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Mariner WBC Update Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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Three games involving Mariners have passed since my last update of the World Baseball Classic as it closes in on the semi-finals, so let’s break it down.

On an incredibly minor note, the Netherlands and Mariner Greg Halman were eliminated from the tournament Sunday when they lost to the United States 3-9.  Halman didn’t play in this final outing for the Dutch.

On a bigger note, Japan managed to small-ball their way to a 6-0 victory over Cuba Sunday.  Johjima caught an incredible game from Dice-K and also managed to continue to thrive offensively, going 2-4 with a run scored.  Ichiro’s struggles at the plate also continued, unfortunately, as he was 0-5 with a failed sacrifice bunt, and an RBI.  Also on display in this game were some oddly racist remarks by an ESPN analysist toward both Cuba and Korea and two errors by our two Mariners in the same at bat on successively missed foul balls.  Otherwise a great game.

And the biggest game of the three was Puerto Rico falling to a great pitching performance by King Felix, which leaves the PR in a rematch with the US and elimination on the line tonight.  Venezuela’s pitching staff was on fire as they shut out the Puerto Ricans 2-0 with Felix pitching 4.2 innings and striking out 7.  Despite his amazing performance so far, Endy was only brought in near the end of the game, but Lopez started again at second base and struggled for the first time, going 0-3 with a walk.  Venezuela and four Mariners are now guaranteed a spot in the single-elimination final.  They will face either the United States or Puerto Rico Wednesday before the tournament moves to Los Angeles on Saturday.

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