clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WBC 2017 Roundup 3/7: Honkbal is back

Welcome back Honkbal; Cuba splits their games.

World Baseball Classic - Pool A - Game 3 - South Korea v Netherlands Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

As more pools get into action, we are getting more games. On Tuesday (in American time, at least), there were three. The highlight for me was seeing the Netherlands squad back together. That infield. My god. #Honkbal

Netherlands 5, Korea 0

Netherlands

Xander Bogaerts: 1-4, 1 3B

Jurickson Profar: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Randolph Oduber: 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Rick Van Den Hurk (W): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R 2 BB, 0 K

Korea

Ah-seop Son: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB

Yongkyu Lee: 1-2, 2 BB

Kyumin Woo (L): 3.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Here we got to see the biggest Red Sox name in the tournament for the first time, and Bogaerts came through in his first at bat with a triple that immediately followed Profar’s home run. Bogaerts was stranded at third. Like I said at the top, though, it was just fun seeing that Netherlands infield in action. Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive shortstop in the world, and he’s flanked by Bogaerts on his right and Didi Gregorius on his left. And they have Profar and Jonathan Schoop on the roster, too. As for Korea, they are surprisingly in trouble. It’s not their strongest squad in the brief history of the tournament, but they weren’t expected to look like this. They’re now 0-2 and have scored just one run in 19 innings of work.

Japan 11, Cuba 6

Japan

Nobuhiro Matsuda: 4-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E

Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB

Hayato Sakamoto: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB

Ayumu Ishikawa (W): 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Cuba

Yoelqui Cespedes: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 R

Alfredo Despaigne: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Yurisbel Gracial: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 E

Yoennis Yera (L): 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K

This was the most hyped early matchup, as these are two of the baseball powers in the world. Making the matchup even more interesting is that neither squad took their major-league talent this year, as Nori Aoki was the only big leaguer in the game. There was, however, Yoelqui (I’ve seen this spelled three different ways, so I’m just going with the one on the MLB website) Cespedes, who is Yoenis’ younger brother. He put together a big game, but it wasn’t enough for Cuba. This one was close for the first half of the game, but a five-run fifth broke it open for Japan. It’s a big win for them, as these are the two clear favorites in this pool.

Cuba 6, China 0

Cuba

Roel Santos: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI

Alexander Ayala: 3-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI

Yurisbel Gracial: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 SB

Bladmir Banos (W): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

China

Bruce Chen: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Shunyi Yang: 1-3, 1 K

Xia Luo (L): 1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K

After dropping their opening contest against Japan, Cuba needed to come back strong against China if they wanted to advance to the next round. They did so, although they got off to a shaky start against former Red Sox (and former a lot of teams) Bruce Chen. The righty, who was seemingly wearing dress shoes, kept Japan off the scoreboard, but his nibbling around the strike zone led to high pitch counts. When Chen left, Cuba struck immediately. On the other side, China’s lineup just couldn’t figure out Cuban pitching, as they had just one hit and reached base a total of three times.