PHOENIX – There was no need for a calculator.
No need to figure out runs, earned runs, run quotient or batting average.
All that Team USA needed to know after their 3-2 victory Wednesday night over Colombia is that they’ve got a 10 a.m. flight Thursday to Miami.
They are going to the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals and will play Venezuela on Saturday night at loanDepot Park.
They are now three victories from defending their WBC title.
Anything less, and it’s wait until 2026.
It wasn’t pretty, and it certainly wasn’t easy, but USA survived and advanced as the runner-up in their pool while Mexico won it based on the tiebreaker, beating USA on Sunday evening.
USA would have been involved in their own tiebreaker with Colombia and Canada if they had lost Wednesday, but could still have advanced to the quarterfinal if they lost by three or fewer runs, and it wasn’t a terribly high scoring game.
“I’m not even wrapping my head around it,’’ USA manager Mark DeRosa said before the game. “I’m sure they’ll run it by me. Honestly, it’s kind of confusing: runs allowed, divided by outs, multiplied by innings played. I just want to win the ball game.’’
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It was Los Angeles Angels All-Star center fielder Mike Trout, captain of Team USA, who made sure their destiny wasn’t complicated.
He had his finest game of the tournament, going 3-for-4 with three RBI, including a two-out, two-run go-ahead single in the fifth inning, and USA’s bullpen did the rest, suffocating Colombia’s offense.
DeRosa employed six relievers and who gave up just two hits in six shutout innings.
Colombia never even threatened against the six-pack of Kendall Graveman, Daniel Bard, David Bednar, Jason Adam , Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly.
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They threw 63 pitches, 45 for strikes with nine strikeouts.
“I mean, God, could they have done better?’’ DeRosa said. “Just awesome domination and execution by those guys. … It comes down to the players. You can sit up all night and script it and plan it. But they’ve got to execute.’’
Really, the way USA figures it now, the worst is…
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