Saturday, March 11, 2017

2017 World Baseball Classic: Adam Jones Saves USA From Colombia

From the desk of:  PLANET BASEBALL


POOL-C: Showdown! USA vs. Dominican Republic
  • Dominican R.      1-0
  • United States      1-0
  • Colombia            1-1
  • Canada               0-2

Colombia        2
United States  3

Did manager Jim Leyland almost blow the game?

Think about it ... the score was tied 2-2 after nine innings.  Colombia's starter Jose Quintana (White Sox) threw his full allotment of pitches, which was good enough for 5.2 innings of work.  He allowed one run on one hit and a walk, while fanning four.  Colombia then utilized three relief pitchers through the tenth inning.

Chris Archer started for Team USA.  He only tossed four innings due to the Tampa Bay Rays' expressed desire of limiting his innings.  Archer nevertheless pitched superbly, allowing no runs, no hits, no walks, and striking out three.  Jim Leyland then utilized five relievers while maneuvering USA through the ninth.  Tyler Clippard pitched the tenth inning, making it six relievers on the night - all basically given an inning each of responsibility.  Said another way, Leyland exhausted all but three members of his bullpen, with a game against Dominican Republic scheduled the very next day.

  • Had the game extended into the 11th inning, WBC rules dictate each half inning from that point forward would start with runners on first and second base.

Lucky for Leyland, Orioles slugger Adam Jones made that a moot point.  Jones and Christian Yelich were the only ones to hit with any kind of authority against Quintana and Colombia pitching.  Jones drove in USA's first run in the sixth with a double lined down the left field line scoring Brandon Crawford.  His base hit to center in the bottom of the tenth center plated Yelich from third for the victory.

Whoa Canada!

Team Canada lost their second straight.  After dropping the Pool-C opener against Dominican Republic, Canada bowed to surprisingly tough Colombia.  Despite jumping out to a quick 1-0 first inning lead on Freddie Freeman's RBI single, Colombia went on to score four unanswered runs to claim their first victory of the tournament.

Yankees product, shortstop Donovan Solano went 2 for 5 with two RBI for Colombia.  Starter Julio Teheran (Braves) completed five innings, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, with three strikeouts for the victory.

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