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Extra! Extra! World Baseball Classic

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The day the WBC conspired against Mariners fans

World Baseball Classic - Pool C - Game 2 - Columbia v United States
Adam Jones, after hitting his walk off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The United States began WBC play last night. Our countrymen needed 10 innings to beat Colombia, cutting into the beginning of Felix Hernandez’s start for Team Venezuela. I was a little curious to see how placing automatic base runners would go in the eleventh inning, but we didn’t get that far.

There is a full day of baseball games today! The first game will begin as soon as this post goes up, and it won’t end until Israel and Cuba wrap up their 7:00 PM game.

Pool play continues. Four teams are in each pool and each pool will play a six game round robin, with a seventh game tie breaker if necessary. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the next round. Here are the results from last night:

Pool C Game 2: United States 3, Colombia 2, 10 innings

The pitching was fantastic in this game. Chris Archer of the United States threw four perfect innings while his Colombian counterpart Jose Quintana gave up only one hit in his five and two-thirds innings of work. Adam Jones, formerly of the Mariners (I know, why did I have to bring that up?), was the hero of the game. Facing Guillermo Moscoso with two on in the bottom of the tenth, he singled to center field to score Christian Yelich.

Pool D Game 2: Puerto Rico 11, Venezuela 0

This game left no doubt as to the outcome. Puerto Rico jumped out in front and kept the runs coming. King Felix started for his home country. After pitching two scoreless innings, he allowed two runs on a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk. He threw 51 pitches, so we won’t see him again unless Venezuela finds a way to advance. Manager Omar Vizquel commented after the game that Felix didn’t want to come out. That would have been a great time for Larry Bernandez to make his WBC debut.

Puerto Rico had a great offensive showing. Carlos Correa, Yadier Molina, and T.J. Rivera all hit home runs. It felt like Carlos Correa was involved in every scoring play last night. Correa was making his first ever start at third base and didn’t let the hot corner intimidate him, making a pair of great plays. Here he is with his sixth inning home run:

Mariners in the WBC

Felix Hernandez (Venezuela): 2.2 innings pitched, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Today’s Schedule

All times are PST, all games are broadcast on MLB Network and MLB.tv.

Pool C Game 3: Colombia vs. Canada, 9:00 AM

Pool D Game 3: Venezuela vs. Italy, 12:00 PM, Mariners prospect Sam Gaviglio will be starting for Team Italy!

Pool C Game 4: United States vs. Dominican Republic, 3:30 PM

Pool D Game 4: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 6:30 PM

Pool E Game 2: Cuba vs. Israel, 7:00 PM

Today’s Notes

Pool C: Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, United States. Games take place in Miami, FL at Marlins Park March 9-13th.

Pool D: Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela. Games take place in Jalisco, Mexico at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco March 9-13th.

Pool E: Cuba, Israel, Japan, Netherlands. Games take place in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome March 12-16th.

United States: Ah, the team that makes you wonder how good they would be if their country and players only cared about the WBC. This is a bit unfair because the players who are playing for Team USA are gushing and excited for the experience. The United States has never made it to the finals of the WBC, and while they certainly have the talent to advance, other countries have more oomph. The roster is made entirely of Major and Minor League players, including the Mariner’s own Drew Smyly, who will be making an appearance.

Colombia: Making their WBC debut, Colombia is an underdog in Pool C. The stars of the team are pitchers Jose Quintana, coming off an All-Star year with the Chicago White Sox, and Julio Teheran, of the Atlanta Braves. Jorge Alfaro, Donovan Solano, Jhonatan Solano, and Giovanni Urshela have some Major League experience.

Venezuela: This is a good baseball team. It is fun to look at their roster in the same way it is fun to look at the Dominican Republic’s roster. Lots of good Major League players, and thinking about a team with all these good players is exciting. Our very own Felix Hernandez will be the ace for his home country. Former Mariner Omar Vizquel (taking over for another former Mariner, Luis Sojo) is managing the team. The question for Venezuela is how well their pitching will hold up.

Puerto Rico: Like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico has some exciting talent on the roster. Also like Venezuela, the pitching is the question mark. Mariners closer Edwin Diaz and pitching prospect Emilio Pagan hope to help the rest of the staff advance the team to Round 2. The infield of young stars Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Carlos Correa join veterans like Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina. Puerto Rico played in the championship game last year. They may lack the pitching to get back.

Canada: The most exciting part of Team Canada is Tyler O’Neill getting some meaningful baseball experience. Current and former Major Leaguers representing our neighbors to the north include Freddie Freeman, Justin Morneau, Ryan Dempster, and Eric Gagne. Canada has a tough draw against the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and the United States, but it wouldn’t be a total surprise if they advance.

Italy: A few familiar names great us on Italy’s roster: current Mariner Pat Venditte and prospect Sam Gaviglio and former Mariner Alex Liddi. Italy knocked Mexico out of the tournament in 2013 to advance to Round 2. Italy tends to fare well in international play, so they could be a sleeper pick in Pool D.

Dominican Republic: With three current Mariners (Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura) and two former Mariners (Adrian Beltre, Fernando Rodney) representing the Dominican Republic, they are obviously favorites to win it all. The Dominican roster would be a stellar team in MLB, so they should be enjoyable to watch.

Mexico: Yovani Gallardo and Sebastian Valle represent the Mariners on Team Mexico, along with former Mariner Vidal Nuno. Adrian Gonzalez will be joining the team to play for his brother and Mexico’s manager, Edgar. Yasiel Puig is not playing in the WBC. Rumor is he missed submitting paperwork on time. Playing in front of a home crowd, Mexico could reach the second round, but faces tough pool opponents to get there.

Israel: Making their WBC debut this year, the team is considered to be an underdog. Jason Marquis, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, is the biggest name. Former Major Leaguers Craig Breslow (in the Designated Pitcher Pool), Ike Davis, and Sam Fuld round out the roster, made up largely of Jewish Americans. They have a giant “Mensch on the Bench” mascot that hangs out in the dugout during games.

Cuba: No Major Leaguers will be on the Cuban roster because players who have defected are not eligible. The one name that will ring a bell with an American audience is Yoelkis Cespedes. Yes, he is related to that other Cespedes. Only 19 years old, he has drawn comparisons to his brother. It’ll be fun to see him flash some of the same talent.

On Deck for Tomorrow:

Pool C Game 3: Colombia vs. Canada, 9:00 AM

Pool D Game 3: Venezuela vs. Italy, 12:00 PM

Pool C Game 4: United States vs. Dominican Republic, 3:30 PM

Pool D Game 4: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 6:30 PM

Pool E Game 2: Cuba vs. Israel, 7:00 PM