WBC: Murata Injured, Kurihara to Stand In

» 21 March 2009 » In international baseball »

Japan cleanup hitter Shuichi Murata is out of the WBC with a pulled a hamstring, suffered rounding first on a single in Thursday night’s win over Korea. Despite replacing him in the game with scrub Yoshiyuaki Kamei, Japan won the game. Manager Tatsunori Hara has called on Hiroshima Carp infielder Kenta Kurihara to take Murata’s spot. Kurihara bats cleanup for Hiroshima but doesn’t have Murata’s power and hasn’t played much at third recently. 

Maybe Hara will have Kurihara DH and play Munenori Kawasaki or Yasuyuki Kataoka at third.

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  1. Patrick
    21/03/2009 at 5:49 pm Permalink

    Or Ogasawara at third and Uchikawa at first. It’d be a real shame to sit Uchikawa just because he’s a righty and so is Oswalt… Hey Hara, Uchikawa hit .351 against righties last year y’know? Anyways, third is going to be a real adventure from now on in.

  2. Patrick
    22/03/2009 at 12:21 am Permalink

    Hasn’t Ogasawara won a golden glove at third?

  3. Patrick
    22/03/2009 at 9:36 am Permalink

    Yeah, that’s another valid option. Uchikawa hit Japan’s only home run of the 2nd round as well.

  4. Patrick
    22/03/2009 at 10:41 pm Permalink

    If Japan wins tomorrow against Korea, it will be DESPITE Hara and not because of Hara.

    Could someone in the know answer a couple of questions for me:

    1. What did Ogasawara hit against lefties last year? He looks LOST against lefties and is Hara somehow ‘indebted’ to Ogasawara since they’re both Giants? Uchikawa is FAR better against lefties than ‘Guts’. Ogasawara looks overmatched – and ESPN has consistently commented on this – against lefties.

    2. I see that Fukudome had ZERO homeruns against lefties last year and the Cubs plan on benching him against lefties this year (platooning with Reed Johnson). So, same question: why is Hara INSISTING upon playing Fukudome against lefties? Korea looks GREAT against Japan when they start Bong ‘cuz he’s a very average (by MLB standards) lefty who’s – not surprisingly – tough on lefties (easy for right-handed hitters to hit Bong).

    3. What is up with playing the infield IN against the US in the 8th when Japan was up 2 runs? Even Steve Phillips was saying ‘I just don’t get it.’

  5. Patrick
    22/03/2009 at 11:31 pm Permalink

    Wasn’t Murata plying First in that game he got injured? Why in the heck was Hara playing Murata out of position to begin with??!!

  6. Patrick
    24/03/2009 at 12:11 am Permalink

    Well, congrats are due to Hara and Co. for winning an absolutely thrilling WBC final. Korea’s favorite Japanese player, Ogasawara played a big part in helping to keep the score close by striking out 3 times and stranding 6 runners (Johjima stranded 10, but didn’t strike out nearly as much and he THREW out a runner on a great peg!). Ogasawara’s only hit came off of an off-speed pitch and I don’t think he saw another off-speed pitch the rest of the night – yet, he flailed away mightily against 93-mph fastballs down the heart of the plate. Poor adjustments on his part. At least Hara sat Fukudome and Uchikawa repaid him BIG TIME for it. Gambatte Uchikawa-san!

    The fact that they pitched to Ichiro will be talked about for the decade or so. Ichiro officially became a legend tonight (as if he already wasn’t) and hopefully Lim will recover and play well for the Swallows. BJ Kim was already on the downside of his career and the gopher ball to Fukudome seem to accelerate that slide. Again, hopefully, the same fate won’t befall Lim – who looked pretty shaky out there tonight.

    Hara’s patience with Ichiro paid off – but unlike Ogasawara Ichiro was at least making contact! Japan’s patience at the plate paid off to a degree a some decent situational hitting would’ve made this game a lot less interesting (as in a blowout for Japan.

    Darvish is a stud, and Iwakuma’s composure and heart after giving up the bomb to Choo was amazing. Dice-K the mvp? Puhleeze! Iwakuma GOT Japan to the knockout round by beating Cuba in an elimination game, Dice-K stunk it up against the USA and Iwakuma kept Korea at bay for 7 tense, Japan-series intensity innings. Iwakuma was THE man and should have been the MVP.


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