For Padres pitchers Cha Seung Baek and Jae Kuk Ryu, playing against Team Korea on Wednesday night brought back memories, and also some old acquaintances.
Japan and Korea, as the top two teams emerging from Pool A of the 2009 World Baseball Classic, now are in Arizona for workouts and exhibition games prior to their Round 2 play at PETCO Park in San Diego, beginning Sunday.
On Wednesday, the San Diego Padres will step away from Cactus League play to face South Korea at 7:05 p.m. in an exhibition game.
Jung Keun Bong outdueled his Japanese counterpart, Hisashi Iwakuma, as Korea edged its Far East rival, 1-0, Monday to capture the top spot in Pool A.
Japan and Korea will meet one more time on Monday night at Tokyo Dome to determine the winner of the 2009 World Baseball Classic Pool A, Asia Round.
Korea overwhelmed China, 14-0, in Pool A play at the World Baseball Classic on Sunday. The loss eliminates China while Korea faces Japan on Monday for the top seed in Pool A.
A much-anticipated pitching match-up between Korea's Kwang Hyun Kim and Daisuke Matsuzaka of Japan never materialized in Game 4 of Pool A action at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Defending Classic champion Japan is headed to the second round after a 14-2 shelling of Korea. The game was called after seven innings because of the mercy rule.
Jin Young Lee smacked a grand slam to highlight a six-run first inning and Keun-Woo Jeong hit a two-run homer in the sixth as Korea rolled past Chinese Taipei, 9-0.
Shin-Soo Choo has been cleared to participate for Korea in the World Baseball Classic, though he will be limited to designated-hitter duties in the first round of the tournament.