OOTP International Baseball Competition Part 9: Week 8 brings lots of runs, a near-no-hitter, etc.

Throughout the year, I’ll be posting updates of a simulated league from Out Of The Park Baseball 2016 made up of national “dream teams” to determine what the greatest baseball country on Earth is… or something like that. Previous installments can be found here. This is a long post, so there is a JUMP after the first day. A glossary of storyline characters can be looked at here. Also, hit any picture to make it bigger and more readable.

May 18

Week 8 of the IBC began in Australia between the Dutch and the Australians. The Dutch would end up winning 9-6, not long before a Takayuki Kajitani 3-run home run in the 7th in Japan put the home team up 3-0 against Venezuela, a lead they wouldn’t give up. Not long after that, the Taiwanese finished off the Puerto Ricans, 5-4.

And then… everybody waited until night-time on the East Coast of the USA.

The first game of the night, at 6 PM, was South Korea vs. Dominican Republic. It was a nice pitching match-up:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 7.25.02 PM(A reminder that injuries and such are, other than opening day injuries, entirely separate from actual reality, hence why Hyun-Jin Ryu is still playing despite being injured in the real world)

Bartolo Colon would prove to be the winner of the game, as the Dominican would be the first to get on the board, thanks to a Starling Marte double in the second. Robinson Cano and Adrian Beltre would add two more RBIs later in the game. Colon and the relievers (including Antonio Bastardo, who had to fill in after Joaquin got injured with two outs in the 9th) would hold the Koreans scoreless. Colon would strike out nine and give up six hits in the victory.

In Boston, Team USA once again demolished Italy, but “only” by the score of 13-1, as Trout, Stanton, Kemp and McCutchen all homered and Jon Lester went 8.2 IP allowing only 3 hits and striking out 15. However, the Ghost of the Bambino was not happy: “Only won by 12, Joe?”, he whispered in Joe Maddon’s ear. And, worse, Matt Kemp, who was hitting .373, hurt himself running the bases and would be out for 2 weeks.

In Havana, the biggest upset of the day took place, as Team Rest-Of-The-World defeated Cuba, 4-3, surviving a late 9th-inning rally. However, the Rest-Of-Worlders did not get out unscathed, as 1st baseman Rene Leveret, one of their few sort-of-kind-of-semi-power threats, was injured making a spectacular dive to record an out in the 9th, straining an oblique and being knocked out for three weeks.

Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and George Kottaras all homered as Canada beat Panama, 12-6.

Finally, Enrique Osorio went 5-5 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs as Mexico steamrolled Colombia, 15-5.

GO BELOW THE JUMP FOR MORE:

May 19

Jeff Jiff let everyone know the transactions:

  • Jason Heyward would replace Matt Kemp on the active roster.
  • Benjamin Dille had been called back to the Active Roster by the Rest-Of-Worlders, and it was announced that Donald Lutz would play more at 1st than he had been, sharing time with Yuichi Matsumoto.
  • Agapito Barrios of Panama would remain on the active roster, since he had sustained an injury that would only last for about five days.

However, on the field, a new round of series was beginning: Australia at Korea, Dominican at Venezuela, Italy at Netherlands, Mexico at Canada, Japan at Puerto Rico, USA at Colombia, Taiwan at Cuba, and Panama at Rest-Of-World. An interesting grouping, especially the DR-Venezuela series. The Dominican had swept Venezuela the first week of the year, but every game was by just one run, and all of those games had been in the Dominican.

“They are coming to our place now,” said Ozzie Guillen, the Venezuelan skipper.

That would be later, however. The first game of the day was Australia at Korea. And Ned Kelly O’Shaughessy had every reason to look for Korean Beer, because the Aussies were beat 9-3 as Ah-Sup Son went 3-4 with 3 RBIs and Ho-Joon Lee hit his third HR of the year.

At 12:35, one of a few day games started, And it was the doozy: DR at Venezuela. Johnny Cueto at Henderson Alvarez.

It didn’t start off well for Venezuela: Carlos Gomez led off the game with a homer. Then Robinson Cano doubled. Then David Ortiz singled him home. Ortiz would later get to third on a Jose Bautista double then get home on a groundout by Nelson Cruz. After one-half inning, the Dominican already led 3-0.

It wouldn’t be until the fifth that Venezuela would get on the board, as Luis Sardinas hit a 2-out single to bring home Avisail Garcia and make it 3-1.

