PHOENIX — Mark DeRosa didn’t leave Chase Field until 1 in the morning Monday, making calls, plotting strategies.
He didn’t even fall asleep until 4 in the morning, still trying to dissect just what happened in their ugly loss to Mexico.
Well, 24 hours later, the USA manager is going to sleep like a baby.
Team USA obliterated Canada, 12-1, in seven innings on Monday night, and now need a victory Wednesday night over undermanned Colombia for a ticket to Miami for the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic.
They are in full control of their own fate with no need to worry about any tiebreakers, run differentials or run quotients.
Beat Colombia, and they’re in.
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It would have been different if Great Britain didn’t shock Colombia earlier in the day, averting the possibility that Team USA might have to defeat Colombia by more than seven runs Wednesday, but now, all they have to do is win.
“We’re definitely in control,’’ USA captain Mike Trout said. “Obviously when Great Britain won earlier, it kind of helped us out a little bit. But we knew after the loss [to Mexico], we had to win out, and see what happens.’’
They showed up Monday relaxed, confident, and promptly went out and took all of their pent-up frustrations out on Canada, while DeRosa could sit back and watch.
“We came in with a little swagger,’’ said Trout, whose three-run homer in the first inning broke the game open. “I think [the Mexico defeat] woke us up a little bit. The message for us was go out there and bang, be ourselves.’’
This night, there was no need for DeRosa to watch his pitching staff implode in front of his eyes, and helpless to do anything about it, with veteran starter Lance Lynn giving up just two hits in five dominant innings.
“What Lance did tonight was huge,’’ DeRosa said. “Huge for us to kind of reset the bullpen. It kind of went perfect.’’
There was no need to worry about what relievers could pitch multiple innings, face multiple batters, or a pitch count, needing to use only one reliever in Miles Mikolas.
DeRosa just sat back, and watched his team put on a laser show, jumping to a 9-0 first-inning lead off 19-year-old Canadian starter Mitch…
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