World Baseball Classic 2023: The US starts the defense of its title with a resounding victory over Great Britain

World Baseball Classic 2023: The United States of America has consistently strong-looking lineups on paper. In the first game of Pool C at the World Baseball Classic 2023, the United States proved this theory correct with a 6-2 victory over Great Britain on Saturday night.

World Baseball Classic 2023

All of the team’s top eight hitters got on base at least once and had 14 opportunities to score with runners in scoring positions. No chronological order of retirement existed.

World Baseball Classic 2023
World Baseball Classic 2023 (Image Source: WBC/Twitter)

According to the manager of the team, Mark DeRosa, “[Great Britain] had a base open with Mookie [Betts] up, and you can’t walk him to go to [Mike] Trout.” You can’t just shuffle Mike over to Goldy because they left a base open with him on the roster. That’s just a never-ending string of names.

The offensive pace will likely pick up much more, I believe. Early on, both Mookie Betts and Mike Trout had shots that landed on the warning track, but it wasn’t until the fourth inning that Kyle Schwarber got everyone at Chase Field on their feet.

There was silence as Schwarber dropped the bat head on a two-strike changeup. Then, a deafening roar came as the ball sailed over the pool beyond the right-center field fence.

I don’t know if I’ve ever pitched in a more exciting game,” starter Adam Wainwright said. Just saying that was a lot of fun doesn’t do it justice. The crowd was really into it right off the bat; we even started a “U.S.A.” chant.

Many American supporters dressed as founding fathers George Washington and Benjamin Franklin paraded through the stands. Every time the home team put a hard-hit ball into play, there was a roar of excitement and the American flags fluttered in the breeze like vintage bunting.

Kyle Schwarber threw the knockout punch, but Nolan Arenado, who was one of only 2 players to return from the 2017 championship team, stirred the drink by getting three hits and two RBIs. His first of two RBI doubles in the third inning put the team on the board.

The team’s pregame warmups were thrown into disarray by Colombia’s extra-inning, 5-4 win over Mexico earlier in the day, but Arenado’s trademark defense made the trip nonetheless. The 10-time Gold Glove winner and 6-time Platinum Glove winner has gone back to practicing infield drills on the outfield grass.

I make an effort to stay in character. Wainwright remarked on Arenado’s versatility: “I try to stay focused and locked in while I play and he makes me laugh sometimes [with how good he is]. Though I’ve shared the field with some great glovemen before, I can’t recall ever having someone quite like that in the dugout with me.

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In response to Trayce Thompson hitting Great Britain’s first home run in Classic history in the first inning, Wainwright calmed the American waters by tossing four innings of one-run ball. David Bednar, Kyle Freeland, and Jason Adam finished off the final five innings, allowing just three hits while striking out six.

Goldschmidt, the other member of the club that won the Classic last year, has emerged as a vocal leader for the other 28 players. According to Wainwright, his Cardinals teammate is feeling more confident than ever heading into his 35th season of professional baseball.

Goldschmidt claimed that his 2017 season was “one of the best baseball experiences of my life” due to the amount of joy he derived from playing the game. I was only half-joking when I said that I begged to be a part of this team. To put it simply, I would have done anything.

The United States must first take care of business in Phoenix if it is to have any chance of being the last team standing in Miami and completing its schedule of seven games in 11 days. The team’s victory over a young British club in their first meeting since the 1938 Baseball World Cup was a step in the right direction.

We could go out and just play and have fun as a team or we could try to win,” Wainwright recalled Goldschmidt saying to the team recently. We have a mission here. Our ultimate goal is to win first place and take home the gold.

Britain must quickly regroup as they take the field again on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on FS1 to take on Canada. The United States’ next game is a showdown against Mexico on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, and tickets are selling out fast. Crowds on opening day for both teams suggest that Chase Field will be louder than ever.

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World Baseball Classic 2023: USA vs Great Britain Highlights (Video) Watch Now

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