A bench-clearing brawl. Stunning upsets. A six-home run performance by two-time defending champion Japan. And four games with a combined 14 or more runs.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic has been anything but dull.
Mexican players were upset by Canadian catcher Chris Robinson’s bunt attempt in the ninth inning of his team’s 10-3 rout on Saturday, but run differential is a potentially important tiebreaking statistic at the WBC. The dugouts cleared after the next batter, Canada’s Rene Tosoni, was hit by a pitch.
The Netherlands shocked Cuba on Monday, overcoming a two-run deficit in the eighth inning for a 7-6 victory to advance to the championship round.
On Thursday, Italy scored two runs in the ninth inning to eke out a 6-5 win over Mexico, while Yovani Gallardo outpitched fellow major leaguer R.A. Dickey a day later in Mexico’s surprise 5-2 victory over the United States.
Japan and Netherlands have advanced to Sunday’s semifinals from Pool A and B, respectively. Italy, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the U.S. will battle for the other two semifinal spots from Pool C and D.
The semifinals will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Check out the gallery above for recent WBC action.