Every facet of Team USA’s star power was on full display in their 12–1 mercy rule victory against Team Canada last night. Whether it was Mike Trout‘s bat, Mookie Betts‘ defense, or Lance Lynn‘s pitching performance, the Americans put on an All-Star performance.
USA’s Offense Unloads To Start the Game
The United States couldn’t get their offense going early in their loss to Team Mexico, but had no problem attacking Canadian starter Mitch Pratt. The first four USA batters reached base to start the game before Canada even recorded an out via a Kyle Tucker sacrifice fly. At that point, Pratt surrendered three runs and would go on to surrender another one before being lifted for a relief pitcher.
Unfortunately for Team Canada, the bleeding didn’t stop with the pitching change. Trea Turner would drive in the fifth run on a groundout to third base and Cedric Mullins would drive in the sixth run with a triple in the next at-bat.
After Betts got hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, Trout stepped up to the plate with runners at the corners. Team USA’s captain took the first pitch he saw and launched a home run 405 feet into the left center field seats.
Trout’s home run put an exclamation point on the United States’ first inning offensive slugfest. At that point, there was hardly any doubt that Team USA would most likely win the game, but images of a mercy rule win started to materialize for the United States.
“It was a tough one last night,” Trout said about Sunday’s 11-5 loss to Mexico. “We just gotta go out there and play for the country, that means a lot for us.”
After a Tim Anderson RBI triple and a J.T. Realmuto sacrifice fly, Turner joined Trout in the home run procession by launching his own blast to make the score 12–1 at the end of two innings. Team USA had to maintain a 10-run or more lead and they would win via mercy rule at the end of seven innings.
Great Pitching and Solid Defense Hold the Lead
Team USA finally got a great performance from their pitchers to compliment their lethal offense. Lynn threw five innings allowing only a solo home run in the first inning. Miles Mikolas relieved him and tossed two scoreless frames to end the game.
“He’s a dog,” Trout said, complimenting Lynn’s pitching performance. “We needed a long outing from Lynn and he put on a show.”
USA manager Mark DeRosa was also a huge fan of his starting pitcher’s dominate outing.
“The story [of the game] to me was what Lance Lynn did,” DeRosa said. “It was huge.”
Defense was a big topic going into this game. Anderson took his first professional appearance at second base, replacing the struggling Jeff McNeil. Mullins also got the start at centerfield with Trout starting in the designated hitter spot.
With all of the defensive rearranging going on, one constant was outfielder Betts, who started in right field for the third game in a row. His stellar defense was on full display as he laid out to make a spectacular catch in the second inning.
By the Numbers
Although there’s a 65 pitch limit in pool play, Lynn skillfully used all 65 across his five innings of work. He finished with six strikeouts while issuing zero walks and allowing only two hits.
Six players for Team USA drove in runs last night. Mike Trout led the pack with three RBIs, but Nolan Arenado, Turner, and Realmuto each drove in two runs. Tucker, Anderson, and Mullins all drove in one run each to reach a dozen runs for Team USA on the night.
Team USA Faces Off Against Team Colombia
After having a day off today, Team USA will play against Team Colombia to end Pool C competition tomorrow night. Merrill Kelly will take the ball for Team USA as they look to advance out of pool play.
You catch the Pool C finale tomorrow night at 10 PM ET on FS1.