Related News

Home » Sports » Baseball

Darvish to start against China

JAPAN manager Tatsunori Hara said yesterday that right-hander Yu Darvish would be the starting pitcher against China in his team's opening game of the World Baseball Classic.

Japan will begin its defense of the WBC today at Tokyo Dome.

"Yu Darvish is going to start," Hara said yesterday. "His condition has been getting better and better as we get closer to the tournament and I'm excited to watch him pitch the first game for Japan."

The 22-year-old Darvish was 16-4 with a 1.88 ERA last season for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

In his only previous international experience, Darvish pitched for Japan at the Beijing Olympics but gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings as Japan was beaten 2-4 by Cuba in the preliminary round.

Japan, which finished fourth in Beijing, has five major league players on its roster, including Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox.

Japan is in Pool A of the 16-nation tournament, with Olympic gold medalist South Korea, China and Chinese Taipei providing the opposition.

The top two teams advance to the second round, which will be played in the United States along with the final on March 23 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

China is managed by former major league manager Terry Collins, who also has managerial experience in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes.

Suzuki has been struggling at the plate in tuneup matches but Collins said China must keep the Seattle star in check.

"Ichiro is the inspirational leader of the team," said Collins. "He for sure is one of the guys we can't let do damage here. I know he has been struggling but it's only spring training."

Meanwhile, South Korea manager Kim In-suk says the Cleveland Indians will decide whether outfielder Choo Shin-soo plays in the WBC.

Choo has soreness in his left elbow and may not be in the starting lineup when South Korea faces Chinese Taipei in its first game tomorrow.

"I have to respect the decision of the Indians," Kim said yesterday. "We may use him just as a designated hitter and not in the outfield but ultimately the decision lies with his MLB team."

Choo is the only major leaguer on South Korea's roster. The Olympic gold medalist was hoping to use Choo to fill the void left by Lee Seung-yeop.

Lee, who was a standout in the 2006 WBC and the Olympics, is skipping this year's tournament to prepare for the upcoming season with the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese league.

Choo had 14 homers, 66 RBI and a .309 batting average last season for the Indians.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend