Team Mexico’s bats came alive against Team USA’s pitchers, resulting in them cruising to a 11-5 victory in front of a happy and raucous Mexico crowd last night.
Poor Pitching Performances Doomed USA’s Night
There was little doubt that on paper Team USA assembled one of the best offensive rosters in baseball history. The only question for the Americans going into the 2023 WBC was whether there was enough pitching depth on the roster to throw multiple clean innings throughout the tournament.
At least last night, Mexico emphatically answered that question for the United States with a resounding “No!”
Team USA kept giving up crooked numbers in the box score, surrendering two runs in the first inning as well as four funs each in the fourth and eighth innings.
The Joey Meneses Game
The United States found themselves trailing as soon as the third batter of the game. Team Mexico first baseman Joey Meneses launched a two-run home run 396 feet into the left center field stands. They took a 2–0 lead in the first inning and continued to tally on runs throughout the game.
Mexico got production from their entire lineup, as every starter managed to get on base in the game. Mexico’s left fielder Randy Arozarena would go on to drive in two runs throughout the game with doubles in the fourth and the eighth innings. Designated hitter Rowdy Tellez also drove in two runs with a single into left field in the eighth inning.
However, it truly was Meneses’ game, as he put the game out of reach in his third at-bat. With two men on base and facing a 2-1 count, Meneses unloaded on an inside fastball and sent the pitch deep into the Phoenix night.
With the home run, Mexico had a 7–1 lead and maintained its lead over Team USA for the entire game. Meneses finished 3-5 on the night, driving in five runs and earning MVP chants from the Team Mexico fans.
“To hear the Mexican fans yell MVP is something I’ll never forget,” Meneses said. “I dreamed of playing in the World Baseball classic… and I feel so happy for this moment.”
By the Numbers
Team Mexico combined to score 11 runs on 15 hits in the game, but their pitching performances early on helped solidify their lead. Starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval and relief pitcher Javier Assad combined to toss six innings while only giving up one run.
Team USA’s hitters struggled mightily in the first six innings, going 3-21 at the plate. The top five starters in the lineup only managed two hits in the game in 18 at-bats. If they are going to make it far in the tournament, that part of the lineup can’t disappear like they did last night.
The 47,534 person crowd at Chase Field stayed energetic throughout the ballgame. Team Mexico fans were greeted with a well-earned victorious performance after suffering an extra-innings loss to Colombia on Saturday. They made sure to respond in kind by partying to their heart’s content for the whole nine innings.
Up Next For Team USA
Hopefully Team USA’s memory is short for their sake because they have an important game against Canada tonight. Although the United States should be favored in this game, Canada went on an offensive barrage against Great Britain, beating them via mercy rule 18–8 in seven innings.
It appears that Lance Lynn will be taking the mound for the Americans against Mitch Bratt for the Canadians. One thing to keep an eye on if you’re a Team USA fan is how the lineup will be constructed.
In yesterday’s loss to Team Mexico, all three of the Phillies positions players representing the United States were on the bench. With Jeff McNeil‘s current struggles at second base and at the plate as well as Kyle Schwarber‘s important home run to seal the win against Great Britain, it should be interesting to see how manager Mark DeRosa constructs his lineup.
You can catch all the action for tonight’s game at 10 PM ET on FS1.