WBC Notes: Tournament Ends for Francisco Cervelli, As Team Italy Loses Tiebreaker

Posted March 16, 2017

The World Baseball Classic is on to the second round, and both the United States and Venezuela still are in the running ... for now.

In a one-game tiebreaker that determined the final team to advance out of the first round, Cabrera's solo shot to right-center evened the score at 2 in the top of the ninth.

Mexico believed they had done enough to earn a place in Monday's play-off against Italy for a second round berth after upsetting Venezuela 11-9 in a nail-biting battle late on Sunday.

Puerto Rico, which went 3-0 to win Venezuela's first-round pool, and the defending champion Dominican Republic are the other teams in Pool F. Two will advance to the single-elimination semifinals at Dodger Stadium next week. Not only have there been some very good games early on, but there has been a playoff-type atmosphere during numerous matchups. After redoing the numbers, Venezuela came out ahead, leaving Gonzalez and Mexico furious. Mexico was set to advance, as it was informed that if it won by two, it would face Italy in a tiebreaker game, with the victor advancing to the next round of the tournament.

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As if that wasn't enough, Mexican star Adrian Gonzalez tweeted that "someone" told Mexico that, in order to advance, a 2-run victory (like the one they achieved) was enough to see them into the tiebreaker game.

But for as angry as Gonzalez is, his carping comes off like sour grapes in the wake of a tournament in which his team gave up 28 runs in three games and completely fell apart in the ninth against Italy, throwing away what looked like an easy win.

Texas starter Yu Darvish threw 28 pitches in the first inning but struck out three, then finished with six strikeouts in 3⅓ innings in the Rangers' 7-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.