Ben Verlander breaks down USA’s big-time win, what to search for vs. Cuba

The 2023 World Baseball Classic featured a handful of untamed video games this weekend, together with Team USA‘s jaw-dropping 9-7 win over Venezuela on Saturday evening that despatched the Americans to the semifinals.

Trailing Venezuela by two runs within the eighth inning, USA loaded the bases with no one out in opposition to left-hander José Quijada. Tim Anderson drew a stroll, Pete Alonso hit a pinch-hit single and J.T. Realmuto was hit by a pitch. 

Venezuela supervisor Omar Lopez changed Quijada with right-hander Silvino Bracho. First up was Trea Turner, who was shortly down 0-2 in opposition to Bracho. He did not let that section him as a result of on the third pitch he noticed, Turner launched a grand slam to left subject and erased the deficit to place the staff up, 9-7, within the eighth inning. 

USA will now play Cuba within the WBC semifinals Sunday evening in Miami with veteran Adam Wainwright taking the hill.

Here are a few of Ben Verlander’s observations from the United States’ big-time victory, in addition to what to observe for within the upcoming semifinal sport.

Should Daniel Bard have been pulled earlier?

“I was not pleased with how that whole inning went down. … I don’t fault Mark DeRosa for bringing him into the game. You wanted to get five, six innings out of Lance Lynn. That didn’t happen for whatever reason. … It is completely OK to bring Daniel Bard in the game — to find an inning, to scratch away an inning, to get to the back end of the bullpen. However, Daniel Bard has a past. … Daniel Bard is one of the most prominent cases of the yips in Major League Baseball history. … Everybody that knows that story that was watching that game, the thought goes, ‘Oh no.’ … It’s heartbreaking to see. He wasn’t just missing the zone by couple of inches or a foot, he was missing by feet. Not even coming close. 

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“We noticed after the primary two batters … that one thing’s happening right here, however a three-batter minimal rule does exist on this World Baseball Classic … so he needed to face that subsequent batter. He finally ends up hitting José Altuve, bases loaded, no one out. Then, he stayed in for an additional batter. To me, that is the inexcusable mistake. That’s the place the inexperience of Mark DeRosa got here into play, sadly. Mark DeRosa has by no means managed. In truth, no one on the teaching employees has ever coached within the huge leagues. … I adamantly disagree with that call to maintain Daniel Bard on the market.”

Does having day off assist or harm Cuba?

“There’s a little bit little bit of assist there and a little bit little bit of harm. Obviously, the massive assistance is together with your pitching. You can just about do no matter you need together with your pitching now. … Pitching-wise, having this three-day break is big. Now, the destructive being [that] they needed to fly from Japan. It’s not like, ‘Oh, they got three days off. That’s not honest.’ No, these groups — Cuba and Japan — are flying from actually the opposite aspect of the world and wish a couple of days to atone for issues.

“Another negative probably being hitters that are technically in spring training time who are finally probably starting to feel better at the plate [and] now have to go a few days in a row without seeing pitching again. So, it might revert them back a little bit. Team Cuba is coming in hot. They started the tournament 0-2, and everybody, including myself, declared them out. Next thing you know, they haven’t lost since. They’re hot. They’re playing good baseball.”

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