Pittsburgh Pirates Day Two and Three WBC Roundup
News: With the World Baseball Classic now in full swing, all of team’s have officially played at least one game in the tournament.
The Western Hemisphere started their World Baseball Pool games two days ago. The first night saw the Dominican Republic take down Team Canada, while Team Italy out slugged Team Mexico. This was covered yesterday in an article. Last night, the other four teams from Pool C and D got their first action of the World Baseball Classic. The Pittsburgh Pirates had only one player in action last night.
The USA vs Columbia
Team USA took on Team Columbia in both team’s first game. Team USA was the heavy favorite in the game, as team Colombia does not have a lot of major league talent on their roster. However, they do have one top flight pitcher and he held the Americans down for most of the game. Man Pittsburgh Pirates fan know this pitchers name, Jose Quintana. Quintana was an off-season trade target of the Pittsburgh Pirates, however, the White Sox wanted a king’s ransom and some for the ace lefty. Last night he showed why. Quintana carried a no-hitter against team USA into the sixth inning. However, he gave up a single to Brandon Crawford and was promptly pulled from the game due to a 65 pitch limit rule.
This was the best thing that could happen for Team USA. The Colombians brought in reliever William Cuevas who promptly gave up two runs to allow Team USA to tie the game at two. The game eventually went into extra innings and Team USA saw Adam Jones walk it off in the bottom of the tenth scoring Christian Yellich. Yellich was a sub in the game for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen started the game in left-field. Like many of his teammates, he struggled against Jose Quintana who got him to ground out and struck him out looking. The Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder was replaced by Yellich once the lefty Quintana was pulled and the righty Cuevas was brought in. Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison did not appear in the game. Although he did appear to be the most animated player on the bench.
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Puerto Rico vs Venezuela
Meanwhile, the second game was between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Neither team has any Pittsburgh Pirates on their rosters. Puerto Rico defeated Venezuela 11-0 in somewhat of an upset. Felix Hernandez was credited with the loss for Venezuela although he only was charged with one earned run.
USA vs the Dominican Republic, 6:30 PM EST
Today the day is packed with Pool C and D games. Team USA will face off against the Dominican Republic. These are two of the best lineups in the tournament. Team USA should be looking to break out offensively after being oppressed by the Jose Quintana and team Columbia. As of now, Starling Marte plans on trying to play against Team USA. If this is the case Gregory Polanco will likely bounce back to the bench. However, being his a lefty and provides plus defense he likely will get a pinch hit and late game substitution call for Nelson Cruz at some point. Meanwhile, Andrew McCutchen will look to bounce back from his 0-2 performance for Team USA. Also, being Josh Harrison did not get an at-bat against Team Columbia there is a good chance he will get an appearance at some point also.
Italy vs Venezuela, 3:00 PM EST; Canada VS Columbia, 12:00 PM EST
In other game action, Team Italy will be going up against Team Venezuela. Francisco Cervelli will be playing once again. Ironically, Cervelli is playing against his actual home country of Venezuela. In the other game, Team Canada is playing Team Columbia. Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Eric Wood is likely to get the start at third base once again.