ESPN Digital presents everything you need to know before the second confrontation in the history of baseball as a discipline of the Olympic Games between the Dominican Republic and Japan
Olympic baseball will make its debut in the current edition of the Olympic Games with one of the most interesting and difficult to predict matches of the entire initial round of the tournament. Japan Y Dominican Republic faces are seen for the first time since Barcelona 1992, where the Japanese team tore apart the Dominicans in seven innings, by score of 17 runs against zero.
Dominican Republic goes out in search of revenge against the Japanese after a long qualifying process until Tokyo. On their side, the Japanese are the favorites to win the gold medal at home and present one of the strongest squads in the tournament.
Given the format, either of the two teams that manages to take the victory will have an important advantage facing the second stage of the tournament, while the loser will have to urgently go looking for a victory against the Mexican Baseball Team, the third team that makes up the Group A.
With all that will be at stake between Japan Y Dominican Republic, ESPN Digital brings you everything you need to know award to the first baseball game of Tokyo 2020.
How did both teams qualify?
Japan qualified as the host of the event, but anyway, his dominance during the tournament Premier 12 of 2019 would have given him the pass to the Olympics. The Japanese team reached a record of seven wins and one loss in that event.
The way of Dominican Republic it was more complex. After failing in the Premier 12, had to go to the qualifying tournament of Las Americas in Miami, where he fell three innings of going directly to Tokyo. With a defeat in front of United States in the first round, the Dominicans reached the “super round“And later they were classified to playoffs that three weeks later would be played in Mexico.
During this last tournament, the Dominicans dispatched Venezuela already Netherlands to keep the last pass to Olympic Games.
How are they ranked internationally?
Japan occupies the first position in the ranking of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC for its acronym in English), being obviously the highest ranked set of those classified to Tokyo 2020. On his side, the Dominican Republic He took advantage of his pass through the last Olympic qualifiers to reach seventh position in the table.
In the first confrontation between Japan Y Dominican Republic, the Japanese managed to score in the seven innings of the match that ended up winning by the rule of “knockout”(Mercy), after the Dominican team failed to score. The Caribbeans were limited to just three hits in the game.
Dominican Republic has only managed to qualify its national baseball team twice counting Tokyo 2020, while Japan He has been present on every occasion that the sport has been contested as part of the Olympics, winning medals on three occasions (one silver in 1996, two bronzes in 1992 and 2004).
MLB players in both teams
Several experienced baseball players from Big leagues (including minor leagues) are part of both teams. On the Dominican side, figures like Jose Bautista, Juan Francisco, Melky Cabrera and the number five baseball prospect of MLB, Julio RodriguezThey are part of the Caribbean complex.
On the Japanese side, their team is made up of stars from their national league, but they also have the former pitcher of New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka.
Where will the match be played?
Japan Y Dominican Republic faces will be seen in the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium from Fukushima city. The stadium was opened in 1986 and has an approximate capacity of 30,000 fans.
Who will be the starting pitchers for the match?
By Dominican Republic will launch Cristopher Chrysostom, opener Yomiuri giants in Japanese baseball. The Japanese go with Yoshinobu Yamamoto of Orix Buffaloes.