Friday, May 9, 2008

Posting Hiatus Continued

I've still been playing games each day, but there hasn't been enough time to post. We had a few friends from Taiwan over this evening, and we're going up tomorrow afternoon to my parents' house in Salt Lake City tomorrow for the weekend. As such, I doubt I'll get in any post until Sunday evening, at the earliest. Sorry again for this! Real life, unfortunately, takes priority over online life. And, hey, we're still only in May; there's still plenty of pennant race left.

I recently bought a used copy of the 1985 Strat-o-matic cards on Ebay. I got them yesterday and played my first game, Cardinals at Mets, today. Dwight Gooden struck out 16 in a complete game win. It was a lot more entertaining than playing with the newer (2005 and 2007) Strat seasons. I just get so tired of changing pitchers every inning! Anyway, now I own both the '85 APBA and Strat seasons. Gooden's Strat card is just simply wicked, with Ks all over columns 4 and 6, and that A&C XY APBA card (I think there's also a Z, but I don't have the card in front of me) is pretty intimidating, too.

Anyway, until Sunday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sorry for lack of update

Sorry for not updating yesterday and today. As my schoolwork load has increased, everything extra has temporarily gone on hold. Hopefully I'll be able to update tomorrow, though I'm not making any promises.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5th, 2008 Wenzhou at Suzhou

It's a bit late now, so my writeups weren't especially good. My apologies.

May 5th, 2008

Wenzhou Merchants at Suzhou Artisans

SUZHOUSuzhou blew an excellent chance to take sole possession of first place in the Southeastern League today, as last place Wenzhou surprised everybody with a 10-inning win.

Down 3-1 in their half of the 8th, Wenzhou began to strike back. Babe Hermans’ single to right brought the deficit down to a single run. In the top of the ninth, the rallying continued. Wenzhou used a total of 5 pinch hitters and one pinch runner to manufacture the tying run.

With the score knotted at 3 in the top of the 10th inning, the hapless Merchants suddenly exploded for four runs. Two walks, a double, another walk, a single, and Suzhou’s chances looked slim.

Dale Murphy hit a three-run shot in the bottom of the tenth to bring the score within one, but it proved to be too little, too late. And thus, Vida Blue’s excellent start (three hits in seven innings) was wasted, and the chance to capitalize on a Nanjing loss was lost.

The win was Wenzhou’s third of the season, against 13 losses.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Beijing Mets 4, Harbin Icecaps 3 At Beijing. Grantham’s two run homer in the bottom of the 8th secured a win for first-place Beijing.

Nishinomiya Tigers 7, Seoul Blue Dragons 6 At Seoul

Shenyang Defenders 5, Beijing Red Dragons 4 (10) At Beijing. Shenyang’s ten-inning victory put them tied for second place with Tokyo, three games behind the red-hot Mets.

Tianjin Lions 8, Tokyo Giants 6 At Tianjin

Southeastern League

Ningbo Stallions 2, Nanjing Monarchs 1 At Nanjing. Ningbo twirler Bozo Wakabayashi held the Monarchs at bay.

Hefei Hope Stars 5, Shanghai Red Sox 4 (11) At Shanghai

Hangzhou Eagles 6, Shanghai White Sox 4 (11) At Shanghai

Northwestern League

Jinan Leopards 3, Luoyang White Horse 1 At Jinan

Zhengzhou Dragons 6, Lanzhou Refiners 1 At Lanzhou

Xi’an Wild Geese 2, Taiyuan Kylin 1 At Taiyuan

Southwestern League

Chengdu Spice 3, Yunnan Bulls 2 (10) At Chengdu

Chongqing Fog 3, Lhasa Monks 2 At Chongqnig

Taibei Brother Elephants 5, Fuzhou Whales 4 At Fuzhou

Xianggang Reds 4, Guangzhou Fire 3 At Guangzhou

May 4th, 2008 Harbin at Beijing

May 4th, 2008

Harbin Icecaps at Beijing Mets

BEIJING – Seventh place Harbin feasted on Beijing pitching this afternoon, defeating the hometown Mets 11-3 in a laughter.

At the beginning, the odds appeared in Beijing’s favor. Harbin started Ben McDonald, who had been unimpressive in his pervious three starts. Beijing, meanwhile, started Milt Pappas on the spot (due to Dizzy Dean’s injury), hoping for another good performance from their half-reliever, half-starter.

The pitching matchup didn’t last long, as Pappas was knocked out in the third, having given up six runs in the first three innings. Harbin didn’t stop there, either, as they put up two tallies in the top of the fifth and three in the top of the eighth. The impressive offensive outburst included two long home runs by Icecap slugger Jim Thome, who now has three on the season.

