Puerto Rico v Mexico: World Baseball Classic quarter-finals – live!
For the record, USA v Venezuela will be on right around this time tomorrow and we’ll be here liveblogging that game at the Guardian as well! WBC fever catch it!
Some controversy about the fact that Mexico is playing this game when they are. It turns out that there may have been some television-rating-related shenanigans going on behind the scenes.
I just tried to explain to one of my roommates what the WBC is and why it’s important. For instance, how big is today’s game for Puerto Rico? Potentially quite large!
These are two talented baseball rosters, so let’s assume that the mercy rule would not be needed today even if were in effect (that was for poor play only). Now, don’t quote me on this, but it feels like Puerto Rico is a better team, particularly with the likes of Francisco Lindor and Javier Báez in the lineup. They will feel the loss of Díaz, but they still might have the edge in relievers. I’m going to guess Puerto Rico will be Mexico 4-3 Mexico and go on to face Japan in the WBC semifinals on Monday.
Granted, Mexico just upset the United States and has ace Julio Urias going for them on the mound on full rest so I very much could be wrong. Have a prediction? You can email it to email@example.com or tweet it to @HunterFelt. We’ll include it here.
Mexico starting lineup
1. Randy Arozarena. LF
2. Alex Verdugo, RF
3. Joey Menses, 1B
4. Rowdy Tellez, DH
5. Isaac Paredes, 3B
6. Luis Urías, 2B
7. Alan Trejo, SS
8. Alex Thomas, CF
9. Austin Barnes, C
SP: Julio Urías
Puerto Rico starting lineup
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
2. Enrique Hernández, CF
3. Nelson Velázquez, RF
4. Emmanuel Rivera, 3B
5. Javier Báez, 2B
6. Eddie Rosario, LF
7. Christian Vázquez, DH
8. Neftali Soto, 1B
9. Martín Maldonado, C
Starting Pitcher, Marcus Stroman
Welcome to the Guardian’s World Baseball Classic quarterfinal matchup between Mexico and Puerto Rico! The World Baseball Classic, for those unaware, is a true world series of baseball between teams composed of players representing countries across the planet (although some players may have closer ties to their representative country than others). While it’s still considered something of a novelty in the United States, make no mistake that for the individual countries involved there is a lot of national pride on the line.
So, here we have Mexico, who edged out the U.S. to capture the top spot in Pool C, up against Puerto Rico, who eliminated the Dominican Republic in order to advance from Pool D. There has been a lot of drama in these pool play matchups, but unfortunately, they have been overshadowed by the knee injury suffered by New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz during Puerto Rico’s postgame celebration after they defeated the highly-favored Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
This injury has led to arguments in the baseball world about whether MLB players should participate in the WBC. While it’s understandable that a diehard Mets fan would be upset at the loss of their All-Star closer and seek some entity to blame for his freak accident, it’s important to remember that it’s not like players are not suffering injuries in spring training either. These are not just lowly exhibition games either, these WBC games mean a lot to the players and the countries they represent (including the US).
That said, nobody wants to see any players go down. Let’s hope that the remainder of this tournament will be remembered for baseball-related reasons rather than any further misfortunes. If you want to contribute to today’s liveblog, feel free to tweet at @HunterFelt or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll use your thoughts.
It’s the quarterfinal matchup between Puerto Rico and Mexico at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. Our game, which is being televised in the U.S. on Fox Sports 1, is set to start at 7:00 pm EST, but we’ll be back beforehand with predictions, starting lineups and other things before then.
Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s a look back at Puerto Rico’s bittersweet triumph on Wednesday night against the Dominican Republic.