Last night’s World Baseball Classic between Puerto Rico and Netherlands was truly compelling. Seriously, this game had everything.
Jurickson Profar getting picked off first base by Yadier Molina while doing a celebratory dance after a first-inning single.
Wladimir Balentien hitting a monster home run a few pitches later and doing an over-the-top bat flip.
Javy Baez doing his best Ryan Lochte impression to swim in safely at third base on a stolen base.
In addition to all the quality play, there was quantity. It took 4 hours, 19 minutes and 11 innings for the result to be decided. In the end, Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly propelled Puerto Rico into the tournament final.
They’ll face the winner of tonight’s semifinal between Japan and the United States.
While the WBC is understandably dwarfed in popularity by the NCAA Tournament, last night was a perfect example of what it can be at its best: a high-stakes celebration of the game’s global appeal.