eligible to pitch in Monday's game against Korea. Dontrelle Willis will start;
good move to start a lefty against Korea's two lefty sluggers, Seung-Yeop Lee
and Hee Seop Choi.
BTW ... no wonder MLB fired umpire Bob Davidson
years ago. Just an awful, awful call on the tag-up play in the 8th, and give
Buck Martinez an attaboy for knowing how to push the buttons on a crappy umpire.
Mexico: Rodrigo Lopez threw 72 pitches in
just three innings against Korea. He's now ineligible until the semis on
Saturday, presuming Mexico gets that far. Everyone else on their staff is
eligible for their next game against Japan on Tuesday. There are hints Esteban
Loaiza will get that start; Daisuke Matsuzaka has already been announced as
Korea: Jae Seo threw 61 pitches in
five-plus innings and did a good job in keeping the Mexicans at bay. He's now
ineligible until Saturday. Chan Ho Park closed again for the Koreans, throwing
16 pitches in the ninth (pitching just in the ninth, his arm's going to be
waaaay behind schedule when he finally gets back to the Padres). Every Korean
pitcher except Seo is eligible for Monday's game against the US; Korean leaguer
Min Han Son will get the start. That would leave either Sunny Kim or Byung-Hyun
Kim as possible starters for Korea against Japan on Wednesday.
So far, the tournament MVP is Korean slugger
Seung-Yeop Lee; a two-run game-winning homer against Japan, a two-run
game-winning homer against Mexico, and he's tied for the WBC lead (along with
Adrian Beltre of the Dominican) in homers (4) and RBI (9).
Puerto Rico: Along with Korea, the only
undefeated team in the tourney so far: whouda thunk? Javy Vazquez threw 71
pitches in his winning effort against the Dominican Republic, treating the game
like a playoff game. He's now out until Saturday. Kiko Calero and JC Romero both
pitched in relief, but both left before the 30-pitch mark, so every Puerto Rico
pitcher save Vazquez and Dicky Gonzalez is eligible for Monday's game against
Venezuela; Joel Piniero will start.
Dominican Republic: Bartolo Colon looked
good as well in his 71-pitch outing; he's out until Saturday. Four relievers
followed Colon; Damaso Marte, Julian Tavarez (both were ineffective against
Puerto Rico), Salomon Torres and Fernando Rodney. Those four pitchers can work
either on Monday against Cuba, or Tuesday against Venezuela, but not in both
games. Odalis Perez will get the day-game start Monday in the San Juan Field
Turf heat against Cuba.
Venezuela: Johan Santana threw 67 pitches
in five innings against Cuba on Sunday afternoon, where temperatures on the
Field Turf at Hiram Bithorn Stadium were measured at 110-plus degrees. Santana
had retired 10 Cuban batters in a row before being pulled after five, in part as
a concession to the heat; Giovanni Carrara promptly stunk up the joint in
relief. Santana is now ineligible until Saturday, should Venezuela advance.
Kelvim Escobar is the only other Venezuelan pitcher ineligible on Monday night,
when Carlos Zambrano will get the start against Puerto Rico. Freddy Garcia will
start on Tuesday against the Dominicans.
Venezuela has scored just four runs in their last two games, and check out
the following WBC stats for Venezuelan regulars: Bobby Abreu, just 3-for-14
(.214), no extra-base hits; Victor Martinez, 2-for-10; Magglio Ordonez,
2-for-16; Carlos Guillen, 1-for-12. And that includes their games against Italy and Australia. If the collective slump lasts one more
night, they're likely done for the tourney.