Today we had Cuba. They are strong, very strong, and were too strong for us today. They run ruled us in 8 innings 14-3. This is about the worst defeat I've experienced since being on the national team. Our starter was 18 year old JC Sulbaran (Just signed with the Reds for $ 500,000), he has very raw electric stuff, but struggled to find the strike zone in this one, hitting 3 batter, and walking several also. He ended up with the loss throwing 90 pitches in less that 5 innings. Our bullpen struggled to hold the game close, and fielding yielded our first few big mistakes of the Olympics, resulting in a 5 run 4th, and a 4 run 5th.
Anyways, it wasn't a real pretty game, and it puts us now at 1-4, so we need a miracle to make it to the medal rounds. It's looking quite bleek right now, but you never know in baseball.
I've seen a couple of articles that said I would be starting against my home country tomorrow, Canada. Not true. Not many pitchers can start on 2 days rest after 100 pitches, it's very hard on the arm, and can easily ruin a pithers career, so we're going to go ahead and NOT do that. A highlight of today would be eating/ordering McDonalds right next to none other then Ronaldinho. The best and highest paid soccer player in the world. He was surrounded by athletes taking pictures and whatnot, so we weren't about to bug him. This marks the 2nd time I've seen him in person along with last september in Barcelona when our national team went to check out a Barcelona FC pratice during the European championship/Olympic qualifier.
Tomorrow we play Team Canada who is also 1-4, time to take it to the home country, I really hope our starter dominates them. Damn Canucks!!
Some pics from today...
The Cubans taking batting practice, launching homeruns left and right. This was the end of their BP, I was running poles for most of it, and it seemed like they were aiming for me, I had to dodge about 10 liners right at me
Our field with the Olympic basketball stdium in the background, it's about 100 meters past the right field wall, a very nice looking complex where the dream team has been dominating...
Lining up before the game, my funny expression is brought on by about 40 Cuban fans sitting right on top of our dugout. These people had noisemakers and drums, and were making noise the whole game, it was rediculous, but expected from the Cuban fans
Brian Engelhaart, our leftfielder hit his second homerun in as many games launching a ball into the night in deep right center field. We also got a long homerun off the bat of our DH, Percy Isenia.
A conference on the mound between the pitching coach Brian Farley, and pitcher David Bergman. This was in about the 5th inning just when things were turning quite sour for us
Martijn Meeuwis, my roommate, getting his first action in the Olympics, unluckily he was put in to face the Cuban closer who throws 91-97, and has a very dirty slider, needless to say he was slightly over matched after not getting a game at bat in about 3 weeks
This is called the "mixed zone" where players parade by the press directly after the games handshakes, and the press ask for who they want to question, I haven't been approached yet for this, but I did have a press conference after the China game
The final score, a bit embarassing, but the Cubans played very well, and were hitting everything. I would be suprised if don't get the gold medal.