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WBC Game Chat: USA vs Mexico, 4:30 pm PT
2006-03-16 15:30
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Angel Stadium! This game will be shown live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The final spot in the WBC Final Four will be decided today. If the USA wins, it moves on to play Korea Saturday night in San Diego. If Mexico wins, most likely it will be Japan that will move on. The USA can advance also if they lose a 1-0 game, in 9 innings or be drawn into a 2-1 or 3-2 game that goes into extra innnings.

Roger Clemens, in what could be his last professional baseball start (until he decides to unretire again), goes for the USA. Oliver Perez will start for Mexico.

Mexico comes into the game with a .690 team OPS in five games and has scored just two runs in its last two games, both coming on solo home runs. The United States is second in the WBC in OPS and the highest among the remaining teams at .918 (Canada was .928 in three games). But most of the American hitting was done in one 17-0 win over South Africa. Since then, the American team scored just four runs in a win over Japan and only three in a loss to Korea, with two coming in the ninth inning.

Mexico's pitching has been better than the USA. Mexico sports an ERA of 3.14 to 4.05 for the USA. Both teams have allowed four home runs.

The USA will be without the services of Derrek Lee at first base today as he is nursing a sore shoulder. Lee had hit three home runs in five games and had homered against Mexico in the team's earlier meeting, a 2-0 win for the USA. Mark Texeira will likely start at first and he's 0 for 12 in the WBC. Johnny Damon will not play in the field (or at all) and USA manager Buck Martinez may start Jeff Francouer, who has only 3 ABs in the tournament.

Mexico's offense, such as it is, is led by Jorge Cantu who has hit two home runs and has an OPS of 1.014. The Mexican team is batting just .235 for the WBC.

The fact that the USA is still alive will make this game far more interesting of course. Mexico probably should not beat the USA. But then again, Canada and Korea shouldn't have either. If Clemens gets the team off to a good start and the USA hitters can actually get a hit with runners on base, the USA should win. But if the 2004 version of Oliver Perez shows up, Mexico could keep this one close and make it uncomfortable for fans of the USA. Expect a crowd that will still likely be heavily pro-Mexico, although not to the same extent as a USA-Mexico soccer match in Southern California. Mexico may have only the longest of shots to make it to the semifinals (they need to win 3-0 or 4-0 in 13 innings), but they would certainly enjoy knocking out their neighbor to the north, just as they did in Olympic qualifying in 2003.

FINAL SCORE Mexico 2, United States 1

WP -- Edgar Gonzalez
LP -- Roger Clemens
Save -- David Cortes
HRs -- None (well at least not ones that counted, but you'll have to talk to Bob Davidson about that.)

Korea wins the Anaheim Regional with a 3-0 record. Japan, USA, and Mexico all finish 1-2. By the runs allowed tiebreaker, Japan surrendered 5 runs in 17 2/3 innings (.282). The USA gave up 5 in 17 innings (.294) and Mexico surrendered 7 runs in 18 innings (.388).

Korea will play Japan on Saturday night at 7 pm PT in San Diego in the semifinal.

Comments (59)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-16 16:48:33
1.   Bob Timmermann
I fixed the link for the Gameday app if anyone tried it earlier.
2006-03-16 16:48:39
2.   Garnered
No posts yet? Baseball nihlism? This should be a real good game...
2006-03-16 16:51:08
3.   Garnered
classic 2-3 double play.
2006-03-16 16:53:26
4.   Garnered
They just showed this is Francouer's first start in LF at ANY LEVEL--how does that happen on a supposed national team???
2006-03-16 16:56:26
5.   Bob Timmermann
Why is the guy with the best arm in the outfield playing LF?
2006-03-16 17:00:06
6.   Garnered
Is A-rod really that slow? That was close!
2006-03-16 17:14:02
7.   Garnered
Hey Bob when's your report from the Korea/Japan II gonna be up? I'm really looking forward to your impressions from the game.
2006-03-16 17:17:14
8.   Bob Timmermann
I'm going to finish it up when I get home.
2006-03-16 17:21:55
9.   Garnered
If they don't call that a home run the US may be playing by themselves in 2009.
2006-03-16 17:23:29
10.   D4P
Horrible call.
2006-03-16 17:24:29
11.   Bob Timmermann
For those of us looking at iconic representations, could we get a full description?
2006-03-16 17:24:37
12.   Garnered
That was clearly off the pole at least 10 feet above any of the fans...I think Loaiza just got tossed for yelling something at the umps...
2006-03-16 17:27:01
13.   Garnered
Oh sorry am I the only one watvhing this live? First time theres been a sporting advantage to living abroad. The umps basically put their foot in it again by calling an obvious home run off the foul pole a double, wish I could go into more detail but I have Korean play-by-play. I do know enough of the language to recognize that the "home-town umpire" point is being hammerred on again and again, but why not at this point?
2006-03-16 17:28:06
14.   King of the Hobos
11 Ball hit the foul pole about 10 feet off the ground, well above Vernon Wells, but the ump called it a double, even though the wall is about five feet tall, and Vernon Wells is taller than it
2006-03-16 17:30:40
15.   D4P
RBI single to drive in the run.