Ben McDonald was more impressive than anticipated, giving up only 3 runs on 5 hits in 8 full innings of work.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Seoul Blue Dragons 11, Nishinomiya Tigers 8 At Seoul. The last place Blue Dragons embarrassed Nishinomiya. The Tigers are now one game under .500, and 6 games out of first place.

Beijing Red Dragons 7, Shenyang Defenders 3 At Shenyang

Tokyo Giants 9, Tianjin Lions 7 At Tianjin. Tokyo inched another step closer to first place, as they came from behind to beat the Lions.

Southeastern League

Nanjing Monarchs 10, Ningbo Stallions 7 At Nanjing. The Monarchs exploded for 5 in their half of the fifth inning, overcoming an early 2-1 deficit and holding on to a first-place tie with Suzhou.

Hefei Hope Stars 3, Shanghai Red Sox 1 At Shanghai

Shanghai White Sox 8, Hangzhou Eagles 3 At Shanghai

Suzhou Artisans 5, Wenzhou Merchants 1 At Wenzhou. Kevin Millwood pitched a gem for the Artisans, giving up only a single run on four hits in a complete game effort against the last-place Merchants. Suzhou remains tied for first place with Nanjing.

Northwestern League

Jinan Leopards 5, Luoyang White Horse 3 At Jinan. Ed Walsh threw a complete game in support of Luoyang’s losing cause. Jinan remains tied for second place with Lanzhou, two games behind league leading Wuhan.

Lanzhou Refiners 7, Zhengzhou Dragons 6 (11) At Lanzhou. Chipper Jones drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eleventh, as Luoyang won their fifth straight.

Taiyuan Kylin 3, Xi’an Wild Geese 2 (13) At Taiyuan. A potential marathon was avoided, as Xi’an reliever Tom Gordon gave up a base hit, a stolen base, an intentional walk, an unintentional walk and then a wild pitch to give the game away.

Wuhan Turtles 6, Urumqi Flying Tigers 4 At Wuhan. Wuhan starter Smokey Joe Wood was unable to pitch following an 80 minute rain delay, but the Turtles managed their bullpen exceptionally well, earning the win and remaining in first place.

Southwestern League

Yunan Bulls 5, Chengdu Spice 2 At Chengdu.

Lhasa Monks 7, Chongqing Fog 2 At Chongqing. Lhasa secured another offense-powered victory, overwhelming Chongqing pitching.

Fuzhou Whales 14, Taibei Brother Elephants 4 At Fuzhou. Taibei starter Tom Glavine didn’t get out of the first inning, giving up 6 runs while only earning two outs. (Similar to this start, no?)

Guangzhou Fire 4, Xianggang Reds 1 At Guangzhou

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Team Review: Taiyuan Kylin

I'm finally back with another team review! I thought I'd have these done by now, but, as it stands, I'm not even halfway through. It's harder than you think to write this sort of thing up for 32 teams.

Once again, in the interest of time, I have chosen to make this process quicker by not linking to the players on Baseball Reference, Japan Baseball Daily or other stat sites. I'm trying to cut this process down from around an hour per team, and these team reviews don't seem to be extremely popular anyway. Furthermore, there are a few Negro Leaguers who are literally impossible to locate online. However, if you're absolutely dying to learn more about each player, I recommend browsing a few of the links on the right.

Anyway, here we go with the Taiyuan Kylin:


Taiyuan is located in Shanxi province (not Shaanxi), a bit south and quite a ways west from Beijing. The team is named "Kylin" after the Chinese Basketball Association Shaanxi Kylin, which complicates things a bit. With characters, the difference between Shanxi "山西" and Shanxi "陕西" is easy to distinguish, but it's not possible with any romanization system. Hence, the second "a" in Shaanxi. Anyway, a Kylin is a mythical Chinese bird.

Taiyuan plays in Wrigley Field, renamed Wutai Field.

1. Cy Young
2. Dazzy Vance
3. Steve Carlton
4. Andy Benes
5. Charlie Root
SS. Daisuke Matsuzaka
SS. Hooks Wiltse
SS. Curt Davis
SS. Double Duty Radcliffe
SS. Dave Righetti

As usual, Diamond Mind's default Computer Manger makes spot starters out of the entire bullpen. This is no problem, of course, though I can't imagine any self-respecting big league manager carrying a list of five spot starters around.

