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World Baseball Classic update: Masataka Yoshida advances while 3 other Red Sox face elimination

By Peyton Doyle,

2023-03-15

Rafael Devers, Kiké Hernández, and Alex Verdugo will all complete their pool play games on Wednesday.

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Masataka Yoshida has five hits and eight RBI through four games of the World Baseball Classic.

Four Red Sox players find themselves in rather different positions heading into this afternoon’s World Baseball Classic games.

Masataka Yoshida is getting in a day of practice waiting for his second-round matchup, while Rafael Devers, Kiké Hernández, and Alex Verdugo all prepare for do-or-die games Wednesday.

Yoshida hit over .400 for team Japan as the team went undefeated in pool play to advance to the second round, where they will face off with Italy on Thursday in Tokyo.

Japan swept Pool B handily with a run differential of +38 in four games.

Alongside Yoshida is Angels star Shohei Ohtani. The duo combined for 11 hits, nine walks, and 16 RBI in pool play. Ohtani also shined on the mound, striking out five and allowing no runs in his only start so far.

Japan will face a team in Italy that went 2-2 in Pool A with a +3 run differential. Both of Italy’s wins came with former Mets ace Matt Harvey, who allowed just one run in seven innings between the two appearances.

While Yoshida is preparing for the next stage with his teammates, Devers, Hernández, and Verdugo still have to find a way to get there with one game left in their respective pools.

Both Devers and Verdugo have struggled mightily at the plate so far in this competition, but each of their teams are 2-1 and in second place in their pools despite it.

Devers went 2-12 in the Dominican Republic’s first three games in Pool D, and Verdugo garnered just one hit in his 12 at bats for Mexico in Pool C.

Hernández on the other hand is finding success at the plate with team Puerto Rico so far, who is also 2-1. The outfielder is 4-12 so far in the competition with four runs and three RBIs.

Although each of these players has had different success with the bat in this tournament, they each find themselves in the same spot Wednesday night.

All three will participate in their final game of pool play today, with Verduo taking on Canada at 3 p.m. and Devers and Hernández facing each other at 7 p.m.

If Mexico wins, then it will advance to the second round, but if it loses and team USA defeats Colombia Wednesday night, then it will be eliminated.

For the Dominican Republic versus Puerto Rico, the game is a simple winner-take-all with the victor advancing and the loser ending its tournament Wednesday.

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