Noah Mendlinger

Team Israel’s time in the 2023 World Baseball Classic came to an end on Wednesday with a 5-1 loss to Venezuela at LoanDepot Park in Miami. Jesús Luzardo shut the door for the Venezuelans, throwing 4 shutout frames while striking out 5. A pair of solo homers by Eduardo Escobar and Eugenio Suárez headlined the Venezuela offense, with Suárez driving in three total runs on the day.
"We competed, we had a good time, that first game was obviously a good way to start the tournament," said manager Ian Kinsler. “From there it was pretty tough for us, but we played hard as long as we could."
The Israelis tacked on a run in the seventh off a two-out RBI single by Jakob Goldfarb to cut the lead to 4, the first run they scored since Sunday’s opening game against Nicaragua. After being held to just one hit over their last two games, six different hitters in the Israeli lineup recorded a hit, with Noah Mendlinger leading the way with three knocks on the day.

"It was nice to have a little action out there, score a run, get a guy across the plate," Kinsler said. "The guys really battled today and put up some tough at-bats."
Kinsler, who wrapped up his managerial debut, also mentioned 19-year-old Jacob Steinmetz’s outing on Tuesday night as a personal highlight of the tournament.
"He threw the ball well,” Kinsler said. “He threw well for a young player, an inexperienced player, to come in this environment and control his emotions, control himself and fill up the strike zone was pretty impressive."
Israel ultimately finished fourth out of the five-team pool with a 1-3 record, which saw a comeback win over Nicaragua and losses to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in addition to today’s defeat. The fact that Israel did not finish last in their pool, however, ensures that the blue-and-white squad will have a spot in the next WBC tournament, slated for 2026.
By Jonah Dayton

Jacob Steinmetz

After being no-hit by Puerto Rico on Monday night, the offensive woes continued for Team Israel on Tuesday as it was one-hit by the Dominican Republic in a seven-inning, 10-0 mercy rule loss.

One major bright spot for the Israelis, however, was 19-year-old starter Jacob Steinmetz, who more than held his own against a lineup chock-full of MLB All-Stars through his 1.2 innings of work. 

"You saw the talent that he has tonight," said manager Ian Kinsler. "It’s a good experience for him. It’s the loudest environment he’s pitched in — he’s at a young age right now, he’s still learning — so that’s going to really help him moving forward. Stuff-wise he really showed up, he was able to calm himself down, keep his composure and throw the ball well against an All-Star lineup.”

Steinmetz gave up one run off two hits, but rallied to strike out Manny Machado, Jeremy Peña, and Gary Sánchez before his night was over, flashing his mid-90s fastball and tight slider his lone time through the order.

“I was just trying to go out there and compete with my best stuff,” Steinmetz said. “It definitely helps a lot [with my confidence] knowing that my stuff can play at the highest level. You’re not going to face many tougher hitters than that.”

Machado would go on to finish 2-4 with a homer and three RBIs, while Julio Rodríguez tacked on a pair of RBIs as well as part of a four-run Dominican sixth that blew the game open. The Dominicans eventually walked it off in the seventh via a two-run double by Jean Segura to end the game early.

Team Israel will wrap up play Wednesday afternoon against Venezuela, with first pitch set for 12:00 p.m. local time (18:00 Israel time). Robert Stock is slated to start for the Israelis.

By Jonah Dayton

Edwin Diaz

After opening the World Baseball Classic with a thrilling comeback win over Nicaragua on Sunday, Team Israel was shutout by Puerto Rico on Monday via a 10-0 mercy rule win that saw the Puerto Ricans throw a combined, eight-inning perfect game — the first in WBC history — at LoanDepot Park in Miami. The Israeli bats were dominated by Puerto Rico starter José De León, who led the way with 5.2 innings of perfection, racking up 10 strikeouts in the process on just 64 pitches.

Puerto Rico scored three runs in the first, second, and fifth innings, respectively, led by doubles by long-time MLB veterans Javier Báez, Eddie Rosario, and Enrique Hernández, as well as RBI triples from Francisco Lindor and Emmanuel Rivera. The game was then ended in the eighth when Hernández walked it off with a single into left to put Puerto Rico up by 10, the number which, after seven innings, the game is ended.

“It’s got to go down the drain quickly,” said manager Ian Kinsler. “[They] just got to get ready for tomorrow 'cause this tournament comes at you quick. We got another game tomorrow that’s really important, so the faster we can forget about this one, the better.”

Israel will face arguably the most talented team in the tournament in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night at 19:00 local time (01:00 Tuesday in Israel), with righthander Jacob Steinmetz scheduled to start.

“I think we earned a lot of respect form the Dominican team in the Olympics,” Kinsler said. “There’s definitely some camaraderie between the two teams, but tomorrow we’re going to play a baseball game and we’re going to be competitive.”

By Jonah Dayton

Garrett Stubbs Vs Nicaragua

Led by a three-run eighth-inning rally, Team Israel opened up its World Baseball Classic run with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Nicaragua on Sunday at LoanDepot Park in Miami. After failing to convert on multiple scoring chances across the first seven innings, the breakthrough finally came in the eighth against Nicaragua’s best player, Jonathan Loáisiga.

Leading 1-0 with six outs to go, the Nicaraguans brought in Loáisiga to presumably convert the six-out save. Instead, after giving up a single to Alex Dickerson and plunking Ryan Lavarnway, Blue Jays prospect Spencer Horwitz delivered the tying blow, singling home pinch runner Jakob Goldfarb to tie things up at 1-1. Three batters later, Garrett Stubbs hit a massive two-run double off Loáisiga to put the blue-and-white crew up by 2 heading into the ninth.

"[Loáisiga] is obviously their best pitcher, one of the best pitchers in the big leagues,” said manager Ian Kinsler. "We put up some good at-bats, we were fighting, and that’s what I expect from my team, to play all 27 outs and fight to the end."

The Israelis also got a phenomenal outing out of their ace, Dean Kremer, who threw 49 pitches over 4 shutout innings along with 4 strikeouts.

"He threw the ball really well,” Kinsler said. “He kind of lost his release point there in the second, he was kind of missing up for a little while but made a great adjustment to get back in the zone. His offspeed stuff looked sharp, he seemed very much in control so it was a very good outing for him."

"Really happy with the way it went,” Kremer said. “Representing the country, and for myself as a build-up, I couldn’t have imagined it going any better."

Zack Weiss, Richard Bleier, and Robert Stock combined to throw four no-hit innings of relief while striking out seven, with Stock picking up the save on just 11 pitches.

Israel will face Puerto Rico on Monday night at 19:00 local time (01:00 Tuesday morning in Israel) with lefthander Colton Gordon scheduled to start.

By Jonah Dayton

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