Pools A and B are in the books for the WBC with Japan, Cuba, Chinese Taipei, and Netherlands moving forward to the next round and Brazil, China, Australia, and Korea going home.
The Netherlands went 2-1 in round one with both O's prospects seeing playing time. Jonathan Schoop's bat was quiet in the first two games, but in the last game he got his lone hit of the series, a two-run homer to help lead the Dutch to a 4-1 victory. 19-year-old Jonatan Isenia pitched well in his only appearance in game two against Chinese Taipei. Though the Netherlands lost that game 8-3, Isenia pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Both Australia and Brazil went 0-3 in the first round of the tournament. Orioles rep Allan de San Miguel appeared in two of the games and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and Brazilian pitcher Rafael Moreno did not make an appearance.
So now what for the four advancing teams? They become Pool 1 of Round 2, and begin play tonight. Cuba will play the Netherlands tonight at 10 p.m. while Japan and Chinese Taipei will play early in the morning eastern time, 5 a.m. Friday. This round is double elimination, with only one team moving forward to the finals.
While the second round is going on in Japan, the second half of round one is getting started in Puerto Rico and Arizona. Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Spain, and Dominican Republic will face off in Pool C while Canada, United States, Mexico, and Italy play in Pool D from March 7-10.
Here are your pertinent games for Pedro Strop (Team Dominican Republic) and Adam Jones (Team USA) fans:
March 7th, 6:30 p.m.: Venezuela @ Dominican Republic
March 9th, 11:00 a.m.: Dominican Republic @ Spain
March 10th, 7:30 p.m.: Dominican Republic @ Puerto Rico
As for that March 9th game, Team DR just beat the Phillies and the Yankees by a combined score of 23-4 and Team Spain just lost to the Orioles 19-7, so that game could end up completely ridiculous. But on to Team USA:
March 8th, 9:00: Mexico @ USA
March 9th, 7:00: United States @ Italy
March 10th, 4:00, United States @ Canada
Who will advance? How awesome will Adam Jones be? Will you even bother watching?
(Yes, I'm pretty much ignoring the Canadian Orioles...they're not exactly anyone I'd recognize on the street. Check out the original article for more info.)