HUGE win last night from our boys in a thriller! The rain prevented the bats to really get it going on either side but it also caused the fumble by Japan’s third baseman in the 8th that let the go-ahead come across the plate for the USA. The pitching looked spectacular as Tanner Roark spun a gem through four innings. In case you were wondering why he didn’t pitch beyond the 4th, Roark he a 50-pitch limit and had thrown 49 pitches. You can’t be upset with Nate Jones for allowing the home run in the 6th but I will admit, I let out big WOOO at the bar thinking Cutch robbed the home run. I even tweeted about it…
At the end of it all, the United States Baseball team is moving on to their first World Baseball Classic. Without Trout, Kershaw, Arrieta, Bumgarner, Bryant, Harper, or Rizzo (surprising because he seems like a super patriotic guy), but these guys did it.
The Championship Game of the 2017 World Baseball Classic is tonight at 9:00pm at Dodger Stadium. The weather looks to be all cleared up but a little chilly in LA tonight so no rain to cause bobbled grounders. The USA and Puerto Rico square off in a rematch of Group F battle in San Diego where PR won 6-5 last Friday night. Once again, Marcus Stroman is expected to be on the hill against the Puerto Ricans. If he and the rest of the pitching staff can be lights out once again, the US may not need an explosive effort from the offense. The pitchers held a Japanese offense who had scored at least seven runs in five of their previous six games to just one run on six hits. One more combined effort like that could be all the difference. The Puerto Ricans have both the explosive firepower to open up scoring as well as the small ball, manufacturing ability to churn out runs in a tight game. The US will truly be tested tonight.
I really think the US’ offense is due for an overcorrection. They’ve been flat in a lot of their games when they have the potential to slug the absolute crap out of every pitch–Giancarlo is still batting 8th! Nolan Arenado looked unconfident last night striking out on two check swings en route to completing the Golden Sombrero (four strikeouts in one game). Jonathan Lucroy will be starting behind the plate tonight in lieu of Buster Posey simply for the fact that Jim Leyland wants to rotate catchers. Lucroy might be an offensive upgrade but Posey has those World Series rings to show off his Championship experience. If we can get something from him and a multi-hit game from a few of the pieces (Kinsler and Yelich?), we could watch our fellow American raising the World Baseball Classic trophy at long last.Follow @geordo9