Japan and the Netherlands are currently in Arizona to finish up preparations for the semi-finals this week. Both played MLB clubs on Saturday in warm-up games. Japan lost 4-6 to World Series winner Chicago Cubs. The Cubs took a quick 6-1 lead through six innings before Japan cut the deficit with a three-run eighth. Shintaro Fujinami got charged with the loss. He pitched four innings, which could set him up for a final appearance. Ryosuke Kikuchi hit a solo home run.
Meanwhile the Dutch team lost a slugfest 5-12 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona scored in each of the first six innings en route to the win. Rob Cordemans faced Zach Greinke in the pitcher duel, but only stayed in for one frame, as the coaching staff gave eight pitchers work ahead of the semi-final. Kalian Sams went deep for the Netherlands. He finished with three hits and four RBI.