World Baseball Classic Week One Update
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Saturday, March 10th, 2013
By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
So far, the World Baseball Classic has been a great way for those of us drooling for baseball to take in some familiar sights. Even though some of the teams look very rusty and not exactly in mid-season form, others look primed to bring a championship home to their country. Group A and B have both finished their first round and have already moved on to Round 2, but Group C and D have yet to concluded their first round. Overall, the first week of the 2013 World Baseball Classic couldn’t have gone much better.
In Group A, Japan and China appeared to be the early favorites to advance. However, Cuba came out swinging. Scoring 23 runs in just three games, no team had the answer for Cuba’s sluggers. Japan, on the other hand, used their pitching staff in order to defeat Brazil and China. Cuba and China both advanced to the next round.
Group B went pretty much expected, with the young Dutch team stealing the show. Led by young middle infielders Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Schoop, the Netherlands team only lost once, to Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei only gave up seven runs over the span of three games. The team closest to catching these two was Korea, who actually beat Chinese Taipei and Australia. Nonetheless, two very talented teams, in Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands became the two teams to move on to the next round.
Group C, the division of only Spanish-speaking teams, still has two games left. In a bit of a shocker, Venezuela has been eliminated after losses to the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico appear to be the two teams that will be advancing, as they have two wins apiece. Puerto Rico’s been led by starting pitchers Giancarlo Alvarado and Nelson Figueroa. The Dominican Republic has seen significant contributions from Robinson Cano and Hanley Ramirez. Both of these teams have looked very impressive and poised to make a run at the WBC Finals.
The alliance of North American countries in Group D have played some very odd games and had some odd results. Team U.S.A. appeared to be the clear favorite heading into the tournament, but they were shut down by Yovani Gallardo, Sergio Romo, and Team Mexico in the lone game the U.S. played so far. The most exciting moment of the tournament came when Mexico and Canada got into an all-out fistfight.
The Canadians had a right to be mad after Mexican pitcher Arnold Leon was deliberately attempting to hit Rene Tosoni, despite a warning from the umpire. This just goes to show how much pride each team takes in representing their individual country in the WBC. Overall, this division appears much more up for grabs than most thought. Any team can win this division, but the rest of the tournament is making the Group D look Minor League.
For Group A and Group B teams that advanced, the next round has already begun. Played in Tokyo, Japan, the Netherlands, Cuba, Japan, and Chinese Taipei are the four teams in this particular division. Chinese Taipei lost to Japan and Cuba, so their time in the tournament is done.
On Sunday the 10th, Japan will play the Netherlands, and the loser of that game will play Cuba. The Netherlands have looked extremely impressive so far, having lost only one game this month. However, Japan or Cuba could easily be the next team to advance to the next round.
Groups C and D will both be finished by the end of Sunday the 10th. The U.S. will take on Canada at 4 PM E.T in Group D. In Group C, Spain will play Venezuela at 12:30 PM E.T and the D.R. will play Puerto Rico at 7:30 PM E.T. The game of the day has to be the Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico. The two top teams from their division, Puerto Rico’s dominant pitching will clash with the D.R.’s potent lineup. The World Baseball Classic has been pretty amazing so far, and as we move deeper into the tournament, things are just heating up.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Sam Evans. 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
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Posted on March 10, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball, World Baseball Classic and tagged 2013 world baseball classic, @RJA206 on twitter, andrelton simmons, baseball, canada, Chinese Taipei, dominican republic, hanley ramirez, italy, japan, Jonathan Schoop, mexico, mlb, nelson figueroa, netheralands wbc, netherlands prospects, puerto rico, sam evans, sergio romo, USA, venezuela wbc, wbc, wbc fight, wbc results, world baseball classic, world baseball classic fight canada mexico. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.