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WBC: Monday notes & pitch counts
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/14/2006 7:25:00 AM
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Pitch counts and other notes from Monday's WBC games follow below. Be aware that the tourney is now entering crunch time, and managers will begin to utilize postseason-seventh-game pitcher usage patterns within the context of the WBC pitch count rules. That means whoever's eligible will be sitting in the bullpen, even if they threw 49 pitches the night before. There are reports that a couple of teams in the San Juan bracket have stopped returning calls from MLB GMs.

There are two games on Tuesday, both elimination games. In the Dominican-Venezuela game, the winner goes to the semis while the losing players get to go back to their major league camps the next morning. Japan will be eliminated if they lose to Mexico; if the Mexicans lose, they'll need lots of help and good tiebreaker mojo.

Team USA:  Dontrelle Willis threw 59 pitches in an uninspiring outing against Korea; along with Jake Peavy, he's ineligible for the game against Mexico on Thursday. Both Dan Wheeler (32 pitches) and Mike Timlin (27) had longish outings, but with the US now getting days off, they'll be eligible and fresh for Thursday's game. Roger Clemens will start on Thursday if Team USA needs a win to advance; look for Al Leiter to get the call if the US is already eliminated by then. The US will be knocked out if Japan wins on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and Korea gives up 6 runs or less in losing to Japan.

Korea:  Byung-Hyun Kim threw 23 pitches in relief on Monday. With a day off on Tuesday, every Korean pitcher except Jae Seo will be eligible for Wednesday's game against Japan. FYI, Seung Yeop Lee has now homered in four straight games in the WBC, two of those game-winners (against Japan and Mexico). How does one say en fuego in Korean?

Dominican Republic:  Good news: the Dominicans were able to beat Cuba on Monday while getting good outings of less than 50 pitches apiece from both Odalis Perez (48) and Jorge Sosa (41). Bad news: because Rob Tejada was ineffective in the ninth, the Dominicans had to bring in Fernando Rodney to get the last two outs (yes, the final was 7-2, but Cuba had the bases loaded in the ninth). Since Rodney had also pitched on Sunday, he's ineligible for the big game against Venezuela on Tuesday, as is Bartolo Colon. Daniel Cabrera will start, with Miguel Batista, Francisco Liriano and everyone else available in relief (including Perez and Sosa).

Venezuela:  Carlos Zambrano threw 72 pitches against Puerto Rico on Monday and could only last four innings, but he kept the other guys off the board. Carlos Silva threw 28 pitches in solid relief; since he didn't top 30, he can pitch on Tuesday. Every Venezuelan pitcher is eligible for Tuesday's game except for Carlos Zambrano and Johan Santana. Freddy Garcia will start, with Kelvim Escobar, Gustavo Chacin, Victor Zambrano, Silva and everyone else available in relief.

Puerto Rico:  Joel Piniero threw 72 pitches in four-plus innings against Venezuela on Monday; an OK stat line, but when you let Endy Chavez take you deep in a big game, you have let your team down. No one else threw more than 18 pitches, so everyone but Piniero and Javy Vazquez will be eligible and ready for the do-or-die game against Cuba on Wednesday. Reports are Dicky Gonzalez will get that start. Also, word is that Carlos Delgado (elbow) took BP on Monday; we'll see if he'll be available to DH or pinch-hit on Wednesday.

FYI, Esteban Loaiza and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be the starters in Tuesday's Japan-Mexico game; both teams have all pitchers eligible except for Rodrigo Lopez and Koji Uehara, both of whom started on Sunday.


Correction on Delgado; he took practice swings under the stands on Monday, but not BP, and evidently looked a little uncomfortable doing so. No word yet if he'll play against Cuba on Wednesday.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 3/14/2006 11:26:00 AM

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