Cuba vs USA summary: scores, stats and highlights | 2023 World Baseball Classic semi final
Cuba overmatched by USA batting in 14-2 rout
Cuba overmatched by USA batting in 14-2 rout
The USA put on a hitting masterclass. All doubts about their uneven production are put to bed and a new hot bat has emerged in Trea Turner. He has hit four home runs in the tournament, including last night's winning grand slam, and two blasts tonight.
Cuba did some good things and managed to get on base far more than they were able to capitalize on, especially Yoelkis Guibert who went 3 for 4 on the evening. But their lack of power at the plate showed through.
With so many great Cuban players opting to either sit out or play for other teams, Cuba was hamstrung from the outset. A full-strength Cuban lineup would be a different story. As it stands, this victory felt lopsided from the start, with the USA a level above.
That isn't to take anything away from the USA's achievement. Their offense is finally clicking and putting up runs almost at will. While there were momentary wobbles on the mound, for the most part, the USA dictated the play and controlled the Cuban lineup.
With a rest day now before facing either Mexico or Japan, the USA should have their bullpen at full strength and with no visible weaknesses anywhere up or down the batting order, it is difficult to not tip the USA in the final to successfully defend their title.
Who will meet the US in the final, follow Mexico vs Japan live!
That is going to be it for our live coverage of the Cuba vs USA WBC semifinal game. Thank you for joining us, we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we have! We will be back tomorrow on Diario AS USA to bring you live coverage of the Mexico vs Japan semi final game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Until then, have a good evening!
Trea Turner is America's new power hitter
The four home runs that Turner has hit in this tournament is the most ever by an American player, and only one less than the most by anyone in a single WBC campaign.
The USA were a level above Cuba all night, as they put on a hitting master class. Scoring in every inning bar one, they showed their dominance and are rewarded with a trip to the final where they will face the winner of tomorrow's Japan vs Mexico game.
Alfredo Despaigne goes after the first pitch and grounds it to short. Turner fields it and goes to Mookie at second for one, then on to Goldschmidt for the second. 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Luis Robert rips a laser up the middle for a single to center.
Mateo grounds the first pitch to first. Paul Goldschmidt takes it himself for out number one.
Cuba are down to their last three outs and Luis Mateo will lead off. The USA change catchers as Kyle Higashioka replaces catcher Will Smith.
Aaron Loup comes in to pitch for the USA to see if he can close this game out.
Paul Goldschmidt rolls a soft hit to second, as Andy Ibanez fields it and tosses it to Drake to end the inning.
Cedric Mullins swings at the first pitch and blasts it to deep right center. It floats and creeps over the wall for a solo home run! It hit flat on the 387 sign and the USA add another to their total. 14-2
The game resumes and Mookie Betts lifts one to center field. Luis Robert gets under it for out number two.
Mookie Betts up to the plate now and there are more people on the field now. The game is paused to allow security to deal with it.
Turner fights off some great pitches before getting a nasty curve and goes down swinging on strike three. One down.
Trea Turner will lead off for the USA here in the 8th
Roel Santos grounds a chopper up the middle. Trea Turner gets to it and makes the play at first to retire the side.
Yoelkis Guibert bloops one into left for a two-out single. That is his third hit of the game.
Yadir Drake grounds one to Mookie Betts at second, giving him his first touch in the infield. Mookie makes the throw to first for the second out.
Quintana taps one to short and Turner makes the play at first for out number one.
Lorenzo Quintana will lead off for Cuba as Mookie Betts and Jeff McNeil swap positions, with Mookie coming in to play second and Jeff heading out to right.
Jeff McNeil gets jammed and grounds one to second. Ibañez fields it and makes the play at first to end the inning.
Pete Alonso hits a sharp roller to second. Ibañez's throw to first gets the second out.
Luis Mateo comes on to replace Yoan Moncada at third. Will Smith leads off for the USA and pops one up on the right side in foul territory. Yadir Drake puts it away for the first out.
Jose Rodriguez will come on to take over on the mound from Frank Alvarez for Cuba.
Andy Ibañez now comes to the plate and pops one straight up to the right side. Goldschmidt gets under it and calls for it. McNeil comes over and the two very nearly collide in the same way as the Cubans did the inning before. But Goldschmidt puts it away to end the inning.
