August 20, 2008
Well we are in the medal rounds for sure. Thank goodness, because I was extremely nervous after the way we started. Getting those early losses was not what I was planning on from this team. However, after a ridiculous game against China and a 4-2 win over Chinese Taipei, we are going to play for a medal. We have a game against Japan tonight which doesn’t mean much except whether or not we are going to be the third or fourth seed for the semi-finals. That will determine if we play Cuba or Korea first. Either one is tough so I don’t think it matters that much, then again we need to win so it means a great deal.
China’s game was absolutely absurd. For those of you that watched it, and for those of you that really understand the game, we did nothing wrong. Well, except at the very end when Blane Neal ran over to tag the runner, which is actually okay, but then rolled the ball into their dugout. That, we should not have done. But both collisions at the plate were okay in the game of baseball. I know some of you are thinking that the second one was probably cheap but if you watch the whole play, the ball was cut off from the outfield by the first baseman and then the catcher is standing right next to the plate if not on top of it. But if you see his body language, he is trying to fake out our runner by making it look like there is no play and then when the first baseman throws home the catcher is going to try and tag our runner. When Nate hits him, the catcher is trying to catch the ball if he hadn’t already. So that play is clean. Not to mention the fact that right after LaPorta ran into the catcher, Donald was hit. Then we were hit again, and again.
The game got really out of hand when their guy hit LaPorta in the head, basically knocking him out. I believe, along with many other guys on the team, that it was called from the dugout to hit him. I would like to think that China’s coaches are smart enough to not call for the ball at his head, but who knows. What I think happened is that the China team is young in the game and doesn’t know how to play it right yet. That is why I think it got out of hand. Especially the way the guy who hit the homer acted.
You would have thought he just hit a walk off the way he was acting. Running with your hand in the air and then stomping on home plate is unacceptable and Blane Neal showed good composure not to absolutely light up the next hitter. In the States, that is what would have happened. We restrained ourselves a lot and people might not really know that.
We did win that game and the game against Taipei so we are now in the medal rounds. After tonights game we will see who we play first on our long and grueling trip to try and get gold.