Like most Japanese players in this league, Matsuzaka is based on his excellent Japanese statistics, not his American ones. Those stats haven't done him much good, though, as the CM has only used him for 3 innings thus far. Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe had that nickname because he was both pitcher and catcher in the Negro Leagues. He hasn't caught yet in this league, though.

Hitoki Iwase

Once again, the rest of the bullpen can be found as Spot Starters.

1 Peewee Reese SS / Shigeru Chiba 2B
2 Shigeru Chiba 2B / Vic Harris LF
3 Joe DiMaggio CF
4 Willie McCovey 1B
5 Lonnie Smith LF / Bob Abreu RF
6 Kip Selbach RF / Robin Ventura 3B
7 George Kell 3B / Peewee Reese SS
8 Hank Gowdy C / Biz Mackey C

There are so few lefty starters in this league that you can forget the starting lineup on the left hand side. In my mind, that ought to work in Taiyuan's favor, because that gives fewer starts to the inept Lonnie Smith.

Dink Mothel
Dave Malarcher
Michiyo Arito
Freddy Lindstrom
Atsushi Nagaike
Roy Sievers
Sam Rice

Taiyuan is currently in sixth place in the Northwestern League, with a 7-9 record, four games out of first. They have scored 76 runs and given up 80. Steve Carlton leads Kylin starters with a 2-0 record and a 2.70 ERA. Cy Young comes in close behind, with a 1-0 record and a 1.88 ERA. Still, that and an effective bullpen haven't been enough to compensate for the awful pitching of Davis, Root and Benes.

As one would expect, Joe DiMaggio is hitting very well, at .319 / .324 / .493 in 69 at-bats. Still, it's not enough to carry the entire team, which has been hitting at a .256 clip, seventh in the league.

It's interesting to see how different teams have different personalities, by the way. Last in the Northwestern League in batting are the Zhengzhou Dragons, who, conversely, lead the league by far with 27 stolen bases.


Here are text files for the league standings thus far:

Northeastern League

Northwestern League

Southeastern League

Southwestern League

May 3rd, 2008 Luoyang at Wuhan

May 3rd, 2008

Luoyang White Horse at Wuhan Turtles

WUHAN – A tight pitchers duel exploded in the final innings, as both teams combined for seven runs in the 8th and 9th. The visiting White Horse held on to win, 6-5, bringing them within 2 ½ games of first place.

Originally, the story of the afternoon was a pitching duel between Luoyang’s Robin Roberts and Wuhan’s Bob Rush. Neither pitcher was brilliant, but they were nonetheless effective, Roberts giving up only 2 runs in 6, and Rush only 2 in 7.

The late inning scoring started with the Turtle’s bottom of the 8th. Wuhan gave reliever Rick Honeycutt an unfriendly greeting, as Frog Redus and Mark McGwire hit back-to-back homers to left. With a 4-2 lead at home, and ace John Smoltz on the mound, the game looked safe.

Smoltz, however, quickly gave up the lead. Nish Williams hit a leadoff double, and was driven in on the very next pitch by Jeff Kent’s deep drive to left. Mike Stanton came on in relief, got one out, and then it all fell apart. A walk to Bob Johnson was followed by Wild Bill Wright’s triple and Ben Taylor’s single. By the time the inning was over, four runners came across for the visitors, and a 4-2 lead had suddenly become a 6-4 deficit.

Wuhan kept it close, with a solo homer by Fielder Jones in their half of the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Beijing Mets 9, Nishinomiya Tigers 1 At Beijing

Seoul Blue Dragons 5, Harbin Icecaps 1 At Seoul

Shenyang Defenders 5, Tokyo Giants 4 At Shenyang. The Giants fell to three games behind the Beijing Mets with this loss, their first after winning ten in a row.

Tianjin Lions 12, Beijing Red Dragons 8 At Tianjin

Southeastern League

Nanjing Monarchs 3, Wenzhou Merchants 2 (10) At Nanjing. Nanjing propelled themselves into a first place tie with Suzhou with this victory. Sandy Koufax pitched a 10-inning complete game, mowing down 13 Merchant hitters in the process.

Shanghai Red Sox 5, Hangzhou Eagles 3 At Shanghai. The Eagles lost their second straight and fell to second place.

Shanghai White Sox 7, Hefei Hope Stars 4 At Shanghai.

Ningbo Stallions 9, Suzhou Artisans 4 At Suzhou.

