The MLB All-Stars didn’t exactly light up Japan in the first three official games of the Japan Series. Shut out in Osaka; no-hit in Tokyo. And they lost a 12-run game in between.
At some point, personal pride, or perhaps a fortuitous injury, had to intervene. Hence, a foul off Robinson Cano’s foot in Game 3, breaking a pinkie-toe and bringing Jose Altuve to the fore in Game 4.
Jose went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two great defensive stops, the kind that he continues to make routinely as he aims for his next target, the Gold Glove. The MLB team regained a measure of respect in the series with a 6-1 victory in the Tokyo Dome. Altuve and the boys head to the northern island of Hokkaido for the final game tonight in Sapporo, brewers of that famous Japanese beer and home to the renowned Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.
On the other side of the date line, erstwhile Yankee and current Padre Yangervis Solarte returns to the LVBP this week with the Tigers of Aragua. You’ll recall YS finally broke into the majors this year at the advanced age of 26–in the Bronx, no less. He’ll be playing for former Yankee all-purpose man Luis Sojo, now the Tigers manager.
“I never let myself be defeated, I never put my head down,” said Yangervis, a multi-position player who says he’ll help the Tigers get to the 5-team round-robin postseason no matter where they put him on the field. He says he enjoys playing on the youthful Padres team, including contemporary countrymen Alexi Amarista, Alex Torres and Leonel Campos, but that he also learned a lot from watching Yankees legend Derek Jeter. “His honesty, and the way he conducts himself on and off the field, that’s an example to follow,” said Yangervis.