An inning later, however, Venezuela threatened to tie it up, thanks to some unintended help from Adrian Beltre. With one out, he sent a ball wide on a throw to first, allowing Pablo Sandoval to get to second base. And then, Miguel Cabrera scorched a double to left-center for a RBI double. Now, it was 3-2, with a man on second and one out.

Only problem was that coming up was Francisco Carabello, a Japanese Indy-Leaguer who was only playing due to injuries and the need for some players to rest. He had some pop, but couldn’t hit for average very well. Still, at least his groundout allowed Cabrera to move to third.

And that would make a big difference, because during Avisail Garcia’s at-bat, Cueto had one get away from him, allowing Cabrera to score and tie it up, 3-3. Garcia would strike out to end the inning, but the damage was done- it was a tie ballgame.

The Dominican line-up, however, was still the Dominican Line-up, and after two outs to start the top of the 7th, Robinson Cano doubled, and then David Ortiz doubled him home. The DR once again had a lead, 4-3. And that was it for Henderson Alvarez, as Guillen pulled him for Hector Rondon, who got Bautista to end the inning.

Johnny Cueto stayed in, however. Perhaps too long, as with one out in the 8th, he faced this situation:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.59.02 AMHe was at 107 pitches. He had struck out 9 and given up no earned runs.

But… Miguel Cabrera was up. Two men were on.

“Why are you leaving him in, Tony?” said Pedro Martinez.

And then, with a 2-2 count…. this happened:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.05.58 AMIt was now 6-4 Venezuela, and Cueto’s day was done, as he was pulled for Pedro Strop, and then, after two singles, Antonio Bastardo and then, after another run had scored, Fernando Rodney…. who gave up a 2-out 2-run single to Gregor Blanco.

By the time the dust settled, Venezuela was leading 9-4. And that would be the final score.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.10.05 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.10.56 AMIn other action this day:

  • The Italians won! They beat Netherlands 8-6 as Joe Mazzuca and Chris Colabello homered and Claudio Liverziani went 3-3.
  • In Toronto, Andrew Albers went 7.1 IP with no earned runs allowed and Sean Jamieson homered as Canada beat Mexico, 3-1.
  • Japan tied the game in the top of the 9th, and so they and Puerto Rico went to extras, where Japan would end up winning it thanks to a 4-run 12th inning, 6-2.
  • Team USA demolished Colombia, 21-0, as Stanton, Tulowitzki, Goldschmidt, Carpenter and Posey all homered and Max Scherzer allowed only three hits over 7.1 IP. “Still not thirty, Joe,” said the Ghost of the Bambino. With the win and the Dominican loss, Team USA now was at the top of the standings.
  • Taiwan beat Cuba, 5-4, Chin-Lung Hu had 3 RBIs.
  • Erasmo Ramirez had the game of his life for Team Rest-Of-World, holding Panama to just 2 hits in complete game shutout as ROW won 7-0.

May 20

  • The first game of the day saw Korea continue to pound Australia, this time winning 9-1.
  • The Netherlands avenged yesterday’s loss, scoring three in the bottom of the 8th to beat Italy, 4-3.
  • Hisayoshi Chono hit a pinch-hit 2-run HR in the top of the ninth, and again the JPN-PR game went into extras. And, once again, Japan won it in extras, this time 10-6.
  • Rest-Of-World again beat Panama, 10-3, as Yan Gomes went 3-3, homered, and had 4 RBIs.
  • Team USA, amazingly, was given quite the fight by Colombia, and they went to the 9th inning tied at 6. But then Giancarlo Stanton had a bases-clearing double, and then he was brought home by a Tulowitzki single, and Team USA ended up winning 10-6.
  • Mexico beat Canada 2-1, thanks to a 2-run blast from Enrique Osorio.
  • Taiwan beat Cuba, 5-4, despite HRs from Puig and Despaigne.
  • Finally, the Dominican and Venezuela went to 11, but then Miguel Cabrera singled home Elvis Andrus to win it, 8-7.

May 21

Good news for Japan, as Hisashi Iwakuma came off the DL! Venezuela also got a player back from the DL, in the form of Oswaldo Arcia.

But, more importantly, the games!

