Los Angeles America’s national pastime took a major hit Sunday night. On home turf, no less.
Daisuke Matsuzaka remained undefeated in the World Baseball Classic, and defending champion Japan beat the United States, 9-4, in the semifinals at Dodger Stadium.
Japan advanced to tonight’s title game against South Korea, a 10-2 winner over Venezuela in Saturday’s semifinal. Japan won the inaugural tournament in 2006, defeating Cuba in the final.
Akinori Iwamura’s RBI triple was the key hit in a five-run fourth inning, and the U.S. was handed its first loss to Japan since the 2005 Baseball World Cup. The Americans had won four in a row, including an 8-4 victory in the bronze medal game at the Beijing Olympics.