Erisbel Arruebarrena goes after the first pitch and flies one out to right. It falls in for a single in front of Mookie Betts.
Alfredo Despaigne hacks at the second pitch and rolls one softly to short for Trea Turner. The throw to first gets the out.
Robert jumps on the first pitch. Broken bat grounder to third as Bobby Witt throws him out at first.
Cedric Mullins will stay in the game playing center. Luis Robert will lead off for Cuba.
Schwarber pops one into left, a mile high. Santos calls for it and makes the catch as he collides with Moncada. Out number three but Moncada is down on the ground. Hopefully he is not injured.
Kyle Schwarber now comes up with runners on the corners and two outs.
No mercy rule in World Baseball Classic knockout stages
The mercy rule was only in effect during the first round, it doesn't apply here in the knockout rounds, so despite the USA leading by 11 the game will go the distance.
The mercy rule kicked in to end the game if
- a team was leading by 15 or more runs after five innings
- a team was leading by 10 or more runs after seven innings.
Witt's payoff pitch is fouled off twice before the third one misses and Witt gets the free pass. Ball four.
Bobby Witt Jr now comes to the plate and Alvarez throws a wild pitch to run the count full. Mullins advances to third.
Paul Goldschmidt pops a high one on the right side for second baseman Andy Ibanez. Two down.
Cedric Mullins will take over for Mike Trout as a pinch runner.
Mike Trout now at the plate and slaps a hard line drive to the right field corner for a double. Mookie Betts scores from first. USA 13, Cuba 2
Betts smacks one to left field for a single.
Mookie Betts will now come to the plate to face the new pitcher.
That is going to knock Elian Leyva out of the game. Cuba will hand the ball over to Frank Alvarez and try to pull themselves out of this.
He's done it again! Turner blasts one to left field and that is a three-run shot to add to his total. It is unbelievable! That is his fourth home run in the tournament and his second tonight. USA adds three runs and makes it 12-2!
Now Trea Turner with runners on first and second and one out.
On four straight pitches, McNeil draws the walk.
Jeff McNeil now comes tot he plate with Smith still on second. One down now.
Pete Alonso comes to the plate and grounds one to short. Erisbel Arruebarrena makes the throw to first for the out.
Cuba will come out with a catching change as Lorenzo Quintana replaces Ariel Martinez. Will Smith leads off for the USA and rips a line drive to left for a leadoff double.
Play resumes and Moncada lines one to left field. Schwarber makes the catch to end the inning.
It looks like security has it under control.
Yoan Moncada comes to the plate as a fan gets onto the field. They stop the game to deal with it.
Roel Santos comes up with a man on first and one out. He lines a long fly ball directly at Mike Trout for the second out.
Yoelkis Guibert chops a high roller to third. Witt charges it and makes the throw, not in time!
Drake grounds a soft roller to short. Trea Turner makes the play at first for out number one.
Yadir Drake will lead off for Cuba as Jeff McNeil stays in the game at second. Bobby Witt will take over for Arenado at third.
Schwarber grounds a dribbler to the pitcher, who makes the easy play to first base. The inning ends, but the USA is steaming away with this game and Cuba look like they have no real response.
Bobby Witt Jr. will pinch run for Nolan Arenado, as the USA has the bases full again for Kyle Schwarber.
Nolan Arenado checks his swing and the fastball runs in and hits him on the knuckle.
Paul Goldschmidt comes to the plate, the bases still loaded but now with two outs. He rips one through the hole at second and into right for a single. Alonso scores. The throw is not in time for McNeil. USA add two runs to their lead!
Mike Trout goes down on three straight pitches, called strike three. Two away.
Betts rips the first pitch, a line drive to short. Erisbel Arruebarrena stabs it for the out.
The first hitter that he will face is Mookie Betts.
Cuba will now call time on Ronald Bolanos' evening and get Elian Leyva out to take his place.
Turner takes the payoff and bloops it into shallow right, just over the outstretched glove of Ibañez. It falls in for a single. All runners advance and the bases are now full with no outs.
Trea Turner now at the plate and gets a steady diet of sliders to run the count full.
Cuba's bullpen is active now, with Alvarez and Leyva up and working
On four straight pitches, McNeil walks. Alonso advances to second. Still nobody out.
Jeff McNeil will now head to the plate, pinch hitting for Tim Anderson.
