Well, my man Kurt Suzuki is getting it done. Since my last post on him, he's been doing remarkably well on defense, having thrown out some players trying to steal a base, and hitting his first two home runs for the Washington Nationals.This weekend, Kurt was able to tag out a runner trying to head home from a good thrown from rookie phenom Bryce Harper out in center field.
I mentioned before that he was struggling with his hitting and sure enough, his bat started coming around. The Washington Post has an article on Kurt re-tooling his swing with the batting coaches. As of the date of that article, Kurt is hitting .421, going 8 for 19.
(Photos by Cheryl Nichols and Washington Post)
Also, the Little League World Series wrapped up the other week. It was Tennessee and Japan in the championship game. Japan took the championship on the strong pitching of Kotaro Kiyomiya who struck out eight batters in four innings. And he is a BIG kid---6'0" and 200 lbs! Back when I played little league for a short time, anyone who was that big was automatically suspected of being much, much older. But these kids today are just getting huge.
Back in the 1970's, the team from Taiwan was a real dynasty. They just dominated the US teams and I always felt that there was a little bit of racial animus, but maybe more jingoism than anything, towards the kids from Taiwan. Like they didn't get respect from the American kids because, well, they were Americans. How is it that these Asian kids could play so well? seemed to be the unspoken thoughts. And slowly over time, there was no choice BUT to have respect for not just teams from Asian but from all the other international teams. You just never know. But interestingly enough, this team from Tennessee had lots of respect and were friendly with the kids from Osaka. Kiyomiya was quoted in the NY Times as saying, "Tennessee was our best friends in the US division." and the two teams grew close over the two week tournament. So it's good to see the kids getting along and having respect and even a little friendship.