Oh My God! Team USA Downs Dominicans, Advances To Championship Round

Team USA

The elimination game between the United States and the Dominican Republic was filled with thrilling highlights and historic moments. It ended with Team USA defeating the Dominican club by a 6-3 score in the final game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego. With the victory Team USA advances to the Championship round for the first time since 2009. They’ll play Team Japan in the semifinals on Tuesday evening.

Team USA had to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, as the Dominicans plated twice in the first frame. The Americans tied the score in the third inning thanks to a scoring grounder from Ian Kinsler, and an RBI double from Christian Yelich. The Americans took the lead in the next inning thanks to a monster two-run home run into the second deck, off the Western Metal Supply Co from Marlin’s slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The Americans added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-run double from Andrew McCutchen that broke open what was a one-run game.

Perhaps the real highlight of the night came in the bottom of the seventh when Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones robbed Manny Machado of a solo home run with an incredible leaping catch against the wall. Jones leaped into the air with his glove outstretched to take away what we thought was a for sure home run. Machado raised his helmet in salute to Jones, and relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (the pitcher on the mound at the time) raised his arms and shouted “Oh my god!”.

Missed opportunities was the Dominican’s undoing as they loaded the bases in the top of the first but were only able to plate one run after that. They scored twice in that inning. Robinson Cano’s double scored Machado (Machado reached on a throwing error from Brandon Crawford), and after Nelson Cruz struck out but reached on a wild pitch because the Americans failed to record the out at first, Carlos Santana’s single plated Cano and sent Cruz to third.

“Oh my god!” ~ Tyler Clippard

In that same inning the Dominican team had Cruz thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice grounder. Starting pitcher Danny Duffy was able to limit the damage by retiring Adrian Beltre on a ground out to end the inning.

The Dominicans wasted another chance to score in the second inning when Gregory Polanco singled, and Wellington Castillo doubled him to third. However Duffy got the next three hitters out to escape the jam. The Dominicans scored just once more (Solo home run from Cano in the seventh inning) despite Polanco continuing to swing a hot bat. The left fielder collected three more hits and finished the tournament batting .636 (11 for 19). The Dominicans were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

The USA bullpen took things the rest of the way. Sam Dyson pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and Luke Gregerson closed out the game by pitching a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth. Machado made the last out on a ground out to shortstop.After a slow start the Americans finally got to Dominican starter Ervin Santana in the third and fourth frames. Santana allowed four earned runs on six hits over 3.2 innings. In the top of the eighth inning Team USA scored two huge runs that extended their lead to 6-3. Yelich walked, and Eric Hosmer was hit by a pitch. Then McCutchen doubled into the gap to score both runners to give USA a three-run lead.

The Championship round starts on Monday night at Dodger Stadium with the Netherlands facing Puerto Rico in the first game. Team USA will match up against Team Japan in the second game on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM PST. USA has never won the World Baseball Classic.


Scott Andes-Owner/writer ladodgerreport.com

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