Cubs in the WBC, Day 8

Posted by Lionel on March 18, 2009.

It's flag-waving time for the U.S. team after a come from behind victory to avenge the mercy rule loss against Puerto Rico. While all that's well and good for the Yanks (not the team from NY, the Americans), it wasn't a particularly good night for 2 of the 25 on the Cubs roster. Theodore Lilly toed the bump for the U.S. His stat line? 3 and 1/3, 2 hits, 3 walks, 3 earned runs. He got around walks in the first and the third (with a pickoff and a caught stealing), but yielded HR's to Alex Rios (solo) and Carlos Delgado (2 run shot) and threw a wild pitch. On the good side, he K'd Carlos Beltran twice looking.

Of the 10 outs Lilly recorded, one was Geo Soto. Soto went 0 for 3 with a walk and a K. His strikeout occured in the 6th with two on and only one out in an inning that could've opened the floodgates for Puerto Rico. Soto also left Rios on second in the 9th with no outs after grounding out to third. The only positive for Soto is that he threw out Shane Victorino at second when Brian "Bip" Roberts laid down a bunt trying to advance him in the 7th.

With the loss Puerto Rico heads home (meaning Soto will be back in Mesa soon) and the U.S. qualifies for the Final pool.

But that wasn't teh only game of the night. Kosuke Fukudome and Japan squared off against Korea. Fukudome went 1-4 with a K. He scored Team Japan's lone run after leading off the fifth with a base hit. He left two on base, including one in the ninth. Japan faces an elimination game against Cuba tonight.

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Cubs in the WBC, Day 6/7

Posted by Lionel on March 16, 2009.

I will refrain from any mercy-related comments, because if you've read any article on the U.S.-Puerto Rico matchup from yesterday, you already saw mercy in the headline, guaranteed. Geo Soto got the start at DH for Team Puerto Rico. He went 0 for 2, including grounding into a double play. He also left two on base, including one in scoring position with two outs. But he also walked twice. He lead off the second with a walk and trotted home on Felipe Lopez's HR. His second walk came with two outs in the seventh and proved to be the decisive 11th run when he scored on Mike Aviles' single.

Kosuke Fukudome played CF and found his usual seventh spot in the order for Team Japan. The good news was a single in 4 AB's. The bad news was that he K'd the other three AB's., including two backward K's. And his hit, while it came with two runners on, was a soft grounder to first which he beat out. Looking for a silver lining? He had a 8 pitch AB before K'ing and saw 23 pitches in his 4 AB's.

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