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Semi-Finals are set for the World Baseball Classic

No more playing in the pool, the WBC gets serious

Baseball: World Baseball Classic-USA at Dominican Republic
Giancarlo Stanton. USA home run hitter.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Two undefeated teams will meet two teams with two losses in the Semi-Finals of the World Baseball Classic. Pool play is complete. Three games until we know the champion. Three games until meaningful baseball is over, and we go back to Spring Training. But, let’s not think about that now. We are down to three games that are sure to be exciting.

Pool F Game 5: Puerto Rico 13, Venezuela 2

With Puerto Rico already advancing and Venezuela already eliminated, this game was played simply for pride, and because it was already scheduled. Puerto Rico beat up on Venezuela’s pitching to head into the semi-finals against the Netherlands on Monday.

Pool F Game 6: United States 6, Dominican Republic 3

I’m going to admit that I did not expect the United States to beat the Dominican Republic. Also, no one really ever expects to see catches like this:

That is super human. That is Adam Jones.

The United States knocked out the defending WBC Champions on the strength of well-timed offense and defense (other than the first inning, which didn’t go so great for Team USA defensively), not to mention a pitching staff that was able to keep the potent Dominican Republic lineup from doing their damage. Giancarlo Stanton hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth inning. The exit velocity was 117.3 mph, no big deal. Andrew McCutchen gave the United States some insurance runs with his two-run double in the eighth inning.

On the Dominican side, Nelson Cruz reached base three times, on a strikeout in the first inning, a walk, and a single. Robinson Cano chipped in two RBI, which came on a home run and a double:

The United States will face undefeated Japan in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Mariners in the WBC:

Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic): 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, home run

Nelson Cruz (Dominican Republic): 1-3, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jean Segura (Dominican Republic): Did not play

Felix Hernandez (Venezuela): Did not play

Edwin Diaz (Puerto Rico): Did not play

Emilio Pagan (Puerto Rico): 1 inning pitched, no runs, no hits.

Drew Smyly (United States): Did not play

Today’s Schedule:

All times are PDT, all games are broadcast on MLB Network and

No games today.

On Deck:

Semifinal 1: Netherlands vs. Puerto Rico, 6:00 PM Monday

Semifinal 2: United States vs. Japan, 6:00 PM Tuesday

Final: Semi Winner 2 vs. Semi Winner 1, 6:00 PM Wednesday