Tag Archive: World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic: Cuba 6 – Japan 11 (March 7, 2017)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 6 11 3
Japan 1 0 0 1 5 0 2 2 x 11 14 1

Attendance: 44,908 | Time: 3h56m



2017 World Baseball Classic

Finals Schedule

Date Time Gm Away   Home Broadcast Attendance
03/21 Tue 10:00 1 Netherlands 3-4 Puerto Rico TBS,
J Sports
03/22 Wed 10:00 2 United States 2-1 Japan TBS,
J Sports
03/23 Thu 10:00 3 United States 8-0 Puerto Rico TV Asahi,
J Sports

Times in Japan Standard Time.

Useful Links: WBC Official Site, WBC Scoreboard, WBC Schedule, WBC Official Site (JPN)



[3/6/2017] Samurai Japan news and notes

Updates from March 6

  • Ayumu Ishikawa is slated to get the start against Cuba on March 7. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2017
  • Shogo Akiyama was hit by a pitch on his right foot during a practice game against Hanshin on March 3. He was allowed to end his day early today and return to the team hotel for treatment. He is not expected to miss any games. Source: Sports Hochi 3/6/2017, Sponichi 3/6/2017
  • Takahiro Norimoto was able to participate in practices today. He could make an appearance out of the bullpen against Cuba. Source: Sponichi 3/6/2017
  • Ryo Akiyoshi might end up becoming the primary closer. Source: Sponichi 3/6/2017

[3/4/2017] Samurai Japan: Motohiro Shima replaced by Ginjiro Sumitani

Motohiro Shima held a press conference at a hotel in Osaka earlier today and announced that he was withdrawing from the World Baseball Classic. Ginjiro Sumitani will replace Shima on the roster. He has been assigned the uniform number 9.

Shima told reporters that he decided to withdraw from the tournament because he was unable to contribute at full strength. The catcher has struggled with leg tightness and pain in his right calf.

Source: Samurai Japan 3/4/2017, Samurai Japan 3/4/2017


[3/3/2017] Samurai Japan WBC Notes from March 3

Samurai Japan updates from March 3.

  • Takahiro Norimoto was considered the top candidate to start the first game of the World Baseball Classic, but may have lost the opportunity after he gave up three runs during a three-inning stint against the CPBL on February 28. Samurai Japan might instead turn to Ayumu Ishikawa, who turned in a solid performance against the CPBL on March 1. If Ishikawa does get the start, Norimoto could be pushed back to the first game of the second round. Source: ZakZak 3/3/2017
  • Hiroki Kokubo was open to the idea of giving Norimoto a chance to pitch in another game before the start of the WBC, but the right-hander told him it was unnecessary. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017 … According to a Sanspo from March 4, Norimoto is scheduled to make an appearance against Orix on March 5. Source: Sanspo 3/4/2017 … Norimoto will pitch two innings out of the bullpen during a tune-up appearance on March 5. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2017
  • Shintaro Fujinami might see some action during the first game of the WBC. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017
  • Motohiro Shima (right calf) will most likely be replaced by Ginjiro Sumitani. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017, Daily Sports 3/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017
  • Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Kansai University emeritus professor, believes the economic impact of Japan winning the WBC will be about 34.3 billion yen. The estimate would have been 39.2 billion yen if Shohei Otani was on the roster. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2017
  • According to a report by Tokyo Sports, Ichiro turned down an offer to play for Samurai Japan because he was not confident about his ability to take on the responsibilities of representing Japan. Source: Tokyo Sports 3/3/2017

[3/3/2017] Practice Game: WBC Cuba vs Orix

WBC Cuba vs Orix on March 3

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
WBC Cuba 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3
Orix 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3

WBC Cuba

  • Lazaro Blanco started the game and allowed a run on four hits over four innings. He threw seventy-three pitches.
  • Vladimir García relieved Blanco and gave up a run overtwo innings.
  • The offense scored three runs on seven hits.
  • Alexander Ayala recorded a two-run single to left in the eighth inning. Three batters later, William Saavedra drove in the third run with a ground out to third. All three runs came with Kazumasa Yoshida on the mound.
  • Frederich Cepeda (dh, 3rd) went 1-for-4: G5, G4, Fo2, 1B7.
  • Alfredo Despaigne (lf, 4th) went 0-for-4: Kl, F3, G6, F9.
  • Frank Morejon (c, 8th) went 3-for-3: 1B1, 1B8, 1B8.


