Team USA now has their opponent. In one of the best games in recent memory, Team Japan knocked off Team Mexico and will now play tonight for the WBC Championship.
Team Japan was shut down by Mexico in every aspect of the game up until Masataka Yoshida hit a game-tying three run home run in the bottom of the 7th. Patrick Sandoval and Jose Urquidy had Team Japan up against the wall, both pitching to their top potential. Team Japan didn’t lead once in last night’s game until the winning run crossed the plate.
Roki Sasaki was as good as advertised last night. The 21 year old phenom pitched a total of 4.0 innings, making only one mistake all night. It was the mistake that shifted the entire momentum to Team Mexico. The one pitch that was left too much over the plate that Luis Urías got ahold of giving Mexico a 3-0 lead in the top of the 4th.
Randy Arozarena put up incredible numbers this entire tournament for Team Mexico. He seemed to be everywhere in this game. From his .450 batting average to his home run saving catch, Arozarena was downright brilliant. To add to the kind of experience this was, Randy Arozarena was sighted signing baseballs for fans in LF, the entire tournament. Randy brought energy to each game he played and was a "must watch".
Team Mexico missed out on opportunities to extend their lead and Team Japan pounced on them. Shohei Ohtani bursted pride into the rest of their lineup, leading off the bottom of the 9th with a double. Masataka Yoshida walked to bring up last night’s hero. Munetaka Murakami walked it off with a double in the gap, scoring both runners.
Yesterday's game was an unbelievable experience that no baseball fan will soon forget. Team Mexico didn't lose, Team Japan just won. A simple and obvious statement that has more meaning that meets the eye. We will now see the two powerhouse teams face-off in a game that is expected to be a “can’t miss”. It was the matchup we expected and the one we will all get to witness. First pitch is at 7:00 PM EST live from loanDepot Park.