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World Baseball Classic Notebook

John Manuel -

Top 10 World Baseball Classic Prospects. Though just two ended up playing for the title, it was the inclusion of big leaguers that made the World Baseball Classic such an enormous event. However, like international baseball events of the past, prospects still got a chance to shine. Three prospects who raised their profile as much as anyone at the Classic were Italy's Tony Giarratano, Australia's Brad Harman and Taiwan's Chin-Lung Hu.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Grilli Fries Aussie Bats As Italy Rolls

Matt Meyers -

When the San Francisco Giants made Jason Grilli the fourth overall pick in 1997, it was with the expectation that he would be a front-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. While that has yet to happen, he dominated like one tonight as Italy enforced the mercy rule against Australia with 10-0 victory in seven innings behind dominant pitching from Grilli and Riccardo De Santis, and some powerful hitting from Mark Saccomano and Vince Sinisi.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

USA Earns Quick, Close Win Against Mexico

Alan Schwarz -

The Chase Field crowd of 32,727 that saw the United States' 2-0 win over Mexico the World Baseball Classic Pool B opener Tuesday afternoon sounded split just about evenly between the two clubs, with the consistently louder half rooting for Mexico. To those fans all Americans are Yankees—and, when wearing uniforms between foul lines, just as despised as those from the Bronx.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Ortiz, Beltre Hope Dominican Overpower Venezuela

Matt Meyers -

David Ortiz made himself a legend in Boston with his October performance, but he is adding to his legacy in March as well. The Dominican slugger put his stamp on the Pool D opener of the World Baseball Classic with a solo home run in the top of the first off of Venezuelan ace Johan Santana. He then sealed it with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off of Carlos Hernandez, a lefthander brought in to face one hitter—Ortiz.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

U.S. Comeback Falls Short Against Canada

Alan Schwarz -

Make no mistake, Chase Utley posed. When the Team USA second baseman launched a shot deep into the Phoenix evening, he joined the rest of Chase Field in assuming that his imminent three-run home run would complete a stunning comeback and save Team USA from one of the most shocking upsets in international baseball history. Utley flipped his bat and began his trot, figuring that the world had regained its order.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Wildly Effective, Loewen Kick-Starts Canadian Upset

Alan Schwarz -

After never having pitched above Class A, lefthander Adam Loewen (Orioles) threw 3 2/3 shutout innings to kick-start Canada's 8-6 shocking upset of the United States. On a day when outpitching 22-game winner Dontrelle Willis wasn't saying much—Willis was battered for six hits and five earned runs before getting yanked in the third—Loewen's 91-mph fastball, while not well-commanded, kept the powerful U.S. lineup in check and underscored why he is considered one of the best lefthanded pitching prospects in baseball.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic