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Sunday, December 4, 2022

WBC Notes: USA with Comeback Win Over Venezuela; Eric Wood Talks About WBC Experience

Team USA trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday night, but they were able to overcome the late deficit and win 4-2. After producing a solo run in the seventh, USA got a solo homer from Adam Jones to tie the game and a two-run homer from Eric Hosmer to give them the lead. Andrew McCutchen started his second game of the tournament and went 1-for-4 with a single. He played right field in this game after starting in left field during his first game. Josh Harrison did not play in this contest.

Jared Lakind and Team Israel were eliminated from the WBC on Wednesday morning after losing 8-3 to Japan. Lakind pitched twice in the second round, throwing a total of 1.2 shutout innings. He allowed three hits, one walk and had two strikeouts. Both the Netherlands and Japan advanced to the finals, where they will await the two winners of the USA, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Dominican bracket.

With Lakind done, that leaves McCutchen, Harrison, Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte as the remaining Pittsburgh Pirates in the tournament. Ivan Nova is a reserve for the Dominican team, but he is scheduled to pitch today for the Pirates, so he would only be available for the final two days of the WBC, and there are no guarantees that the Dominican Republic will play in either game.

Thursday’s schedule has the Dominican Republic playing Venezuela at 10 PM. On Friday at 10 PM, USA will take on Puerto Rico. Both games will be on MLB Network.

Eric Wood’s WBC Experience

Eric Wood rejoined the Pirates on Wednesday morning. Prior to Wednesday’s Pirates game, Wood spoke to the media briefly about his experience in the World Baseball Classic with Team Canada. He was asked about the atmosphere on the tournament, especially the first game against the Dominican team in Miami, where they had a huge following on hand.

“My first at-bat against [Carlos] Martinez, everybody is going nuts with their instruments and what not. I couldn’t even hear myself think. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it.”

Wood didn’t have a great tournament, going 2-for-12 with four strikeouts and a couple errors. He did well in the exhibition games prior to the start of the WBC, singling off the bench in one game, then hitting a double and two homers in the other contest. Wood commented on the the ballpark in Miami, playing three games on a Major League field.

“It’s a big yard in Miami. It’s hard to hit it out there. I’m just trying to get a good pitch to hit and be ready to hit every pitch. Just the same thing I’ve always been doing. Trying to keep that going.”

Clint Hurdle was also asked Eric Wood and his time away in the WBC. He thought it was a great experience for him, especially since he got his at-bats in while he was away from the Pirates. Hurdle gave a long answer regarding their talk today, which they had prior to Wood meeting with the media.

“I spent probably ten minutes, I had him empty his pockets for me. I wanted to hear all about it, from the time he left, everything that went on. He had a blast. He said ‘I wanted to go for the experience, but I wanted to play, so I figured I needed to do something for them to play me.’ I said ‘The two home runs against the Yankees probably didn’t hurt.’ He said ‘No, I think it helped.’ He got his at-bats. Loved the experience. Getting buzzed by Martinez his first at-bat. We walked through everything. Fantastic experience for the young man.”

**After Wednesday’s Pirates game, Clint Hurdle announced that Francisco Cervelli would rejoin the Pirates on Thursday. Team Italy was eliminated on Monday night.

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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.

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Darkstone42

“I had him empty his pockets for me,” is a delightful metaphor, especially to me, who could do pretty well telling a story about where I went during a day by emptying my pockets, since I just stick everything I get throughout the day in one pocket or another.

Darkstone42

In actual baseball commentary, Cutch just missed a dinger. Looked decent at the plate, I thought.

jason f (exo)

Yeah on most other nights that one probably would have been gone… I feel like i said that (or “in a different park”) a lot last year about a number of Cutch’s fly outs.

He seemed pretty pissed off when he realized it was getting caught too. I hope things start going right for #22 .

emjayinTN

I think Eric Wood has represented the Pirates very well at Altoona, the AFL, LIDOM, and the WBC, and has held his own with some very excellent MLB hitters.

How long before Jared Hughes goes to see the TJ doctor?

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