Well, friends, someone had to give. The United States won an electric game with a heart-stopping grand slam by Trea Turner to complete the comeback in the eighth inning. Brewers’ Devin Williams and Astros’ Ryan Pressly sealed the victory, shutting down Venezuelan hitters in the two final innings.
The USA team advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic!
As a Venezuelan, I must say that you need to stay humble and classy on the field. I’m not saying celebrating is bad for the game, but those wild celebrations for Venezuelan pitchers on the mound were a bit extreme to me.
Although I recognize that’s a part of who we are as a country and as part of Latin America, you’re not winning the event with every strikeout. This time, the United States team laughed last and better.
Also, you need to hold on to your lead. You can’t call for so many pitches in the middle of the zone against that kind of juggernaut lineup. Where was the pitch that Trea Turner hit for a grand slam? You guessed right, in the middle of the strike zone.
I think that Omar López, VZ manager and coach for the Astros, tried to do a little bit too much. He had some Dave Roberts in him last night, trying to overmanage. Sometimes, baseball is simpler than we all think.
United States 9 – 7 United States (box score)
2B José Altuve (Venezuela): 1-for-2, R, HBP (.214) – left game after being hit by pitch in the 5th inning
RHP Luis García (Venezuela): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 SO, HR (2.57 ERA)
LF Kyle Tucker (United States): 3-for-5, 2B (1), HR (1), 2 RBI (4), R, 2 SO (.333)
RHP Ryan Pressly (United States): got the save (2), 1.0 IP (0.00 ERA)
José Altuve update:
Even though further updates will be given today according to the Astros, the initial concern for José Altuve is a broken right thumb, per Ken Rosenthal.
Update from @Ken_Rosenthal: The initial concern for Jose Altuve is a broken right thumb pic.twitter.com/HhrElexp9m— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 19, 2023
If Altuve’s thumb is indeed broken, he could miss around a month in a best-case scenario. This article might give you an idea. But we’ll see.
How we’re goin’
Australia (pool B runner-up) 3 – 4 Cuba (pool A winner) (box score)
Italy (pool A runner-up) 3 – 9 Japan (pool B winner) (box score)
United States (pool C runner-up) 9 – 7 Venezuela (pool D winner) (box score)
Puerto Rico (pool D runner-up) 4 – 5 Mexico (pool C winner) (box score)
Hits: 3 tied with 9
Doubles: Randy Arozarena (Mexico), 5
Triples: 16 tied with 1
Home runs: Ha-Seong Kim (Korea), 3
Runs batted in: Masataka Yoshida (Japan), 10
Runs scored: Kensuke Kondoh (Japan), 8
Walks: Shohei Ohtani (Japan), 8
Stolen bases: Chavez Young (Great Britain), 5
Wins: 4 tied with 2
Losses: JC Ramírez (Nicaragua), 2
Saves: 4 tied with 2
Innings: 3 tied with 9.0
Most earned runs: Daniel Bard (United States), 8
Most walks: Xiang Wang (China), 8
Strikeouts: Miguel Romero (Cuba), 12
Cuba (LHP Roenis Elías) – United States (RHP Adam Wainwright)
7:00 pm ET
loanDepot park, Miami, Florida