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David Wright and the Americans look to carry some momentum into Miami.
When their backs are against the wall, the United States have a group of guys that can handle the pressure.
Losing its first game to Mexico in the opening round, the Americans won the next two thanks to strong pitching from Ryan Vogelsong and Derek Holland.
It took a late grand slam by David Wright to ignite the Americans past Italy, 6-2. Then, against Canada, it was a two-run double in the eighth by Adam Jones and three-run double in the ninth by Eric Hosmer that helped get the Americans out of Pool D.
In Miami, Team USA is going to encounter some adversity. They have used rallies and clutch hits to get past teams with a majority of minor-leaguers.
Now, they face a determined Puerto Rican team in the first game of Pool 2. One thing that will be beneficial is having 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez on the hill.
While it will be a challenge, the Americans will show the world the caliber of players they are. After all, they’re good enough to be an All-Star team.
While they have been able to overcome a slow start from Giancarlo Stanton (he hasn’t recorded a hit yet), he needs to get a hit or two if the US wish to advance. Playing in Marlins Park should bode well for Stanton.
The offense will come. The pitching just needs to continue to be a strong point for the Americans. If the pitchers struggle, it could be hard to make up any big deficit against these three teams.
That said, this team will put it all together at the right time. They’re having fun and playing together.
Anything less than a trip to San Francisco will be a disappointment. They seem to have gotten comfortable in that USA uniform and are enjoying the ride. They hope it has one more stop.