This has been one heck of a game, and this is going to be a tremendously intense inning.
Top of the Japanese order is coming up against new Korean pitcher Chang Yong Lim, a side-arming right-hander who pitches for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League. Min-ho Kang is the new catcher for Korea, replacing Kyung Oan Park/Dae Ho Lee.
Ichiro Suzuki leads off with a drive to right that looks like a home run, but hits off the wall for a double. Hiroyuki Nakajima shows bunt, but twice bunts foul. He then shoots a line drive toward right field, but second baseman Young Min Ko makes a great diving catch to rob Nakajima of a hit and keep Ichiro at second. That's a huge out.
Lim stays away from lefty Norichiki Aoki, then makes the unintentional walk intentional with the last two balls, setting up the force, the double-play, and bringing up right-hander Kenji Johjima, who is 0-for-3 with a walk.
The first pitch to Johjima is a frizbee slider outside. The next is just inside for ball two. The 2-0 pitch is taken down the middle for ball one. A fastball inthe same location is popped to shallow center, holding the runners. Two outs.
Lefty Michihiro Ogasawara is Japan's last chance to get that insurance run back. The first pitch is a 94 mph fastball for a strike. Lim then throws another way high and outside that nearly gets past Kang. A changeup outside makes it 2-1. Ogasawara then fouls off a 95 mph fastball in the zone to run the count even and strikes out on a changeup just off the outside corner.
Three outs left for Korea, but they only need one run to tie . . .