Thursday, March 19, 2009

Team USA makes gutsy comeback but far from redemption

It took a 3-run, ninth inning rally to propel the USA to Semi-Finals of the World Baseball Classic. David Wright's two-run single capped the comeback for the US which will make it’s first semifinals appearance. An amazing comeback and made great TV but the truth is that the US was “mercied” earlier in the tournament and was 3 outs away from another shameful exit similar to the last WBC where they finished so far out of the top 3 the decorum prohibits us from mentioning it here. When the Beijing Olympics began the US Men’s Basketball team had two goals in mind, obtain the gold medal and restore the reputation of US Basketball. Team USA competing in the WBC has stated as similar mission statement but may be on borrowed time. First they lost the rain soaked seeding game to Venezuela 10-6 meaning their next game will be against the Pool 2 winner which will in all likelihood will be defending champion Japan in a situation where if they lose they are going back to Spring training. On top of that the US will be nursing some injuries, as early injuries knocked infielders Dustin Pedroia and Chipper Jones and reliever Matt Lindstrom out of the tournament. Outfielder Ryan Braun is sidelined with a sore right side, but he's expected to be available when Team USA plays in the semifinals this weekend in Los Angeles. Manager Davey Johnson operated Wednesday's game with one position player on his bench. Rules for replacing players leave the Americans hard-pressed to come up with a substitute for Youkilis, Johnson said. In other words if the US is going to follow through with its mission statement it will have to be on the strength of the American pitching arms which have been hammered thus far. In short, the US may need a miracle on grass.

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