Thursday, March 09, 2006

US falls to Canada -- WBC roundup

I'm sure most everyone has seen the big headline from yesterday's action in the World Baseball Classic. Does it surprise me that there was a huge first round upset? No. It's baseball, sometimes the big upset blowout happens, it's the nature of the game. Am I surprised the US was the victim? Frankly, yes, but that might just be nationalism speaking. Am I disappointed that the US put itself in a position where it was working back from an 8-run defecit?

HELL YEAH!

However, we're still in a good position to advance with a win over the South Africans on Friday. If Canada beats Mexico today, the win over RSA is enough. If not, we might have to build up some tie breakers, since there'll be a circle of wins at that point.

In other action, Panama again surprised one of the more heavily favored teams in its bracket before falling to the Cubans in extra innings. That eliminates a Panamanian team that really is better than its current 0-2 record bespeaks. They'll get one last chance for a save-face win agains the Dutch on Friday.

Those same Dutch lost to the Puerto Ricans. They held it close most of the game before getting blown apart starting in the sixth inning. I still have a good feeling about the Dutch team for reasons I can't explain, but their game against the Cubans today just became a must win. Of course, if I want a dark horse to advance, the Canadians put up a good argument yesterday.

No other surprises yesterday. Venezuelans shut out the Italians. Mexicans got scored on by the South Africans, but were never in any real danger of losing.

As far as Nationals who got to see some action yesterday. The Dominicans were off yesterday. Neither the Venezuelans or Mexicans played their Nationals. Did see some action in the Team USA game:

Gary Majewski pitched 1.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits, striking out three. However that one run was the inside-the-park home run that Stern pounded in the fifth inning. He also gave up an RBI hit in the fourth, but the runs were scored to the pitcher he was in relief of.

Schneider came in late in the game, didn't manage a hit in one at bat, but did put on a spectacular tag at the end of a relay that started deep in right field.

Cordero was on a rules-required day off.

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