I am Wearing Down – Team USA is Moving On


Thumbnail image for WBCLogo.pngThe late baseball games are taking their toll.  I woke up this morning too tired to think let alone write.  After you read this, you may think I am still too tired to think.  Or, write.  But, here is the latest in the World Baseball Classic.

 

Puerto Rico vs. USA

When Puerto Rico lost to Venezuela, my hope of both USA and Puerto Rico making it to the finals was crushed.  So, I knew that no matter what happened in the Puerto Rican-USA rematch, I was not going to be completely happy.

 

Team USA recovered from the rout handed to them by Puerto Rico earlier in the tournament and made this game very tough, very close.  In the end the normally rock-solid Puerto Rican bullpen faltered and allowed the USA to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth.  The last was driven in by a walk-off single by third baseman, David Wright.  USA wins 5-4.

 

There were a couple of nice defensive plays:

·         Mark DeRosa dove to rob Carlos Beltran of a single

·         Brian Roberts dove to snag a sharply hit ball.  The momentum of the slide brought him up to his knees, where he made a good throw to first for the out.

 

There was one spectacular defensive play:

·         This will be a highlight reel staple for years to come.  Carlos Beltran tracked a Brian McCann would-be home run ball to the wall, made a perfectly timed leap and grabbed it.

 

So, a revitalized USA team moves on (which I am happy about), and a very, very good Puerto Rico team goes home (which I am sad about).  I suppose I should be more excited to have Yadier Molina and Jose Oquendo back in the Cardinals camp.  And, I will be.  Tomorrow.

 

Next up, the USA, assured a spot in the finals, will play Venezuela (again) in the pool finals in what may be a wet, drawn out game. 

 

 

Japan vs. Korea

This was the third meeting of these two teams.  The first two games were split.  One a rout by Japan.  One a 1-0 victory for Korea.  In this game, Korea took advantage of an error to get on the board in the first and never looked back.  The Japanese offense never really got going against the excellent Korean pitching. 

 

When Japan‘s boxscore shows the following for Ichiro Suzuki, you know they did not have a good day:

 AB  R  H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB  AVG

  4   0    0   1      0     0     3     .000

 

This 4-1 win guaranteed Korea a spot in the final round.  Japan will face Cuba again in an elimination game.  They met previously in the first game of Round Two, when Japan shutout Cuba 6-0.  I will hate to see either of these great teams go home.

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10 comments

  1. Jane Heller

    Brian Roberts’ addition to Team USA is an interesting one. He’s kind of under the radar because he plays for the O’s, but he’s so good. Always seems to hit in the clutch and make good plays. Not a bad sub at all.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  2. redbirdchatter

    Julia – Yes, your Team USA Red Sox have not been very durable. The good thing is that got them back to your camp sooner.
    Jane – Brian Roberts was a great pickup. I did not know who he was since he is AL, but he came out guns ablazin’ in his first game.
    Erik – Yeah, I’m scared to see Peavy take the mound again. He was obviously not ready for real games.
    Jeff – It is weird that Cuba is not in the finals. I’m all rested up now for the big finish!
    Scott – Thanks for hanging it all on me!
    Happy – Other teams have not been plagued with injuries. That tells me they were better prepared than Team USA. The injuries were mostly little muscle tweeks–the kind of thing that happens in spring training. Of course, I might be more concerned if the injured player was Yadier Molina!
    -Kathy

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