On Sunday night in Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco, Mexico defeated Venezuela, 11-9, in a wild card game which had huge implications for Pool D in the World Baseball Classic.
However, fans have a tiebreaker on their hands. With that victory, Mexico, Venezuela, and Italy all share a 1-2 record in pool play. The two teams that surrendered the fewest runs allowed per defensive inning among the teams tied during the tournament will compete in a tiebreaker, according to tiebreaker rules. Unfortunately, the other team is eliminated.
So, folks, Venezuela and Italy will collide in a tiebreaker match. No matter who wins, both teams qualified for the 2021 WBC. Venezuela only allowed 1.11 runs per defensive inning, and Italy surrendered 1.05 runs. Mexico finished with 1.12 runs. The winner of the tiebreaker will decide the team from Pool D that will join Puerto Rico in the second round.
All three teams lost to Puerto Rico. And the three teams surrendered a run per inning against each other, so none of them had a strong case to advance. What decided the tiebreaker match is how Venezuela, Mexico, and Puerto Rico match up against one another.
Furthermore, Mexico filed to protest the decision because of how the numbers were calculated. Kundy Gutierrez, the general manager of team Mexico, told reporters following the victory over Venezuela that conversations over the ruling were going on with MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre and senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng. But it was later confirmed that Venezuela would advance to the Pool D tiebreaker.
Moreover, this tiebreaker match should leave you on the edge of your seats. Italy and Venezuela have batters capable of wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. For example, Venezuela’s Victor Martinez blasted a two-run homer in the 7th inning against Mexico. He is lethal at bat.
Even though Italy and Venezuela are not great defensive teams, they can light up scoreboards. This should be an exciting matchup. If you want to keep an eye on the bracket, here it is.
Venezuela vs. Italy info
When: 9 p.m. ET
Where: Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco
What: Tiebreaker to determine who will advance to Round 2
TV: MLB Network, ESPN Deportes (Spanish), WatchESPN