Second-round pool play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic () is well underway, and the four-team semifinals set for Dodger Stadium are starting to come together. On those fronts, let’s take a look at Tuesday’s results ...
Puerto Rico 3, Dominican Republic 1
This one -- the opener of Pool F play -- was a taut and spirited affair in Petco Park. The bullpen was a big part of the story for Puerto Rico, as four relievers combined to work 6 2/3 scoreless innings against that powerful Dominican lineup. Yadier Molina stole the show, though. The veteran catcher registered an RBI single in the first and then hit a line-drive solo shot in the sixth. The play that got everyone talking, though, was this one ...
The best part of this is of course the cannon throw from one of the best defensive catchers of all time. The second-best part of this is that Javier Baez is celebrating the out before he even catches the ball.
In the ninth, the D.R. mounted a bit of a threat against Puerto Rico closer Edwin Diaz when Gregory Polanco drew a one-out walk. However, Welington Castillo popped up a fairly crushable mistake pitch by Diaz, and then Jean Segura was punched out on a ball that just barely caught the high-and-outside slice of the strike zone.
Netherlands 14, Cuba 1
The Netherlands ensured a spot in the semifinals by dominating Cuba, whose run in the 2017 World Baseball Classic is now over. By the end of the fourth inning, the Dutch had an authoritative 12-0 lead. Jurickson Profar and Wladimir Balentien had three hits each. Two of Balentien’s three hits left the yard ...
Meantime, Netherlands starter Diegomar Markwell needed just 68 pitches to get through six innings of one-run ball. On the other side, four of five Cuban pitchers to appear in this game gave up at least two runs.
Japan 8, Israel 3
Israel’s Cinderella run in the 2017 WBC came to an end against two-time champion Japan. This one was scoreless through five innings, but then Japan broke through for a five-run sixth. Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto had three hits for Japan, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh began the scoring with his homer to lead off the sixth ...
Across the way, Israel starter Josh Zeid more than did his part, as he pitched four shutout innings against Japan. His counterpart, Kodai Senga, allowed only one hit across his five shutout innings.
With the loss, Israel is out of the tournament, but it can certainly take pride in its overall 4-2 mark in the 2017 WBC. As for Japan, it’s now 6-0 through two rounds.
As noted, Pool E is completed, with Japan and the Netherlands making up half of the “Final Four.” Pool F, though, still promises plenty of drama ...
- Pool F: Venezuela (2-2) vs. United States (2-1), 9 p.m. ET Wednesday
- Pool F: Venezuela (2-2) vs. Dominican Republic (3-1 overall, 0-1 in Pool F), 10 p.m. ET Thursday
- Pool F: United States (2-1) vs. Puerto Rico (4-0 overall, 1-0 in Pool F), 10 p.m. ET Friday
- Pool F: Puerto Rico (4-0 overall, 1-0 in Pool F) vs. Venezuela (2-2), 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday
- Pool F: United States (2-1) vs. Dominican Republic (3-1 overall, 0-1 in Pool F), 10 p.m. ET Saturday
. The championship game will be played March 22 at Dodger Stadium.