Considering that the American team will consist of all above average hitters, one would think they would focus on team defense. Yesterday’s loss to Japan was prime example of how not to do a lineup. My biggest gripe was starting Derek Jeter over Jimmy Rollins on shortstop and letting Rollins DH. Yankee fans, please over the fact that Derek Jeter isn’t that great on offense nor defense when compared to Rollins (who went 4-4 last night plus a walk). With Rollins filling DH, that left Adam Dunn, who should never ever play the field for any team… ever, in right field instead of Shane Victorino.
Japan exploited the hell out of Dunn at right, getting 2 sacrifice flies and an Ichiro RBI where Dunn pretty much gave up fielding the ball. Contrast that when Ichiro plays right field. Jeter also flubbed a throw to DeRosa on the top of the ninth which extended Japan’s lead to something less manageable.
Another head-scratching moment is when Davey Johnson decided to use Evan Longoria instead of Shane Victorino to pinch hit in the ninth. At that time, the US was down 2 with a man on third with one out. I had no problem with Longoria batting (he struck out), anyone could have went for the sacrifice fly. But as a result that leaves Dunn on the field and Victorino in for Granderson in the 9th.
I’m kind of mixed about keeping Oswalt in the game, considering just over the weekend I predicted he would deliver. The bullpen, while not exactly Papelbon-Lidge-Nathan, are full of specialists who could probably stop the bleeding in the 5th.
Casual fans believe that in baseball anything could happen. Yesterday’s game was not one of those random results. The US committed three errors and gave up 4 unearned runs. One could make the excuse that the US didn’t have their best team out there. Then again, Korea’s “best” has only one major league player and they are in the finals. Hopefully, for 2012 there’s a new date for the game so more players would participate and less players get “injured”.
Now we have to put another Japan-Korea grudge match. Korea talks shit about Japan. Japan doesn’t do anything about it. So repetitive.