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WBC 2017 Roundup 3/14: Cuba gets eliminated

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Cuba played twice on Tuesday and lost twice, and now they’re going home.

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

Japan 8, Cuba 5

Japan

Tetsuto Yamada: 3-4, 2 HR, 1 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh: 3-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB

Seiji Kobayashi: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI

Ryo Akiyoshi (W): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Cuba

Yurisbel Gracial: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Yosvani Alarcon: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K

Alfredo Despaigne: 3-4, 2 R

Miguel Lahera (BS, L): 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Japan and Cuba are two of the worldwide powerhouses in the world of baseball, and are arguably the two favorites in this second-round pool. Thus, this was an anticipated matchup and it lived up to the hype. It was neck-and-neck all game, with Cuba taking the lead in the fourth only to have Japan tie it back up in the fifth. After both clubs scored in the sixth, the score remained tied in the bottom of the eighth. It could’ve gone much differently here, but a key error by Cuba first baseman Willian Saavedra that should’ve been the second out kept the inning going. Japan ended up scoring three in the frame and held the lead in the ninth. The win pushes Japan to 2-0 and the loss gives Cuba an 0-2 record in this round of pool play.

Puerto Rico 3, Dominican Republic 1

Puerto Rico

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

Eddie Rosario: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Francisco Lindor: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Hector Santiago (W): 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Dominican Republic

Adrian Beltre: 0-4, 2 K

Gregory Polanco: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB

Nelson Cruz: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Carlos Martinez (L): 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

In yet another highly anticipated matchup involving a couple of undefeated squads through the first round, we got a surprising result as someone was finally able to shut down the D.R.’s lineup. It was particularly surprising as it was Puerto Rico that was able to do it, since their strength lies in their offense, not their defense. The Puerto Rican squad is looking to make a push to the finals with their exciting, young roster led by Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, and getting this win over the Dominican Republic is a huge step in the right direction.

Netherlands 14, Cuba 1 (F/7)

Netherlands

Xander Bogaerts: 1-2, 1 R, 1 BB

Wladimir Balentien: 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI

Jurickson Profar: 3-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI

Yurendell de Caster: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI

Kalian Sams: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI

Diegomar Markwell (W): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Cuba

Willian Saavedra: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R

Victor Mesa: 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E

Lazaro Blanco (L): 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Well, there’s an absolute drubbing. The Netherlands has been a strange team during this tournament, as they’ve shown the ability to completely dismantle good teams like Cuba but have also fallen flat against other opponents. Either way, this is the way they want to play if they can indeed make it to the semifinals, which they’re on their way to clinching. This puts them at 2-1 in pool play, and if Japan can take care of Israel this morning Bogaerts and the rest of the Honkbal crew will be Stateside. If not, there will be a tiebreaker. Cuba had a disappointing second round losing all three games they played. Hopefully, this convinces the nation that they should use their best talent playing in the majors, too, because that team would be amazing.