A giant brawl in one game and some late, tournament-saving drama in another—it was an entertaining weekend at the World Baseball Classic.
All of this sets up for a great run to close out this tournament, but before moving ahead, let's take a look back.
*Check out the recaps, box scores and highlights to all WBC games at the event's official website.
Saturday, March 9
Cuba 14, Chinese Taipei 0
Dominican Republic 6, Spain 3
Canada 10, Mexico 3
Puerto Rico 6, Venezuela 3
USA 6, Italy 2
Sunday, March 10
Japan 16, Netherlands 4
Venezuela 11, Spain 6
USA 9, Canada 4
Dominican Republic 4, Puerto Rico 2
The U.S. was trailing 3-2 in the eighth and on the verge of elimination as they took on Canada in what was a win-or-go-home game for both teams.
The Americans weren't ready to leave.
Facing Jimmy Henderson, Adam Jones doubled home two runners in the eighth to give the U.S. a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.
After Shane Victorino singled home Jones, the Americans had a two-run lead. Canada answered with one run in the bottom of the inning, which heaped on more drama. However, when Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double in the ninth, this one was all but over.
After starting 0-1, and trailing in the eighth inning of their final group game, the Americans will move on.
Dominican Republic Goes Unblemished
The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico met for their third and final game of group play with undefeated records.
As a result, this game meant both teams were simply playing for seeding. However, neither team played like they were just tuning up for the next round.
After a well-played contest, the Dominican Republic triumphed, 4-2.
Robinson Cano was the big stud of the day. He went 3-for-5 and that included a solo home run. His good game was no surprise—Cano has been in midseason form, and he finished pool play by going 9-for-15 with five RBI.
Mexico and Canada Get Acquainted
As we mentioned, Canada will be going home after going just 1-2 in pool play.
Making this an even more disappointing trip for Canada is the fact that their one win, 10-3 over Mexico, was marred by this ugly brawl.
The word "brawl" can get tossed around too often in sports. Often, it's just players arriving at a certain spot on the playing surface to scream and hold people back who are screaming.
This was a brawl.
There couldn't have been any players left in the dugouts or bullpens during this melee, and a good percentage of them were rushing out there with more than verbal hostility.
Anyway, things got a little chippy when Canada's Chris Robinson laid down a bunt with his team up by six, and they got even more chippy after Mexico's Arnold Leon blatantly threw at the next hitter.