Day One gave us two well-pitched games and two identical 3-2 scores. In the opener, the big story was Brad Knox’s six and a third no-hit innings. If he hadn’t been removed from the game due to his pitch count, the error ruling on the one hard-hit ball he allowed–a grounder smoked by catcher Robinzon Diaz to third baseman Luis Ugueto–might have been an issue. It’s hard to take a team that drew five walks while Knox was in the game to task for not being patient, but (as I said in the comments on yesterday’s preview) the Dominicans were hacking as if they had a bus to catch. Knox benefitted from the afternoon sun drawing a shadow between the mound and the plate–between the shadow and Knox’s pitch count, they had good reason to slow the game down and take as many pitches as possible.
In the nightcap, starters Giancarlo Alvarado and Walter Silva each racked up 11 strikeouts (according to ESPN Deportes, the first time two Caribbean Series starters had double digit strikeouts in the same game), and the two teams combined for 27 strikeouts–more whiffs than any other type of out. The Gonzalez brothers knocked in all three of Mexico’s runs, as the host team came back from a 2-1 deficit to win. Mexico will count on some more Gonzalez love tonight, as the other Edgar Gonzalez takes the mound against Tim Harikkala for Venezuela. For some reason, I can’t find the starters for the early game listed anywhere. Lefty Hector Mercado will take the mound for Puerto Rico in the early game, facing Orioles farmhand Alfredo Simon for the Dominican team. Once again, you’re invited to use the comments below as a running discussion thread for both games.