Puerto Rico vs Mexico summary: scores, stats and highlights | 2023 World Baseball Classic
Mexico stun Puerto Rico coming back to win 5-4
Mexico stun Puerto Rico in amazing comeback
Puerto Rico jumped on top of Mexico early, posting four runs in the first inning and looking for all the world like they would end Mexico's run yet again at the quarter final stage.
While the momentum seemed to be in Puerto Rico's corner for a large chunk of the game, those four runs were the sum total that they would muster in the game.
Mexico, first wobbled, then stumbling, and finally finding their feet, clawed their way back in to the game, one run at a time. In the end, it was Puerto Rico who were on the ropes and Mexico delivered the knockout blow, scoring three runs in the seventh.
This is now the first time in the competition's seventeen-year history that Mexico has advanced beyond the quarterfinals.
Puerto Rico will now head home to lick their wounds, taking stock of the high price that they have paid in the 2023 WBC and getting back to their MLB duties.
If there are any lingering doubts as to just what this competition means around Latin America, Randy Arozarena was unequivocal when asked what his rally-killing, and possibly game winning, catch in center field meant to him he replied, "That was better than any home run I’ve ever hit in the big leagues. That was better than the home run I hit in the World Series. That catch was the best.”
For their reward, Mexico will now have to face Japan on Monday.
That is going to be it for out live coverage of the Puerto Rico vs Mexico WBC quarterfinal 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 USA vs Venezuela quarterfinal game in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Until then, have a good evening!
Alex Verdugo's home run
This cracked open the scoring in the first inning. A three-run shot to right
Mexico win and will move on to the semi final round for the first time ever! After trailing by four runs, they stun Puerto Rico and post five unanswered runs. They will now go on to face Japan.
Called strike three on a slider, that was almost middle-middle! How did he not pull the trigger on that? What a pitch!
He fouls one off
The count runs to 2-2 and Kike is in a bit of a spot
Kike Hernandez will see if he can keep Puerto Rico's hopes alive.
Francisco Lindor rips one up the middle for a single. Alek Thomas fields it and Johneshwy Fargas holds at 2nd. Puerto Rico thrown another lifeline.
Francisco Lindor is Puerto Rico's last hope. Fargas on first with two outs. The winner of this game will face Japan.
Martin Maldonado pops one straight up on the right side. Joey Meneses camps out under it and puts it away for the second out. Puerto Rico are down to their last out.
Vimael Machin stands in now and bunts a little pop up back to the mound for out number one.
Vazquez slaps one into the gap in left center and Puerto Rico have a leadoff single. Johneshwy Fargas will be brought on as a pinch runner.
Jarren Duran will come in to play right field. Christian Vazquez will lead off for Puerto Rico.
Giovanny Gallegos will try and slam the door shut for Mexico
Randy Arozarena jumps on the first pitch and hits it sharply on the ground to short. The throw to first is in time and we move to the ninth, Mexico up 5-4.
Barnes gets himself into a hole pretty quickly and pops the 0-2 to shallow center. Kike Hernandez charges it and puts it away for the second out.
Austin Barnes now comes to the plate and he is 2 for 3 tonight
Thomas goes after a fastball running at the top of the zone and misses it for the first out.
Alek Thomas will lead off here for Mexico
Jovani Moran will come on for the end of the eighth to try and shut Mexico down
Now men on the corners for Eddie Rosario. He pops a high pitch straight up into foul territory. Catcher Austin Barnes hauls it in to end the inning.
Javier Baez jumps on a sinker and singles on a line drive to center. MJ Melendez advances to 3rd.
Emannuel Rivera gets the payoff pitch and Melendez takes off. Rivera cranks a long ball to left center. In the gap all the way, but Randy Arozarena comes flying in and makes a leaping catch! Woah! That was spectacular. Melendez has to hustle to get all the way back to first. He had already rounded second. He makes it back sliding. A long out and we now have two down.
The count goes to full, and this is a strong at-bat.
After an opening ball, Rivera fouls three off in a row before getting another ball. 2-2
Emmanuel Rivera will stand in to face Mexico's fourth pitcher of the evening.
That will be it for Romero, as Benji Gil visits the mound to take the ball and hand it over to Jake Sanchez
MJ Melendez will now come to the plate and draws a one out walk. Puerto Rico now have a base runner with one out.
Kike Hernandez leads off in the eighth for Puerto Rico, and he pops one just behind second base for Urias. One away.
Alan Trejo now will stand in with men on the corners and two out. He lifts one to left field for Eddie Rosario to make the catch and end the inning. But Mexico have roared back into this, posting five unanswered runs. At the end of seven, Mexico 5, Puerto Rico 4
Luis Urias now at the plate with men at the corners and two out. He bloops one into shallow right. It falls in for a single as Verdugo scores to take the lead!