Northwestern League

Urumqi Flying Tigers 10, Jinan Leopards 5 At Jinan

Lanzhou Refiners 12, Xi’an Wild Geese 7 At Lanzhou

Zhengzhou Dragons 4, Taiyuan Kylin 3 At Taiyuan

Southwestern League

Lhasa Monks 1, Chengdu Spice 0 At Chengdu. Despite the fact that they lead the world in runs scored (124 after 16 games), Lhasa showed that they can win low-scoring games as well, their only run coming on a walk, a bunt and a double.

Xianggang Reds 9, Fuzhou Whales 3 At Fuzhou

Taibei Brother Elephants 2, Guangzhou Fire 1 (10) At Guangzhou

May 2nd, 2008: Taibei at Guangzhou

Sorry for not posting this last night. It was a long night. At least the Jazz won!

May 2nd, 2008

Taibei Brother Elephants at Guangzhou Fire

GUANGZHOU – Taibei won its fifth straight game, bursting suddenly into first place in the Southwestern League, by defeating Guangzhou on the road, 2-1.

The game was marked by god pitching on both sides. Taibei starter John Donaldson went seven innings, giving up only a single run on five hits and racking up nine strikeouts in his best start of the season. Nolan Ryan, Guangzhou’s starter, was equal to the task, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings.

Taibei’s winning run came in the top of the sixth inning, as Michihiro Ogasaawra lined a base hit to right field with two outs. After Gabby Hartnett, the next batter, stuck out, the rains fell, and the game was delayed for another hour.

Taibei’s record is now 10-4, as they have won their last five in a row. Guangzhou fell to 8-8 and currently hold fifth place.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Beijing Mets 6, Nishinomiya Tigers 4 At Beijing

Tokyo Giants 4, Shenyang Defenders 3 At Shenyang. The Giants have now won ten straight.

Southeastern League

Nanjing Monarchs 5, Wenzhou Merchants 4 (11) At Nanjing

Shanghai White Sox 4, Hefei Hope Stars 2 At Shanghai

Suzhou Artisans 3, Ningbo Stallions 2 At Suzhou

Northwestern League

Urumqi Flying Tigers 8, Jinan Leopards 4 At Jinan

Lanzhou Refiners 10, Xi’an Wild Geese 7 At Lanzhou

Taiyuan Kylin 6, Zhengzhou Dragons 2 At Taiyuan

Wuhan Turtles 4, Luoyang Wild Horse 2 At Wuhan

Southwestern League

Chengdu Spice 3, Lhasa Monks 2 At Chengdu

Chongqing Fog 8, Yunnan Bulls 5 At Chongqing

Fuzhou Whales 7, Xianggang Reds 4 At Fuzhou

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1st, 2008 Urumqi at Lanzhou

A friend of my wife's is visiting tonight, so this will be a shorter post. Enjoy!

May 1st, 2008

Urumqi Flying Tigers at Lanzhou Refiners

LANZHOU – After a huge six-run first inning outburst, Lanzhou held on to beat the visiting Flying Tigers by a 11-8 score.

Good pitching was in short supply this afternoon. Both teams used a combined total of 10 pitchers, gave up 26 hits in all, including 19 runs total. Somehow, Urumqi was able to score 8 runs despite not drawing a walk the entire afternoon.

Six home runs were hit in all, including two for unheralded Urumqi slugger Turkey Stearnes. Stearnes, who hits behind legendary slugger Babe Ruth, hit his third and fourth homers of the season in a losing cause.

Lanzhou’s win didn’t help them much in the Northwestern League standings, as both first place Wuhan and second place Jinan won. Urumqi, despite all the slugging and an extremely hitter friendly ballpark, fell to seventh place.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Beijing Red Dragons 5, Beijing Mets 0 At Mets. The Mets’ nine game winning streak ended at the hand of their cross-town rivals. Red Dragons ace Hisashi Yamada out-dueled Lefty Grove, holding the potent Mets offense to a mere two hits.

Shenyang Defenders 9, Harbin Icecaps 2 At Shenyang

Nishinomiya Tigers 8, Tianjin Lions 4 (10) At Tianjin

Northwestern League

Jinan Leopards 9, Xi’an Wild Geese 3 At Jinan

Taiyuan Kylin 4, Luoyang White Horse 3 At Taiyuan

Wuhan Turtles 8, Zhengzhou Dragons 6 At Zhengzhou. The Dragons have now lost six in a row.

Southwestern League

Lhasa Monks 4, Chengdu Spice 1 At Chengdu

Chongqing Fog 6, Yunnan Bulls 1 At Chongqing

Fuzhou Whales 4, Xianggang Reds 3 At Fuzhou

Taibei Brother Elephants 7, Guangzhou Fire 3 At Guangzhou