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Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff

Olympic medal round: DOM-KOR, USA-JPN Historical Preview and Starting Pitchers

Olympic medal round: DOM-KOR, USA-JPN Historical Preview and Starting Pitchers
06/08/2021
The Tokyo 2020 finals are scheduled for Saturday, 7 August at 12 and 19 local time at Yokohama Stadium.

The medal games of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled at 12 and 19 local time at the Yokohama Stadium.

No. 7 Dominican Republic @ No, 3 Korea

Korea manager Kyung-moon Kim has selected right-hander Min-woo Kim as his starting pitcher. The 26-year old has appeared in two Tokyo 2020 games. He went 1.2 innings as a reliever against the United States on 31 July and started the game against Israel on 2 August, going 4.1 innings and allowing one earned run. He currently plays for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

The Dominican Republic manager Hector Borg will hand the ball to left-hander Raul Valdés. The 43-year-old veteran already pitched against Korea on 1 August, going five innings and allowing one earned run. The Cuban-born Valdés has played for Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) clubs during a professional career that started in 1996 in the Cuban Serie Nacional.

  • The only previous Olympic game between Dominican Republic and Korea was at this Olympic Games. In the first round on 1 August, the Koreans scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to record a 4-3 victory.
  • Korea defeated Dominican Republic 10-1 in the group stage of the 2015 Premier12. The Koreans went on to win that tournament.
  • Dominican Republic recorded victories against Korea at the World Cup in 1976 and 1984. The last World Cup meeting was a 5-4 win for the Koreans in 2011.
  • Dominican Republic can become the seventh different team to win a medal in baseball at the Olympic Games, after Cuba, Japan, United States, Korea, Australia and Chinese Taipei.
  • Dominican Republic has never won a medal in a team sport at the Olympic Games.
  • Prior to Tokyo, Dominican Republic's only appearance at the Olympic Games was in 1992, when they finished sixth.
  • Dominican Republic won four of their 12 Olympic games. They defeated Spain and Italy in 1992, and Mexico and Israel at this tournament.
  • Korea won a medal in two of their three participations at the Olympic Games: gold in 2008 and bronze in 2000. They finished eighth on debut in 1996.
  • Korea's bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2000 was courtesy of a 3-1 victory against Japan in the bronze medal game.
  • The only time the defending champions failed to claim a medal at the Olympic Games was in 2004, when United States failed to even qualify for the tournament.

No. 4 USA @ No. 1 Japan

Samurai Japan manager Atsunori Inaba is going with right-hander Masato Morishita as his starting pitcher. The 23-year old earned the win against Mexico this past Tuesday, 31 July. He went five innings, allowing two earned runs. Morishita is in his second season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Nick Martinez will start for USA manager Mike Scioscia in the gold medal game. The right-hander started the game against Korea also last Tuesday, going five innings and allowing one earned run. He pitched in 88 MLB games, including 68 starts, and currently plays for NPB's Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Martinez celebrated his 31st birthday on Thursday, 5 August.

  • Japan versus United States is the fixture played the most times at the Olympic Games. Of the eight Olympic games between the nations, there were four wins each.
  • Japan defeated United States 7-6 in the second round of this Olympic Games on 2 August. Takuya Kai's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning secured victory for the hosts.
  • This is the first Olympic gold medal game between Japan and United States. The teams have met in two Olympic bronze medal games: 1992 (8-3 win for Japan) and 2008 (8-4 win for United States). In both of those events, the winner of the bronze medal had already beaten their opponents earlier in the same Olympic Games.
  • Japan's win earlier this week was only their third victory in the last 11 games versus United States at the Olympic Games, Premier12, World Baseball Classic or World Cup.
  • Each of the last three major tournament games between Japan and United States was decided by a one-run margin. United States won 2-1 in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Baseball Classic and 4-3 in the super round of the 2019 Premier12, and Japan were victorious 7-6 after 10 innings earlier in this Olympic Games.
  • Japan versus United States was also the gold medal game in the softball tournament at this Olympic Games. Japan took gold courtesy of a 2-0 win. Only in 2000 did the same country win softball and baseball gold at the same Olympic Games, when USA achieved this.
  • Japan have won three medals in baseball at the Olympic Games: silver in 1996, and bronze in 1992 and 2004. They finished fourth in 2000 and 2008.
  • The only host nation to win a medal in baseball at the Olympic Games was United States (bronze in 1996).
  • Japan have a 100% winning record at this Olympic Games, recording victories against Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States and Korea.
  • United States won a gold medal in baseball at the Olympic Games in 2000 (defeating Cuba 4-0 in the gold medal game). They are one of three teams to win Olympic gold in this sport, alongside Cuba (1992, 1996, 2004) and Korea (2008).
  • United States have three medals in total in baseball at the Olympic Games. As well as gold in 2000, they claimed bronze in 1996 and 2008. USA finished fourth in 1992 and did not qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games.