United States - 101 000 020 - 4 9 3As you can tell from his line -- 4.2-5-2-2-3-4, 98 -- Dice was Dice. But Japan pummeled Oswalt in the fourth and a throwing error by Derek Jeter opened the door to three insurance runs in the eighth.
Japan - 010 500 03x - 9 10 1
Japan and Korea --who have already played each other four times in this WBC -- will meet in the title game tomorrow night.
Japan's (and Boston's) Daisuke Matsuzaka will face the United States at 8 PM tonight in the penultimate game of the 2009 WBC.
The winner will play Korea, who whipped Venezuela 10-2 last night, in Monday's championship game.
Tonight's pitching match-up is Dice / Roy Oswalt. There is a pitch count limit of 100 in the semifinals and finals.
Between 2006 and 2009, Matsuzaka is 5-0, 1.57 in five WBC games. Oswalt has not pitched since last Sunday's game against the Netherlands. Jake Peavy (2 GS, 14.40) would pitch on Monday, if necessary.
The US is missing the left side of its infield: Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia. David Wright, who cracked the nail on his big toe with a foul ball, should be at third, but Evan Longoria is on the bench as a reserve. Ryan Braun, who missed two games in Round 2 with a strained right oblique muscle, will be back. Adam Dunn will return to right field, with Mark DeRosa at first base.
Japan will be without 3B Shuichi Murata (.320/.379/.560) because of a torn right hamstring.
US manager Davey Johnson played for the Yomiuri Giants in 1975-76.