Puerto Rico beat the United States 6-5 on Saturday night, advancing to the semifinals of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The partially filled Petco Park erupted with chants of “USA, USA, USA”.
Puerto Rico joined Japan and the Netherlands in clinching a spot in the WBC final four next week at Dodger Stadium. Both of those teams play Saturday night in an elimination game for the fourth and final berth in Los Angeles.
“They are a very good team and they are doing a lot of things right”, USA manager Jim Leyland said. We won’t be in midseason form in the middle of March.
Puerto Rico plays Venezuela in the early afternoon, but the outcome is meaningless since P.R. has already advanced to the next round with a 2-0 record, while Venezuela has been eliminated with an 0-2 record. He broke up a scoreless game in the fifth inning with a home run to right field off Jhoulys Chacin, catching a low two-seamer that tailed back into his power zone, and driving it 387 feet. But the United States got a break when Eddie Rosario flew out to left field for the first out of the inning.
Brandon Crawford hit a two-out, two-run triple off Edwin Diaz in the ninth before Josh Harrison struck out for the final out of the contest. The victor of Saturday night’s game will join them at Dodger Stadium.
That question will be answered Saturday.
“It’s kind of eerie being back here at this time, ” Jones said when asked what else he had planned in San Diego other than playing in the WBC. Both of these teams are 1-0. Do you think the home team will crush some dingers at Petco and get the win?
“The All-Star Game is something that, for me, it was my first time experiencing it”, Hosmer said. For example, it showcases both a ideal blend of past, present, and future talent, and certainly means more in the long run than Grapefruit or Cactus League games (which, to be fair, are entertaining in their own right). Buster Posey says, however, that while their personalities are not on display like other countries’ clubs, the US players are fired up and giving it their all. Was the game truly that important, or was Puerto Rico motivated by the man on the mound? The way this team is playing right now, opposing teams have to be almost ideal to have a shot. His mother, Adlin Auffant, is Puerto Rican.
Arenado walked to start a ninth inning rally for Team USA. He should have had another double but Carlos Correa made a phenomenal diving catch. Team USA was far from it on Friday. The United States and Puerto Rico each have a win this round.
In the bottom of the sixth, Team USA undid its own momentum.
Robinson Cano hit an RBI single in the seventh.
Mychal Givens relieved Miller.
“It’s wonderful that the guys that have been coming up to me saying, ‘If you need me in right field, if you need me to catch, I’m able to, ‘” Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel said.
The at-bat ended when Cabrera hit a ground ball to third base and ran hard down the line, only to be thrown out at first on a spectacular play by Manny Machado. Rodriguez is known to get the most out of his players and he’s what is known as a player’s manager. And they hit very well. The team had an on-going battle with home plate-umpire Will Little, who ultimately ejected Andrew McCutchen after a seemingly harmless protest in the fifth inning.
But the energy of this game – from the stands to the dugout – was higher than the average Grapefruit or Cactus League exhibition.
Stroman, by the way, has Puerto Rican ancestry but said he wanted to play for the USA because he is an American.