The US team has adequately passed all the tests on the way to victory. (Getty Images)
In the final part of the tournament, the teams moved to Los Angeles, where they played two semi-finals and a final at the Dodgers Stadium. With each move to the west, the support of the US team in the stands grew stronger, which helped the team feel self-reliance, because when she was playing in Miami, it was supported by only about 25-30% of the fans.
The Netherlands – Puerto Rico – 3: 4 (2: 2, 0: 1, 0: 0, 0: 0, 1: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 1)
Victory: Diaz (1-0)
Defeat: Van Mil (0-1)
Home of the wound: Balentien (4), Correa (3), Rivera (2).
The semi-finals began with an epic confrontation between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico, which required 11 innings, as well as 4 hours and 19 minutes of playing time, to identify the winner. As in the previous Classic, the Netherlands stopped at the semifinal stage, but this time they did not have only the minimum. Passion in the match was boiling, which almost led to a skirmish between the teams in the tenth inning.
The match began with a productive first inning, in which both teams were marked by two wounds. The Netherlands could well have scored more, if not for the monstrous negligence of Jurikson Profar, who first made a single, but then did not return to the base, but instead started waving his hand, urging the public to greet his blow. Yadin Molina noticed this and worked out clearly, making a hidden, but powerful throw to his first Baysman, who made a strike out of Profar.
It was a critical mistake that could cost the Netherlands a game, as the next player in the lineup was Bladimir Balentien, who sent the ball far beyond the wall of the left field. Thus, because of Prophar’s narcissism, the Netherlands did not lose one wound. For Balentien himself, this home run was already the fourth in the tournament. And in general this particular player of the Dutch national team was the most impressive player of the Classic, leading among all players on absolutely all key indicators for the sluggers.
For example, his savings amounted to 61.5%, and the percentage of hits on the base – 66.7%. For 26 exits per bit, he made 16 hits and 12 rbays, which also became the best indicators for the Classics, and with a large margin. In a match against Puerto Rico, he made 3 hits, wok, 2 rbays and 2 wounds.
In the composition of Puerto Rico, all the enchanting mid-range of the strikers – Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran, who made 2 or more hits. Correa equalized the account in the first inning with his home injury, which became his third in the tournament, and this player was the main pursuer of the statistical achievements of Balentien. Interestingly, he sent the ball almost to the same point as his counterpart.
TJ Rivera led his team to the leaders already in the second inning, beating off the second home run of the tournament wounds. This is a surprising coincidence for the player who was only three long-range strikes for the entire last season in Major League Baseball. The Netherlands responded in the fifth inning, when Balentien came running into the house after ketcher dawn Shawn Zarragi, and they could have stepped forward, but Jonathan Scoop was caught trying to run into the house.
Until the very bottom of the eleventh inning, none of the teams could score points, because the reverters of both teams looked just fine. In the tenth inning, a show of the name Edwin Diaz began, which already had two saves on the Classics. Clauser Puerto Rico completed two inning by zero, making three strikeouts.
Hot confrontation between Diaz and Balentien.
Especially impressive was the eleventh inning, where, according to the rules of this tournament, the teams started an inning with runners on 1 and 2 bases with zero outs. He forced Kurt Smith to make a mistake, which he scored in a double-plaque with loaded bases and one out, ending the inning.
Puerto Rico could not take advantage of the chic possibility to finish the game, which they did after the sacrafice fla Eddy Rosario, who brought his team to the finals. And the Netherlands go home almost heroes, because the semi-final can really be called an achievement for this team. Separately, it is worth noting the spectacle of Balentien, who after every home wound did so-called “bet flips” and in general his emotionality brought the intensity of each match to a new level.
United States – Japan – 2: 1 (0: 0, 0: 0, 0: 0, 1: 0, 0: 0, 0: 1, 0: 0, 1: 0, 0 : 0)
Victory: Dyson (1)
Defeat: Senga (1-1)
Save: Gregerson (3)
Home Wounds: Kikuchi (1)
In our preview of the World Classics we predicted it was for these two teams to converge in the finals, but they were destined to get off at the previous stage. But what was the game itself, which was definitely worthy of the finale!
