(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)
Japan wins vs. Cuba; Pool not yet decided
TOKYO (Japan) -
On Tuesday (March 14), Japan came from behind three times, then broke a 5-5 tie with a 3-run rally in the eighth inning to won 8-5 against Cuba.
The game was a crucial one in Pool E in the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic.
With this, Japan recorded its second victory and is in good shape of advancing to the Semi-Final.
For Cuba, this was its second loss, but the team isn't eliminated yet.
The ranking in Pool E will be decided on Wednesday.
Cuba then first meets the Netherlands Kingdom Team and in the evening, Japan closes this Pool against Israel.
There are two scenarios in which the results these two games can create a 3-way tie.
When that happens, a tie-breaker game will follow.
In both 3-way ties, the 12 runs that were scored by the Netherlands against Israel are in favor of the Orange squad and of course not so for Israel.
However, the final scores of the two games on Wednesday will be very important with regard to an eventual 3-way tie.
After today's game, Japan is 2-0, Cuba is 0-2, while the Netherlands and Israel are 1-1.
What are the four scenarios for Wednesday?
The Netherlands wins vs. Cuba and in the evening Israel wins vs. Japan.
That will create a 3-way tie between the Netherlands, Israel and Japan (who then all will be 2-1), while Cuba (0-3) is eliminated.
The runs-allowed formula then will decide the ranking for these three.
The team in first place advances to the Semi-Final.
The other two teams will play a tie-breaker to decide who will be the second finalist.
|Tie-breaker Rules World Baseball Classic|
If at the end of pool play in the First and Second Rounds of the Tournament, teams within a pool are tied with an identical winning percentage, then tie shall be broken in the following order of priority.
The higher ranked Federation Team will be the home team.|
Three Teams Tied 2-1: If there are three teams 2-1, then the tiebreaker rules would be applied to rank the three, and the first-ranked team would advance.
The second and third-ranked teams would play a game to determine who the second-place team is.
Three Teams Tied 1-2: If there are three teams tied 1-2, then the tiebreaker rules would be applied to rank the three, and the first two ranked teams would play a tiebreaker game, the winner of which would advance.
The tiebreaker rules will be applied as follows:
Step 1: The tied Teams shall be ranked in the standings for that Round according to fewest runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the Teams tied.
Step 2: The tied Teams shall be ranked in the standings according to fewest earned runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played in defense in the games in that Round between the Teams tied.
Step 3: The tied Teams shall be ranked in the standings according to highest batting average in games in that Round between the Teams tied.
Step 4: Standings shall be determined by the drawing of lots, conducted by WBCI.
The Netherlands wins vs. Cuba and in the evening Japan wins vs. Israel.
In this case, Japan (3-0) and the Netherlands (2-1) will advance to the Semi-Final, while Israel (1-2) and Cuba (0-3) will be eliminated.
Cuba wins vs. the Netherlands and in the evening Japan wins vs. Israel.
In this case, Japan (3-0) will advance to the Semi-Final, but there also will be a 3-way between the Netherlands, Israel and Cuba (who will be 1-2).
The runs-allowed formula then will create the ranking.
The team is last place will be eliminated, the other two will play a tie-breaker game to decide who will be the second finalist.
Cuba wins vs. the Netherlands and in the evening Israel wins vs. Japan.
In this case, Japan and Israel (who then both will be 2-1) will advance to the Semi-Finals, while Cuba and the Netherlands (both 1-2) will be eliminated.
This means that the winner of the afternoon-game between the Netherlands and Cuba always will have to wait for the outcome of the evening-game between Japan and Israel.
Back to the game between Japan and Cuba.
In the bottom of the first inning, Tetsuto Yamada led off with a homerun for Japan, but Cuba answered with two runs in the second at bat.
Alfredo Despaigne then led off with a single and Yurisbel Gracial followed with a homerun.
Japan came alongside in the bottom of the third.
Tetsuto Yamada this time led off with a double and scored on a 2-out single by Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh.
In the fourth, with two outs and the bases loaded, Victor Mesa (the son of the famous former player and Manager with the same name) delivered a 2-run single to put Cuba ahead again, 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Japan tied the score again, thanks to a grounder by Norichika Aoki and a single by Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh.
Cuba took the lead for the third time in the top of the sixth.
With one out, Yurisbel Gracial doubled and scored on a 2-out single by Yosvani Alarcon.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Japan came alongside for the third time.
With one out, Nobuhiro Matsuda struckout, but reached on a wild putch, then moved to second base on another wild pitch.
After a pitching change, he scored on a single by Seiji Kobayashi.
Japan then decided the game in the eighth.
With one out, Nobuhiro Matsuda reached on an error and moved to third base on a single by Shogo Akiyama.
He then scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Seiichi Uchikawa, which gave Japan a 6-5 lead.
Hereafter, Tetsuto Yamada became the hero of the game, as he hit his second homerun of the game, this time with a runner on base, to lift the lead to 8-5.
...double, 2 homeruns,...
...4 runs, 3 RBI's...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Venezuela comes from behind & eliminates Italy. (March 13)
A dream come true for Dutch WBC-umpire Winfried Berkvens. (March 13)
Netherlands wins convincingly against Israel. (March 13)
Three teams qualify for 2nd Round; Tie-breaker Italy vs. Venezuela. (March 12)
Netherlands ends up short in extra innings vs. Japan. (March 12)
WBC-wins for Colombia, Venezuela & Dominican Republic. (March 11)
USA needs extra inning to win; Puerto Rico wins big. (March 10)
Cuba advances to Second Round WBC; Australia eliminated. (March 10)
Italy wins opener on walk-off single; Dominicans win big. (March 9)
Netherlands empty-handed vs. Israel; finishes 2nd in Pool. (March 9)
Orange in 2nd Round WBC after walk-off win; Israel also in. (March 8)
Netherlands opens WBC with shutout vs. South Korea. (March 7)
Israel upsets South Korea in WBC-opener with 10-inning win. (March 6)
Netherlands Team closes WBC-preparations with loss. (March 5)
Netherlands Team wins big in Korean exhibition game. (March 3)
Netherlands closes exhibition series in Arizona with loss. (February 25)
First game Netherlands vs. Twins ends in tie. (February 24)
Netherlands Team wins big in exhibition game vs. Geckos. (February 23)
Exhibition losses Netherlands Team in Arizona. (February 20)
Orange roster announced for World Baseball Classic. (February 8)
Netherlands Team to prepare in Arizona. (February 8)