The Netherlands (2-1) clinched one of the two spots in Pool B to advance into the second round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which will be taking place in Tokyo, Japan (March 8-12.) The other spot will be clinched later tonight/morning, when Chinese Taipei takes on South Korea in the final game of pool play.
Chinese Taipei (2-0) has been pretty dominant so far, beating Netherlands 8-3 and Australia 4-1. South Korea (1-1) hasn’t been what some people might have expected coming into the WBC, losing to Netherlands 5-0 in their first game and then beating Australia 6-0. The two teams will be battling it out for that final spot into the second round of the WBC, but Chinese Taipei has a clear advantage going into this matchup.
Unbeaten Chinese Taipei just needs to beat South Korea, or lose by four runs or fewer, and that would advance them into the next round, it’s that simple. On the other hand, just winning won’t be enough for South Korea to advance, but winning big is what they have to do. South Korea needs to beat Chinese Taipei by six-plus runs to advance to Tokyo, which adds more pressure to an already must win game. Winning by six-plus runs would give them the tie-breaker over Chinese Taipei, who would also be 2-1 after a loss.
South Korea will need to be perfect to win this game, which means capitalizing on every opportunity and not leaving any runners stranded on base. They can’t afford to make any errors, as they made four against the Netherlands. It doesn’t help that the game is being played in Taichung, Taiwan, so South Korea will need an “Us against the World” mentality to win this game by six-plus runs.
Chinese Taipei vs. South Korea
6:30 a.m. ET. (MLB Network)
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