MLB fans cheer on their countries for the World Baseball Classic

Abel Flessner, Managing Editor

Last night, after a very exciting and eventful World Baseball Classic, the United States wrapped up their run with the championship vs. Japan. The Japanese prevailed with a 3-2 win, exposing the U.S.’s inability to hit their unfamiliar pitchers, who pitch in the Japanese league rather than the MLB. 

The U.S. had made a great run, beating strong teams in Venezuela and Cuba, but didn’t have what it took to take down Japan, led by Shohei Ohtani. 

The highlight of the WBC came during the last out of the last inning of the championship game, where Ohtani struck out MLB superstar and his own teammate, Mike Trout. 

The at bat came down to a 3-2 count, those two strikes coming on 100 mph fastballs right down the middle that Trout was unable to catch up on. Knowing Trout was looking for that fastball, Ohtani threw a very deceiving slider on the outer half of the plate going right past Trout’s bat. 

The Japanese players stormed the field with nothing but utter excitement, while Trout took his slow walk back to the dugout, not looking back or speaking any words. 

The WBC was a disappointment for Trout, who has not had luck on his side in his career, being very injury-stricken and never having won a playoff game. Though he has had a very celebrated career, and we are just in the middle of it, winning the WBC would have felt great. Maybe Trout and Ohtani can finally find a way to get it done in Los Angeles. 

The WBC did have some stars from the U.S. show their talents. Trea Turner was most definitely the MVP of the tournament, hitting three home runs in the last three games, including a go-ahead grand slam in the 1-run win against Venezuela. Turner hit five home runs in the tournament, and failed to disappoint in the field or on the basepaths. 

The issue for the U.S. came down to pitching. They were unable to get any of the star pitchers that were available to play to commit to the team, and they suffered because of this. Having a Jacob DeGrom or a Corbin Burnes pitching that game could have completely turned the tide in favor of the U.S. 

While it is disappointing to watch your country lose, it is hard to help it but feel excited for the Japanese. Ohtani winning the WBC was fun to watch, and many stars for the team may have just made a name for themselves as they were able to take down a team of the best hitters in the MLB. 

The WBC will return in 2026, (a fact just announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred) and the U.S. should come out with a chip on their shoulder in hopes to defend their name as the best baseball team in the world.