2006-03-16 17:33:02
16.   das411
FYI Bob et all, it was indeed Bob Davidson that made the non-HR call. ...yeah.

Jorge Cantu is now officially more clutch than Roger Clemens, although didn't Mexico just eliminate themselves by scoring a run?

2006-03-16 17:34:02
17.   Garnered
16 right on both counts. Also I love how Cantu looks like the guy who should have be The Mariachi instead of Antonio Banderas.
2006-03-16 17:34:57
18.   Ken Arneson
Is it better to eliminate yourselves, or to have an umpire do it for you?
2006-03-16 17:37:07
19.   Bob Timmermann
Yep, Mexico is out of it. But their chances were beyond remote anyway.

Now it's time for Poncho Campos. The USA has to hit this guy or they're doomed. Campos has never done particularly well in the US.

2006-03-16 17:37:18
20.   JNelson
So apparently, Mexico just eliminated themselves by scoring. One of the changes I would make for 2009 would be to change the ridiculous tiebreaker rule. Instead of runs allowed per 9 innings, it should just be runs allowed per game. I realize that under my rule, Mexico would have started the game eliminated. but this scenario was just plain silly.
2006-03-16 17:38:15
21.   Garnered
is the USA's tourney so far reminding anyone else of the last Super Bowl? I shouldn't complain, I'm a Steelers fan after all, but the parallels are compelling...
2006-03-16 17:39:47
22.   D4P
Wow. Great play.
2006-03-16 17:40:43
23.   Garnered
Too bad, A-Rod's out at the warning track, preventing me from making the first "A-Rod garbage time production" crack...
2006-03-16 17:43:20
24.   Garnered
HAHAHA the just threw to third and touched the bag...Mexico won't get that call!
2006-03-16 17:44:48
25.   das411
Ugh, Eric Karros just did that "old time baseball ignites a lineup's bats" thing again...who shot that argument down last time?
2006-03-16 17:46:52
26.   grandcosmo
Bob knows that I have belabored the point to him but if the USA is really interested in playing their best why would they put someone in LF who has never played there before while at the same time starting a butcher at 3B (who has played hundreds of games in LF) and DHing a Gold GLove 3B????
2006-03-16 17:49:13
27.   grandcosmo
Other than Stone and Papa, the announcing teams that ESPN has inflicted on the baseball public in this tournament have been ghastly.
2006-03-16 17:50:03
28.   Garnered
Just got a replay of Loaiza getting tossed--he was holding up a ball and saying "can you see this? this is what a ball looks like" to Bob Davidson. Esteban just went up a few notches in my estimation.
2006-03-16 17:51:46
29.   regfairfield
25 At least Karros suggested that A-Rod shouldn't be looking to weakly tap to the right side. He's at least using some sense, unlike the head play by play guy.
2006-03-16 17:52:00
30.   D4P
Not sure if you understood this or not, but I think Loaiza was trying to get the umps to look at that ball (which was the HR ball), as it had paint on it that must have come from the foul pole, not the padded wall.
2006-03-16 17:52:46
31.   Garnered
Already 60 pitches for Clemens...and at least 15 of them have been high and over the plate.
2006-03-16 17:53:31
32.   Humma Kavula
Is anybody watching this on TV? How deep was the flyout by Luis Garcia? Charlie Steiner on XM made it sound like he was right at the wall, but GameDay shows it in straightaway LF.
2006-03-16 17:53:40
33.   Garnered
30 oh thanks, I wasn't clear on that. How did he get his hands on that ball so fast?
2006-03-16 18:09:08
34.   King of the Hobos
32 It was pretty far, to the track if I remember correctly. Probably not as far as Steiner made it seem, as he likes to pretend normal fly balls have a chance to go over the wall
2006-03-16 18:11:15
35.   Humma Kavula
34 He got pretty excited, to say the least. "And deep! -- At the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllll... Caaaaaaaauuuuuuught!"
2006-03-16 18:13:54
36.   grandcosmo
OK, Sutcliffe is forcing me to go to the mute again for the remainder of the game after saying that Clemens would say that this is the biggest game he has ever pitched in.
2006-03-16 18:26:18
37.   D4P
2006-03-16 18:41:05
38.   Bob Timmermann
It looks Estrada is just using his best pitchers as needed. I don't know if there is a "cerrador" on this team.

