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Sunday, May 30, 2021

How to Watch Olympic Baseball Qualifying

The team with the best record at the end of the WBSC Baseball Americas qualifying games wins an automatic bid to the Olympics. Meanwhile, the second- and third-best teams advance to face Australia, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands in a second qualifying tournament June 16-20 in Mexico with the winner earning the final qualifying bid….

Much like the Team USA basketball qualifiers, the WBCS Baseball Americas qualifying games will be broadcast on ESPN+…

Among the top prospects will be Red Sox duo Jarren Duran (outfield) and Triston Casas (first and third baseman), Cardinals pitcher Matt Liberatore and Blue Jays pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson.

US Schedule:

Date Opponent Time Channel
May 31 Nicaragua 7 p.m. ESPN+
June 1 Dominican Republic 7 p.m. ESPN+
June 2 Puerto Rico 7 p.m. ESPN+
June 4 Super Round Game (TBD) TBD ESPN+
June 5 Super Round Game (TBD) TBD ESPN+

That’s your relevant information. Mike Scioscia manages this nine with Dave Wallace as pitching coach. Despite being listed on the roster in the link Matt Wieters has been dropped from the roster but Scioscia said “he is on the radar if we move forward.”

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 30, 2021 at 05:37 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: olympic baseball, olympics

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   1. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 31, 2021 at 10:36 PM (#6021722)
US get the win 7-1 over Nicaragua. They were leaving a small village most of the night but a great defnesive play by Logan Forsythe in the 5th protected the lead and 1-2 hitters Luke Williams (3 for 3, 2 walks) and Jarren Duran (3 for 6) were great at the plate. Dominicans up next tomorrow night. In the other bracket Venezuela edged Cuba in a thriller and Canada pounded Colombia.

US 1-0
DR 1-0
PR 0-1
Nicaragua 0-1

Canada 1-0
Venezuela 1-0
Cuba 0-1
Colombia 0-1
   2. Gch Posted: June 01, 2021 at 02:35 AM (#6021749)
Canada pounded Colombia


And no hit them!

I watched the Puerto Rico / Dominican Republic game just to see Bautista hit again. That was fun but Juan Gonzalez’s bullpen management made most modern MLB managers look like John McGraw. It really made me appreciate the three batter rule.

The end to Cuba/Venezuela was crazy, with Cuba hitting a two run homer in the ninth to pull within one, only to have Alfredo Despaigne injure himself swinging A walkoff with the tying run on first and two outs. Cuba’s 19 year old backup catcher needed to finish the AB, and he predictably grounded out to finish it. The play by play announcer claimed it was the first time Venezuela had beaten Cuba in a “major tournament” since 1953.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s games. The three day round robin puts a lot of pressure on teams.
   3. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 01, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6021889)
Jarren Duran making quite an impression on Sciosia and the vets, hopefully he gets a flight directly to Fenway after the tournament.
   4. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 01, 2021 at 10:47 PM (#6021919)
Scioscia got himself tossed arguing a replay review that didn’t go his way on what would have been a three run homer for Todd Frazier.
   5. Gch Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#6021928)
Canada / Cuba is very interesting right now. Canada jumped out to a big lead but Cuba’s scored a few runs and Canada’s lead is now 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:34 PM (#6021932)
US wins so they are in the super round. Canada lead 6-3 now heading to the ninth so unless Cuba rallies the US will face either Venezuela or Canada. Big game tomorrow is at 1 with Nicaragua/Dominican Republic being winner take all.
   7. Gch Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:37 PM (#6021936)
The announcer just said that Canada has nobody warming up in their pen. Weird.

Edit: bottom ninth, still 6-3, and Scott Mathieson is still pitching for Canada.
   8. Gch Posted: June 02, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6021948)
John Axford made a terrible error to give Cuba their fifth run. This is a great game.

edit: and a strikeout eliminates Cuba. Wow.
   9. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 02, 2021 at 12:08 AM (#6021952)
Humdinger of a finish there. Canada tried their best to blow it.
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 02, 2021 at 08:29 AM (#6021979)
Fair amount of drama yesterday but it's left us without a lot on the line today. One huge game; DR-Nicaragua is winner take all for the super round.

USA 2-0
DR 1-1
Nicaragua 1-1
PR 0-2

Canada 2-0
Venezuela 2-0
Colombia 0-2
Cuba 0-2

The Super Round will be;

DR/Nicaragua winner at Canada/Venezuela winner
Canada/Venezuela loser at US

Both of those games will be Friday and the third place game and final on Saturday. Third place game is important because the runner up and third place teams advance to the Final Qualifying Tournament (snappy names these) later this month in Puebla, Mexico.

