Japan did again, and repeated as World Baseball Classic champions, with a 5-3, 10-inning win over South Korea at Dodger Stadium last night.
The Japanese led through most of the game, and had a 3-2 lead in the ninth. But wunderkind starter Yu Darvish had a bad case of wildness, walked two batters, and let in the tying run on a single with two outs. But he got the "vulture" win (a blown save turned into a win) when Japan scored twice in the ninth. Ichiro Suzuki singled in two runs that was the difference, 5-3.
And I'd like an explanation as to what the South Korean manager was thinking. He had an open base with two outs and Japan's best hitter coming up. So what do they do? They pitch to him and get burned and lose the tournament. Reminded me a lot of that scene in "A League of Their Own" in Game 7. Dottie Hinson, the league's best hitter comes up in the ninth with the go-ahead runs on base and two outs and an open base. So what does the opposition do? They pitch to her and also get burned. But that manager was luckier than the South Korean manager, as Dottie's sister bailed him out with an inside-the-park homer to win the title.
For the second straight WBC, Daisuke Matsuzaka won the MVP of the tourney, as he once again went 3-0. He was superb again (less so in the semifinal) and takes home some international hardware. Time for him to bring home some domestic (aka American) hardware this regular season...