One of the most anticipated match ups has finally arrived. The USA will face the Dominican Republic on Thursday night in Miami to see who will get the first bid from Pool 2 into the Championship Series in San Francisco.
Both teams have been on a roll of late and feature two of the hottest hitters in the Classic. The Dominican’s Robinson Cano is leading the tournament in hits (12), doubles (4), and total bases (22). Plus he is hitting .632 with a pair of home runs.
David Wright might not be leading the Classic in hitting, but he is have a great tournament. He is hitting .438 with two doubles and a home run. And he has had some huge hits leading the Classic in RBI with 10.
But who will be getting the start on the mound? Let’s take a look.
The USA will be starting the reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Dickey didn’t have a great start in the opening game against Mexico. He gave up four runs in four innings. He didn’t walk a batter, but he did give up six hits.
Dickey will look to get his knuckleball tumbling on Thursday. He will be facing a strong Dominican lineup.
Sam Deduno will get the start for the Dominican. He started 15 games last season with the Minnesota Twins going 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA.
The 29-year old has spent most of his career in the minor leagues compiling a 45-45 record over 169 games (140 starts). He has struggled with his control in the big leagues walking 53 batters in 79.0 innings in 2012. However, over eight minor league seasons he has averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The winner of the game will have a ticket to the Championship Round in San Francisco. The loser will face Puerto Rico in an elimination game on Friday March 15.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.