Baseball: Puerto Rico ends Japan's reign, advances to championship with 3-1 win
Big League Stew -- Mar 18
Move over Japan, it's time for a new World Baseball Classic champion. Yes, the winners of the first two tournaments are headed home after being stifled by Puerto Rican pitching and some timely offense in a 3-1 loss in Sunday's semifinal at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The win gives Puerto Rico its first ever spot in the WBC final. It will play the winner of Monday's game between the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.
Mike Aviles started the scoring in the first with a RBI single that scored Irving Falu and Alex Rios added a two-run homer in the top of the seventh. Puerto Rico's pitching was also stellar as Mario Santiago - a 28-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand - pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings before he tweaked his arm on a throw to first and was removed from the game. The bullpen, however, had his back as Jose De La Torre, Xavier Cedeno, Randy Fontanez, J.C. Romero and Fernando Cabrera allowed only one run the rest of the way.
Japanese outfielder Selichi Uchikawa killed his team's biggest chance at a rally in the eighth inning when he was thrown out on a double steal attempt that overlooked one crucial detail - the runner in front of him wasn't running on the play. Uchikawa's gaffe went for the second out of the inning and limited Japan's haul to just one run.
Japan starter Kenta Maeda also struggled early, issuing two first-inning walks that led to Aviles' RBI single.
North Korea has fired its fourth missile in two days despite international condemnation against the tests. Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged a return to talks on the Korean peninsula to mitigate tensions. (Deutsche Welle )
Toru Hashimoto, co-head of Nippon Ishin No Kai (Japan Restoration Party), told Shintaro Ishihara, the other co-leader of the Japanese opposition party, on Sunday that he has no intention to withdraw his recent remarks that have triggered outrage both at home and abroad. (Jiji Press )
A possible solution to the increasing amount of contaminated water inside the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could be to pump groundwater into the sea before it gets into the reactor buildings, as planned by the plant operator, the head of international inspectors has said. (Kyodo )
A strong 6.1 earthquake has struck off the northern coast of Japan's main Honshu island, seismologists say, but no tsunami warning was issued and there are no immediate reports of damage. (news.com.au )
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)