Endless sacrifice bunts? Check.
Having your hands tied because of promises you made to other coaches? Check.
Pushing those playing time promises to an unreasonable level? Check.
Adam Jones was the anointed star of the game, as his offensive contributions, including a 2-RBI double in the 8th gave the USA life when Derek Holland wasn’t sure that he was going to be on the hook for the USA going back home to Arizona and Miami while Canada would move on to Miami. Glen Perkins from the Twins didn’t have his best day, and neither did Arizona reliever David Hernandez, but Heath Bell (D-Backs) and Craig Kimbrel did very well on the mound for the US. In fact, many people are calling their doctors because of conditions they’ve developed from watching the Atlanta All-Star close out the 9th. Eric Hosmer also had an excellent bases clearing double after Canada closer John Axford had trouble with the curve and came back with a fastball at the letters that Hosmer demolished to the 413′ mark in LCF. Steve Cishek should also get some love for closing the door on an 8th inning Team Canada rally and making sure maple syrup didn’t get all over the place (canada joke).
Despite numerous complaints from the internets, Shane Victorino was left in for the entire game, and did have a looping RBI single in the 8th, and currently has one more hit than fan favorite Giancarlo Stanton, whom the people wanted in instead of the Flyin’ Hawaiian. With the USA advancing to Miami for the next round — where they will be considered the Pool D winner — maybe Stanton will be playing every game, especially since it will be in his home park and in a double elimination format. The schedule for the next round will be what’s below, with Italy being the Pool D Runner-Up. The Pool C teams are Puerto Rico and the Domincan Republic, but the order is being decided in their game happening at 3:38PM PST.
Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez was a big name that never saw playing time this weekend, so we will see how he and the rest of the squad will be used by manager Joe Torre, who maddened us all with his managerial moves today. We hope things will be different with the bunting and the stubborn pitcher use, but only because it’s nice to dream.
If the relegation rules end up staying consistent (especially with Team USA winning today, that seems probable), Team China would be happy because they won in their Pool to avoid such a scenario, but Team Mexico would have to go through that process in 2016 to qualify for 2017, as they were the last place finisher in Pool D (they and Canada share a 1-2 record, but Canada beat them head-to-head).