Friday, March 03, 2006

WBC Thoughts

Out of sheer boredom and insomnia, I watched a good amount of the Korea/Chinese Taipei WBC match-up on ESPN2 late last night (or early this morning, however you want to look at it). I didn't recognize many of the players, even though Korea has a few Major Leaguers (Chan Ho Park, Byung-Hyun Kim, Jae-Weong Seo, Hee-Seop Choi, etc.), so I wasn't able to become too engaged. With that said, it was fairly entertaining baseball. It was clear from watching that the players involved are taking the event very seriously, and they are good ball-players.

Choi, a first-baseman for the Dodgers, had the game's first big hit. Batting fifth for Korea, he slammed the ball off the top of the wall in center for a double in his first at-bat. The way he ripped that thing I'd have thought Brad Radke himself was on the hill. BK Kim came in and pitched in the fourth, but he wasn't like I remembered seeing him. He was actually getting people out. I can't believe that guy's arm hasn't fallen off yet with that delivery.

Korea ended up winning the game 2-0 thanks to a few hits and some great pitching. The contest ended on an outstanding diving play by shortstop Jin Man Park, who dove to his left to stab a hot grounder and flipped it to second for the final out. Korea had four pitchers combine for the shut-out, all Major Leaguers: Seo (Mets), Kim (Rockies), Park (Padres), and Dae Sung Koo (Mets).

I would have liked to catch the China/Japan game so I could've seen Ichiro and this Matsunaka guy that people are talking about, but I couldn't make it up 'til 3:30 a.m.

Japan ended up crushing China 18-2 in that lop-sided match-up.