The USA hammered South Africa, 17-0 in five innings, and have walked backward into the second round of play in the World Baseball Classic. Canada gets the job, but then maybe Canada shouldn't have given up 8 runs to South Africa or gotten shelled by Mexico. What can you do?
Shairon Martis (a pitcher in the Giants system) threw a 7-inning no-hitter against Panama as the Netherlands beat my Panamaniacs, 10-0, in another mercy rule game. Panama really let me down, though they played tough for two games before crapping the bed in this one.
Teams that have advanced:
Pool A: South Korea (3-0), Japan (2-1)
Pool B: Mexico (2-1), United States (2-1)
Pool C: Cuba (2-0), Puerto Rico (2-0) - both clinched and will play each other in about an hour
Pool D: Dominican Republic (2-0), Venezuela (2-1)
So outside of what I considered a toss-up between Mexico and Canada, every team everyone thought would advance has.
South Korea, Japan, Mexico and the USA will be in Pool 1, and Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominicans will be in Pool 2. I guess I'm going to have to take the Americans and Koreans out of the first pool, and the Dominicans and Cubans from the second. The American team still have to be considered a heavy favorite to make it to the finals, though I think everyone is starting to realize the Dominicans are just plain better.