The Dominican Republic has prevailed against team Puerto Rico to win their first World Baseball Classic. They became the first team to go completely undefeated during the tournament and were utterly dominant. Closer Fernando Rodney pitched in every game and didn't give up a single run, recording 8 saves. Two Indians started in this game with Mike Aviles going 1/4 as Puerto Ricos starting short stop while Carlos Santana walked once in three at bats. Minnesota's Sam Deduno was the starting pitcher and was dominant, but made Santana dance all around behind the plate with the extreme movement on his pitches. Santana will certainly enjoy some time off as he returns to the Indians camp after starting at catcher in every single game for the DR.
As the rest of the players get ready to rejoin their MLB teams in Spring Training, here are a few notes from this years World Baseball Classic:
- While David Wright lead all players with 10 RBI in just four games, Aviles came in second with 9. Jose Reyes lead all players with 11 runs scored as the Dominican Republics lead-off hitter.
- Despite getting knocked out in the first round by team USA, three of the best hitters came from team Canada. Michael Saunder lead all batters with an incredible .727 batting average (winning him MVP of the Pool D) and two of the other top five hitters also played for team Canada.
- While the two top power hitters both came out of the strong Cuban lineup (Jose Abreu and Alfredo Despaigne each hit three home runs), there were some big surprises who hit two home runs. Team Italy's Chris Colabello (Minnesota) and two Dutch players (Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton Simmons) each hit multiple home runs. Cleveland's Carlos Santana also hit two including one incredible shot to right in Miami.
- Three pitchers threw more than seven innings without allowing a run. The already mentioned Fernando Rodney was joined by Chinese Taipei pitcher Chien-Ming Wang and Cuban starter Danny Betancourt. As a team, the Dominican Republic allowed just 14 runs in their eight games, leading to a 1.75 team ERA.
- On the other end of the spectrum, team Canada also allowed 24 earned runs, but did so in just three games, leading to a 8.64 team ERA, the worst of any team.
- Assuming the same standards will apply for the next World Baseball Classic, teams Australia, Brazil and Spain will have to win a qualifying round for the next Classic after losing all three of their games. Brazil and Spain were two of the qualifying teams from this year. Both team Mexico and Canada won just a single game in Pool D.
Ruler of all that is Classic; Canada's Michael Saunders.