U.S.A. 9th-inning rally at WBC
Just when things looked the bleakest, the "home team" came through in [the] clutch and put three runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth inning, thereby earning a trip to the final round of the World Baseball Classic. Attendance at Dolphin Stadium was pretty meager, about 13,000, but they were plenty loud when David Wright hit a two-run single, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 victory over Puerto Rico. In the top of the ninth, Puerto Rico had added a run, taking a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Shane Victorino and Brian Roberts led off with singles, and walks by Jimmy Rollins and Kevin Youkilis loaded the bases and then narrowed the gap to one run. It was about as dramatic a finish as you could have asked for, and the former Virginia baseball star made himself a hero at the bat:
I was following the action "live" on MLB GameDay. The pricing options for MLB TV are out of my range, for now at least.
Venezuela and the United States will play Wednesday night to determine seeding positions for the final series at Dodger Stadium later this week. In Pool 1, Mexico has been eliminated, but Japan, Korea, and Cuba are still alive.
UPDATE: The Washington Post has a complete wrap-up of last night's game. It may seem a little odd for we Americans as "Goliath" to be celebrating a victory over the the small "David" of Puerto Rico. With the large number of injuries suffered by the U.S. team, however, the odds were more even than one might have thought. Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, Ryan Braun, and Matt Lindstrom were all taken out; see MLB.com. When the possibility was raised that the U.S. team would lose both its first-string and second-string catchers, manager Davey Johnson said he would rather forfeit the whole WBC rather than move somebody like Kevin Youkilis to that position. Indeed, putting a star player's health at risk would be dangerous for Johnson.