Not a lot of Phillies were in action last night, but a couple of ex-Phillies and Phillies’ nemeses were! Your Phillies-only WBC news from the previous evening:
Dominican Republic 9, Canada 2
- Phillies hurlers Nick Pivetta and Hector Neris combined for 0 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB, and 0 IP in this one. Probably for the best, in Pivetta’s case. These Dominican players aren’t f****** around.
- But you know who did pitch? Scott Mathieson, you old fireballer, you. Baseball America named Mathieson the Phillies’ fourth best prospect in 2005, and by June 2006 he was in the majors, giving up four earned runs to the Rays in six innings of work. His ERA started a1 6.00 and after seven starts and a six-inning relief appearance, it had fallen all the way down to 7.47. In 2007, he reignited the pain in his elbow while rehabbing from surprise Tommy John surgery and wouldn’t appear for the Phillies again until 2010 (in 1.2 IP). The next year, he threw only five innings in four games outside of the minors (but he didn’t give up a run!). Since then, Mathieson’s been tooling around in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, pitching 300 games and compiling a 2.32 ERA. Last night, the Vancouver native appeared for an inning and gave up a walk, gave up a hit, gave up a run, and then went away. Whatever. He’s making Yomiuri Giants money now. Do you, Scott.
- Also there? Pete Orr. Pete Orr just loves to play baseball. I’m not going to check, but I’d wager this is the only baseball he plays anymore. Imagine your dad gearing up for softball season as a kid, only he was going to play in a weird professional baseball Olympics.
- Pete Orr also just loves being Canadian. Look at him in 2015, beating the United States with the winning, walk-off run in the Pan-Am Games.
- Orr went 1-for-4 last night, when he wasn’t gaping in horror at the baseball-devouring Dominican machine in the opposite dugout.
- One more thing about Pete Orr: Yes, he was retired. He’s a pro scout for the Brewers. He ditched the polo shirt and, likely shirtless, ran in a dead sprint all the way from Canada to get to this tournament.
- Hansel Robles, the Mets hurler Larry Bowa wanted to jump for quick-pitching Darin Ruf, also pitched for D.R. As if they need pitchers. "I was surprised they got so mad about it," Robles said later of the incident. Larry Bowa, of course, felt it was an issue worth getting ejected over.
- Jose’s Bautista and Reyes put their bats together and generated six hits, three runs, and four RBI. Also, Manny Machado was playing defense. Also, Manny Machado was playing offense. Also, Robinson Cano, Wellington Castillo, and Adrian Beltre were there. What’s Canada supposed to do that point? Throw Dalton Pompey’s limp body at Bautista as a distraction an run away?
- Jose Reyes is a toxic human waste dump.
Italy 10, Mexico 9
- Nick Fanti did not appear in this game.
- But cream cheese, did this one take the cake. People tuned into Dominican Republic-Canada for the star power, but that one turned into a laugher. No one expected this Pool D match-up to be a real barn burner, but the Italians didn’t let the fire go out.
- Mexico went up 9-5 in the seventh when, with two outs, everything went to hell. Italy pitcher A.J. Morris started walking people and giving up singles, one of Mexico’s players, Efren Navarro, was hurt and had to come out, then Morris threw a wild pitch and continued putting runners on the bases...
- ...So you couldn’t have blamed Team Italy for showing up demoralized for the bottom of the ninth. But Roberto Osuna took over for Sergio Romo on the mound for Mexico, and gave up three consecutive doubles that led to a walk-off 10-9 win from a pair of singles surrendered by Oliver Perez, the kill stroke delivered by Italy’s John Andreoli with the bases loaded. Mexico never recorded an out.
Our boy Fanti can be seen amongst the celebrants, so we know he’s okay.