Canada @ WBC – Embarrassed vs. Italy but Redemption vs. Mexico

The Canadian squad faced the worst embarrassed possible during game one of the World Baseball Classic.  The game didn’t even go nine innings….because Canada got mercied by Italy 14 – 4 through 8 innings.

However, the Canadians came out swinging – literally and figuratively – vs. Mexico in game two action today.  Mexico, who had a surprise lost to Italy in their first game, came roaring back last night to defeat the mighty American team 5-2.

It was a must win game for both teams – the loser would be out.

With Canada up 9-3 in the top of the ninth and little hope for Mexico to come back with John Axford warming in the Canadian bullpen, Mexico plunked one of our hitters and the benches and bullpens cleared.  This wasn’t your usually baseball shoving match – there were haymakers thrown and landed.

After the dust up, the Canadian pitching coach was hit in the face with a water bottle from the stands and first base coach, Larry Walker, was almost nailed with a baseball from the crowd.

But in at the end of it all, the Canadians lived to play a meaningful game tomorrow vs. USA at 4 pm on Sportsnet.  It’s pretty simple – the winner goes on to round two in Miami, the loser goes home.  Should be an exciting game.

If you missed the international fireworks today, here’s a shady clip from youtube: Canada vs. Mexico brawl

My only criticism of manager Ernie Whitt in this one is when he didn’t call the bunt with one out and runners on first and third in the 7th with Cale Iorg at the plate.  Iorg, a light hitting shortstop (to be kind), was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts at the time and ended up popping out.  When run differential matters in tournament play, take the easy run.  Besides, at that time it was only a 4 run lead.

It was actually Canadian catcher, Chris Robertson’s bunt for a hit with a 6 run lead that caused the Mexican pitcher to throw at the next Canadian batter until he finally hit him (it took him three pitches and the dugouts were warned after the second).

But in tournament play, baseball ethics go out the window.  Run differential can make the difference between round two and going home, as the Canadians painfully learned in 2006 at the WBC – still the only team to go 2-1 in the first round and be eliminated.

When the dugouts cleared, I just hoped Brett Lawrie didn’t break his hand.  He’s a nut bar and the Jays need him healthy.

Best of luck to you tomorrow boys.  Today was a good way to make up for the horrible showing vs. Italy.




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