Paredes gets ahold of a sinker and plunks it into left field for a single. Austin Barnes scores. Randy Arozarena scores. Alex Verdugo slides into 3rd. Mexico have evened the score!
In the last three innings, Mexico have loaded the bases three times and scored only one run. That is unsustainable.
Isaac Paredes now at the plate with bases loaded and two out.
Tellez gets all twisted up and nearly screws himself into the ground trying to chase a wicked breaking ball for strike three.
Mexico still threatening here, with the bases still loaded and only one out. Rowdy Tellez comes to the plate.
Meneses gets jammed and pops one straight up. Maldonado comes out and calls everyone off. He makes the catch and Puerto Rico get their first out.
Joey Meneses comes to the plate and Mexico are threatening here.
Yadi Molina strides out to the mound and calls for Jorge Lopez.
Verdugo takes another one high and gets the free pass. Mexico now have the bases loaded and nobody out and that will be it for Diaz.
He misses with three fastballs. All of them missed by less than an inch and all of them could have just as easily been called strikes.
Alex Verdugo is perhaps the most dangerous hitter in this lineup and he comes to the plate now with nobody out and men on first and second. Diaz is in a bit of a tight spot.
Arozarena fights off a few low fastballs to take the count full. The payoff misses and Arozarena draws the walk.
Randy Arozarena comes to the plate with nobody out and a runner in scoring position.
Barnes rips one to left center. Kike Hernandez makes the run and the dive but can't quite get to it. It bounces under his glove, and Barnes rounds first for a stand up double to lead off.
Vimael Machin will take over at first as Austin Barnes leads off the inning for Mexico.
Puerto Rico will dip into the bullpen and ask Alexis Diaz to take over the mound duties from Fernando Cruz.
A called strike and then Lindor slaps one to third. Joey Meneses makes the long throw across the diamond to end the inning.
Lindor watches three balls go by as the new pitcher struggles to find the strike zone.
Francisco Lindor is coming up to the plate as Benji Gil decides to make the call to the bullpen. JoJo Romero come on for Javier Assad.
Martin Maldonado comes to the plate now and grounds one up the middle, broken bat. Urias fields it and makes the throw to first for the second out.
Machin gets cutters all the way and watches a called strike three for the first out
Vimael Machin will lead off for Puerto Rico, pinch hitting for Neftali Soto.
Alek Thomas jumps on the first pitch and grounds one to second, as Javi Baez goes to first for the final out.
A ball is then corrected by Cruz with three straight strikes and Trejo goes down swining for out number two.
Alan Trejo now with one out and one on.
Cruz throws one splitter too many to Urias, and it is pooched into the hole in right for a single.
Luis Urias comes to the plate and sees splitter after splitter to get behind in the count 1-2
A great 0-2 delivery of a sinker from Cruz and Paredes goes out swinging for the first out.
Cruz is a straight fireballer, coming with heat and a sinker for the vast majority of his pitches.
Isaac Paredes will lead off for Mexico in the sixth against the third pitcher of the night for PR.
Fernando Cruz will take over on the mound for Puerto Rico as we head to the bottom of the sixth.
Christian Vazquez gets straight heat and no deep count here. Three pitches for three strikes and the inning is over.
The seventh pitch is fouled back before the eight pitch of at-bat is a big looping sinker for a swinging strike three. Two away.
Fouls two off and gets a ball. Six pitches thrown, 1-2
Eddie Rosario hacks through one for a strike and watches another to get into a hole quickly. 0-2
He chops one back to the mound. Assad grabs it and flips to first for out number one.
Javi Baez will lead off for Puerto Rico now and takes a couple of balls and strikes. 2-2
Rowdy Tellez comes to the plate and hits a sharp ground ball to second baseman Javier Baez. The throw to first ends the inning, but Mexico get one back. At the end of five, it is 4-2
Meneses pops it to shallow right field. The first baseman Neftali Soto backs up and grabs it for the out. None of the runners can tag. Two away.
Joey Meneses will come to the plate now. Bases loaded, still only one out.
That is going to be it for Stroman. Yadi walks out to the mound and calls for Yacksel Rios to take over.
The payoff now and it is popped into shallow center for a single! A run scores, but not more than that. It was just too shallowly hit. Mexico claw one back, 4-2. Bases remain loaded.
The delivery from Stroman misses low and the count is full
A couple of sinkers are fouled off and Verdugo works it 2-2
Yadi Molina is pacing in that dugout
Stroman is now struggling to find the strike zone. This is the fifth ball in a row that he has thrown.
Alex Verdugo comes to the plate representing the go-ahead run for Mexico.
Stroman misses the 3-1 for ball four. Mexico have now loaded the bases with one out.