At the start of the Americans came not the strongest of their reliever – Tanner Roarke, who, however, is in stunning form this spring. He managed to hold out his 4 inning, not missing a single wound for them. In general, the US pitchers were able to dry the line of hitters of Japan, which was able to score just one point with the help of the home run of Riosuka Kikuchi, and apart from him, she only beat three singles.
The Japanese congratulate Riosuka Kikuchi with an important home wound. (Getty Images)
At the same time, the Japanese received just six strikeouts, compared to twelve Americans, so we can say that they just were not lucky, because all their blows flew exactly to the defenders of the US team.
The pitchers of Japan were also magnificent. This is especially true for starter Tomoyuki Sugano, who worked six innings with six strikeouts, conceding only one injury because of an error in defending the normally reliable Kikuchi. Reached his replacement Kodai Seng had two inning with mixed results. On the one hand, he made five strikeouts, but at the same time missed the decisive wounds.
Kodai Senga himself was not happy with his performance. (Getty Images)
Again, the hero was outfielder Adam Jones, who made the decisive rby. He was assisted by Nabuhiro Matsuda, who could not properly catch the ball, so he was forced to make out not in the house, but on the first base, allowing Brandon Crawford to run into the house.
The US reverters dried up the game, and their third save was won by Luke Gregerson. It is worth noting and won the victory of Sam Dyson, who at the tournament was the best reporter of the United States, having worked six innings for zero, and rivals never hit the bases in his “shifts.”
Many fans from Japan flew to Los Angeles, who tried to create the atmosphere of Tokyo Dome in the stands of the Dodgers Stadium. (Getty Images)
The Japanese team showed themselves on the Classic with a strong and balanced team, and many of its players got on the pencil scouts of the Major League Baseball teams. On my own I want to say thanks to Japanese fans who created a fantastic atmosphere in Tokyo Dome. But the Japanese are not yet able to compete with the US team in its current composition, and therefore the Americans go further.
United States – Puerto Rico – 8: 0 (0: 0, 0: 0, 2: 0, 0: 0, 2: 0, 0: 0, 3: 0, 1: 0, 0: 0)
Victory: The Stroman (1-1)
Defeat: Lugo (2-1)
Home of the wound: Kinsler (1)
The final match between the US and Puerto Rico was waiting for something unimaginable. But unfortunately, the struggle in it did not happen largely due to the fault of the US starter Marcus Stroman. He was simply neotbivayem in this match, which gave the bit of Americans the confidence and time for a set of wounds, which they used with interest.
Fans of Puerto Rico before the match were very optimistic. (Getty Images)
For six innings Stroman allowed to make rivals only one hit and one уок, having registered three strikeouts at the same time. And all this against the strong line of Puerto Rico, which punished all without exception rivals. Not surprisingly, it was Stroman who received the prize of the most valuable player of the final stage.
The dominance of Marcus Stroman became the key to the victory of the United States. (Getty Images)
The bits of Puerto Rico fell silent at the most inopportune moment. The entire line was marked by only three hits, two of which were in the account of Angela Pagana. Lindor, Correa and Beltran, who dragged the team throughout the tournament, three were noted only by the wok of Carlos Beltran, which left their team without a chance to win.
The Americans opened the scoring in the third inning after Ian Kinsler’s home injury, which led the team forward by two points. Another two rbays were made by Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Crawford, and five players from the United States immediately noted two hits.
Patriotism is a big part of the success of the US team. (Getty Images)
In general, it was a fairly easy victory for the United States, which was extremely motivated to win first place at home tournament. The ardent Puerto Rico team, which dominated throughout the Classics, are forced to settle for second place, which in any case can be considered an excellent result. It’s these Latin American guys that will remain an example of a family atmosphere and emotionality, which was their secret of success.
Americans are not only good at playing baseball, but are also celebrating. (Getty Images)