Would Osuna or Cortes pitch?

2006-03-16 18:56:05
39.   das411
Is his name "Houston" or "Huston"?

Any why does Jon Miller look like he is about twice the size of Selig?

2006-03-16 19:01:51
40.   Bob Timmermann
Huston Street

Jon Miller doesn't miss many meals.

2006-03-16 19:03:08
41.   Bob Timmermann
Lefty Jorge De La Rosa is up I assume to pitch to Griffey and Jones.
2006-03-16 19:06:16
42.   D4P
Did I just see Mike Brito before they cut to commercial?
2006-03-16 19:12:32
43.   Bob Timmermann
Clear the decks! We're going to the 9th!


2006-03-16 19:17:19
44.   Sam DC
crikey -- no time to check in for anything all day and night until this. sheesh.
2006-03-16 19:18:11
45.   Bob Timmermann
2006-03-16 19:20:16
46.   Inside Baseball
Was I seriously just pulling for Larry???
2006-03-16 19:21:53
47.   Bob Timmermann
I've learned today that while the Koreans have a word for strikeout (sam-jin) they don't have a distinctly Korean word for a walk. Perhaps that explains why their pitchers have had such good control.

As for what Chipper Jones just did, it was a "base por bolas"

2006-03-16 19:26:37
48.   Inside Baseball
Tres mas bases por bales por favor. O solamente dos.
2006-03-16 19:26:41
49.   Bob Timmermann
"Base por bolas" otra vez!

Hmm... pinch running for A-Rod. Buck Martinez isn't worrying about the game going to extra innings.

Now it's time for Cortes.

2006-03-16 19:29:36
50.   Inside Baseball
Ay caramba.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-16 19:29:56
51.   Bob Timmermann
Adios Estados Unidos!

Hola Japon!

2006-03-16 19:31:47
52.   JeffinTokyo
domo arigato Mexico!
2006-03-16 19:37:19
53.   das411
Hey Bob, how do you say "Thank you team Mexico" in Korean, did your new friends tell you that one yesterday?
2006-03-16 19:39:00
54.   Bob Timmermann
My attempt to learn Korean is not a systematic form of instruction.
2006-03-16 19:57:16
55.   das411
Hmm...well, does anyone else remember that time Clemens "retired" and then the Yankees ended up losing that game to Florida?

Or that other time he "retired" and the 'stros lost to the Cardinals?

And then there was last year's "last Clemens game ever!!" when it was the Chisox that beat him, no?

2006-03-16 20:01:33
56.   Super Fan
You know how the saying goes "Karma is a bitch", well Karma came back to haunt the US after they stole the US vs Japan game, haha!

Way to go Mexico!

2006-03-16 20:04:16
57.   D4P
It's all tied up, folks.
2006-03-16 20:08:20
58.   Daniel Zappala
Thanks Bob, for all the work you've done on the WBC. This is the de facto site to come for the info. I missed a great game, but was able to catch up on it here.
2006-03-16 20:29:23
59.   Bob Timmermann
Thank you for the kind words.

Hope you folks enjoy my description of the Korea-Japan game.

Although I have a feeling it will be more popular with Korean fans than Japanese fans.

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