Tag: World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic 2013: Day 8 Results, Recap and Analysis

The 2013 World Baseball Classic has officially entered its second week. Twelve countries were still alive coming into Saturday’s action in what’s been a thrilling first round.

Day 8 began with a high-stakes second-round clash between Cuba and Chinese Taipei. But it will be highlighted by four first-round games from Pools C and D, including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States, among others.

The Americans are already off to an 0-1 start in Pool D but can right the ship with a win against Italy on Saturday night.

Here we’ll recap all of the day’s action, updating scores and results.


Puerto Rico 6, Venezuela 3

One day after putting forth a lackluster effort in a 3-0 win against Spain, Puerto Rico proved that its run in Pool C was not a joke. The powerful Venezuelan lineup could muster just seven hits and three runs against this pitching staff. 

The victory for Puerto Rico took all of the drama out of Sunday for Pool C, as its game against the Dominican Republic will just determine seeding in the second round. Both teams enter the matchup 2-0 and locked up berths in the next round, which begins on Tuesday. 

Coming into the World Baseball Classic, Venezuela looked like it might have one of the most potent lineups in the event with Miguel Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Gonzalez hitting 3-4-5. 

But Puerto Rico’s pitching did a masterful job of keeping players off base before those three came up to bat and held them to just 2-for-11 with one extra-base hit. 

Venezuela did start the game strong, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Carlos Zambrano was cruising into the fourth inning, then it all fell apart when he had issues with the home plate umpire’s strike zone. 

Puerto Rico took a 3-2 lead after five innings and never looked back, tacking on three insurance runs in the eighth inning to preserve the win. 

Up next, Venezuela (0-2) and Spain (0-2) will try to salvage what’s left of the World Baseball Classic when they meet at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. Puerto Rico (2-0) and the Dominican Republic (2-0) will get a final tune up before moving on to the second round at 7:30 p.m. ET. 


Canada 10, Mexico 3

Even though Canada’s offensive attack gave the country its first win of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the story of the game was the benches-clearing brawl that happened in the top of the ninth inning.

Canada’s Chris Robinson bunted for a single with his team already up 9-3 because run differential does matter for tiebreakers in the event. Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz apparently told pitcher Arnold Leon to send a message to Alex Tosoni, the next hitter. 

After Arnold’s first pitch was at Tosoni’s knees, the umpire warned both benches. Arnold’s next pitch hit Tosoni square in the back and all hell broke loose. Both benches cleared, several brawls broke out on the field, fans in the stands started throwing things onto the field and at players. 

The whole situation was a complete mess that really took away from the game, which was an impressive win for Canada and kept its hopes of getting into the second round alive. 

Michael Saunders had an outstanding day at the plate, with four hits and three RBI. Justin Morneau also had four hits and drove in three runs in the Canadian romp. 

Canada (1-1) will take on the United States in an elimination game for both countries on Sunday. Mexico (1-2) has to hope for a lot of help if it wants to advance, as it finished Pool Play 1-2 with its lone victory over the United States. 


Cuba 14, Chinese Taipei 0

Things went from bad to worse for Chinese Taipei in Tokyo on Saturday, as it dropped its second game in as many days, falling to Cuba 14-0 in seven innings.

The brutal loss eliminates Chinese Taipei from the WBC.

Cuba blew the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Yasmany Tomas blasted a home run that doubled the Cubans’ lead, putting it up 6-0. Cuba would add eight more runs in the bottom of the sixth to put Chinese Taipei away for good.

Jose Fernandez, Frederich Cepeda and Tomas each recorded three RBI in the rout. The win pulls Cuba to 1-1 in the second round following Friday’s loss to the Netherlands. It will conclude the second round against the loser of Sunday’s Japan vs. Netherlands matchup.

Chinese Taipei threw all sorts of pitchers at Cuba on Saturday, but nothing was working. The Cuban lineup played one of the best offensive games of any team at the WBC this March. Four different players homered for Victor Mesa’s squad, including Jose Abreu and Alfredo Despaigne to close out the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Danny Betancourt was brilliant on the mound for Cuba, striking out three and allowing just three hits in six innings of play.

Chinese Taipei’s ugly defeat comes just one day after it fell 4-3 to Japan in 10 innings to begin the second round in bitter fashion. Following Saturday’s embarrassing performance against Cuba, many will be wondering whether the hangover from Friday’s crushing loss is to blame.


