Today is the opening of the World Baseball Classic, which I am making a conscious effort to care about this year. Chinese Taipei (aka Taiwan) opens this afternoon against the lowly Austrailians. I had a conversation at a bar about baseball with an Austrailian once, he was furious how the World Series was named even though all the teams in MLB were from North America. This tournament is for you strangely passionate Aussie guy!
Tonight at 8:30 Korean time, Korea takes on the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch have a team which could surprise, as they did in 2009 making it to the 2nd round. Korea will likely send Yoon Suk-min to the mound to take on a Dutch team, which features former Major Leaguer Andruw Jones (who signed with a Japanese team this year) as well as current MLBer’s Roger Bernadina and defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons.
The Korean lineup will depend on the handedness of the pitcher sent out by the Dutch but will have Jeong Keun-woo of the SK wyverns leading off and according to Yonhap News:
” If a left-hander starts against South Korea, right-handed Kim Tae-kyun will likely be the DH with Lee Dae-ho playing first. Against a right-handed starter, left-handed Lee Seung-yeop will probably get the nod as the DH, with Lee Dae-ho staying at first base.”
This all means that Choi Jeong should see time at third base, which is awesome.
One last thing, the WBC has some weird rules about how often a pitcher can pitch and mercy rules which I found on the CBC.ca website of all places, and are as follows:
2013 WBC rules
Besides standard baseball rules, fans need to be aware of the following:
- All games are played with a designated hitter.
- There is a mercy rule but it does not apply in the semifinal and final rounds. A game will be called if a team is leading by 10 or more runs when the opposition has hit in at least seven innings or if the leading team is ahead by 15 or more runs when the opposing team has batted in a minimum five innings.
- Should a game reach the 13th inning, all teams will begin the inning with runners on first and second base.
- Pitchers cannot exceed 65 pitches per game in Round 1, 80 pitches in Round 2 and 95 pitches in the championship round. A pitcher may still bat if he has reached his limit, but must exit the game after completing his plate appearance.
Other pitching rules
A pitcher cannot pitch until:
- a minimum of four days have passed since he last pitched, if he threw 50 or more pitches when he last pitched;
- a minimum of one day has passed since he last pitched, if he threw 30 or more pitches when he last pitched;
- a minimum of one day has passed since any second consecutive day on which the pitcher pitched.
So mercy rules could end things early and pitchers will be limited to 65 pitches in the first round. This probably helps a team like Korea in the first round because of how deep their pitching roster is when compared to the other teams in group D.