After figuring out the math again, the outlook for the USA to advance to the semifinals in the event of a Japan win over Korea Wednesday night is not good.
If Japan wins, the best the USA can get is a three-way tie at 2-1.
Tiebreaker #1 is head-to-head - Everybody would be 1-1.
Tiebreaker #2 is runs allowed per inning played on defense - The USA total is stuck now at 10 runs in 17 innings (the USA only pitched 8 innings against Korea) or .58. Korea is at 3 in 9 innings of defense for .33. Japan is at 4 in 8 2/3 innings which is at .46.
So if Japan beats Korea, but scores no more than 6 runs and it's a nine-inning game, you get:
USA at .588 (10 runs in 17 innings)
Korea at .529 (9 runs in 17 innings, since Korea would play only 8 Wednesday)
Japan would be no greater than .509 (9 runs in 17 2/3 innings)
If it's a 7-6 win for Japan and the game is decided in the ninth and Korea gets one or two outs before Japan scores the winning run, then the USA would also be eliminated. Or it could be 8-7, see below.
If the game goes into extra innings, there are a whole world of problems for Team USA.
So, if you're pulling for Team USA, then you need to root for Korea Wednesday night. Big time.
Update -- AP stories say that the USA will be eliminated if Japan wins by scoring SEVEN or fewer runs instead of six. However, like an angry math teacher, I would like the people to show their work. If Japan were to score seven in nine innings, then Korea would have surrendered 10 runs in 17 innings, just like the U.S. Then the next tiebreaker, which would be earned runs would come into play. The USA has surrendered 10 earned runs. So far, only Japan has given up an unearned run. So if anyone can explain to me why seven runs is the magic number to eliminate and not six, I'd be glad to find out.
Please show your work for full credit.
The first person to show me definitive proof before I leave to go to Anaheim will win a WBC souvenir of my choosing. Although you can pick the country, subject to availability at the souvenir stands in Anaheim.