After an exciting finish against the Dominican Republic to send team USA to the semi-finals, San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon joins Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford as team USA looks for its first championship.
Neither Crawford nor Posey started in game one of the second round against Venezuela; although Crawford came on in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement and helped turn a double-play to end the game.
In the loss to Puerto Rico, Posey was 1-3 with a solo home run and a walk, while Crawford was 1-3 with a walk and 2 RBIs.
Crawford kept team USA alive against Puerto Rico with a 2-out, 2 RBI triple in the ninth inning to make it a 1-run game. But he was stranded at third base.
The Giants’ shortstop continued to swing a hot bat in game three against the Dominican Republic going 2-4 with a run scored.
He’s tied with Eric Hosmer for the team lead in hits with eight, and he’s first on the team in average at .444 and on-base-percentage at .500 of players with 10 or more at-bats.
Crawford is second on team USA in slugging at .722, and he trails teammate Buster Posey who has a slugging percentage of .818 in the World Baseball Classic.
It’s definitely good to see that both San Francisco Giants players are having a good Classic as I think that will carry over into the regular season.
Hopefully Melancon can continue those good vibes as he joins the team for Wednesday’s semi-final game against Japan. He hasn’t given up a run in 7 innings pitched this spring.
The USA bullpen has not been great during the World Baseball Classic, so Melancon will be a nice addition to the roster.
Japan breezed through the first two rounds of the Classic and are one of two teams that remain undefeated. Puerto Rico stayed undefeated on Monday night with an extra innings win over the Netherlands to advance to the finals on Wednesday.
Crawford, Posey, Melancon and team USA will face Japan Tuesday night at 6 p.m. PCT. Make sure you tune in to cheer on your San Francisco Giants and team USA — unless you’re from Japan, in which case, good luck.