Impressions of the WBC: Australia Has Extremely G'Day Against Mexico

Warren TurnerContributor IMarch 9, 2009

So the Netherlands upset the Dominican Republic, 3-2. That’s baseball. Anything can happen.

But Australia beating Mexico 17-7 on 22 hits? Really?

Let me tell you—These Aussies can play. Outfielder Chris Snelling has seen some major league time, and he has a World Series ring (with the Phillies, last year). Snelling had two home runs and three RBI with his three hits in this game.

Infielders Luke Hughes and Brad Harman are prospects on MLB rosters—the Twins and the Phillies, respectively. They were a combined 5-for-11. Hughes had a homer and three RBI.

Aussie relief pitcher Rich Thompson is on the Angels’ roster. He threw extremely well, closing out the last two innings. Finally, catcher Andrew Graham, who is likely to join the Double-A team for the Tigers after the WBC, had four hits and three RBI.

Team Mexico was leading 7-4 after three innings. They scored five times in the first inning, riding a grand slam by Yankee prospect Jorge Vazquez. After starter Craig Anderson, Australia’s succeeding four pitchers shut down Mexico’s vaunted bats.

Mexico’s offense might be potent, but they will need better pitching to be able to win the next two games, and qualify for the second round.

Australia will next face Cuba’s formidable pitching staff on Tuesday night. They will need all their bats and arms working at peak efficiency to stand a chance.