Lack of pitching hinders Team USA in WBC loss against Mexico

PHOENIX – Team USA manager Mark DeRosa admits he is managing the needs of his pitchers and their parent clubs as much as he does each game – all of whom routed Mexico 11-5 in Round 1 of the WBC may have contributed to the surprising defeat. on Sunday night.

It was the second worst loss by an American team in WBC history.

Poor pitching play by the US was compounded by the fact that DeRosa simply did not feel comfortable taking the steps to win.

“It’s tough,” he later said. “You’re trying to massage the innings. You’re trying to protect these guys. You’re trying to be respectful of their parent clubs.”

DeRosa made several moves that were influenced by the needs of his pitcher. One of them led to reliever Brady Singer leaving the game during a critical moment in the fourth inning, when Joey Meneses, Mexico’s first baseman, hit his second home run of the night. The three-run shot put Mexico ahead 7–1. Kendall Graveman then threw only five pitches in the third inning to get out of the jam.

“A lot of these guys have been banned from cleaning up a dirty inning and going back out,” DeRosa said.

He gave the same answer about pulling Devin Williams after just one pitch in the eighth. Of course, every manager in the tournament is subject to the same restrictions.

“There is a lot of desire from the parent clubs to have these guys ready for the regular season,” reiterated Derosa. “You’re kind of limited in the number of weapons you have. You have to push some people.”

Singer and later Daniel Bard were forced to stay in the game even though they were struggling. Mexico continued to score runs en route to an easy victory.

But it wasn’t just bad pitching that affected America on Sunday. Mexico outplayed the US in every aspect, pleasing most of the 47,534 in attendance at Chase Field.

Meneses shut down the raucous crowd with home runs in the first and fourth innings, while Team USA played shaky defense and produced little on the base paths until the game was out of reach.

“We’re a really good baseball team,” Singer said after giving up four runs on four hits. “I’m not too worried about it. We’ll have to come back fighting tomorrow.”

The US and Mexico are both 1-1 in pool play as the top two teams in the five-team pool with two games remaining. “It’s win or go home,” said catcher Will Smith. “That’s how we’re treating it.”

He needs a better all-around effort. Their win against Great Britain on Saturday wasn’t very impressive. They will take on Canada on Monday; They beat Great Britain 18–8 by mercy rule.

“The vibe is still the same,” said shortstop Tim Anderson. “You look around and see who’s in the locker room and there’s nothing to complain about. We have a bunch of friends in there. It’s just a matter of time before things click.”

Mexico has won three straight against the US in WBC play.

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