World Baseball Classic: Venezuela Beats US 5-3—But Who Cares?

Warren TurnerContributor IMarch 12, 2009

Last night Team Venezuela played to win. Team USA played to get their work in.

Only 12,358 fans were in attendance at the Rogers Centre (no, there was no snowstorm). I don’t know how many of those were Venezuelan fans. To me, it sounded like all of them.

But not everyone was into this game.

Manager Davey Johnson allowed Orioles' right-handed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to start a third inning of work, although it was obvious he hadn’t been effective in his first two.

Guthrie, who had not yet pitched in the tournament, gave up four of Venezuela’s five runs on seven hits and two walks.

In the fifth, after a double by Henry Blanco, Guthrie gave up a run on a triple by another Blanco—this time, Gregor. In the sixth inning, Venezuela scored two more on a single by Marco Scutaro.

Guthrie was sent out again in the seventh and yielded a double, two singles, and a run before finally being removed by Johnson.

Team USA’s offense came only from left fielder Ryan Braun—with three hits and an RBI—and catcher Chris Iannetta, who hit a two-run homer in the eighth.

Both teams move on to Miami for the next double-elimination round. The victory means that Venezuela will now face the runner up of Group D.

Team USA will be opposed by the winner of that game between Puerto Rico and the surprising team from the Netherlands.