Team USA lost 2-0 against Japan on Saturday in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in gold 2020 in men.
The Americans, who were seeking their first gold medal in men’s baseball since 2000, had also lost to Japan to open the week. This defeat sent them to the brackets of the losers, forcing them to win competitions against the Dominican Republic and South Korea to reach this point. (The Dominican Republic, it should be noted, defeated South Korea for the bronze.)
Below you will find five takeaways from the gold medal game.
1. Morishita masterfully
Japan’s efforts were largely paced by right-handed starter Masato Morishita.
Morishita, a 23-year-old member of the Hiroshima carp, dazzled the Americans. He threw five rounds, allowed three hits and no rounds, and he struck out five strokes and generated 11 swinging strokes on 81 courses. Morishita’s excellent excursion should not be too surprising; In 218 career rounds in Nippon Professional Baseball, he has earned 2.15 ERA and a ratio of 3.41 strikeout-to-walk.
By the way, the American starting position Nick Martinez delivered a quality start. He allowed five hits and a walk over six rounds of work. He also struck out seven strokes and forced 15 whiffs. Martinez, who has previously participated in the majors with the Texas Rangers, is currently employed by NPB’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
2. Japan strikes early, late
Neither side managed to put together much offensively. The game’s only score through the first straight shots actually happened in the third, when Japan’s third baseman Munetaka Murakami launched a home run outside Martinez.
Murakami, 21, is playing in his fourth professional season with the Yakult Swallows. For his career, he has beaten .268 / .380 / .525 with 108 home runs in 450 games.
Japan later managed to produce a second race at the bottom of the eighth.
3. First gold for Japan, second silver USA
Despite winning two of the four World Baseball Classics, Japan had never before won a gold medal in the men’s baseball event. Previously, Japan had won silver once (in 1996) and bronze twice (in 1992 and 2004). So this is a nice change of pace for the Japanese. In addition, they became the first host nation to win the gold medal in men’s baseball.
Team USA had meanwhile won the gold in 2000. This represents the Americans’ first silver medal. Previously, Team USA had won the bronze both in 1996 and in 2008.
4. Alvarez is now a multi-time, multi-sport medal winner
This may not have been the team-level result Eddy Alvarez wanted, but he still owes congratulations on becoming a medal winner with several sports.
Alvarez, a 31-year-old utility infielder who made his league debut with Miami Marlin last season, had previously won a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Alvarez started these Olympics with another honor, as he was chosen by his teams in the United States as one of the flag bearers of the opening ceremony, along with the legendary basketball player Sue Bird.
5. No baseball at the 2024 Olympics
Team USA has to wait a while for the opportunity to resolve itself. This was of course the first time men’s baseball had participated in the Olympics since 2008. Unfortunately, it looks like it will once again be removed from the box office ahead of the Olympics in Paris 2024 – the host nation has a say in what sport it wants.
This means that the Americans’ next chance for gold in the national pastime will not happen before the 2028 Olympics, which will be held at their home ground in Los Angeles.
You can relive our live blog coverage below.