The Japanese NT showed why it is one of the best teams in the world. I watched most of the game in the early morning and saw one heckuva batting lineup. Matsuzaka might not have been his dominant self, but he was still throwing nasty breaking balls mixed in with his 92-93 mph cheese.
Japan's hitters 1-9 all showed that they could stroke the ball, exhibiting power, patience, and a good eye at the plate. Tonight's matchup between South Korea and Japan should be a dandy, but I can't see South Korea beating this team.
Bright spots for Taiwan were too few, but Y.F. Tsai was pretty impressive pitching out there. I was disappointed with Kuo's command of his pitches, he was all over the place. I didn't get to see Yang's last inning performance, but on paper, he showed why he's one of the CPBL's top pitchers. For our young hitters, Y.C. Chen was overmatched in the game against Matsuzaka. Hu held his own and stroked a clutch hit/RBI against Kobayashi.
All in all, Taiwan needed all the help it could get, but in the end, it was like watching a varsity club compete against a JV team. Final score: Japan 14 Taiwan 3