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WBC 2017 Roundup 3/10: USA narrowly avoids disaster

Team U.S.A. started their tournament on Friday, and almost buried themselves in a huge hole.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Japan 7, China 1

Japan

Seiji Kobayashi: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Sho Nakata: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI

Kosuke Tanaka: 2-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SB

Shota Takeda (W): 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K

China

Fujia Chu: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Ray Chang: 1-4, 1 RBI

Quan Gan (L): 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K

There was nothing much on the line in this one, as Japan had already clinched their way to the second round and China was already heading for qualifying in the next go around of the WBC. They still had to play, though, and Japan made quick an easy work of a clearly overmatched China squad. Japan will stay in Tokyo for the next round of pool play in which they will meet Cuba, Israel and the Netherlands. That will start on Saturday night.

U.S.A. 3, Colombia 2 (F/10)

U.S.A.

Adam Jones: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K

Ian Kinsler: 2-5, 1 R

Christian Yelich: 1-1, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R

Tyler Clippard (W): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Colombia

William Cuevas (BS): 2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Adrian Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI

Mauricio Ramos: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB

Jesus Valdez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 K

Jose Quintana: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Guillermo Moscoso (L): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 0 K

Well, that was close. Jose Quintana put on a masterful performance against Team U.S.A., and he didn’t even allow a hit until Brandon Crawford’s single in the sixth. Unfortunately for him, former Red Sox William Cuevas immediately coughed up his 2-0 lead. The score would stay tied at two until the bottom of the tenth, when Adam Jones walked it off with a single to score Christian Yelich. This was a big win for the U.S. squad. Had Colombia actually pulled off the major upset, the U.S. would’ve needed a win on Saturday against the tough Dominican team to have a chance at advancing. Even better, we avoided having to watch a game with the WBC’s asinine extra inning rules that start in the 11th inning. Good times all around.

Puerto Rico 11, Venezuela 0 (F/7)

Puerto Rico

Eddie Rosario: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI

Yadier Molina: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Carlos Correa: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB

T.J. Rivera: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI

Seth Lugo (W): 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Venezuela

Victor Martinez: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K

Miguel Cabrera: 1-2, 1 BB

Felix Hernandez (L): 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

This was supposed to be one of the more exciting games of pool play, as these are the two favorites in Pool D. Venezuela is one of the more well-established baseball nations in the world, and has some big-name veterans up and down the roster. Puerto Rico is more of an upstart who surprised in the last WBC led by Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. So much for that excitement. Puerto Rico hit well enough against Felix Hernandez and broke the game wide open in the late innings. That, combined with a hell of a performance from Seth Lugo, brought the mercy rule into play.