Even though Team USA is all the rage in this country for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the best group in the event, top to bottom, is Pool C. Powerhouse countries Dominican Republic and Venezuela along with Spain and Puerto Rico comprise the field.
After seeing what Dominican Republic and Venezuela could do against each other on Thursday night, in what has been the biggest game of the event so far, the focus will shift to whether those two teams have enough left to make it out of Pool C.
The Dominican Republic pummeled Venezuela into submission en route to a 9-3 victory. With the modified run-differential tiebreaker in this round of the tournament, another big offensive game on Saturday could be enough to lock up a second-round bid for the Dominican team.
Not to be outdone, Spain and Puerto Rico took center stage on Friday night. Puerto Rico used a three-run first inning to secure its first victory of this year's World Baseball Classic. With all four teams finally in the record books, it is time to focus on the weekend and what is in store for Pool C the rest of the way.
Here is a look at the remaining schedule for Pool C, as well as where you can find all the games on television.
|Dominican Republic at Spain||Sat. March 9 at 11:00 a.m.||MLB Network|
|Puerto Rico at Venezuela||Sat. March 9 at 5:30 p.m.||MLB Network|
|Spain at Venezuela||Sun. March 10 at 12:30 p.m.||MLB Network|
|Dominican Republic at Puerto Rico||Sun, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.||MLB Network|
All times listed in ET. Games played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Game to watch: Dominican Republic at Puerto Rico
The most anticipated game of Pool C (Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela) was also the first game, so we have to tone down some expectations for the rest of the round.
However, a matchup between the Dominican team and Puerto Rico to close out the series has all the ingredients fans of this event could want.
There's plenty of star power, with big leaguers Robinson Cano (Yankees), Carlos Santana (Indians), Edinson Volquez (Reds), Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers) and Jose Reyes (Blue Jays) leading the Dominican team against Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Carlos Beltran (Cardinals), Angel Pagan (Giants) and Alex Rios (White Sox) for Puerto Rico.
This could also be the most meaningful game of the series, depending on how things shake out on Saturday, with either the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico fighting to advance to the second round.
If you like Major League Baseball stars and high drama on the same field, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico is the game to watch.