EDIT: And obviously the winner of the Super Round goes to the olympics.
   11. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 03, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6022336)
US-Puerto Rico game wasn't played yesterday, it's going on now (US up big). Don't know if it was a rainout or what. But we know the final standings as the US has the tiebreaker with the Dominicans after the Dominicans destruction of Nicaragua yesterday;

USA 2-0 (have won the group already by virtue of victory over Dominicans in round two)
DR 2-1
Nicaragua 1-2
Puerto Rico 0-2 (will finish last regardless of today's result by virtue of loss to Nicaragua in round two)

Venezuela 3-0
Canada 2-1
Cuba 1-2 (first time ever not qualifying for Olympics)
Colombia 0-3

Super Round Semi-Finals Saturday;
1PM Dominican Republic at Venezuela
7PM Canada at USA

Final Round Sunday;
1PM Third Place Game
7PM Championship Game

All games on ESPN+. Craig Durham (who I've never heard of) has done a really good job on the microphone. As proof I'd never heard of him I originally called him Chris Dunham.
Winning Saturday means that no matter what you still have a shot as the team that loses the final will be in the Final Qualifying Tournament in Mexico later this month.
   12. Gch Posted: June 03, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6022354)
Super Round Semi-Finals Saturday;
1PM Dominican Republic at Venezuela
7PM Canada at USA

Final Round Sunday;
1PM Third Place Game
7PM Championship Game


Is that actually the schedule? The WBSC website has Saturday the same, but Sunday is scheduled as:

1 PM Canada vs Dominican
7 PM USA vs Venezuela

The website also says “ The Super Round of the WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier opens with two games on Friday, 4 June, which could potentially be elimination games for the National Teams that start with 0-1 records, Dominican Republic and Canada. Group winners USA and Venezuela, both 1-0 to open the round, are in control of their Olympic destinies.”

I’m not sure why a they’re not doing elimination games.
   13. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 03, 2021 at 03:12 PM (#6022358)
You're right. WTF? Corrected schedule;

Super Round Day One;
1PM Dominican Republic at Venezuela
7PM Canada at USA

Super Round Day Two;
1 PM Canada vs Dominican
7 PM USA vs Venezuela

So it looks like the US and Venezuela are deemed to be 1-0 and DR and Canada 0-1. This seems like the worst possible way to do this but whatever makes you happy WSBC. Not sure why you wouldn't either do a semifinal/final (which honestly I just assumed) or if you are going to have a second group stage you didn't just do three games. Anyway, I just assumed which...oops. But you're right.
   14. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 03, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6022359)
Also today's US-PR game has been cancelled due to weather.
   15. Gch Posted: June 03, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6022418)
I suppose the upside is it prevents a scenario where Dominican Republic advances to the Olympics via a 1-1 record vs USA. But it really does seem unnecessarily convoluted.
   16. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6022586)
The Dominican Republic / Venezuela game was a 14-4 snoozer in favour of the DR, but it did have two plays that I’ve never seen before.

With runners on first and third, Jose Bautista hit a harmless fly to shallow RF for an out but it didn’t count. As the pitcher was starting his motion, the runner on first took off his batting glove and tried to throw it to the 1B coach. It landed in fair territory in front of the first baseman and the first base ump called time right before the pitch was released. Jose then had a long AB that ended with an RBI single, and the Dominican scored a few more in the inning after that.

Later, Dominican Republic was up by eight runs in the top of the ninth with a runner on base and Juan Francisco up. He hit a home run, and his teammates swarmed the field, thinking that he’d hit a top of the ninth walkoff home run. The umpires had to inform everyone that the mercy rule doesn’t exist in the Super Round. Whoops.

Bautista wound up going 3-4 with a double, a home run (another weird play, it barely got over the fence after bouncing off the leaping LF’s glove, then the LF had to be walked off the field by the trainer due to some sort of leg injury), and 3 RBI.

Tonight is Canada/USA. With Venezuela losing, Canada still has a vague mathematical chance of winning this thing. Canada will start Ryan Kellogg (career 4.02 ERA, mostly in A+, he threw 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in Canada’s start vs Cuba), USA starts Homer Bailey.
   17. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6022623)
Continuing the “I’ve never seen that before” theme of the day, Triston Casas for USA hit what looked like a home run, but the ball came to a rest on the top of the padded fence. The Canadian RF jumped up and grabbed the ball, then threw it in.

The umpires called it a home run, but after a replay review they sent Casas back to second, and the runner on first was allowed to score (even though he’d stopped at third when the throw came in).

Anyways, Ernie Whitt has managed this game to win tomorrow and Canada is losing 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.

Edit: Whitt is still protesting that Forsythe shouldn’t have scored, and some sort of rules documents are being passed around.
   18. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6022624)
Apparently Whitt is “protesting” quite formally and the game is under protest.
   19. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6022626)
There’s paperwork involved! He’s filling out forms! They might need to be notarized!
   20. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:47 PM (#6022628)
Announcers speculating that the paperwork needs to be filled out before the game can continue. This is a wild scene.

