Although much of the world is caught up in March Rantness, the World Baseball Classic is in full-swing and the United States of America is facing elimination for the second time in as many rounds.
Puerto Rico now stands in the American’s way after the Domican Republic handed the U.S.A club their second loss of the tournament on Thursday Night. This was a heartbreaker as the team could’ve clinched a spot in the semifinals with a win. Instead, the team will have to face a tough puerto rico squad that they beat earlier in the opening game of Round 2 by a score of 7-1.
Nelson Figueroa will throw for the Puerto Rico squad and he will not have to worry about New York Mets third basemen David Wright who has flown back to New York to get treatment on his sore back. Wright has been the best third basemen in all of MLB for quite some time, but he simply can’t risk his health in an exhibition game like this. Unfortunately, the team will not be able to replace Wright until they get out of this round as it is tournament protocol to not substitute a player mid-round.
Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants will take the hill for the United States on Friday Night–he has a lot of experience pitching in a World Series last year and the last WBC in 2009. Hopefully his poise can lead an American team that will be thoroughly disappointed if they don’t win the title. MLB players have gotten plenty of flack for denying the tournament, however it is gaining speed and if the United States happens to lose versus Puerto Rico the backlash won’t be good.