Dominican Republic 6, Spain 3

Robinson Cano and the Dominican Republic jumped out to an early lead on Saturday against Spain and never let off the gas pedal, winning 6-3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Nelson Cruz and Carlos Santana each recorded two RBI for the Dominicans as they put themselves in position to advance from Pool C and into the second round. 

Samuel Deduno was strong to start the game for the Dominican Republic, surrendering just four hits and zero runs in four innings pitched. He gave way to Alfredo Simon, who pitched three innings, allowing just one run from the Spanish.

While the Dominican pitching staff flexed its muscles all game long, the Spanish staff was plagued by a poor start. Starter Yoanner Negrin gave up five runs in just over two innings, putting Spain in a huge hole early on.

Engel Beltre helped put Spain on the board in the top of eighth inning thanks to a rare mistake by Cano. And then Yasser Gomez helped ignite Spain’s final charge in the ninth with a single to center, which narrowed the gap. But it was a case of too little, too late for the Spanish, as they fell for the second straight day.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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Mexico vs. USA: Breaking Down Best Performances from WBC Clash

Team USA didn’t get off to the best of starts at the World Baseball Classic. In a sizable upset, Mexico won 5-2 to earn their first victory of the tournament after losing their opener to Italy 6-5. 

In a tournament that doesn’t afford much room for error and slip-ups, this was a huge blow for Team USA. Considered one of the favorites for the tournament, they’ll certainly need to improve their performance going forward if they want to advance to the second round. 

It wasn’t all bad, though. Both teams received commendable efforts from individual players that can be built upon as both Mexico and Team USA try to navigate their way through Pool D. Here were the players who shined in this opening round tilt. 



David Wright, 3B

Team USA only generated two runs, so there weren’t very many productive bats in the lineup, but Wright had a pretty good day at the plate overall. 

The third baseman went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in one of the team’s two runs with a two-out single that brought Jimmy Rollins in and moved Ryan Braun to third base. It wasn’t a highlight home run, but he got the job done with two outs and you can’t ask for much more. 

He left two runners on base, but just about everyone in the U.S. lineup left runners on base in this one. Missed opportunities defined this one for Team USA and that made Wright’s RBI stand out.



Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

Gonzalez was a one-man wrecking crew for Mexico. 

He bashed a two-run dinger off of R.A. Dickey in the third inning with two outs that turned out to be the runs that would put Mexico up for good. In addition to that, he drew three walks and drove in another run. 

That kind of patience at the plate makes Gonzalez one of the most dangerous bats in this entire tournament and a huge advantage for Mexico going forward. If it weren’t for his big day this one might have been a bit closer. He was the determining factor. 


Sergio Romo, CP

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for Mexico was that Sergio Romo was able to bounce back to earn the save in this game. 

In Mexico’s opening game against Italy, Romo was called upon in the ninth inning to slam the door on the Italians and secure the win with a one-run lead. Instead, he earned a blown save by giving up two runs on three hits.

Romo had a bit easier task this time around, inheriting a three-run lead in the ninth inning that he was able to keep by retiring the USA side in order. There wasn’t much pressure involved but the fact that he could go three-up and three-down to close out the game was a good sign that Mexico can depend on him to put his early blown save behind him. 

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USA Baseball: Players Who Must Step Up for Team to Advance

After a disappointing 5-2 loss to Mexico (box score via MLB.com) in its World Baseball Classic opener on Friday night, Team USA needs Brandon Phillips and Giancarlo Stanton to step up in order for the team to advance.

Before the team takes on Italy on Saturday, there needs to be some adjustments made by the players. Ryan Vogelsong is slated to take the mound in the second game, but it’s the offense that needs to get ready to go.

Jimmy Rollins, Joe Mauer and David Wright all recorded multi-hit games in the opener, but the bottom third of the lineup went 0-for-10 with two walks.

Things will get better, but the team can’t wait around too long before the bats wake up. The middle of the order showed up on Friday, but it was tough getting rallies going when there was no production out of the bottom of the lineup.

It will be important for Team USA to avoid falling behind again in the first inning. The offense has the firepower to come back, but the team could use a fast start.

Phillips and Stanton are two of the game’s brightest stars, and they will be counted on to make plays as the tournament goes on.


Brandon Phillips

As the second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, he is known for his flashy play. He makes more highlight plays than anyone in the league.

He will need to continue to flash the leather in the field, but he will be called upon to get on base for the heart of the lineup. As the No. 2 hitter, he needs to set the table for Ryan Braun, Wright and Mauer.

Unfortunately for Team USA, Phillips went 0-for-4 and struck out twice in the opener. He was one of two starters who did not reach base in the game.