Pete Alonso leads off for the USA and the first pitch runs inside and clips him.
He fouls two off before whiffing hard at a big looping curve to end the inning. Cuba strand two but claw one back. Middle of five, it is 7-2
Ariel Martinez will now bat with runners at first and second and two outs.
Andy Ibañez now up with men on first and third with two outs, and he dribbles a slow roller up the middle that somehow gets through! Moncada scores from third.
Erisbel Arruebarrena shows great patience, working the count to 2-2 before ripping one through to left for a two-out single. Moncada hesitates in his run and gets the stop sign rounding third. Men on the corners now.
Alfredo Despaigne gets in a hole quickly and swings at the same nasty slider that got Robert. Two down.
Luis Robert will head to the plate now works the count to 2-2 before whiffing on a low slider. He couldn't hold up on the check swing.
Yoan Moncada will lead off and slaps one into the right field corner for a leadoff double.
Wainwright has had a great start tonight, but the USA will make the change and call on Miles Mikolas to take over.
Apart from the first inning, each of the USA's scoring opportunities came with two outs. Cuba is doing good things and getting nearly out of the inning before it all seems to fall apart. They need to grab ahold of this situation now if they have any hope of staying in this game.
Bolaños is a straight fastball-slider pitcher and Smith gets jammed and pops one to right field. Guibert is under it and puts it away for the third out.
Will Smith will stand in now to face the new pitcher
Ronald Bolaños will come out of the Cuban bullpen to take over on the mound and see if he can stamp out this fire.
The count runs full and the payoff pitch misses in the dirt. It squirts away from Martinez, allowing Arenado to score from third. Kyle Schwarber gets the walk and that is going to be it for Viera.
Kyle Schwarber comes to the plate now with a runner on third and two outs.
Nolan Arenado comes to the plate and lines a low pitch into the right field corner. Goldschmidt comes around to score from first, and Arenado is in there with a triple!
Paul Goldschmidt will stand in now and stands strong on a hard count. He runs it full and the payoff misses inside for ball four.
Mike Trout takes some big cuts but whiffs through a nasty sinker for strike three. Two down.
Mookie Betts leads off the fourth for the USA and runs the count full before hitting a hard grounder to short. Erisbel Arruebarrena makes the throw to first for the first out.
Roel Santos flies one out to center field, but Trout has a bead on it and puts it away to end the inning. We head to the bottom of four, the USA is winning 5-1
Yoelkis Guibert pokes one straight back up the middle for a two-out single to center.
Yadir Drake swings at the first pitch, chopping one to short. Trea Turner is there and makes the throw to first for the second out.
Ariel Martinez lines one to right, but directly at Mookie Betts. One out
Ariel Martinez will lead off for Cuba and see if they can summon any kind of response to the American onslaught.
Trea Turner comes to the plate and chops a slow roller to third. Moncada charges it and makes the play at first to end the inning.
Tim Anderson will stand in now and bangs a deep fly ball to center field. Robert drifts over and makes the catch for the second out, but Schwarber will tag and score on the play.
That will be it for Romero, as Cuba's manager Armando Johnson will stride out to the mound and make the change. Carlos Viera will get the call to take over.
Alonso jumps on the first pitch and rips it to left field for a single. Arenado scores from third, Schwarber is held and good thing he was, with a rocket of a throw to the plate. The USA stretches their lead to 4-1
Pete Alonso now comes to the plate with the bases loaded and only one out. This is a flashing red light - DANGER, DANGER for Cuba
The payoff misses and the bases are loaded. Romero, who hasn't walked anybody up to tonight, walks two in a row.
The payoff delivery is fouled back. We'll do it again.
The umpire misses a call, which runs the count full.
Will Smith comes to the plate with Arenado at second, Schwarber at first, and one out.
Kyle Schwarber will now stand in and is plunked by an inside slider, giving him the distinction of being the first batter given a pass by Romero.
Nolan Arenado comes to the plate now and rips a slider through the hole at short for a single to left.
Gold schmidt fouls two payoff deliveries off before swinging through a beautiful slider for strike three!
Romero has good control generally, and he hasn't yet walked anybody in the tournament. Goldschmidt is a different breed though and the count works full.
Paul Goldschmidt will lead off for the USA
Cuba will dip into their bullpen now and tap Miguel Romero, and that is a good move becaus the USA was keying in on every pitch that Roenis Elias has.
