These are the overnight World Baseball Classic games you probably missed. Unless you’re one of those World Baseball Classic superfans.
And, hey, there are worse things to be.
Helped by a four-run fourth inning, Chinese Taipei defeated a feisty Netherlands squad 8-3 on Sunday in Taichung, Taiwan. Dai-Kang Yang homered and tallied three RBI. Taipei is now 2-0 in Group B with good odds to advance to the next round in Tokyo.
Over in Group A, two-time defending champion Japan beat China 5-2 at the Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan. Yoshio Itoi racked up five RBI and Japanese starter Kenta Maeda fanned six batters over five scoreless frames. Japan is 2-0 in Group A.
If you want a nice breakdown of the pools and the tournament bracket that will follow pool play, check out the official 2013 WBC website. China will face Cuba today in Group A and Korea plays Australia in Group B.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.