It was a full slate of games last night. We had three teams move one, while a few more took a step closer. Although Chinese Taipei had looked good in earlier games, they were smoked by Cuba. The Dominican Republic eliminated Spain in relatively easy fashion. And Venezuela, one of the better looking teams on paper, was eliminated by Puerto Rico. But that was just some of the action the WBC had to offer on Saturday.
Perhaps the most exciting game came in Phoenix between Mexico and Canada. And the excitement didn't necessarily come from production on the field. Instead, it came from a benches-clearing brawl. With Canada already up by six runs, Luis Cruz took exception to an attempt at a bunt for a single by Canada. What he failed to remember is run differential matters in the WBC, so unwritten baseball rules do not apply. Cruz noticeably instructed Mexico's pitcher to hit the batter, which he did - after two failed attempts at it.
The benches cleared and quite a massive fight ensued. The brawl between Mexico and Canada was not your normal baseball brawl where there was a lot of shoving but no real action. This brawl included body slams, headlocks, and a ton of punches thrown. When it was all said and done, seven players were ejected. Canada went on to win the game.
The next matchup in Phoenix came between the United States and the red-hot Italy team. Despite looking rusty in their first game, the United States managed to come from behind to beat Italy. A grand slam by David Wright sealed the deal.
Now, let's get you caught up on scores and standings:
All World Baseball Classic Scores:
Chinese Taipei 4, Cuba 14
Dominican Republic 6, Spain 3
Canada 10, Mexico 3Puerto Rico 6, Venezuela 3United States 6, Italy 2
The four second round teams to play in Tokyo are set:
Kingdom of the Netherlands: 3-1
Chinese Taipei: 5-3
The second round games to be played in Miami have yet to be set, but here are where the remaining teams stand:
Dominican Republic: 2-0
Puerto Rico: 2-0
United States: 1-1