The World Baseball Classic has been heating up as the tournament enters its knockout stage. Team USA, which finished second in Group B, will face Venezuela in the quarterfinals on March 15th. The game will take place at the Tokyo Dome in Japan and it is set to be an exciting matchup.
Team USA has had a bit of a bumpy road in the tournament so far. They started with a convincing 7-1 win over Canada in the opening round, but they were then upset by Colombia in a 10-inning game. The Americans bounced back with a 8-0 win over the Dominican Republic, which was seen as one of the tournament favorites. They then lost to Puerto Rico in their final game of the second round, but still managed to advance to the quarterfinals.
The U.S. team’s roster is stacked with talented players from MLB, including stars like Nolan Arenado, Chris Archer, Giancarlo Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen. They will also have the services of Marcus Stroman, who has been one of the standout players of the tournament so far. Stroman has allowed just one run in nine innings of work, and he will likely start the quarterfinal game against Venezuela.
Venezuela, on the other hand, has had a solid run in the tournament, finishing second in Group D behind the Dominican Republic. They lost their opening game to Puerto Rico, but then bounced back with wins over Italy, Mexico, and a stunning upset over the Dominican Republic. Venezuela’s roster features a number of MLB stars, such as Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, and Felix Hernandez.
The winner of the U.S. vs. Venezuela game will advance to the semifinals, where they will face either Japan or the winner of the Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico game.
Fans can follow the World Baseball Classic scores and updates on MLB Network, ESPN, and the official website of the tournament. The winner of the tournament will be crowned on March 22nd at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.