clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WBC 2017 Roundup 3/9: Cuba moves on, Italy walks off

It was a busy day of action on Friday, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

World Baseball Classic - Pool B - Game 5 - Australia v Cuba Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Korea 11, Chinese Taipei 8 (F/10)

Korea

Jaeho Kim: 3-4, 1 2B

Taekyun Kim: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Ah-seop Son: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB

Geonchang Seo: 2-6, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Yongkyu Lee: 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Seung Hwan Oh (W): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Chinese Taipei

Kun-Sheng Lin: 3-4, 3 R

Che-Hsuan Lin: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Chin-Lung Hu: 2-6, 3 RBI, 1 K

Hung-Wen Chen (L): 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K

So, in the grand scheme of this year’s World Baseball Classic, this game didn’t matter. Both of these teams were eliminated before the game even happened. However, in years past the last-place finisher in each pool would have to compete in qualifying tournaments for the next event. For a team like Korea, who has historically been quite good in the WBC, it’d be an embarrassment. They came close, as Chinese Taipei held tough and forced extra innings, but Korea was able to avoid abject embarrassment and stick with just regular, everyday embarrassment in this event.

Australia 11, China 0 (F/8)

Australia

Luke Hughes: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI

David Kandilas: 2-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB

James Beresford: 1-2, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 R, 4 RBI

Brad Harman: 1-2, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 R

Travis Blackley (W): 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

China

Fujia Chu: 1-2, 2 BB

Kwon Ju (L): 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB

In case you were unaware, this game served as a reminder that the WBC has a mercy rule. After Australia scored four runs on Beresford’s grand slam in the eighth, China had a chance to close the gap and force a ninth inning, but they were unable to do so. The win pushed Australia’s record in the first round of pool play to 1-1, which ties them with Cuba. As of this writing, they have not played yet, although by the time you read this you can just scroll down and see who won. The winner of the Australia-Cuba matchup will advance to the second round along with Japan to face off against Israel and Netherlands.

Dominican Republic 9, Canada 2

Dominican Republic

Fernando Abad (H): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Adrian Beltre: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Jose Bautista: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Jose Reyes: 3-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E

Welington Castillo: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Carlos Martinez (W): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Canada

Ryan Dempster (L): 2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Rene Tosoni: 2-4, 1 K

Dalton Pompey: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB

The Dominican team, one of the favorites in the entire tournament (maybe the favorite, depending on how you feel about the US team), got off to a hell of a start for this tournament. They unsurprisingly took it to Canada in both team’s openers, with that Dominican lineup showing exactly how fearsome they can be. For what it’s worth with respect to Abad, the “hit” he gave up wasn’t really a hit. It was a routine grounder back to the pitcher and Abad made a perfect throw to Carlos Santana, who for some reason decided not to stay on first base. It was a really weird play, but Abad essentially made four outs in his inning of work.

Italy 10, Mexico 9

Italy

Tommy Layne: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

John Andreoli: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K

Chris Colabello: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Drew Butera: 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Rob Segedin: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Jordan Romano (W): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Mexico

Adrian Gonzalez: 0-5, 1 K

Esteban Quiroz: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI

Japhet Amador: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Alex Verdugo: 3-5, 1 R

Roberto Osuna (L): 0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Oliver Perez (BS): 0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Well, Pool D got off to a hell of a start in Mexico. The favored Mexican team looked like it was going to get off on the right foot, taking an early 1-0 lead on a leadoff home run from Quiroz. Italy would hang around for a few innings, but the bottom of the ninth started with the Italian team trailing 9-5. That’s when the fun started. Osuna — one of the best relievers in baseball — promptly allowed three consecutive doubles, which were followed by an error by the shortstop and a walk to load the bases. At this point, it was 9-7, and Perez would enter the game. He allowed two singles, and Italy completed their ninth-inning comeback without even scoring a run. Mexico now has some work to do if they want to advance to the second round.

Cuba 4, Australia 3

Cuba

Alfredo Despaigne: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 K

Alexander Ayala: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R

Roel Santos: 2-4, 1 R, 2 K

Vladmir Garcia (W): 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 K

Australia

Trent Oeltjen: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

David Kandilas: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB

Allan de San Miguel: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K

Lachlan Wells (L) (BS): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K

As I mentioned above, this was an elimination game, with the winner advancing to the second round along with Japan. It was a closer game than most expected, but the favored Cuba team was able to take it. All of their damage was done in the fifth, when Despaigne hit a grand slam to put them up 4-1. Australia managed to cobble a couple more runs together, but couldn’t close the gap entirely. The two favorites advanced out of this pool, but Australia had a strong overall showing this year.