Since action kicked off on Friday, baseball fans have seen a slew of solid competition at the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The champs are back at it again, as Japan has dominated Pool A thus far. Meanwhile, the Brazilian team has struggled in its first year of competition.
Need more information on the early action at the 2013 WBC?
Let's take a closer look and also view the remaining WBC schedule.
No Love for the Newcomers
It's been a tough beginning to the WBC for newcomers Brazil.
In its first ever WBC game, it had to play the two-time defending champions, Japan, to which it lost 5-3. While Brazil played tough and even held a 3-2 lead late in the ballgame, it couldn't squeak out a victory over the defending champs, who rallied back.
In its next game, Team Brazil fell to Cuba, 5-2, and is now 0-2 in pool play.
After going just 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position thus far, it doesn't look like the Brazilian team will be advancing to the second round.
Chinese Taipei Looking Strong
The Chinese Taipei club isn't considered a heavy favorite by any means, but after watching their first two games in pool play, some may want to rethink that.
It's now 2-0 in pool play and has been backed by excellent pitching. Six hurlers combined to throw a one-hitter in an 8-3 win over Netherlands on Sunday, while Chinese Taipei pitchers scattered five hits over nine innings in a 4-1 victory over Australia.
The team has scored 12 runs through two games and has really seen its pitching staff dominate.
Watch out for this team as the tournament progresses.
Japan Definitely a Title Contender?
Without question, the Japanese are ready to defend the WBC title in 2013.
Japan has gone 2-0 in pool play, beating Brazil and China with a mix of solid offense and great pitching.
The Japanese club takes sincere pride in representing its country against the rest of the world, which provides the added hunger necessary to win the WBC. That was evident in its comeback win over Brazil.
While I think there are more talented teams in the Classic, I'm not sure any club wants it more than Japan.
Remaining WBC Schedule
Monday, Mar. 4 at 2:30 a.m. ET: China @ Cuba
Tuesday, Mar. 5 at 3 a.m. ET: Brazil @ China
Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 5 a.m. ET: Japan @ Cuba
Monday, Mar. 4 at 5:30 a.m. ET: Korea @ Australia
Monday, Mar. 4 at 11:30 p.m. ET: Australia @ Netherlands
Tuesday, Mar. 5 at 6:30 a.m. ET: Chinese Taipei @ Korea
Thursday, Mar. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET: Venezuela @ Dominican Republic
Friday, Mar. 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET: Spain @ Puerto Rico
Saturday, Mar. 9 at 11 a.m. ET: Dominican Republic @ Spain
Saturday, Mar. 9 at 5:30 p.m. ET: Puerto Rico @ Venezuela
Sunday, Mar. 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET: Spain @ Venezuela
Sunday, Mar. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET: Dominican Republic @ Puerto Rico
Thursday, Mar. 7 at 3 p.m. ET: Italy @ Mexico
Friday, Mar. 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET: Canada @ Italy
Friday, Mar. 8 at 9 p.m. ET: Mexico @ United States
Saturday, Mar. 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET: Canada @ Mexico
Saturday, Mar. 9 at 9 p.m. ET: United States @ Italy
Sunday, Mar. 10 at 4 p.m. ET: United States @ Canada
Thursday, Mar. 7 at 10 p.m. ET: Pool A Runner-Up @ Pool B Winner
Friday, Mar. 8 at 5 a.m. ET: Pool B Runner-Up @ Pool A Winner
Saturday, Mar. 9 at 5 a.m. ET: Game 1 Loser @ Game 2 Loser
Sunday, Mar. 10 at 6 a.m. ET: Game 1 Winner @ Game 2 Winner
Monday, Mar. 11 at 6 a.m. ET: Game 3 Winner @ Game 4 Loser
Tuesday, Mar. 12 at 6 a.m. ET: Game 5 Winner @ Game 4 Winner
Tuesday, Mar. 12 at 1 p.m. ET: Pool D Runner-Up @ Pool C Winner
Tuesday, Mar. 12 at 8 p.m. ET: Pool C Runner-Up @ Pool D Winner
Wednesday, Mar. 13 at 7 p.m. ET: Game 1 Loser @ Game 2 Loser
Thursday, Mar. 14 at 7 p.m. ET: Game 1 Winner @ Game 2 Winner
Friday, Mar. 15 at 7 p.m. ET: Game 3 Winner @ Game 4 Loser
Saturday, Mar. 16 at 1 p.m. ET: Game 5 Winner @ Game 4 Winner
Sunday, Mar. 17 at 9 p.m. ET: Pool 2 Runner-Up @ Pool 1 Winner
Monday, Mar. 18 at 9 p.m. ET: Pool 1 Runner-Up @ Pool 2 Winner
Tuesday, Mar. 19 at 8 p.m. ET: Semi 2 Winner @ Semi 1 Winner
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