WBC Groups 3 and 4 Recap: Brazil and Chinese Taipei Advance

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Sam Evans: The final two qualifying tournaments for the 2013 WBC are complete. Out of Panama, the Brazil team shocked the world by beating the host country Panama to advance. In Taiwan, Chinese Taipei left no doubt they were the best team, not allowing a single run in the whole qualifier. Both of these teams will face much more experienced teams in March, but Brazil and Chinese Taipei have proven that they are ready for the best of the best.

In my recent WBC article for MLB Reports, I picked the home country Panama to defeat the Brazilians for the right to advance. Heading into the tournament, nobody expected the Brazilians to be able to stack up against the Caribbean superpowers of Nicaragua and Panama. However, with Manager Barry Larkin at the helm, Brazil dominated the other teams in this group.

In the game between Brazil and Panama on the 19th, Brazil shut out the Panamanians in front of over 10,000 Panama supporters. Rafael Fernandes pitched six scoreless innings for Brazil, stifling the Panama lineup. Thyago Vieira recorded a scary save, when the Panama team sent up the middle of their order with a runner in scoring position. Brazil’s pitching has been great all tournament, and against Panama, they proved they could shut down major league quality hitters.

Brazil only managed to sneak one run past Panama when Yan Gomes drove in Leonardo Reginatto from third. Brazil hasn’t looked like a run-scoring monster, but it won’t matter if they’re pitching can keep this up. Brazil will move on to face much more experienced teams. This Brazilian team won’t be remembered for what they do in the next couple of WBC games. Instead, they’ll be recalled for making a huge leap in the Brazilian baseball revolution.

Brazil is not exactly known as a baseball country. Soccer or futbol has long dominated Brazil, which is the largest country in South America. Even when Brazilians aren’t playing soccer, they tend to play volleyball and basketball rather than baseball. However, neither of those sports can offer such a large reward to sixteen year-olds. Baseball has moved into parts of Europe and Central America plainly because scouts are willing to pay these players millions at such a young age. Brazil is still fairly unfamiliar with baseball, but some teams already have scouts searching for the next Yan Gomes in Brazil. Brazil still has a long ways to go, but baseball keeps getting more and more popular there, and winning a WBC berth can’t hurt it’s development.

Back in Asia, Chinese Taipei pulled off a 9-0 victory over New Zealand to advanced. Chinese Taipei did exactly what they were expected to do, dominate the other countries throughout the tournament. Amazingly, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) outscored their opponents 35-0 during this qualifier. The Taiwan team was under a ton of pressure, after disappointing results in 2009. Chinese Taipei became the only host country to advance in 2012.

Now the four qualifying teams for the 2013 WBC have been decided. Spain, Canada, Brazil, and Chinese Taipei have all moved on to the next round. These teams are going to need all the luck they can get in order to take down the traditional baseball powerhouses they will face in the upcoming rounds.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

***Today’s feature was prepared by Sam Evans, Baseball Writer.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter. (@RJA206)***

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About samevans87

I love writing, talking, watching, and playing baseball. I am a baseball writer for MLB Reports and Fish Stripes. "No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." -Paul Gallic

Posted on November 21, 2012, in World Baseball Classic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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