There was no joy in Miami as the mighty Miller gave up a 3-run blast to Nelson Cruz and the Dominican Republic shocks USA. Well no joy unless you are rooting for the Dominican Republic, who so far look like the best team in the tournament with all due respect to Japan.
USA 5, Dominican Republic 7
Team USA gave up a 5 run lead after 5.5 innings of play. The USA jumped on the board with a pair of runs in the 3rd inning with the first run coming on an error by Dominican centerfielder Sterling Marte, with an assist from Nelson Cruz who almost collided with Marte on a fly ball from Adam Jones. Instead the ball fell scoring Ian Kinsler. Jones would score the 2nd run on a Christian Yelich sacrifice fly.
An inning later Brandon Crawford singled sharply to center to score Paul Goldschmidt. Then a few innings later Team USA would score two more as Giancarlo Stanton and Crawford both picked up RBI doubles. Then the offense sputtered.
Manny Machado got the scoring started for the Dominican in the 6th inning. He hit an absolute blast to left off of Tanner Roark. The home run was estimated at 435 feet with an exit velocity of 109.4 mph, which means it was absolutely crushed.
The big blow came in the bottom of the 8th. On an 0-2 pitch, Nelson Cruz crushed an Andrew Miller slider, that didn’t slide far enough, into the left field stands for a 3-run home run putting the Dominican on top 6-5. Two batters later Sterling Marte would take Miller deep with an opposite field shot finishing off Team USA 7-5.
Both Tanner Roark and Andrew Miller did not pitch up to snuff. USA manager Jim Leyland was a little hesitant to pull Roark which would come back to bite him as he gave up 3 runs in 1.1 innings pitched. Miller had a terrible night giving up 4 runs on 3 hits in just 0.2 innings.
On the flip side, the Dominican bullpen shutdown the USA bats for the final 3 innings not allowing a hit. Hansel Robles, Jesus Colome (W, 1-0), and Jeurys Familia (S, 1) finished the game off allowing just a single walk.
The win puts the Dominican in Round 2, and makes the USA/Canada match up a must win to advance for Team USA.
WBC Pool C Standings:
- Dominican Republic 2-0
- Colombia 1-1
- USA 1-1
- Canada 0-2
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.