Tonight's World Baseball Classic game, that pitted the United States against Puerto Rico, had strong undertones of the Atlanta Braves off-season. The two starting pitchers were Jake Peavy for the U.S., the pitcher the Braves were rumored to be trying to acquire for over a month, and Javier Vazquez for Puerto Rico, the pitcher the Braves did acquire. Peavy was supposed to be the big game ace pitcher, and Javier Vazquez was the guy who couldn't pitch in the big games.
Tonight that all changed (or maybe it was never true to begin with).
Jake Peavy was not sharp with his command and didn't seem to have his best stuff. This led to him surrendering six runs in two innings, putting the U.S. team in a hole they could not dig themselves out of, especially against the strong work of Javier Vazquez, who was a big game pitcher tonight, allowing one run on four hits through five strong innings.
It may be only be mid-March, and it may have been an exhibition-style game, but both of these teams were treating it like a must-win playoff game, and the Puerto Rican pitcher, the one who will wear an Atlanta Braves jersey this year, came through when it counted.
At least today, it looks like the Braves made the right choice when they passed on Peavy and dealt for Vazquez.