On Saturday night in the World Baseball Classic, Team USA took on the Dominican Republic in a win or go home game. That meant that two Pittsburgh Pirates were going to move on to the finals, while two others would return to the Pirates. The starting lineups had the entire starting outfield for the Pirates, with Andrew McCutchen playing right field and batting sixth on one side. On the other side, Starling Marte was in center field and batting sixth, while Gregory Polanco was in left field and batting eighth.

The Dominican Republic took an early 2-0 lead in this game, almost knocking out starting pitcher Danny Duffy in the first inning. USA tied the score in the third, moved ahead on a two-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth, then expanded the lead in the eighth, winning 6-3.

As for the Pirates, Andrew McCutchen struck out in his first at-bat, then grounded out in the fourth inning. He flew out to right field in the sixth inning. In the eighth inning, McCutchen came up with a huge hit, giving USA a 6-3 lead with a two-run double.

Starling Marte grounded into a force out in the first inning, then grounded out again to end the third inning. He came up with two outs and two runners in scoring position in the fifth and struck out. His tough day continued in the eighth, when he started the inning with a grounder back to the pitcher. He finished the tournament by going 3-for-12 in three games.

Gregory Polanco led off the second inning with his team up 2-0 and singled on a grounder up the middle. He lined a single to the opposite field in the fourth, then doubled to center field in the sixth. Polanco ended the eighth inning with a grounder back to the pitcher, very similar to the one hit by Marte to start the inning. He went 11-for-19 in the tournament.

Josh Harrison didn’t play in this game.

There are three games left on the WBC schedule. Puerto Rico will take on the Netherlands on Monday night. Japan will take on USA on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday night, the winners of the first two games will meet in the championship game. All of the games start at 9:00 PM EST and all three will be shown on MLB Network.

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9 COMMENTS

      • You have my utmost respect. I worked in the Nederland and it’s amazing how baseball crazy they are. Good luck and enjoy the game.

        • Good luck, the kingdom has a great squad, I fear Didi more than any other player in that team!

  1. Congrats to team USA for making the semi finals… And is Stanton going to apologize to the baseball he murdered? Wow… Simply wow

    • I watch a lot of Marlins games living in FL. Stanton hits the ball harder than any human I’ve ever seen. Somebody is eventually going to end up in the hospital after being smoked by a Stanton liner. He’s amazing.

  2. JP Morosi captured it well in his interview with ‘Cutch talking about the quality of contact he was getting without much to show for it. Don’t know if they did some exit mph on his laser shot to the base of the wall in CF, but Marte never had a chance to catch up to it.

    Gregory Polanco finishes in the Top 3 of regulars in the WBC with a .579 average. Excellent performance.by the 25 year old coming off his most productive year in 2016. Things are looking good. I hope we do not get any bad news about Starling Marte. Did you think he was favoring the ankle?

    • I don’t think he would have played (or the Pirates would let him play) the last two days if something was wrong. The injury was very minor to begin with, something he may have played through during the regular season, or just took a day off and we would have just assumed it was a scheduled off day. Now he will probably rejoin the Pirates on Tuesday, and may not play again until Thursday, since Wednesday is an off day.

      • Thank you, and it is probably even better that he will have 4 days to relax and get mentally set for getting prepared for the season.

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