Team USA is on a roll as they reach the World Baseball Classic finals and believe no one can stop them.
MIAMI, it wasn’t easy.
There were challenging times.
numerous instances of anxiety and frustration.
Team USA, on the other hand, has returned to the World Baseball Classic finals exactly where they expected to be.
Following the game on Sunday, when Team USA defeated Cuba 14-2, they performed a comedy club routine.
They will play the winner of the Japan-Mexico game on Tuesday night at loanDepot Park, where they will have home field advantage once more and feel like the ’27 Yankees because of how they play now.
USA lost to Venezuela in the quarterfinals and Mexico in the first round, but they now believe this is their year and are more confident than ever.
When Team USA is hitting.382 with 23 runs, five doubles, one triple, and six home runs in their last two games, why shouldn’t they feel invincible?
Adam Wainwright allowed the first four Cuban baserunners to reach base without getting an out in the bottom of the first inning as the St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt took the mound and hit a two-run home run. Before he knew it, he was down one goal.
“He comes in after the home run, and the first thing he does is, he goes right to me and he says, “We got you,”” according to Wainwright. Today, it seemed like our entire lineup put the pitchers on their backs, signaling to us that they were there to play.
“Sincerely, that was one of my all-time favorite home runs,” Goldschmidt said, “I believed him when my guy looked at me and said that.”
Team USA’s offense was relentless, scoring runs in every inning except one, with a scoreboard line of 2-1, 2-2, 2-4 in runs scored over the first six innings.
When someone bats 10th and hits three home runs and eight RBI in the last two games, you know you have something special going on.
At the World Baseball Classic, Trea Turner, who had never batted ninth in a starting lineup before this tournament, set a USA record with 10 RBI and 4 home runs.
Assuming he batted in the setup, might you at any point envision what he could do?
“I kept saying every time he went deep,” USA manager Mark DeRosa said, asking, “Who is the idiot that’s hitting him ninth?” Nevertheless, that is the design of this lineup.
You know you have a strong lineup when New York Mets NL batting champion Jeff McNeil hasn’t started a game since the tournament started. The Kansas City Royals’ rookie sensation Bobby Witt Jr. has only made two plate appearances. Mookie Betts and McNeil switched positions on Sunday when right fielder McNeil needed a break. Betts played second base while McNeil moved to right field. It became so absurd.
DeRosa says, “Yeah, they’re swinging the bats well, they’re having fun being around each other,” “they’re passing the baton, they’re not having selfish ABs [at-bats], constant pressure,” and “they’re not having selfish ABs [at-bats].” I am astonished by these individuals’ command of the strike zone.
Relax, let the pitchers do their thing, and have some fun.
Oh, and do they ever seem to be having fun?
Turner joked about wondering what he needed to do to get out of the ninth spot when he told his teammates that he hadn’t hit a home run in four or five spring trainings. He recently crossed three in a single day.
“I don’t ask questions, but it’s kind of funny how it works out,” Turner stated.
After Turner hit his second home run on Sunday, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Goldschmidt approached him and told him to “Quit showing us up.”
According to Wainwright, With Trea Turner at ninth, I must say, what a fun team.
You know something special is going on when Turner only responds to the fact that he has more home runs and RBI than any USA player in WBC history—his two Sunday home runs tied Ken Griffey Jr. for the record.
“Just can’t wait to tell him,” Turner said. I am uncertain whether he is aware of that. That surprised me, but I can’t wait to discuss it with him in the cage.
THE SPORTS NEWSLETTER: Get the most recent sports news every day right now delivered to your inbox! Total MLB wins in 2023: Predicting each team’s new season record Wainwright says that while the names on the front of the jerseys might say “St. Louis Cardinals,” the names on the back might say “USA.” On Sunday, four Cardinals participated in the game: “Team Cardinal today,” said Wainwright, Goldschmidt, third baseman Nolan Arenado, and pitcher Miles Mikolas. Four men were our representatives today. Nevertheless, we were glad to be here and to represent our country.
Imagine how much fun the Cardinals would have had if Puerto Rico had reached the semifinals under the legendary manager Yadier Molina.
“So, he’s been giving me the silent treatment,” Wainwright stated. We watched the documentary “Redeem Team,” in which Kobe truly set the tone by confronting Pau Gasol and demonstrating it. I really think he was trying to get that done.
I’d text him, “Hey, congratulations,” to him. Nothing.
When I call him, I say, “Hey, congratulations.” Nothing.
Okay, man, I get it now. We can talk after the tournament.
However, you are aware of his development. He was disappointed that he did not achieve his goal of winning.
Even though I was aware that he would not respond, I did send him a text message saying, “Hey, I know you’re bummed that you lost, but we’re all very proud of you and how you handled that.”
Yes, Wainwright is also waiting for that response at this time.
It remained that way throughout the remainder of the evening following the game, with Mike Trout taking photographs with Cuban players and Turner making fun of throwing away his torn batting gloves to show that he is not superstitious.
They’ll play either Mexico, who beat the USA in the first round in Phoenix, or Japan, where Yu Darvish is expected to start and Shohei Ohtani might finish.
Given the manner in which the United States is swinging the bat, it might not really matter.
DeRosa stated, “Their at-bat quality has recently improved as this competition has advanced.” They now know each other and feel at ease. Nobody is trying to get noticed by anyone else.
“At the moment, there is simply a lot of team unity.”
Although this team has flaws and took some time to unite, if they win one more game and take home the gold medal, all of those flaws will vanish.
Turner expressed, “I think it took us a tad of time, yet presently we sort of gotten comfortable with ourselves.”
Perhaps just at the ideal time.