Randy Arozarena is now at the plate with one out and men at the corners. This is the most threatening that Mexico have been the entire game.
Austin Barnes comes to the plate and jumps on the first pitch, poking one through to right for a single. Alek Thomas advances to 3rd.
Alek Thomas works a 2-2 count before slapping one into the hole at second. Baez can't field it cleanly and Thomas gets a single.
Trejo chases a nasty little low-outside breaking ball for strike three.
Alan Trejo will lead off here as Puerto Rico will keep MJ Melendez in the game, playing right field now.
Rivera chops one to short. Trejo goes to second for the force out to end the inning. Mexico get out of trouble, but are still trailing 4-1
On four straight, Melendez draws the walk. Runners now on first and second with two away for Emmanuel Rivera.
Nelson Velazquez will now get pinch hit for by MJ Melendez.
The payoff delivery is poked up the middle. Lindor is at second quickly, taking away the double play. Urias makes the throw to first for the second out.
Kike Hernandez now and he works the count full.
Francisco Lindor will come to the plate now and lines one to center for a one-out single.
Martin Maldonado will lead off for Puerto Rico and get three straight sinkers for strike. One down.
Javier Assad will take over on the mound replacing Julio Urias.
He chops one into that shift, fielded by Baez, who makes the throw to first base to end the inning.
Luis Urias will now see if he can make something happen with two outs.
Isaac Paredes comes to the plate and the first pitch hits him flush on the tricep pad. Paredes gets first base on the HBP
He chops one to first base and it is fielded by Soto for the second out.
Rowdy Tellez comes to the plate and will hit against the shift here
Joey Meneses will lead off the fourth for Mexico and he hits a rope to left center field. Kike Hernandez is on the full trot and lays out for it. Diving catch! Out number one and what an out it was!
Soto rips one down the third base line, but Meneses is able to stab it. He makes the long throw across the diamond for the third out.
Neftali Soto now with two outs and a runner on second.
Christian Vazquez steps up now and crushes one to the left field corner for a standup double.
Eddie Rosario chops the first pitch up the middle. Alan Trejo fields it and steps on the bag, before throwing to first to complete the 6-3 double play.
Baez slaps one into left field. He takes a BIG turn, but thinks twice about it as Arozarena fields it. Leadoff single for PR
Javi Baez will lead Puerto Rico off in the fourth
Alex Verdugo lines the first pitch directly to short. It looked like a catch, but Lindor flips it to Baez just to make sure. The force out at second will end the third and as we go to four, it is still 4-1
Randy Arozarena comes to the plate now, and drives one into left for a single. He is now only the second base runner for Mexico in this game.
Austin Barnes now comes up to bat and gets a steady diet of sinkers, watching three of them for strikes. Two down.
Alek Thomas leads off and rips a ground ball to first, where Soto makes the play himself for the first out.
Emmanuel Rivera will come to the plate now with two away and jumps on a change up, grounding it to third, where Meneses fields it and makes the long throw to end the inning.
Nelson Velazquez now, who pops one out to shallow center field. Alek Thomas charges it and pulls it in for out number two.
Kike Hernandez leads the inning off and hits a shapr ground ball to third for Joey Meneses. The throw to first, one away.
The next pitch is another sinker, taken deep to center field. Back onto the warning track and Kike Hernandez makes the catch right at the wall to end the inning.
Alan Trejo now at the plate and he grinds out a hitter's count, 3-1
Luis Urias comes to the plate and takes a sinker to right field, but straight at Nelson Velazquez for the second out.
Isaace Paredes jumps on a low slider from Marcus Stroman and takes it deep. It is out, over the center field wall, and quickly. Home run! That cuts into Puerto Rico's lead and it is now 4-1
Rowdy Tellez will lead off for Mexico and he jumps on the first pitch, popping it straight up to second base. Lindor calls for it and gets underneath it to put it away for the first out.
Lindor doesn't bite on the curve ball, but chases the change up for strike three to end the inning. Great inning by Urias, but his pitch count has already creeped up to 42 pitches.
The fastball blows through the swing for strike two. Urias can't miss with that fastball. He should stick with it until they hit it.
Francisco Lindor comes to the plate and lines the first pitch foul.
He goes back to the fastball and gets the swinging strike three. Two down as Maldonado sits down.
After five fastballs for strikes, Urias switches to breaking balls and misses twice. 2-2
Martin Maldonado comes to the plate and Urias sticks with the heat. He is not looking for finesse here, just to extablish dominance over the strike zone. Two quick strikes.
Neftali Soto will lead off here for Puerto Rico and Urias attacks him with three straight fastballs for a strikeout. One away.
Joey Meneses hits a soft roller to short. Lindor fields it cleanly and makes the easy throw to first. A 1,2,3 inning on 10 pitches.
