Another night, another slate of WBC action. Mexico is currently routing Canada, 10-3, which will buy them one of the two playoff spots from that pool. The other spot could go to Team USA, but they have to beat Colombia to make that happen. If they don’t, barring a Canadian comeback, there’ll be a three-way tie for the other playoff spot, which is pretty chaotic. (But not as chaotic as the five-way tie that already happened in one pool this WBC). That USA-Colombia game starts at 10:00 pm ET.
But perhaps the more intriguing matchup tonight is at 7:00 pm ET, where the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will tussle in an elimination game: both clubs are 2-1 and Venezuela swept the opening round of the tournament, so they’re fighting for one spot. The DR is pitching Johnny Cueto in the contest; Puerto Rico is countering with journeyman Fernando Cruz, who made his MLB debut at age 31 last year with the Reds. It’s not clear how long Cruz will be able to go, so Puerto Rico will likely need to rely on a procession of arms to manage the high-powered Dominican attack.
In other news, Cuba knocked out Australia in elimination game action today, earning its way into the Final Four. The asynchronous timing of the rounds in this WBC is really strange and somewhat unpleasant, I have to say — Venezuela played a meaningless pool game today while an elimination game was occurring elsewhere in the world for the same tournament.