WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
Where did Mexico finish in the 2023 World Baseball Classic?
Japan were crowned 2023 World Baseball Classic champions after defeating the United States in the final, while Mexico made history.
The fifth of the edition of the World Baseball Classic ended with Japan winning the competition for the third time (after 2006 and 2009) thanks to a 3-2 victory over the United States in the final at LoanDeport Park in Miami. Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani put in yet another stellar performance for his nation and picked up the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award as a result of his heroics since play got underway.
Mexico record best-ever finish in World Baseball Classic
Japan’s achievement will inevitably be the one we’ll all remember when looking back on the 2023 World Baseball Classic but a special shout-out must also go to Mexico, who posted their best finish in the tournament to date. Never before had they reached the top four, which they achieved this year after impressively defeating and finishing ahead of the US in Pool C of the group stage, before seeing off 2013 and 2017 runners-up Puerto Rico in the quarter-finals. An agonising 6-5 loss to Japan in the last four followed but could hardly be faulted given the winners’ overall displays throughout the tournament.
How is third place decided? What is the tie-breaker?
There is no third-place playoff in the World Baseball Classic which means - from the outside at least - that the beaten semi-finalists could be seen as finishing in joint-third spot. However, it is Mexico who will officially end up finishing third ahead of Cuba, who suffered a heavy 14-2 loss to the United States in the last four.
The tie-breaker to decide the finishing positions of the two losing semi-finalists is how many matches in the tournament the teams involved won. Mexico won four times (against the US, Great Britain, Canada and Puerto Rico) and lost twice (to Colombia and Japan), while Cuba posted three victories (over Panama, Chinese Taipei and Australia) and three defeats (versus the Netherlands, Italy and the States).
When is the next World Baseball Classic?
What are the chance of Mexico improving on third-spot in the next World Baseball Classic? Well, we’ll have to wait another three years (March 2026) to find out.