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WBC 2017: Bracket, Friday’s schedule, and results

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Manny Machado’s sparkling defense was on display for the Dominicans in a Thursday win. As for the USA, they face Puerto Rico tonight.

World Baseball Classic - Pool C - Game 5 - Dominican Republic v Columbia
Manny Machado keeps doing Manny things for the Dominican Republic.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Neither drama nor great baseball are in short supply as the World Baseball Classic continues to move towards its resolution. Each exciting game sets up one that will be even more exciting and full of meaning later on down the road. It’s fun for Orioles fans because every night we’re getting to see some of our favorite players doing good things.

There’s going to be another matchup pitting Oriole against Oriole on Saturday night. It could be a game that ends up with one team or the other - the USA or the Dominican Republic - being eliminated. It’s a heck of a lot more interesting than untelevised O’s spring training games featuring mostly reserves and minor leaguers, that’s for sure.

About last night

Dominican Republic 3, Venezuela 0

Orioles fans stopped being quite as surprised when Manny Machado regularly performs incredible feats some time ago. They’re still amazing, but with Machado, they’re also kind of routine. But the rest of the baseball world might be surprised by plays like this:

He is just so good, it’s not even fair sometimes.

As for the game itself, the Dominican team really needed a win after being upset by Puerto Rico in their first game. They were able to pull off the win thanks to a shutout that began with Edinson Volquez and continued through a parade of relievers.

The Dominicans were also able to win thanks to homers. Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco got the party started with a homer in the fifth inning. Robinson Cano added an RBI single in the seventh, with former Oriole Nelson Cruz tacking on a solo homer in the eighth inning for the third Dominican run.

The insurance run did prove significant as the Venezuelan team was still able to bring the tying run to the plate against Mets closer Jeurys Familia by mounting a little two out rally. However, they couldn’t do any more than get a couple of men on base before Familia collected his third strikeout of the inning to end the game.

The DR team evens its second round record to 1-1, while Venezuela falls to 0-2.

Friday’s Schedule

One game is on tap for tonight: The USA faces Puerto Rico as the “road” team in a matchup of 1-0 teams. The game is set to begin at 10pm. As with all of the other WBC games, you can watch either on MLB Network or MLB.tv.

It’s kind of a little confusing when you think about it, since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but nobody asked me when they were making up the rules. The winner of this game will have a very good chance of advancing, regardless of what happens on Saturday.