By: Lawrence Lang
This past Tuesday was the World Baseball Classic Championship between Team Japan and Team USA in Miami, Florida, at LoanDepot Park. To much surprise, this had to be the final to WBC that everyone wanted to see that two very best teaming going at for probably the top prize in baseball behind the World Series and a Gold Medal to the Olympics. Tuesday’s Championship game was a game that will be remembered for a very long time. This game had all the emotions from the start. The excitement when Trea Turner gave the US the early 1-0 lead with a Homerun 406 ft shot to left field was also Turner’s fifth WBC Homerun in the Classic this year. Then you got the clear mind of Munetaka Murakami, and the first pitch he saw tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 2nd with a 432 ft home run to right field.
Japan would take the lead later in the inning, going up 1-2. Then this was just pure baseball for the next five innings. Japan would add a run in the bottom of the 4th with a home run by Kazuma Okamoto, making it 1-3. The US would make it 2-3 with a Kyle Schwarber home run. What makes the game so perfect is the final out of the game. It was between two teammates that are not only playing for glory for their country but also getting ready for the Major League Baseball Season. Los Angeles Angels teammates Shohei Ohtani ( Pitching for Japan) and Mike Trout (Batting for the USA) squared off. With two outs in the game, the US was down to their final out and down by a run. Could Trout get the job done against his teammate and try and get a rally or tie for the US?
Trout at bat against Ohtani went as followed.
First Pitch: Ball was called in the bottom left of the strike zone (could have been called a Strike)
Second Pitch: Strike ( Trout Swung and missed)
Third Pitch: Ball was called in the middle of the zone to the left (The pitch could have gone either way for a ball or strike)
Fourth Pitch: Strike ( Trout swung and missed again)
Fifth Pitch: The ball is called in the bottom left outside the zone.
Sixth Pitch Strike three (Trout strikeout swinging
You could feel the energy during this moment because you know that Trout wanted to homer off of Ohtani to tie the game. You know that Ohtani wanted to strike out Trout to win the WBC for Japan, and for this round, Ohtani won the battle, and Japan won the WBC 3-2 and their third title since the tournament started in 2006. Ohtani would win MVP for the tournament.
It was not going to be him Trea Turner would have been runner-up for MVP because of the performance; he had nine hits, five of which were home runs, and had 11 RBI’S.
With the WBC now over, The MLB season is upon us. However, with a moment of reflection with the expectation of a few MLB players getting hurt, this was fun and exciting to watch because baseball brought the world together for a few weeks. There was no drama with the teams. You had memorable moments throughout the whole WBC. We had a fantastic championship game, and who would have thought it would come down to Ohtani vs. Trout to end the 2023 WBC? If that’s not a Hollywood story ending, then you are crazy. WBC will return in 2026, and I can’t wait because unless a trade happens with Trout or Ohtani in the next two years, I want to see them square off again. After all, their face-off in the final of the WBC was a moment I think fans won’t forget, and Trout wants redemption.