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WBC Round 2: 3/18/09: 6:30 MT

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Here is your WBC Update for Thursday

Pool 1 - San Diego, CA, USA:

CUBA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED

Japan: 5, Cuba: 0

The two teams took a scoreless tie into the 4th inning, when Japanese 1B Michihiro Ogasawura sent a ball deep into the foggy outfield on 2 outs with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Cuba CF Yoennis Cespedes took chase, and made the catch, however, was unable to hang onto the ball, which scored 2 unearned runs for Japan.

It turns out that was all they needed, as the Japanese added 3 more runs while stoning the Cubans and guaranteeing themselves a berth to LA.

Interestingly enough, the Cubans did not show up to the postgame conference, save Manager Higinio Velez , and that was simply to praise the Japanese team as the better team and to reinforce Cuba's commitment to the game of Baseball.

Lines of the game:

Japan SP Hisashi Iwakuma: 6.0IP, 5H, 2K, BB, 0R

Japan LF Norichika Aori: 4-5, 2RBI, R

Japan plays Korea tonight to determine the Pool Victor at 7PM MT on ESPN. If you can wrench yourselves away from your brackets, it promises to be yet another excellent matchup between these two teams.

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Pool 2 - Miami, FL, USA

Venezuela: 10, USA: 6

Of all the games to be effectively meaningless, I'm glad it was this one. Jeremy Guthrie got beaten up for 6 runs (2 earned) while recording only 5 outs. Mark DeRosa brought the game within 1 in the 6th with a 2-run shot to LF, but LaTroy Hawkins proceeded to give it right back up with a 3-run shot to Max Ramirez.

The Americans lost the last game of the pool by a tally of 10-6.

I'd be more upset, but once again, this game didn't really count for much, whether we face Korea or Japan in the next round, it's gonna be a challenge. So I'm glad Guthrie got his work in, and I'm glad it didn't really hurt us that badly.

Lines of the game:

Venezuela DH Miguel Cabrera: 3-5, 2RBI, R

Venezuela 1B Max Ramirez: 2-5, 3RBI, R, HR

USA LF Mark DeRosa: 3-5, 3RBI, R, HR

Saturday will be the first game of the Semifinals, where the loser of Japan and Korea tonight will play Venezuela. USA and the Pool 1 winner will play Sunday evening.