In the last three years, he has hit .298 in the No. 2 spot. The second baseman has a unique set of skills that combines power, average and speed. 

Phillips is at his best when he is swinging early in the count. He hit .301 last year when at-bats lasted less than two pitches, so expect him to come out swinging.

Team USA will take off when Phillips starts to get on base. There may not be a better middle of the lineup in the tournament, but they need guys on base ahead of them. Rollins got on base twice tonight, but Phillips will be the key to this lineup.


Giancarlo Stanton

When Giancarlo Stanton is the No. 7 hitter, it’s a pretty good lineup.

He was part of the bottom third of the lineup that did not have a hit, but he will get rolling at some point. After hitting .290 and smashing 37 homers last year, the 23-year-old will be an important part of the lineup.

The right fielder did draw a walk, but the team needs him to be knocking in runs. He is one of the most dangerous hitters in the world, and his power is second to none.

In his career at Chase Field, he is a .333 hitter and has four home runs in only 39 at-bats.

Like Phillips, Stanton is unreal when swinging at the first two pitches. He hit .457 last year in at-bats that were over within two pitches. 



Team USA needs Phillips and Stanton to go to the plate ready to swing. They are at their best early in the count, and the team can’t expect to win the tournament without them hitting well.

It’s easy to overreact to one game, especially when it’s a loss. Team USA faces Italy on Saturday and Canada on Sunday. 

The opening loss to Mexico is concerning, but it’s not the end of the world. There are still games to be played, and the lineup is working through some early hiccups. Let’s not forget that this team had to replace Mark Teixeira with Eric Hosmer late in the week.

It was a disappointing opener for Team USA, but Phillips and Stanton will be ready to lead their team to the next round. 


*All stats are from ESPN.com

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World Baseball Classic 2013: Bracket Overview with Complete Week 1 Results

The first week of the 2013 World Baseball Classic is in the books, and four countries have already advanced to the second round while four others have been eliminated from the 16-team field.

While Japan looks to be in cruise control yet again, other favorites like Venezuela and the United States have fallen behind quickly, each dropping their opening games. The good news for both nations is that there’s a whole lot of baseball still left to be played.

Here we’ll get you caught up on where we stand after the first week of action.


Two-Time Defending Champs Advance From Pool A

As expected, Japan got off to a hot start in Pool A, defeating Brazil and China to book a trip to the second round along with Cuba, which won all three of its games, including a 6-3 win over Japan on Wednesday.

The Japanese have been dominant at this tournament over the years, having won the last two in 2006 and 2009. Most predicted Japan to win before the tournament began last week, and it’s easy to see why. 


Chinese Taipei and Netherlands Survive Pool B

The 2009 runner-up, South Korea, made it tough, but in the end it was Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands advancing from Pool B. Australia lost all three of its games never once proving to be a legitimate threat to the title. 

The Dutch won their opening second-round game, 6-2 against Cuba, while Chinese Taipei fell in heartbreaking fashion to Japan, 4-3 after 10 innings. 


Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico Off to Fast Starts in Pool C

There are still four huge games left to be played before the Pool C picture becomes any clearer, but for now we know that the Dominican squad, led by New York Yankees star Robinson Cano, and the Puerto Rican team are in the best shape after the first two group games.

The Dominican Republic knocked off Venezuela 9-3 on Thursday, while Puerto Rico took out Spain 3-0 on Friday.

Fans will want to keep a close eye on Saturday’s Puerto Rico versus Venezuela matchup as well as Sunday’s showdown between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Both games have mighty implications in terms of deciding who will advance.


United States and Canada Fall Behind Early in Pool D

The Americans have already dug themselves a good-sized hole at the World Baseball Classic, dropping their opening Pool D game to Mexico, 5-2. Meanwhile, Canada was blasted by Italy, losing 14-4 in a game that didn’t require more than eight innings.

Mexico will conclude its first-round play on Saturday against Canada, and the United States will gear up for a game against Italy on Saturday before finishing up against the Canadians on Sunday.



Cuba, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands are all through to the second round. But the Japanese and the Dutch are off to hot starts already in the second round, having each won their opening second-round matchup in Tokyo.

Cuba and Chinese Taipei aren’t out of it yet, but Japan and the Netherlands are certainly in the driver’s seat to move on to the semifinals this week.

On the bottom of the bracket, the other second-round group is still in the works, as the advancing teams from Pools C and D have yet to be determined. There will be four Pool C and D games on Saturday, and then three others on Sunday to conclude first-round action.

*Visit WorldBaseballClassic.com to view the entire bracket.


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