Team USA and Japan, boasting two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, go head-to-head in Tuesday night’s final.
Wednesday 22 March 2023 02:50
MIAMI, Fla. (KTRK) — The 2023 World Baseball Classic and its relevance, especially in the wake of injuries to stars like Edwin Diaz, were hotly debated leading up to the World Cup-style tournament final.
The video above is ABC13 Houston’s 24/7 streaming channel.
But beyond the fact that the multicontinental event put athletes at risk of injury in seemingly meaningless games, one country exited the tournament as baseball’s best for the next three years.
Japan surpassed Team USA’s two solo home runs with two of its own Tuesday night win 3-2 in the WBC championship game in Miami, capping what was essentially a two-week MLB season setup that actually counts in the record books.
Team USA was the defending champion who weathered a longer six-year wait between tournaments due to the pandemic and an expanded field from 16 to 20 countries. But the team fell short.
Team Japan adds a third WBC championship after winning their first two tournaments in 2006 and 2009.
Two Astro fail to add another title
Two American teammates in particular were given a chance to add more hardware to the World Series championship trophy they earned with the Houston Astros just five months ago.
Outfielder Kyle Tucker and shutout pitcher Ryan Pressly could have joined a rare club of major leaguers that won the World Series and the WBC in a matter of months.
Despite the loss, the Astros’ teammates are looking forward to receiving their 2022 World Championship rings in nine days when Houston holds its opening night festivities.
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