It’s been a tough week end for Team WBSC in the Asia Baseball Winter League: 3 losses, 2 against Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and one against Japan Amateur Baseball Association (JABA).
On Sunday, 3 December, Team WBSC was outscored, 15-0, by KBO. Starter Gabe Perez (Dominican Republic) was off a bad start and offense could produce only 4 hits.
“The team looks tired” said bench coach Andrea D’Auria “And we are short on pitching”.
Team WBSC had to give up on pitchers Tommy Lawrence (USA), Nolan Becker (USA) and Ryan Kussmaul (USA) and put on disabled list pitchers Evan Beal (USA; arm problems) and Brett Lee (USA; gastro intestinal problems).
JABA beat, 7-1, Team WBSC on Monday, 4 December.
Reliever turned into starter Sarianides (USA) went into trouble after 2 and the call to the bullpen to DeJulio didn’t prove effective, since the newcomer gave up back to back doubles.
Team WBSC outhit (9 to 8) JABA and had a chance to get back into the game with runners at third and second and no one out, down 1-5 in the fifth. Team WBSC couldn’t produce a run and didn’t have another chance.
Lefthander Takuro Sugio (born 1986, Japan) joined Team WBSC before the game against KBO scheduled on Tuesday, 5 December. Sugio played in the Japanese Indipendent League and spent 2 seasons in Europe: 2014 in Austria and 2015 in Germany.
Sugio made his debut out of the bullpen after starter Kimborowicz (USA) had given up the lead. KBO had a 2 out rally in the fifth, worth 5 runs, and didn’t need to look back: KBO won 8-3.
Team WBSC will add one more pitcher to the roster: rightander Scott Harkin (USA). Born in 1991, Harkin played in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system and in Independent Leagues both in the USA and in Japan. He will join the team on Wednesday, 6 December, a rest day for Team WBSC.
The next 3 games, one against Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) on Friday, 8 December and 2 against Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) West, Thursday, 7 December and on Saturday, 9 December, are going to be a key to Team WBSC future in the tournament.
“The fact CPBL beat NPB East doesn’t help” commented WBSC manager Steve Janssen “But it’s true, the next 3 games are going to decide everything”
In the last 4 games of the regular season Team WBSC will face NPB East 2 times, KBO and JABA.
The standings after the games played on Tuesday, 5 December
JABA 7 wins-1 loss-1 tie
KBO 7 wins-3 losses
NPB East, CPBL 4-5
NPB West 3-6