Captain’s one-man show ‘sigh of relief’ USA ‘shock elimination’ Dominica 

Thanks to the performance of captain Mike Trout (32, LA Angels), the United States, the ‘candidate for the championship’, secured the last train ticket to the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). On the other hand, the Dominican Republic, the ‘luxurious corps’, became the victim of the biggest surprise in this tournament.

The United States won 3-2 in the final match against Colombi in Group C in the 1st round of the 2023 WBC held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on the 16th (Korean time). The United States, which recorded 3 wins and 1 loss, advanced to the quarterfinals as the second place in Group C following Mexico (3 wins and 1 loss) according to the winner-to-win rule. The United States suffered an unexpected blow to Mexico on the 13th, 5-11.메이저놀이터

The ‘defending champion’ USA has a rather weak mound, but it has built the best batting line ever and was evaluated as a ‘champion candidate’. However, their group stage performances are disappointing.  

It was Trout who protected America’s pride. In the 3rd inning against 0-0, Trout, who played as 2nd and center fielder with 2 out and 2nd base, hit a preemptive timely hit with 1 RBI. Merrill Kelly (Arizona Diamondbacks), who played for the SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) from 2015 to 2018, became an American starting pitcher and allowed a 1-2 turnaround at the end of the 3rd inning.

Trout then hit a timely hit with 2 RBIs in the 5th inning with 1 out and 1st and 3rd base. After Kelly (3 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs) left the mound, the U.S. bullpen blocked the opponent’s batting line with no runs.  

Trout, who is the captain of the U.S. national team, performed a one-man show with 3 hits and 3 RBIs in 4 at-bats. Trout, who signed a huge contract with the Angels for a total of 430 million dollars (563.3 billion won) in 12 years, showed a good performance with a batting average of 0.417, 1 home run and 6 RBIs in 4 games in the first round, as a ‘superstar’ representing American baseball. 

The Dominican Republic failed to advance to the quarterfinals after losing 2-5 to Puerto Rico in the last match of Group D in the first round of the WBC held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida on the 16th (Korean time). 

In Group D, known as the ‘Group of Death’, it was evaluated that the Dominican Republic’s power was the most advanced. The American baseball magazine ‘Baseball America’ (BA) ranked the Dominican Republic in first place while evaluating the power of the 20 participating countries in the finals. Japan was second, and the United States was third. 

Previously, Venezuela secured first place in the group early with four wins. The match between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico was the second place match in the group. 

The Dominican Republic lost 4 points in the 3rd inning due to the scramble of starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (Miami Marlins). In the bottom of the third inning, Juan Soto (San Diego Padres) pursued with a solo home run. However, when Francisco Lindor (New York Mets) hit after one out in the top of the 5th inning, center fielder Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners) threw the ball back, and in the meantime, Lindor turned around the ground and dug home. 

In the bottom of the 5th inning, where the Dominican Republic was trailing 1-5, Manny Machado (San Diego) only caught up with a single point with a double stroke in front of the shortstop. As a result, the Dominican Republic, which challenged to win the WBC for the first time in 10 years following the Netherlands in Group A and Korea in Group B, was unexpectedly eliminated early. 

The United States, runner-up in Group C, will face Venezuela, runner-up in Group D, on the 19th, and Puerto Rico, runner-up in Group D, will face Mexico, runner-up in Group C, in the quarterfinals on the 18th. 1st place in Group A, Cuba beat Korea, 2nd place in Group B, 4-3 to advance to the semifinals.  

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