It got late early in the final Pool 1 game as the Netherlands and Japan played to determine the top seed heading into the World Baseball Classic. The Abesed God Shinnosuke Abe hit two home runs in the second inning alone – a frame in which the Japanese pounded out eight runs to put this game out of reach early. Despite chipping away late in the game, Japan held on to win 10-6, heading to San Francisco as the top seed from the Far East pool.

Nobody likes to lose but the Dutch are still crashing the WBC semifinal party. Honkbal rolls on unbowed!

The Netherlands got on the board quickly when Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a home run, only to come out early as the game got out of hand in the second. Of note for the Dutch, young Xander Bogaerts made the start at third place, a shortstop by trade. Cue more Jurickson Profar speculation…

Despite lacking do-or-die stakes, more than 30000 filled the Tokyo Dome to cheer on the two-time defending World Baseball Classic champions. They head to the semis in a good position, holding the top seed and potentially missing out on the powerhouse Dominican team until the final. Assuming, of course, the DR emerges from the Miami bracket ahead of team USA, Italy, and Puerto Rico.

Other than home field advantage, there isn’t much to gain as the first seed compared to the second. As this edition of the WBC shows, any team can win a single game – no matter how much of a mismatch it appears. Getting to bat last is about as much as you can ask for.

Comments (6)

  1. Japans White Unies Suck

    And hope they win the final WBC this year, and that it all goes away……at least in this format.

    • Why do you hate fun?

      • I love the idea of a WBC, i just hate how its set up. Most of the big names are just starting to get into playing shape, the pitch count limits and what not put in place because of that really kills part of “the fun”
        then you look at the fact that most of the best players dont go out? Wa?
        Can you pitcher a day in early 2009, seeing Sid go, “well, I wanna play for Canada in the Olympics, but I really need to focus on getting my passing down before the start of the season, so will have to pass this year.”

        Now, if they reform the idea, and make it in late Oct, or Nov (ideal), well that would be great imo… wouldn’t see as many players drop out, you would see more interest from fans, you would see the real WBC, not this kinda worlds best players ball we are seeing this year.

        • Please explain to me how November is more ideal. I would think you would have more guys passing on an event in November because they just finished a long season, they’re sore, they’re tired, they want to see their families, they want a vacation, etc.

          Heck, the four teams that make the LCS would have played 170 games when those ended. If they’re the final four, it probably means they’re good which means they have good players. I think a week after their playoffs ended, they’d prefer to sit on the beach or home on the couch.

          Maybe I’m mistaken on that, but I’m of the opinion participation would be lower in November than in March.

          • Up until a few years ago (I think the last one was 2010 but I could be wrong, anyone can correct?) MLB would send an all-star team over to Japan for a two-week exhibition tour. And it worked fine. So if the all-star players are/were willing to do that for the past however many years they can play the World Baseball Classic in November.

            • Filling a roster of 25-30 MLB players of all nationalities for a tour of Japan in November is probably easy.

              Filling the rosters of 16 national teams with MLB players for a tournament in November is quite different. Among the reasons I said earlier, what about free agents who haven’t signed a contract? They ain’t gonna play either. So like I said, if they’re sore, they’re tired, they got no contract or they just wanna go home, I’d see participation lower in November.

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