Wandy Rodriguez made his final appearance in the World Baseball Classic, the final game for any Pittsburgh Pirates player, and he made it count. He shut down Team Puerto Rico for six innings today, en route to a 2-0 win for Team Dominican. Rodriguez got up to 74 pitches, throwing 49 of them for strikes, in a game that decided seeding for the WBC Finals.
Rodriguez allowed just four base runners all game, two walks and two hits. He also struck out four batters. His day started with a six pitch walk to Angel Pagan, who was quickly erased on a double play. The second inning started much the same way, though it took Rodriguez only four pitches to walk the clean-up hitter, Mike Aviles. He again quickly got out of trouble with a double play. Through two innings, he had faced the minimum.
In the third inning, the leadoff hitter again got aboard, this time via single from former Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Carlos Rivera. Irving Falu came in as a pinch-runner for Rivera and stole second, then went to third on the throw. Rodriguez then recorded the next three outs on strike out, force out at home plate and a fly out to right field.
In the fourth, Rodriguez gave up a lead-off double to Luis Figueroa. He then struck out Carlos Beltran, got Aviles on a fly ball and struck out Alex Rios to end the inning. Rodriguez retired the final six batters in order, needing 20 pitches to get through the final two innings.
In was a strong start by the Pirates lefty, who got through without a run despite putting the lead-off batter on in each of the first four innings. Despite that fact, and also the fact he is still in Spring Training, he retired the last nine batters he faced and worked into the sixth for the first time.
There are no more Pirates players left playing in the tournament. The rest of the WBC Schedule is as follows:
Sunday 9 PM EST Puerto Rico vs Japan
Monday 9 PM Netherlands vs Dominican Republic
Tuesday 8 PM Championship game
All games will be played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The Championship game will feature the winners of Sunday’s and Monday’s games.+ posts
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.