The World Baseball Classic began on Monday for four teams in Pool A, with games taking place in Seoul between Netherlands, Israel, Chinese Taipei and Korea. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent six players to join their teams this week. All of those players took part in exhibition games over the last two days. Below you’ll find the results from those games, plus the upcoming schedule.
Team Dominican Republic took on the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday and both Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte played the entire games at their new position. Polanco went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, while Marte gave his team a temporary lead in the top of the ninth with an RBI grounder. Team Dominican lost in the ninth inning on a walk-off wild pitch.
Francisco Cervelli caught against the Chicago Cubs for Team Italy and went 1-for-3, bringing home two runs with a third inning single that gave Italy a 3-0 lead at the time. Cervelli only caught the first four innings. He didn’t play in Wednesday’s exhibition game.
During an exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Eric Wood hit an RBI single off Bret Olberholtzer in his only at-bat of the game. Wood came on in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement at third base and handled his only chance in the field.
Team USA played their first exhibition game on Wednesday night, taking on the Minnesota Twins. Andrew McCutchen started in left field and played the first five innings. He batted twice and walked each time. Josh Harrison came into the game in the sixth inning on defense at third base. He flew out to right field in his only at-bat. Team USA lost the game 3-2.
Eric Wood had a big day against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, connecting on a double and two solo homers. Wood homered in the sixth inning off Johnny Barbato, who spent part of 2016 in the majors. That was followed by his second homer in the eighth inning, this one coming off Dietrich Enns, who had a 1.52 ERA in Triple-A last year.
The Pirates played Team Dominican Republic in a game that was covered here. Starling Marte went 2-for-3, with two singles, two RBIs and a run scored. Gregory Polanco reached base all five times, collecting two singles, a double and walking twice.
The real games start tomorrow for the Pittsburgh Pirates participating in the World Baseball Classic.
The Dominican Republic opens up their WBC title defense against Canada on Thursday night at 6:00 PM in Miami.
Italy will take on Mexico Thursday night in Jalisco, Mexico at 9:00 PM.
Team USA plays their first game against Colombia on Friday night at 6:00 PM in Miami. USA has an exhibition game against the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon.
Israel advanced after winning two games in the Pool A bracket. That means that Jared Lakind could join Israel in the next round of the playoffs. He is on the roster as an extra pitcher, but there is no guarantee that he ends up joining the team. (UPDATE: Lakind is flying out today to join his WBC team. Their next game is Saturday night in Tokyo)