Edit: the “technical commissioners” are getting the form! Play might eventually resume! (No, the umpires need to “officially register” the receipt of the protest and are leaving the field!)

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while.
   21. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:56 PM (#6022630)
The announcer keeps saying it should be a 2 base regular ground rule double but the ball sticking in the fence like that is going to be covered by a field specific ground rule not the regular ball bouncing over the fence rule

Which isn’t to say he’s wrong about it being two bases just that it’s not the same.
   22. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:57 PM (#6022632)
Apparently the paper that covers ground rules is located somewhere else that isn’t accessible from the broadcast booth.

Delay at 25 minutes and counting.
   23. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:58 PM (#6022634)
Huh they just read the MLB rule book and it sounds like I’m wrong. And after the half hour delay we get a pitching change.
   24. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6022635)
I don’t think it matters in the sense that there’s only one out and think the runner would’ve scored had play immediately resumed with the runners on second and third, but I have no idea how you can rule that Forsythe scored on that play once you rule it’s a double.
   25. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:07 PM (#6022636)
The only argument for saying he scored is that the umps apparently called it a homer intitially (I wasn’t listening at that point) which is why he stopped.
   26. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:09 PM (#6022638)
Ah, that makes sense, maybe. Doesn’t matter anymore after the error and the double.
   27. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6022639)
The US blowing it open thanks to some shoddy defense.

And oh my god did Duran just hit the same metal fence?
   28. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6022640)
This is insane.
   29. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:19 PM (#6022642)
Some poor grounds crew person is going to be working late tonight, uninstalling those bars behind the wall.
   30. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:27 PM (#6022645)
So it seems like the tiebreaker is head to head. So;

US wins and they are in
Venezuela and DR win, DR is in
Venezuela and Canada win, Venezuela is in

Of course if I’m wrong again, who the #### knows what that means.
   31. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6022651)
I thought that a Canada win over DR and a 3-way tie for last might complicate things because the 2nd and 3rd place teams qualify for the last chance tourney later this month, but in that scenario I’d guess that Canada and DR would win the tiebreakers over Venezuela. Maybe.
   32. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:42 PM (#6022655)
Never mind I misread what you said. Yeah I think you are right.
   33. Gch Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:54 PM (#6022657)
Actually, I’m no longer sure.

In a 3-way tie scenario:

Canada would have the head-to-head advantage vs DR
DR would have the advantage vs Venezuela
Venezuela would have the advantage vs Canada.

So at that point it’s run differential or whatever’s left.
   34. Gch Posted: June 05, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6022739)
Canada jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a two out rally in he first, but Albers has struggled. He just K’ed Juan Francisco with the bases loaded and two outs to keep it 3-3 after 4.

Also I never thought that intentionally walking somebody to have a LHP face Jose Bautista would be a winning strategy, but it sorta worked (wild pitch, Jose then semi-intentionally walked, then the inning-ending K)
   35. Gch Posted: June 05, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6022745)
Daniel Pinero now has 2 home runs and 4 RBI today for Canada. He just got an RBI single off of Jumbo Diaz to give Canada a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth.
   36. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 05, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6022784)
Lead didn’t stand up and the DR won 6-5 (I didn’t get to see it I was out all day). So unless I’m missing something the DR and the loser of this game are in the Final Qualifying tournament.
   37. Gch Posted: June 05, 2021 at 09:48 PM (#6022791)
Oh, Canada’s defence imploded. Passed ball (catcher just missed a pitch, then whiffed on picking the ball up when a clean play probably would still get the runner at second) and a terrible throw home on a single into CF sealed it.

It’s disappointing that Canada’s great start to the tournament didn’t lead to anything, but it might get Canadian hero Jose Bautista more at bats in the next qualifying tournament, so some good came out of it.
   38. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 05, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6022796)
See you all in Tokyo!!!
   39. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:57 AM (#6022825)
One thing about this tournament and other non-MLB tournaments (e.g. Caribbean Series) does is remind me how much I love baseball. The MLB game has its well documented flaws (though I still love it) but these games often are played with a bit less of the nonsense that I find frustrating with MLB. Part of it is that while I have some rooting interest it’s not quite as intense as my feelings about the Red Sox so I can enjoy the games in a different way.
   40. Gch Posted: June 06, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6022908)
I agree with that.

I also enjoy seeing the different rosters. They’re a wonderful combination of prospects, non-prospects, ex-MLB players who probably won’t get another shot, foreign players who’ll never play in MLB, etc. I’ve seen Chris Leroux pitch at a public park in Toronto so it was fun to see him pitching in an Olympics Qualifying game. It was also fun to see Jose hit one more home run, and seeing Julio Rodriguez intentionally walked so Bautista could be pitched to was a nice past and future moment.

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