Saturday, August 23, 2008
Korea's win over Cuba marks the first time Korean men have ever won a gold medal in a ball sport. And what a win it was, 3-2. The first inning saw the Koreans take two runs to Cuba's one. The seventh inning saw an exchange of runs. And then it was on to the bottom of the ninth where Cuba was able to load the bases with one man out. I know the Korean press is going to be hounding the Puerto Rican plate umpire for favoring the Cubans with some very questionable calls on throws that should have been strikes--even the American broadcasters were claiming that the pitcher Ryu Hyun Jin got squeezed and that the strike zone had disappeared. The catcher got into a heated argument with the plate and got ejected. It really looked like all was lost. No way was Cuba going to leave the bases loaded here. One base hit was all it would take to snatch victory from the Koreans. Of course, one double play was all it would take for the Koreans to clinch gold, and that's what they got. No one thought the Koreans would go 9-0 in this tournament, least of all Japan and Cuba who each got beat twice by Korea. This would prove to be Korea's last gold medal of the games, and am I glad I woke up at 6 in the morning to catch it!