Italy - 111 100 200 - 6 10 0Justin Morneau (4-for-5) and Jason Bay (2-for-2, 2 BB) had six of Canada's seven hits. But that, along with Votto's double -- one of three straight "Baltimore dongs" that gave the home team its runs -- was the offense from the northern bats. The final 17 Canadian hitters managed one hit.
Canada - 000 200 000 - 2 7 1
Poor starting pitching from Perkins (2-3-3-4-2) -- who also made a fielding error on an easy comebacker on his second pitch of the game -- set the tone for the evening.
I liked the PA announcements being made in two languages; it reminded me of seeing games in Montreal. Hearing Valentino Pascucci's name six or so times from the Italian announcer was a delight!
WBC: Italy vs Canada, 6 PM
Both teams are 0-1, so in this double-elimination tournament, the loser of this game is out of the WBC. It's crunch time for Canada.
Tonight's winner will meet Venezuela tomorrow night -- and the winner of that game will play the US on Wednesday, with a guaranteed spot in Round 2.
Manager Ernie Whitt will send 6-5 right-hander Vince Perkins (an 18th-round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2000) to the hill. He has no big league experience.
Globe and Mail:
"We have all the confidence in the world in Vince, that he can give us at least three strong innings or go through the lineup twice," Whitt said.Hmmmm. For a guy in whom he says he has "all the confidence in the world", Whitt is setting the bar a bit low, no? Three good innings? (Then again, the guy has not pitched higher than AA.)
The 27-year-old right-hander played independent ball last season with the Camden Riversharks and Joliet Jackhammers and then signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Perkins said his arm is finally rounding into shape after Tommy John elbow ligament-replacement surgery in 2006 and he is excited about the upcoming challenge.
"My arm has never felt better," he said. ...
Scott Diamond, a 22-year-old lefty who pitched for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A, Atlanta) last year, will likely follow. Then, as Whitt says, "it's whatever it takes to win a ball game."
We need Jason Bay & Co. to lead us to victory; no more walks, Bay, we need a doung or two! (Steve Green, a 31-year-old AAA vet now with Pawtucket, is also on Canada's roster. Old friend Lenny DiNardo is in Italy's pen.)
MLB lists Dan Serafini, a 35-year-old lefty with no current major league affiliation, as Italy's probable starter. (He was born in San Francisco.) He has pitched in the majors -- for six teams over seven seasons between 1996 and 2007. (His best BR comp? Vaughn Eshelman!)
Jon Lester starts against Pittsburgh this afternoon with this lineup behind him:
Mike Lowell is excited to play tomorrow.
Nick Green, 2B
Jed Lowrie, SS
Josh Bard, DH
Jeff Bailey, RF
Brad Wilkerson, CF
Chris Carter, LF
Paul McAnulty, 1B
George Kottaras, C
Gil Velazquez, 3B