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