2013 WBC: Pool C&D Review

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The 2013 World Baseball Classic has had its fair share of the unexpected with almost two weeks of play already in Asia. The first part of the tournament saw a few big surprises with some teams being eliminated that were never supposed to lose in the first round. Now it was the America’s turn as Pools C and D got underway. These two pools contained some of the biggest and most powerful teams in the tournament. The eight teams in this side of the world represented some of the most stacked rosters in the tournament seeing many MLB stars go on the field. A lot of people would see the winner of the entire tournament coming out of one of these two divisions and there was little to argue. Then the games started and the entire tournament was flipped on its head. The American pools would buck any conventional wisdom about who the best teams were in these two pools. The top teams going into the tournament would take major losses while teams that were expected to falter found themselves at the top of the standings. The pool play in North America was some of the best the tournament has seen so far with upsets and great games. Four teams would come out of the craziness of the American pools through the upsets and the unexpected to move on to the next round. It was another step towards the championship as Pool 2 is about to start with plenty to look forward to if it is anything like the first round. With the first round now completely finished the WBC is one step closer to finding a champion and with the way that the games have been going so far anyone can win.

 

Pool C

Pool C

Pool C was a pool that many saw as an easier one to pick but with the way the top two lined up much harder. Venezuela and The Dominican Republic were two teams with rosters that read almost like an all-star roster. As a result these two teams were the favorites to win the pool although who would win it and who would finish second was still very much undecided. The opening game would be the defining moment for both teams as they would face off in what would likely decide the winner of the pool. The Dominicans would win the game and take first blood in the tournament telling the rest of the teams that they were the best. They would continue to dominate throughout the tournament beating Spain and Puerto Rico to earn the top spot in the pool. The Venezuelans had plenty of opportunity to recover from their first loss as there was really no need for panic yet. Then they would take yet another blow in their hope to move on as the Puerto Ricans would beat them in a game that changed everything. The Venezuelans would go on to win one game in the first round but would sit on the outside of the top two. The Puerto Ricans would take their place as they would beat Spain in their opening game and add the surprising win against Venezuela. They would lose their final game to the Dominicans but the damage was done and they would take the second place spot in the pool. Spain would be the odd one out they would go 0-3 against three very good teams. The pool would be yet another surprise in the tournament as the Venezuelans would not meet expectations. After boasting 9 players in the 2012 World Series Venezuela would fall short while the Puerto Ricans would take advantage of their home field to surprise everyone. The Dominicans would be the team that met expectations as they would go 3-0 in the tournament and earn the top spot. Now Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic move on to the next round while Venezuela is left to wonder why they are not continuing on to round 2. It would be yet another chapter in the wild tournament that has been the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Final Standings:
1. Dominican Republic
2. Puerto Rico
3. Venezuela
4. Spain

 

Pool D

Pool D

Pool D may have been one of the most surprising divisions in the tournament this year but it was not entirely unexpected. The pool would see a lot of teams that were very close together face off to determine a winner. The pool would see plenty of teams that could win with the USA and Mexico looking to be the favorites while the Canadians could sneak up on them after winning the Pan Am Games Gold. The one team that most assumed would not be challenging for the top spot in the pool was the Italians who were considered the worst team of the group. The Italians would change that thought immediately though as they would open their tournament against the Mexicans as the Mexican team was expected to easily walk through. The Italians would surprise everyone though as they would beat the Mexicans with a 9th inning comeback. The Italians wouldn’t stop there though as they would move on to mercy the Canadians and put a real scare into the USA. The Italians would have an amazing first round and would show that they were for real by moving into the second round. Meanwhile Mexico would look to meet their expectations but would start with the loss to Italy. They would recover by beating the USA and would lose that momentum and be eliminated with a loss to Canada. The Canadians would open their tournament with a loss to the Italians that seemed to ruin their chances of moving on immediately. Then they would beat the Mexicans setting up a big game on the last day of tournament play against the USA. The Americans would open their tournament with a loss to Mexico and then a win against the Italians. The Canadians and Americans would face off with Mexico out and Italy in as they battled for the one spot left in the second round. The game would be a back and forth affair that summed up Pool D in 9 innings. In the end the Americans would come out on top winning the pool and moving on along with the Italians into the second round. It would be a surprising finish with the team that many thought would finish last having their best tournament and moving into the next round alongside the USA who almost saw a disastrous early end to the tournament.

Final Standings:
1. USA
2. Italy
3. Canada
4. Mexico

Pool 2

Pool 2

The second round for teams in the Americas will take place in Miami as four teams remain from Pool C and D to play for a chance at the championship. It will be a very interesting pool with all four teams looking to take one of the two spots in the semi-finals. There will be two teams looking to continue their surprise while two other teams look to meet expectations. The two teams looking to continue their surprise tournaments will be Italy and Puerto Rico. Both of these teams were not expected to be here but after key wins and great play they will both make an appearance. The Italians would do so with a great run in Pool D that saw them beat Mexico and Canada as well as scare the USA. The Puerto Ricans will enter the pool as a team that got through the Venezuelans who were thought to have an unbeatable roster. Then there are the two teams expected to win in the USA and the Dominican Republic. The Americans claim baseball as their favorite pastime and are out to prove this is their sport. Despite a number of scare the Americans found ways to win and will continue to do so in this round. The Dominicans are left as the team that undoubtedly has the most talented roster in the tournament from top to bottom. They will be looking to take that talent into this second round and walk through everyone on their way to the semi-finals. The talent should be on display in this round and with the way the USA knows how to win and the power that the Dominicans have will come out on top in the end.

Prediction:
1. Dominican Republic
2. USA
3. Puerto Rico
4. Italy

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