Anytime the US and Mexico meet in any sport the stakes are high. Game two of Pool C play on Sunday night was no different.
In a very interesting move Team USA Manager Mark DeRosa sent Padres righty Nick Martinez to the mound to start against the rivals to the south. Martinez was better than the three runs that he gave up suggested but just wasn’t able to finish innings when he needed to.
Much like last night things got off to a nightmare start for the Stars and Stripes in the top of the first. Randy Arozarena lead off the inning with an infield single that was initially called an out but was overturned after a Mexican challenge. Two batters later, Washington Nationals rookie Joey Meneses crushed a Nick Martinez cutter into the left field seats to give Mexico a 2-0 lead.
For the second straight night, it wouldn’t take the Americans long to respond to an opponent’s first punch. Kyle Tucker continued his hot start to the WBC by lacing a triple into the right-field corner. The very next batter was Chicago White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson and he would flip a single into right field to cut the Mexican lead in half.
Mexico would get that run back immediately however after a two-out rally which ended on an RBI single from Isacc Paredes to put Team Mexico up 3-1 and end Nick Martinez’s day. White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman would come on to get Luis Urias to ground out and end the Mexican threat.
Brady Singer would come out of the pen to piggyback off Nick Martinez in the fourth inning. This was the inning where things went from bad to ugly for Team USA. Randy Arozarena came up clutch once again for Team Mexico as he drove an RBI double the other way to put another run on the board for Mexico. Joey Meneses would come up and continue to write his historic night as he crushed yet another home run, this one a three-run shot to put Mexico up by a shocking score of 7-1.
Coming into the night, the main storyline I was interested in was if the US could match the intensity that Mexico came out with following their loss to Colombia. From the beginning, it was clear that the intensity of this Mexico team was just going to be on a level that the US could not reach.
Things never got better for the Americans at all and they would fall by a shocking final score of 11-5
This loss does not eliminate the US by any means but it does put a lot of pressure on the Americans to win these next two games to move on in the tournament.