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Ichiro Number One at World Baseball Classic

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Ichiro hits a two-run single in the top of the 10th inning Monday. (Matt Sayles/AP)

Wow . . . what a game — Korean and Japan battling it out at the gold medal game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was a great, great game, no matter what side you were cheering for and fittingly it came down to extra innings. Korea came back to tie the game 3-3 in the 9th, setting the stage for Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki to blast a two RBI single to bring in what would prove to be the winning runs. Japan’s closer was Yu Darvish, the 22-year-old son of an Iranian businessman and a Japanese mother — an interesting sidestory in an exciting game. The victory was by no means a given with Darvish at the mound as he showed flashes of brilliance but was erratic on the mound, walking three batters and giving up the tying run in the 9th.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was named the Most Valuable Player for the second Classic in a row, Japan having won the gold medal in 2006.

Forget the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, this one between Korea and Japan is shaping up to be good one.

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