Japan is getting pounded 8-4 by America as I type this... what a disappointing Olympics for Team Hoshino. Still, Korea and Cuba asserted themselves as winning countries, so I think it's not a bad result for the game of baseball.
Let's move on to the bullet points. I've got a couple stored up from the last few days.
- Hitoki Iwase got lit up to the tune of a 13.52 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of Olympic competition, taking 3 losses. On the plus side, his 7:1 K:BB ratio was strong. Nikkan Sports has the stats published for all the Olympic teams (Japanese only).
- I found a great blog entry about various NPB batters' stances. Click the 動画 link above each image to see video highlights on YouTube. My recommendations are Sadaharu Oh and Hitoshi Taneda.
- Colby Lewis made his return to the Hiroshima Carp on August 21, his first start since July 1. He held Hanshin scoreless in 5 2/3 but didn't pick up the win.
- Nagisa Arakaki set a new Japan record with five wild pitches in one game, including three in the fourth inning. This guy has great stuff and would dominate if he could do something about his control.
- Yu Darvish is heading back to Japan and scheduled to start on September 2 against Softbank.
- Sales of Kazuhiro Kiyohara goods are up 1000% since he announced his retirement.
- Unlike their male counterparts, the Japan woman's softball team took home the gold. I'm mentioning it here because Japan starter Yukiko Ueno pitched back-to-back complete games on consecutive days in the knock-out round, and according to this article threw 413 pitches over the two days. I find that number very hard to believe, even though the semi-final was an extra-inning game.
- Deanna posted some excellent photos of a recent Marines-Eagles game on her blog.
- Richard Deitsch picks on Senichi Hoshino in his Olympics Quote of the Day.
Well, in the time it took me to type this, Team USA sealed it's victory over Japan and clinched the gold medal. Well, the WBC is only nine months away...