Alex Verdugo jumps on the first pitch and hits a chopper over second base. It is fielded deep by Lindor who makes the throw and beats Verdugo by half a step for the second out.
He chops a little blooper over the mound. Javi Baez gets to it and makes the throw to first for out number one.
Mexico will get started with Randy Arozarena and they have a steep hill to climb, but need to get out of the blocks quickly here.
He fouls a few off for a full count, before the payoff is ridden hard to right field. Alex Verdugo puts it away to retire the side, but Puerto Rico jump out to a commanding start.
Christian Vazquez will now stand in and gets a favorable 3-1 count
Eddie Rosario swings first pitch and this one is hard to deep center field. It is gone! Back to back pitches, back to back home runs! Puerto Rico is up 4-0, just like that.
Baez crushes one to deep right! It is floating, back, back, and gone! Puerto Rico takes a 3-0 lead here in the first with a booming shot from Javi Baez, showing opposite field power.
Javi Baez now at the plate with two outs and a runner on first.
Another long ball to right, almost in the same place, but just in fair territory. Verdugo chases it down and puts it away for the out. Kike tags up and scores on the play.
He hits a high, long foul ball to right. Alex Verdugo on his horse and slides, just missing it!
Emmanuel Rivera wil come to the plate now.
Nelson Velazquez now with a man on first and offers at the first pitch. He pokes it throught the right side for a single to center. Kike hustles around to third and Puerto Rico now have men at the corners with one out.
A high slider misses high and Kike draws the walk. That was a tidy at-bat.
Two balls outside before a foul and another ball bring the count full.
Kike Hernandez now takes a beautiful sweeping curve for strike one.
Urias delivers a four-seamer for a swinging strike by Lindor to lead off with an out.
Lindor can't hold up his check swing for on a slurve to even it up and then fouls a couple off to dip to 1-2
Francisco Lindor is starting things off for Puerto Rico and he will face Julio Urias as a first pitch misses outside. We are off!
Puerto Rico were in the last WBC final where they lost to the USA, and they are looking to one-up that record this time around. Mexico have never been past the semi finals in the competition, but are dead set on changing that this year.
Both teams are now on the field and warming up. We are minutes away from getting started.
Puerto Rico lineup
Puerto Rico will start 31-year-old Cubs ace Marcus Stroman. 2022 saw Stroman finish with a 3.50 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 138.2 innings pitched. Representing the United States in the 2017 WBC, Stroman finished was named that tournament's MVP, and held Puerto Rico scoreless through six innings in the final.
Mexico will be starting their team captain, 26-year-old Dodgers ace Julio Urías, who finished last season wigh a 2.16 ERA and threw 166 strikeouts over 175 innings pitched.
Apart from the Diaz drama, Puerto Rico are in the quarterfinals based on luck as much as skill. While their offense is more than capable, with outstanding performances from Francisco Lindor at short, Javier Baez at third, Kike Hernandez in center, Martin Maldonado behind the plate, and Christian Vazquez’s DH bat which came alive just at the right moment.
But they have had issues making contact with runners in scoring position, batting only .450 as a team in that situation. While that has been enough to get them through the group, the competition from now on will need to push runners around the bases with more regularity.
The excellent Julio Ricardo Varela wrote a piece that cannot be bettered about the ugliness of the reaction.
“Because Diaz wasn’t playing for the Mets or another professional American baseball team when he hurt himself but instead was playing for the place where he was born, arrogant American baseball fans have decided he hurt himself in a 'meaningless' game being played in an equally meaningless tournament.
How colonial of them.
There may have been no uglier response to Diaz’s injury than the one from Keith Olbermann, a longtime former MSNBC host, who tweeted: ‘The WBC is a meaningless exhibition series designed to: get YOU to buy another uniform, to hell with the real season, and split up teammates based on where their grandmothers got laid.’”
Welcome to the live commentary!
Welcome to the live commentary coverage of the Puerto Rico vs Mexico WBC quarterfinal game here with Diario AS USA!
Mexico topped an incredible Pool C, a group that included a United States team that was previously thought to be impervious but proved to be as porous as any other in the competition. The Mexican team is not without their own weaknesses, as their opening loss to Colombia demonstrated.
Julio Urias will get the start tonight and the last time he took the mound was in that fateful Colombia loss. It certainly wasn’t the Dodgers ace’s fault that Mexico lost, but it does highlight an uneasy truth: that Mexico’s bullpen isn’t quite as deep as Puerto Rico’s.
That isn’t to say that they aren’t effective or that they are lacking talent, with arms like Giovanny Gallegos, Javier Assad, and Luis Cessa to take over the middle and late innings. But their strength certainly lies in their offense, with the red-hot Randy Arozarena, Alex Verdugo, and Joey Meneses leading the charge.
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