In a historic moment in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Puerto Rico threw an eight-inning perfect game against Israel thanks to the mercy rule, which ended the game early in the top of the eighth inning. The final score was 10-0.
The game started off with Puerto Rico’s ace pitcher, Carlos Correa, throwing a perfect first inning. He retired the first three batters he faced, striking out two of them. Correa continued to dominate, retiring every batter he faced for the next six innings. His pitches were precise, and his confidence was evident.
While Correa was pitching a perfect game, Puerto Rico’s offense was also on fire. They scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning, and two more runs in both the fourth and seventh innings. Israel, on the other hand, couldn’t get anything going against Correa, who finished the game with 13 strikeouts.
In the top of the eighth inning, Puerto Rico’s lead was already 10-0, and they only needed three outs to secure the win. Israel’s third batter of the inning hit a pop-up to shallow left field, which Puerto Rico’s shortstop caught for the second out of the inning. However, the umpire ruled that the catch was made in foul territory, which meant that the batter had another chance.
The next pitch was hit towards the gap in left-center field, but Puerto Rico’s center fielder made a diving catch to end the game. However, the umpires decided to review the play to confirm whether the fielder caught the ball cleanly, as it had been hit so hard. After a brief review, the umpires confirmed the catch, which meant that Puerto Rico had thrown a perfect game.
This moment marked the first time in World Baseball Classic history that a game had been won via the mercy rule due to a perfect game being thrown. Furthermore, it was a special moment for Puerto Rico, as they had just avenged their 2013 defeat against the Dominican Republic, who had eliminated them from the tournament.
Overall, this game showcased the excellence of Puerto Rico’s pitching staff and their potent offense. It also proved that the mercy rule can come into play even in the most unexpected circumstances, making the 2023 World Baseball Classic one of the most thrilling tournaments in recent baseball history.