The competition between the teams of Mexico and Japan in one of the semifinals of the recently concluded 5th World Baseball Championship (WBC), was chosen as the best in the history of this tournament, which began in 2006.
The duel sealed by the triumph of the Japanese with a narrow 6-5 scoreboard shot, heads the list of the ten best challenges held in the five editions of the competition, made by Major League Baseball (MLB).
MLB names Mexico vs. Japan as best game in Classic history; Baseball World Cup
— ESPN.com.mx (@ESPNmx) on March 25, 2023
As the organization publishes on its website, “this exciting game was a comeback movie that had absolutely everything”, as Roki Sasaki started the game with a straight line near 164 km/h, only for Luis Urías to beat Mexico 3-. 0 with a home run in the third inning.
Mexico held on in the later innings, but in the seventh, a three-run home run by Mastaka Yoshida, a near-horror pole, tied the game.
Although the team led by Benjamín Gil had trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, in the bottom of the ninth inning star Shohei Ohtani took Mexican closer Giovanny Gallegos with a double, followed by a walk by Yoshida and Munetaka. Murakami hit a double that decided the Japanese triumph.
Mexico also appears as the first conflict, which takes seventh place in the order, also corresponding to the most recent version of the World Classic.
This is a clash of weapons in which Puerto Rico faced a powerful team, with which they came back from an adverse score, to be included among the best four teams in the tournament.
The Puerto Ricans had taken an early 4-0 lead in the top of the inning thanks to home runs by Javier Báez and Eddie Rosario, but the Aztecs didn’t stop fighting throughout the game until things turned around.
“Isaac Paredes put himself on the board first with a solo run in the bottom of the second inning and was the hero of the seventh with two outs before getting one out,” added the review from MLB.
It also highlights that Mexico was able to hold onto the lead and get the victory thanks to Randy Arozarena’s incredible catch near the left field fence and Gallegos’ effective relief with runners on first and second to make the save.
The list of editors does not include the matches corresponding to the 2006 and 2013 editions: the United States has the most presence in these duels with four, among which they lost to Japan last year.
Another group of groups was placed in the category of Honorable Mention, among which it is fitting that Cuba beat the Dominican Republic 3-1 in the first edition of these tournaments.
MLB is one of the governing bodies of the World Classics, along with the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WCBS).
1) Japan defeats Mexico 5-4 (semifinal 2023).
2) Japan beat South Korea 5-3 in 10 innings (2009 final).
3) The United States of the Dominican Republic 6-3 (2017 around second).
4) Puerto Rico 6-5 (2009 second round).
5) United States of America 3-2 (last 2023), defeats Japan.
6) Beat the Dominican Republic 2-1 in 11 innings (first round 2009).
7) Israel beat South Korea 2-1 in 10 innings (first round 2017).
8) Puerto Rico beat the Belgians 4-3 in 11 innings (2017 semifinals).
9) Mexico beats Puerto Rico 5-4 (second round 2023).
10) The Dominican Republic beat the United States 7-5 (first round 2017).
Dominican Republic beat Colombia 10-3 in 11 innings (first round 2017).
Italy beat Mexico 10-9 (first round 2017).
8-6 (first round 2006).
United States II defeats Japan (2017 semifinal).
Venezuela defeats Italy 11-10 in 10 innings (first round 2017).
Puerto Rico 3-1 Japan (2013 semifinal).
Dominican Republic 3-1 (2013 second round).
The Republic beat Italy 5-4 (2013 second round).
Cuba defeats the Dominican Republic 3-1 (2006 semifinals).