  • The pitching staff held WBC Cube to three hits over the first seven innings. They gave up three runs on four hits in the eighth inning.
  • Takahiro Matsuba started the game and recorded three shutout innings. He allowed one hit.
  • Yuki Nishi relieved Matsuba and retired the side in order on six pitches. Source: Sponichi 3/4/2017, Sanspo 3/4/2017
  • The offense scored three runs on twelve hits.
  • The Buffaloes took a 1-0 lead on a sac fly to right by Hikaru Ito off Lazaro Blanco with the bases loaded (Stefen Romero BB, T-Okada 1B8, Eiichi Koyano 1B7) and one out in the fourth inning. Ito also drove in the second run of the game with an RBI single to center off Vladimir García in the sixth inning. Source: Daily Sports 3/3/2017
  • Kohei Suzuki drove in Orix’s third run with a squeeze bunt in the seventh inning.
  • Ito had a chance for a walk-off when he stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning with runners on first and second and two out. He ended up flying out to right.
  • Shunta Goto (cf, 9th) went 3-for-3: 1B7, BB, 1B6, 1B7.

Sources: Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/3/2017, Sports Hochi 3/3/2017, Daily Sports 3/3/2017


[3/2/2017] Samurai Japan: Time might be running out for Motohiro Shima

Motohiro Shima is taking things a little slow because of some tight in his legs. WBC Manager Hiroki Kokubo is exploring the possibility of giving Shima an inning during a practice game against Orix on March 5. If the catcher’s condition does not improve, Kokubo might consider a replacement. Ginjiro Sumitani is a possibility.

Kokubo would like to have three healthy catchers on the roster because it will give him the option to burn through a catcher with a pinch-hitter and still have a back-up in case of an injury.

Source: Daily Sports 3/2/2017, Sports Hochi 3/2/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/2/2017, Sponichi 3/2/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/2/2017

[UPDATE 3/3 @ 10:19pm]

Shima is still not fully recovered from his right calf injury (tightness). He told reporters after practices on March 2 that he could probably play if needed, but not at full strength. He also indicated that he was concerned he might do more harm than good. There is a good chance he will be replaced.

Source: Sponichi 3/3/2017, ZakZak 3/3/2017

[UPDATE 3/6 @ 11:04pm]

Shima rejoined to the Rakuten Eagles today at Kurashiki Muscat Stadium. He played catch, took batting practices, and participated in infield drills. Masataka Nashida would like to see him ready to play in games some where around March 20.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/6/2017, Daily Sports 3/6/2017

[UPDATE 3/15 @ 1:17am]

Shima is currently slated to play in his first exhibition game on March 16 against Hiroshima at Shizuoka. Takayuki Kishi is scheduled to start the game. Nashida wants to give the catcher a chance to catch Kishi for about two innings. Shima told reporters he was close to 100 percent in everything, other than running.

Source: Sponichi 3/14/2017, Daily Sports 3/14/2017

[UPDATE 3/16 @ 9:54pm]

Shima played in an exhibition game against Hiroshima on March 16. He started at catcher, batted eighth, and played three innings. He struck out swinging in his only at bat in the third inning.


[2/25/2017] Seiichi Uchikawa leaves games early with bruised right shoulder

Seiichi Uchikawa suffered an injury when he crashed into Ayatsugu Yamashita at first base during today’s practice game against the Softbank Hawks. Uchikawa could not catch a low throw from catcher Seiji Kobayashi on a bunt and was attempting to retrieve the ball when he crashed into Yamagshita running toward first.

A stretcher was brought out onto the field, but Uchikawa was able to get up and walk with help from a trainer. He was taken to a hospital in Miyazaki for tests (x-ray and MRI) and was diagnosed with a bruised right shoulder. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Daily Sports 2/25/2017, Daily Sports 2/25/2017Nikkan Sports 2/25/2017, Nikkan Sports 2/25/2017, Sponichi 2/25/2017, Sponichi 2/25/2017

[UPDATE 3/1 @ 12:31pm]

Uchikawa made it into the CPBL game on February 28 as a pinch-hitter and popped out to second. He is feeling better, but still has reservations about throwing the ball.

Source: Sponichi 3/1/2017


[2/24/2017] February 25 Samurai Japan Starting Line-up

Softbank vs WBC Japan on February 25

Starting line-up

  1. Tetsuto Yamada dh
  2. Ryosuke Kikuchi 2b
  3. Hayato Sakamoto ss
  4. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo lf
  5. Sho Nakata 1b
  6. Seiya Suzuki rf
  7. Nobuhiro Matsuda 3b
  8. Shota Ono c
  9. Shogo Akiyama cf
  10. Shota Takeda sp

(Kodai Senga is scheduled to follow Takeda)

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/24/2017


[2/18/2017] Nikkan Sports: Ishikawa could get start against Cuba

According to Nikkan Sports, there is a good chance Lotte’s Ayumi Ishikawa will get the first start of the World Baseball Classic on March 7 against Cuba. He could then be followed by Yomiuri’s Tomoyuki Sugano on March 8 against Australia and Softbank’s Shota Takeda on March 10 against China. Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto could be available to pitch out of the bullpen on March 7 with his first start on either March 11 (tiebreaker, if necessary) or first game of the second round on March 12.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/18/2017

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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