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Japan is headed to the WBC Semifinals

Cleveland Guardians news and notes for Friday, March 17, 2023

2023 World Baseball Classic: Quarterfinals Team Italy v. Team Japan Photo by Mary DeCicco/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Your last chance to watch a Guardian in the World Baseball Classic might come tomorrow night when USA takes on Venezuela. It’s there you’ll get to see Andrés Giménez man shortstop on an absolutely stacked Venezuelan team as they attempt to stop Mike Trout and the supposed USA juggernaut.

Well, the USA team was supposed to be a force in the tournament, but they haven't looked all that intimidating outside of one massive inning against Canada. So maybe after tomorrow night, we’ll all be rooting for Giménez and his teammates in the final two rounds.

Obviously, with most of the field eliminated, fewer games are being played, but yesterday Japan advanced with a 9-3 win over Italy. Shohei Ohtani allowed a pair of runs on the mound in 4.2 innings, but struck out five and recorded a hit at the plate.

Tonight, Puerto Rico and Mexico face off in Miami. Puerto Rico fans have shown up in droves for their games and it has led to an incredible atmosphere for games that are technically an exhibition. That should be no different tonight as the games become a win-or-go-home affair.

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Are Triston McKenzie’s spring numbers a concern for you? Well, stop it. It doesn’t matter. If you won’t listen to me, listen to Terry Pluto, who lists several reasons not to worry about McKenzie’s rough spring training box scores.

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