The 3-1 delivery is hit well out to center field, but it isn't far enough. Mike Trout tracks it down to retire the side.
Andy Ibañez now at the plate with two down and a runner at second.
Erisble Arruebarrena pops a high one to shallow right. Mookie Betts calls Anderson off and makes the catch for out number two.
Alfredo Despaigne hits a dribbler in front of the plate. Wainwright throws high and it sails over Goldschmidt's glove. Despaigne gets to second on the error.
Luis Robert leads off for Cuba and jumps on a cutter, lifting it out to right for Mookie Betts to put away. One down.
Mike Trout now and he chases a low change for a deep shot to center field. It is not quite long enough, as Robert makes the catch at the wall to end the inning.
Mookie Betts now comes up and pokes the first pitch into the gap in left center for a two-out single.
Trea Turner now at the plate and jumps on the first pitch, hammering it WAAAAAYYYYY over the wall in left. Solo shot! The USA extends their lead, 3-1
The payoff is dribbled to second. Ibañez makes the play and throws to first for the second out.
He fights off a few curves and stays tough, running the count full.
Tim Anderson steps up to the box now.
A steady diet of change ups sees Alonso pop one into deep center field. Luis Robert camps out under it and hauls it in for the first out.
Pete Alonso will lead off for team USA here in the second.
The delivery is a low change, which Moncada grounds to second. Anderson fields it and makes the out at first to end the inning.
Wainwright is throwing around the edges, working around Moncada, and the count runs to 2-2
Yoan Moncada now comes up with two down and a runner on second.
Roel Santos comes to the dish now and chops a big bouncer to second. Anderson's only play is to first so he gets the out there as Drake advances to second. Two down.
Another strike and a foul get Guibert into an 0-2 hole before a nasty 12 to 6 curve gets him swinging for strike three.
Yoelkis Guibert now at the plate and he squares around to show bunt, but pulls it back. The pitch is a strike.
Drake pokes one through the hole at second for a leadoff single to right.
Yadir Drake will lead off and takes the first pitch deep to right, but foul. This game is jumping off to a blazing start by both teams.
Smith chops a slow roller to second. It gets to Ibañez just as Schwarber does, so he simply applies the tag to end the inning. The USA have hit back quickly and taken the lead 2-1
Will Smith now stands in with a runner on first and two outs.
Kyle Schwarber comes to the plate and gets four straight balls for the walk.
Nolan Arenado comes up now and fights off a couple of fastballs befor getting a big looping curve. He can't hold up his check swing for strike three. Two down.
Paul Goldschmidt comes to the plate and hammers one to left field. Home run! With a two-run shot, team USA takes the lead.
Mike Trout now comes up the plate and smacks a fly ball to shallow right. Guibert charges it and makes a snag right at his ankles for the out.
Betts rips the first pitch into the left field corner for a leadoff double.
Roenis Elias will start off on the mound for Cuba and he is primarily a fastball, change, curve pitcher. He will face Mookie Betts to lead off for the USA.
He chops a slow roller to Trea Turner at short, who makes the throw to first to end the inning. That is a huge save, getting out of that hole with only one run scored. The USA will heave a huge sigh of relief.
Ariel Martinez comes to the plate with the bases still loaded and two outs.
Andy Ibañez pops the first pitch straight up to the right side of the infield. The infield fly rule is in effect, but the ball is taken by Time Anderson for the second out anyway.
Arruebarrena slaps the 2-2 delivery to third base. Arenado fields it cleanly and goes home for the force out at the plate. One down.
The next two hit the zone and the count evens up
Erisbel Arruebarrena now at the plate and gets two curves in the dirt.
Andy Pettitte trots out to the mound to talk to Wainwright, see if he can settle his pitcher down.
Wainwright throws the curve and misses it. Ball four and Despaigne walks in a run.
Despaigne works the count full and this is a stiff rod up Wainwright's back, with no base empty.
Bases are loaded with no outs for Cuba as Alfredo Despaigne comes to the plate.
Luis Robert dribbles one to the right side of the mound and Wainwright misses it! He was thinking about turning two and the ball just fell under his glove. Three infield hits in the first inning!
Moncada taps a high bouncer near the first base line. Wainwright runs over to field it, thinks about letting it roll foul but thinks better of it, but is too late to make a play. Both runners are safe on back to back infield hits.