  • Ned Kelly O’Shaughessy was too drunk to really feel it, but Australia was pounded 13-1 by Korea, finishing off the 3-game sweep.
  • Canada beat Mexico 2-1 on a walk-off bases-loaded single by Taylor Green.
  • The Dutch won the rubber-match against Italy, 9-1. Diegomar Markwell and Jurrian Koks teamed up to hold the Italians to just one hit and just one unearned run.
  • Cuba beat Taiwan 3-1 thanks to a nice performance by Roenis Elias and HRs from Alfredo Despaigne and Jose Iglesias.
  • Panama and Rest-Of-World went scoreless through 9. And 10. And 11. And 12. But then Panama took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 13th on a Carlos Ruiz sac-fly, and it would be enough for the win.
  • Hideto Asamura hit a 2-run HR in the top of the 9th, and it was enough for Japan, which beat Puerto Rico 2-0. Hisashi Iwakuma, in his first start after coming off the DL, pitched masterly, giving up just 4 hits, walking one, and striking out 5.
  • The Dominican avoided the sweep, beating Venezuela 4-2. Adrian Beltre homered in the win.

And then, there was the USA-Colombia game, and, it appeared, it could be a game for the books, as after 7 and a half innings, the scoreboard looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.24.36 PMYes, not only was Team USA surprisingly close to the Bambino’s goal of 30 runs, but Stephen Strasburg was just 6 outs away from a no-hitter!

But would he be able to go all the way?

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.25.39 PMThe first batter of the bottom of the 8th was Reynaldo Rodriguez, a player in the Twins organization in the real world.

And then…

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.26.58 PMJust like that, the no-hitter was gone. Still, it was not out of the realm of the possible that Team USA would finally fulfill the Bambino’s request. They’d already scored six three times during the game! They could do it!

Well, maybe they could have, but they didn’t. Instead, a big fat zero ended up on the board for the top of the 9th. The Bambino no doubt was disappointed.

Still, it was a powerhouse game for Team USA:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.30.08 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.30.45 PMMay 22

An off day.

May 23

New series! Venezuela at Australia, Japan at Taiwan, Colombia at Netherlands, Korea at Italy, Cuba at Panama, Canada at USA, Rest-Of-World at Mexico and Puerto Rico at Dominican! Also, the Dutch got Andrelton Simmons back, which is nice.

In game action:

  • Jhoulys Chacin and Yusmeiro Petit combined for a 4-hit shutout of Australia, as Venezuela won 3-0.
  • Tetsuto Yamada and Yuhei Nakamura both went deep in a 9-2 Japanese victory in Taiwan.
  • On the bright side for Colombia, they didn’t get creamed, on the downside, they still lost to the Netherlands, 2-1. Shawn Zarraga homered for the Dutch.
  • Korea beat up on Italy, 13-1. Hyung-Woo Choi went 3-3 with 4 RBIs and Won-Joon Jang went the distance for the complete game.
  • Trout and Stanton homered as Team USA beat Canada, 4-1.
  • Yasiel Puig was  4-6 with a HR, double, 2 RBIs and 4 runs scored as Cuba beat Panama, 15-4.
  • Mexico edged out Rest-Of-World, 3-2. Jorge Cantu homered in the win.
  • Finally, Francisco Liriano struck out 10 and allowed only 3 hits in a complete game shutout of Puerto Rico, as DR won 11-0.

May 24

The final day of week 8!

  • Another day, another reason for Ned Kelly O’Shaughessy to drink: Venezuela destroys Australia, 13-1.
  • Taiwan edged out Japan, 4-3, handing Masahiro Tanaka his second loss of the year.
  • The Dutch beat Colombia, 6-5, in 11 innings on a bases-loaded walk. Seriously.
  • Korea defeated Italy, 8-0, as Hyun-Jin Ryu had a complete game 4-hit shutout.
  • Canada beat Team USA, 6-2, proving that the Ghost of The Bambino was angry about the fact that Team USA didn’t put 30 up on Colombia a few days ago.
  • A late 2-run triple by Jose Bautista put the Dominican up over Puerto Rico, 3-2.
  • Alexi Bell hit a home run as Cuba beat Panama, 5-2.
  • Yovani Gallardo struck out 11 and had a complete-game 5-hit shutout as Mexico beat Rest-Of-World 11-0.

End of Week 8

At the end of the week, the standings looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.19.25 PMThe player of the week was Hideto Asamura of Japan:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.21.25 PMAnd the power rankings:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.23.41 PMAnd so the week ended…

 

Next time: Week 9 sees DR vs. Japan and USA vs. Cuba!

 

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