The World Baseball Classic continued over the weekend and it was all kinds of fun, with the exception of watching the US get absolutely embarrassed and blown out on Sunday night. But hey, maybe you enjoyed that and that’s ok. The Cincinnati Reds had several players get some game action over the weekend and some of them played quite well for their respective teams.
On Saturday Colombia and Mexico played in a classic, with Colombia coming out on top 5-4 in 10 innings. The game featured three Cincinnati pitchers getting work in the game. Luis Cessa came out of the bullpen for Mexico and pitched 2.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits and he picked up a strikeout.
On the other side both Reiver Sanmartin and Pedro Garcia pitched for Colombia. Sanmartin began the 7th inning and was charged with a run on two hits in 0.1 innings, but he exited the game without a run scoring against him. Two runners were on when Colombia turned to Garcia. He came out and got Randy Arozarena to fly out, but a ground ball found it’s way through the middle of the infield with two outs to bring in the game tying run. Garcia got a fly out to end the inning. He returned to the mound for the 8th and retired Mexico in order.
All of the games are being played with pitch tracking taking place. That meant we got the first look at Pedro Garcia pitch data since May of 2021 when he was in the Florida State League. The difference from May of 2021 to March of 2023 is quite different. In the single game he pitched with pitch tracking he averaged 91.3 MPH with his fastball and 77.7 MPH with his slider. Over the weekend he averaged 95.5 MPH with his fastball and his slider was at 86.5 MPH.
Sunday was a big matchup between Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Venezuela jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back, holding on for a 9-6 victory. Henry Ramos pinch hit in the game, going 0-1. Three Reds pitchers took the mound in the game. Silvino Bracho picked up the save for Venezuela, throwing 2.0 perfect innings in the game. Fernando Cruz allowed a solo home run in an inning of work for Puerto Rico. Alexis Diaz threw a hitless inning, giving up a walk and striking out three batters.
Steven Leyton is one of the few position players from the Reds in the World Baseball Classic. He played in both games for Nicaragua over the weekend. He went 0-4 on Saturday against Puerto Rico. On Sunday against Israel he doubled and drove in the only run that Nicaragua scored on the day. It put his country ahead 1-0 and it’s a lead that they held until the bottom of the 8th when Israel scored three runs to take the lead for good.
It was a tough day for Great Britain on Sunday against Canada. Despite grabbing a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning, Great Britain wound up being run-ruled in an 18-8 loss that was over in the 7th inning. Like many of the pitchers for Great Britain on the day, it was a tough one for Donovan Benoit. He allowed three hits and walked three batters without recording an out and was charged with four earned runs. On the bright side of things – Benoit hit 98 MPH in the game multiple times.
Maintaining my contrarian ways, if a player, regardless of national origin, is being paid by MLB, they should be playing for the US team. Does Apple pay developers to write software for Microsoft? Does Ford manufacture Chevys? But, at the end of the day, it’s all about the Benjamins.
Talk about a classic apples to oranges comparison.
Not really. The point is if you’re being paid by someone, that’s who you play for.
America isn’t paying the players. The teams are. Why should Mike Trout play for Team USA when the Angels are paying him? This is so silly.
Does that mean all the Blue Jays organization players have to play for Canada? What a stupid argument.
The initial goal of MLB was to promote the game of baseball around the world. Sell hats, jerseys, game streaming and maybe find some talented athletes.
Since none of the players are being paid by MLB, it would seem the whole argument is moot.
They are paid by the individual teams. I’m pretty sure it’s the Reds who signed Votto, not MLB.
If we follow your contention (that all MLB players should play for Team USA), then a player like Teoscar Hernandez, who:
+ was born in the Dominican
+ plays in Canada
+ paid by a Canadian team
should be playing for Team USA. I’ll let you explain how that logically makes sense.
Also, if we take your argument to its conclusion, and insist players play for the national teams where their paychecks originate, and not of their birth origin, then Olympians should compete for any country where an endorsement originated. So
Michael Phelps should have been winning gold medals for France, because of his Louis Vitton endorsement.
Did I just hear a mic drop????
The injury argument against the WBC is a bit silly, too. Gavin Lux got injured in a spring training game and is out for the season. Jay Allen got hurt today in Goodyear. The Yankees appear to have lost two starting pitchers already, neither of which is playing in the WBC.
I think the adrenaline rush of the WBC counter-balances any injury risk to playing those games. They have pitch limits, so the pitchers aren’t at any more risk than they would be in spring training.
I insist on Silvino Bracho could make the Reds bullpen, he is in good shape and is very nasty.
I think it is really neat that Cuba is allowing some of their native born mlb players to come back and play for them. Maybe this tournament will create some positive political consequences as well.