Monday night at Dodger Stadium, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands are meeting for a chance to play in the World Baseball Classic title game on Wednesday. The winner goes on to face the winner of Japan-United States.
The top of the first inning was pretty eventful for the Netherlands. The first two batters, Andrelton Simmons and Xander Bogaerts, reached base on an infield single and a hit-by-pitch, respectively. Puerto Rico catcher Yadier Molina then caught Simmons wandering too far off second base with a snap throw for the first out. Yikes, thatâs bad.
But wait! It gets worse. Jurickson Profar followed with a single to put men on the corners, but after reaching first base, he turned around to celebrate with his teammates and pump up his dugout, and was tagged out. Seriously. Check it out:
Good grief. That is taking the term TOOTBLAN (Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop) to a new level. Profar never bothered to put his foot on the bag before celebrating with his teammates in the dugout. Molina caught him napping and made the throw over, and the tag was applied. Goodness.
After all that, Puerto Rico righty Jorge Lopez still had yet to retire a batter, yet there were two outs in the inning and a runner on third. The Netherlands was poised to waste a golden first inning opportunity because of their baserunning miscues. Big Wladimir Balentien made sure that didnât happen though. He took Lopez way deep to left field for a two-run shot, his fourth homer of the WBC.
Now that is a bat flip, my friends. For emphasis:
Is baseball fun? Yes, baseball is fun. What a wacky first inning in Monday nightâs winner-take-all WBC game.