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WBC Round 2: 3/18/09: 5:00 MT

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Here is your WBC Update for Wednesday

Pool 1 - San Diego, CA, USA:

Korea: 4, Japan: 1

Korea started the game with a 3 run flurry against Japanese Phenom Yu Darvish (2ER). Darvish settled down to pitch 4 scoreless innings, striking out 6 and walking none. However, the damage had been done, as Japan was only able to muster a single run, scored on an Ichiro groundout in the 5th, despite managing 7 hits through the course of the game. The Korean staff was more than capable of quelling the Japanese, inducing groundballs to counter Japanese hits, and only walked 3 men the whole game.

Lines of the game:

Korea SP Jung Keun Bong: 5.1IP, 3H, 3BB, R

Korea RF Jin Young Lee: 1-2, 2RBI, 2BB

Japan will face Cuba in a WBC Final Rematch tonight at 9PM MT (ESPN2), with the winner heading back home (excepting the few Japanese players remaining in the States), and the winner advancing to LA along with Korea to face the winners of Pool 2.

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Pool 2 - Miami, FL, USA

PUERTO RICO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED

In a stunning finish, the United States rallied in the 9th to send the Puerto Rican team - that just recently stomped the United States via the Mercy Rule - back to pack their bags.

Holding on to a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th, reliever JC Romero gave off a leadoff single to MLB Teammate Shane Victorino. Following Victorino, 2B Brian Roberts laced a single up the middle to give the US runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Batting in the 2-hole, Derek Jeter lined a 2-1 belt-high fastball to RF that was snagged by Alex Rios for the 1st out, but deep enough that Victorino was able to tag up at 2nd and take 3B. With DH Jimmy Rollins batting, Roberts stole 2B before Roberts walked.

At this point, Romero was lifted for closer Fernando Cabrera, who then proceeded to walk Kevin Youkilis on 5 pitches, scoring Victorino.

5-4.

With the bases loaded, a 1 run deficit, 1 out, 3B David Wright came to bat and watched 3 pitches before golfing a knee-high fastball into RF, which dropped fair down the line, but gave plenty of time for Roberts and Rollins to score.

Swarming the field, Team USA had staved off defeat, elminated the Puerto Ricans, and secured themselves a spot the final round of the WBC in Los Angeles.

Lines of the game:

Puerto Rico P Nelson Figueroa: 2.1 IP, 0H, 2K, 0R

Puerto Rico RF Alex Rios: 2-3, 2R, 2RBI, BB, HR

USA 3B David Wright: 3-4, R, 2RBI, BB

USA 1B Kevin Youkilis: 1-4, R, 2RBI, HR

USA will play again tonight against Pool C foe Venezuela for the Pool 2 championship to determine the seeding in LA.

In other news, Kevin Youkilis is out for the time being, perhaps for the remainder of the WBC with a left ankle injury. Adam Dunn will take 1B duties for him, despite this:

"However, Dunn recently signed with the Washington Nationals as an outfielder, so the American team would prefer to find another solution for the upcoming rounds of the Classic."

Anyone who followed the Hot Stove knows that Dunn is gonna play 1B with the Nats, as they already have an OF crowded with Willy Mo Pena, Austin Kearns, Lastings Milledge, and Elijah Dukes.

In response to the injury, Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria has volunteered his service, although I'd personally prefer someone like Matt Holliday or Lance Berkman or Nick Markakis or Josh Hamilton, personally. Call me crazy.

Anyhow, RowBots, I'm in class and barely beating the buzzer again, but enjoy the game (Starts Now-Ish on MLB Network), and USA USA USA USA USA!!!!!!