You can say that the United States are red hot right now? Who would have thought a loss to Mexico would spark an absolute tear? I guess Phillies new shortstop, Tre Turner, would say "very likely".
Last night, the US was down for the count. That's until Turner stepped up to the box with the bases loaded in the 8th. He smacked a grand slam, rallied the troops, and led the stars and stripes to victory, beating Venezuela 9-7.
Tonight was a the same outcome, but different results. Adam Wainwright got it done, despite a so-so start. He wound up pitching four innings, allowing 5 hits and an earned run, while walking and striking out one a piece. His fellow Cardinal teammates caried the load off his shoulders. Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado combined 4 for 7 with 5 RBI in the victory. And of course, the hero of yesterday, kept his lucky bat, and smashed two homers to pile on the lead. The final score was 14-2.
It might be safe to say that Turner is the best No. 9 hitter on the face of the planet, is absolutely dominating this tournament. He is 7 for 19 (.368) with four home runs in the WBC. The four home runs lead this year's WBC and are the most by a USA player in a single WBC. At this rate, Tre Turner is eying to earn his place on the Team USA Mount Rushmore.
Between the states loss to Mexico, and a new approach by Mark DeRosa, the United States has looked unstoppable as of late. Now it's only a matter of if they can keep that pace and leave this tournament defending their title.
Which leads us to what's on deck. The coveted Championship game. USA will face the winner of Monday night's Japan vs. Mexico game. Will it be MLB's phenom Shohei Ohtani or will it be a rematch against Randy Arozarena and other southern neighbors?
USA is the third team to appear in back-to-back WBC championship games, joining Japan (2006 and 2009) and Puerto Rico (2013 and 2017). They will look to join those 2006 and 2009 Japan teams as the only back-to-back champions in WBC history.
Hopefully, Tre Turner will lead this squad to victory, and collect another HOF photo in the process.