Korea is the home team in this game. They are in their home whites with various sky blue and red stripes and accents (a haphazard get-up designed by uniform antichrists Nike). "Korea" is written in sky blue script across their chests, and the white K on their sky blue caps is in the same font. Their names and numbers are in red on the back. Japan are wearing their navy blue jerseys with red shoulder adornments, red numbers, names, and "Japan" across their chests in red, all outlined in gold. Their caps are navy with white oulined in red. Their pants are gray.
Jung Keun Bong's first pitch to Ichiro Suzuki is a fastball low and away for ball one. Another just misses outside, 2-0. The same pitch a couple of inches closer catches the zone, 2-1. Fastball outside, 3-1. A fastball up and over the plate is slapped into center for a leadoff single.
Bong is throwing in the low 90s.
Hiroyuki Nakajima, one of Japan's best hitters in this tournament, telegraphs a sacrifice bunt with no one out in the first inning. This is Asian baseball. After taking three pitches to go 2-1, Nakajima gets the bunt down and moves Ichiro to second.
Bong starts left-handed swinging Norichika Aoki with a trio of curveballs, all three of which are taken to run the count to 2-1. Aoki then fouls off a changeup and a fastball. Aoki taps a changeup back to Bong, who holds Ichiro at second and throws Aoki out at first.
Here's Kenji Johjima, who has three of Japan's six hits off Bong in this tournament. He swings hard through a pair of fastballs to start his at-bat, then takes a defensive swing to foul off a third. A fastball low and away is ball one. Johjima then fouls off another down the middle at 93 miles per hour. A 1-2 changeup just misses outside. A fastball inside misses by a similar amount as Bong takes a skip toward his dugout. On the full count, Bong skips a changeup, walking Johjima.
Bong goes back to the fastball to start lefty Michihiro Ogasawara. Ogasawara fouls that off, then takes a changeup just outside and a curveball that doesn't drop into the zone. Home plate umpire Derryl Cousins is already giving Bong problems. Another curve is tapped to second for a force out to strand the runner.
Bong threw 28 pitches in that inning.