What else would we at Walkoff Walk do except provide a recap of a game that happened 10,000 miles away while we were sleeping and didn't watch? Team Japan, playing on their home turf at the Tokyo Dome, took down Team China 4-0 in the opening game of the WBC. Pitcher Yu Darvish held the Chinese hitless for four innings before being pulled due to extreme boredom. Shuichi Murata hit a two-run happy jack in the third inning off China starter Chenhau Li, part of a three-run outburst that basically decided the game.
So, how did the MLB representatives for Team Japan fare?
Ichiro, who batted only 3-for-23 in exhibitions leading up to the tournament, went 0-for-5 while fellow Major Leaguers Kosuke Fukudome (0-for-0, 4 BB, 1 R), Kenji Johjima (0-for-2) and Akinori Iwamura (0-for-4) also went hitless.
There's only one explanation for these four players going a collective 0-for-11: they're too Americanized! Fat and lazy! Coca-Cola and Lee Jeans! Need better work ethic! Still, that Fukudome character can take a pitch, amirite?
Team Japan will next take on the winner of tomorrow's South Korea-Chinese Taipei tilt, while China takes on the loser. If Japan wins again, they advance. If China loses again, they're doneskis. This iteration of the WBC is double elimination; it's not following the silly round-robin format from three years ago that allowed Japan to lose two games in Round Two and win the whole sack of potatoes.