Team USA takes home the Bronze

The USA Olympic Baseball squad took home the Bronze medal late last night after an 8-4 win over Japan. Starter Brett Anderson allowed only 4 hits and struck out 6 in 7 innings, but gave up all 4 runs thanks to a pair of homers. Taylor Teagarden drove in the go-ahead runs with a 2-run double in the 5th, and Jason Donald padded the lead with a 2-run homer the next at-bat. Yu Darvish came on in relief for the Japanese squad, but by then it was too little, too late.

You can see every team’s cumulative stats here; Angels’ farmhand Matt Brown is an easy pick for team MVP. Korea beat Cuba for the Gold in dramatic fashion, with Yuliesky Gourriel (the best player in the tourney) grounding into a double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth down by one run.

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Team USA falls to Cuba in Olympic semifinals

The USA Olympic baseball lost 10-2 to Cuba this morning in the semifinal round, meaning Team USA will take on Japan in the bronze-medal game later tonight. SDSU phenom Stephen Strasburg started, but didn’t make it out of the 5th, while relievers Jeff Stevens and Blaine Neal combined to cough up 6 runs in the 8th, putting the game out of reach.

Either Brett Anderson or Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the red, white & blue tonight, while Japan will throw some kid named Yu Darvish. Cuba will take on Korea in the gold medal game tomorrow evening.

Team USA clinches spot in medal round

The USA Olympic baseball team clinched a berth in the medal round thanks to this morning’s 4-2 win over Chinese Taipei, which pushed their record to 4-2.┬áKorea (6-0), Cuba (5-1) and Japan (4-2) also clinched spots in the medal round. Each team still has one game remaining in the preliminaries before starting the Semifinals on Friday. Stephen Strasburg lines for tomorrow’s start against Japan, meaning Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson will be on the mound for the semifinals and finals (if they make it), respectively.

Team USA, Strasburg dominate the Netherlands

Looking to avenge their walk-off loss to Korea in the Olympic opener, the USA Baseball team turned to San Diego State sophomore Stephen Strasburg against the Netherlands last night, and boy did the kid deliver. Squaring off against Futures Gamer Shairon Martis, Strasburg fired 7 innings of shutout ball, striking out 11 in the process. He took a perfect game into the 5th before issuing a walk, and kept the no-hitter in tact until allowing a Jeterian flare single to right with 2 outs in the 7th. The only thing that could stop him was the weather, as a rain delay forced him from the game. Strasburg is the early favorite to go first overall in the 2009 draft, and it’s easy to see why with performances like this one (and this one too). If you’re interested, you can read about his Olympic journey at his StrasBlog.

Matt Brown provided the team the only offense it would need, hitting a solo homer in the second. Matt LaPorta hit a monster 3-run homer in the 4th, a shot that cleared the left field fence by a good 30-35 feet. Dexter Fowler and Jason Donald tacked on some runs in garbage time, while Casey Weathers struck out two in a perfect 8th to close out the 7-0, rain shortened win. The Netherlands had two baserunners all night, and neither made it past first. The power arms were just too much.

Team USA is now 1-1 in the round robin style tournament, and will take on Cuba tonight at 11:30. For the third day in a row I’ll guess that either Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill takes to the mound, unless Davey Johnson elects to go with the more experienced Jake Arrieta against the Cubanos.

The video quality of the free online broadcast was ridiculously good, so I grabbed a couple screen caps of the stadium and Strasburg. Check ‘em out after the jump.

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Team USA suffers walk-off loss in Olympic opener

The USA Olympic baseball team lost it’s opener today, falling 8-7 to Korea. One time Yankee farmhand (and ex-Met) Brandon Knight drew the start and was pretty ineffective, allowing 8 hits, 2 walks and 3 runs in 4.1 IP (1 K). Mike Koplove, Brian Duensing & Kevin Jepsen followed with 3.2 perfect innings of relief. Team USA rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th, highlighted by a Mike Hessman solo homer and a Matt Brown 2-run single that gave the team a 7-6 lead. Closer Jeff Stevens (the guy the Indians got in the Brandon Phillips trade) blew the save in the bottom half thanks to a double, fielder’s choice, throwing error (by Stevens) and a walk-off sac fly.

Quick turn around for the red, white & blue; they’ll take on the Netherlands tonight at 10:30 EST. I imagine either Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill will take the ball.

Update: Here’s the box score. Knight allowed 6 runs, not 3.