The penultimate game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic is upon us, with Mexico facing unbeaten Japan in semifinal action on Monday at loanDepot Park in Miami.
Monday’s winner will face the United States in Tuesday’s championship game. In the first semifinal on Sunday night, Team USA routed Cuba, 14-2.
Mexico outfielder Randy Arozarena leads all hitters in the World Baseball Classic with six extra-base hits, with five home runs and a double. He’s hitting .471/.625/.941 with nine RBI in 24 plate appearances.
Catcher Austin Barnes is hitting .357/.500/.500 with two doubles and four walks in 18 plate appearances during the tournament, catching four of Mexico’s first five games.
Japan will send 21-year-old sensation Roki Sasaki to the mound to start Monday. You might remember the right-hander from following up a perfect game last April with another eight perfect innings in his next start, only to be pulled because of his pitch count. Sasaki, who had a 2.02 ERA with 173 strikeouts in 129⅓ innings for Chiba Lotte in Japan last season, struck out eight while allowing only one unearned run in 3⅔ innings on March 11 against Czech Republic in Pool A.
Mexico during the World Baseball Classic has outscored its opponents 32-18 in winning four of five games. Japan is undefeated in its five games, bludgeoning its opponents 47-11.
- World Baseball Classic semifinals
- Teams: Mexico vs. Japan
- Location: loanDepot Park, Miami
- Time: 4 p.m. PT
- TV: FS1