Seeds All Day is going continue to plug the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Because what’s not to love about meaningful March baseball. Round 1 provided some exhilarating moments. After losing its opening game to Mexico, the United States found itself in win-or-go-home mode for its next two games, only to produce late, come-from-behind victories in both to not only advance, but to win Pool D. Even more amazing, team Italy was able to rally against Mexico in the ninth and mercy rule Canada to put itself in the second round for the first time ever.
Round 2 for Pools C and D (collectively now Pool 2) begins today. The format for this second round is a modified double elimination pitting the Pool C winner (the Dominican Republic) against the Pool D runner up (Italy) and the Pool D winner (the United States) against the Pool C runner up (Puerto Rico). The teams will play a double elimination bracket, with the top two teams advancing to the semi finals.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Pool 1 of Round 2 is winding down this morning, and tickets to the Championship Round have already been punched. Defending two-time WBC champion has gone unbeaten thus far. They will be joined in San Francisco by an upstart Kingdom of the Netherlands team that defeated world power Cuba twice in Round 2 to advance. The two teams are playing each other this morning to determine a winner and runner up of the Pool. As of the time of this publication, Japan held an 8-1 lead in the sixth inning.
Team USA has never advanced beyond the second round of the classic. After their wins against Mexico and Canada, the Americans hope they have built enough momentum to carry them through a pool with Caribbean power houses Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and the feisty and aggressive Italian club. Failure to make it to the Championship Round this year will equate to utter failure in the World Baseball Classic. Gio Gonzalez, who we believe is team USA’s best starter, takes the mound against Puerto Rico tonight. Your start times for today’s Pool 2 games in Miami are as follows.
Italy at Dominican Republic – 1:00 p.m. (MLB Network)
Puerto Rico at United States – 8:00 p.m. (MLB Network)