Yoan Moncada now at the plate and fights off a few curves for foul balls to take the count to 2-2
Santos jumps on the second pitch and hits it into the hole at second. Tim Anderson makes a diving stop and throws off his back. It pulls Goldschmidt off the bag and Santos beats him to the bag. Safe at first!
Adam Wainwright is on the mound for the USA and will face Roel Santos to get things started tonight.
Wainwright has exceptional movement on his pitches and will rely on a cutter, sinker, and curve to do most of the heavy lifting. He does have a four seamer in his repertoire, bit is more likely to go with the change than the heat.
The first pitch from Wainwright is delivered and it is a sinker outside for a ball.
Both teams are now on the field and we are just about five minutes away from first pitch.
If you would like to follow along in Spanish, head over to our colleagues' live coverage of the game on Diario AS USA Latino
Jose Altuve update
It would appear that the worst has come to pass as news has come down that Jose Altuve's thumb was fractured in last night's quarterfinal matchup with the USA. He will undergo surgery on it and will be out "indefinitely" according to the Astros report. When asked to elaborate on the timeframe, Astros manager Dusty Baker said, "It appears it could be a while."
Roel Santos LF
Yoan Moncada 3B
Luis Robert CF
Alfredo Despaigne DH
Erisbel Arruebarruena SS
Andy Ibañez 2B
Ariel Martinez C
Yadir Drake 1B
Yoelkis Guibert RF
Mookie Betts RF
Mike Trout CF
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Nolan Arenado 3B
Kyle Schwarber LF
Will Smith C
Pete Alonso DH
Tim Anderson 2B
Trea Turner SS
First ever meeting
This is the first time that the USA and Cuba have ever met in the World Baseball Classic
Team USA will call on St Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright to take the mound. He last started in the tournament opener against Great Britain, where he threw five innings, giving up five hits, one run, and one walk while chalking up four strikeouts. Through the 2022 MLB season, he finished with a 3.71 ERA while striking out 143 in 191.2 innings pitched.
Cuba will call on Chicago Cubs lefty Roenis Elías. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Elias missed all of 2021 and spent most of last season in Triple A ball. Over his seven years in MLB, however, he has a career 3.96 ERA with 331 strikeouts over 395.2 innings pitched. The big question is how well has he healed, and judging by his outing in the group stage, that would appear to be a resounding yes.
Team USA are currently reigning World Baseball Classic champions, having won the tournament’s fourth edition in 2017.
“Let’s play ball. I didn’t come here to lose, I came to win."
Cuba’s best performance at the WBC came in the inaugural edition, where they finished second, losing to Japan 10-6 in the final.
Welcome to the live commentary coverage of the Cuba vs USA WBC semifinal game here with Diario AS USA.
Team USA blasted their way into this semi final game with a Trea Turner grand slam in last night’s quarterfinal win over Venezuela.
There have been concerns about Team USA in the group stage, particularly after a heavy loss to Mexico was followed by a lackluster win over a struggling Colombian team.
Question marks hanging over their lack of production with the bats were emphatically swept aside by a Team USA who look to finally be poised to realize their full potential.
Uneven performance has been the nagging issue for Team USA, and one concern for this game is the bullpen. In a back-and-forth contest with Venezuela, Team USA had to use six pitchers. WIth only 24 hours rest, it is not at all clear how many of these arms can go again if needed.
Across the diamond will sit Cuba, the undisputed all-time heavyweight champions of international baseball competitions. Admittedly a hollow shell of their former selves, Cuba is still a potent side, and even though they are lacking some of their biggest players likeYordan Álvarez , Yuliesky Gurriel, and Randy Arozarena, who chose to play for Mexico instead, they still feature a strong lineup including Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert, and Miguel Romero.
Historically, Cuba has won by far the most championships of any country. In the amateur-only days of the Olympics and the now-defunct Baseball World Cup, they won 25 times, compared to the USA’s four.
Since MLB has allowed their players to compete, the USA has been a force in the international scene, but Cuba was in the first WBC final back in 2006, losing to Japan.
Recent years have seen their fortunes wane to some extent, but through Pool A play, they managed to top a competitive group through head-to-head play. They defeated Australia in the quarterfinals to get here and will now look to upend a favored Team USA to get back to the finals for the first time in 17 years.