U.S. vs. Dominican Republic

The defending champions, won have a 10-game winning streak in the WBC, came back from a five-run deficit in the Pool C game.

The Dominican Republic had a relatively easy game to open the pool against Canada but had to work hard to overcome the United States last night.

Major League Baseball wants to show off like it's an all-in partner with the WBC, but many of its teams are lukewarm, at best, as far as players wanting to play.

Team USA has had a white-knuckle ride through its first two games of Pool C play. If he got through four innings, that was going to be it. "I'm talking personally meaningful", said another.

Dominican rooters spent much of the game on their feet while honking horns, pounding drums and rattling noisemakers.

And playing the tournament in March is why Marcus Stroman, who pitched so brilliantly Saturday night that US manager Jim Leyland said could get a groundball "any time he wanted", had to extinguish his brilliance after only 64 pitches, one below the maximum allowed. However, the USA bounced back to eliminate the Netherlands with a 9-3 victory and got revenge on Puerto Rico, scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth, the last two scoring on a walkoff single by David Wright, for a 6-5 win that eliminated Puerto Rico and sent the U.S.to its first, and so far still only semifinal.

United States of America starter Chris Archer was flawless in his four innings, but was pulled after just 41 pitches. Team USA takes on rival Canada.

"They gave us a run for our money, " said U.S. left fielder Christian Yelich, who scored the winning run.

He left the game well shy of the limit of 65 pitches for the first round because the Rays had requested that Archer pitch only four innings, Leyland said. "I was jumping up and down, I didn't know what to do". "I tip my hat to Quintana for going out there and taking the ball for his country, because I'm sure he only threw three innings in his last spring training start". Of course, this being the WBC, in which play swings from sublime to ridiculous at any moment, the superstar-packed Team USA may be fighting for its tournament life Sunday against a pitcher who has been retired for two years, Ryan Dempster, who appears to be manager Ernie Whitt's choice over. "What more exciting thing to do than that?"

The U.S. fell to 1-1 in the tournament and is in jeopardy of being eliminated in the first round.

With one out in the 10th, Christian Yelich and Crawford walked against Guillermo Moscoso, and both advanced on a groundout. "I enjoyed every bit of tonight". Lose, and they'll likely still have to beat Canada on Sunday to punch their ticket.

"But hey, this is the big boys game". With Figueroa out of the game after the sixth due to the tournament's pitch limits, the US rallied to get within 4-3.

  • Larry Hoffman