Weeks of exciting international baseball boiled down to this: USA vs. Japan. shohei ohtani against mike trout — for the World Baseball Classic title.
The final game of WBC 2023, between the two most dominant teams in the tournament, ended with the matchup everyone expected to see. Ohtani struck out his Los Angeles Angels teammate in the ninth inning to wrap up a 3-2 victory for Japan. The victory gives Japan its third WBC title and ends Team USA’s quest for a repeat crown.
We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know for the WBC Grand Final, from updates and highlights to post-game takeaways.
Baseball world reacts to Japan’s WBC victory
Conclusions of the final of the WBC
What went well for Japan
He used his bullpen perfectly, for the fans considering the epic matchup that ended this tournament, but mostly to set up for a win. There were questions about why Yu Darvish he didn’t start, but Shota Imanaga held the US to one run in the first two innings and the bullpen took care of that. In all, seven pitchers were used, six of which are starters. Darvish pitched the eighth inning, nearly giving up the lead, and paved the way for Shohei Ohtani, who walked to the bullpen after sliding to second base on a double play. He threw some warm-up pitches, rechecked the game, and recorded the save. –Alden Gonzalez
What went wrong for the US
Team USA simply didn’t take advantage of run-scoring opportunities. And in a game with so little margin for error, against a team with so much talent, that made all the difference. The USA went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, their worst mark in the World Baseball Classic. In the second, third, fifth, and seventh innings, they had two runners on base who failed to score. in the ninth, jeff mcneil drew an opening walk against Ohtani, but mookie bets he bounced into a double play and Mike Trout struck out, missing on a full-count slider after being caught on four straight 100 mph fastballs. — Gonzalez