2017 World Baseball Classic: Mexico Defeats Venezuela, But Eliminated On Controversial Tiebreaker

2017 World Baseball Classic: Mexico Defeats Venezuela, But Eliminated On Controversial Tiebreaker

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers had several players named to rosters for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, with their strongest presence lying on Team Mexico. But the trio of Adrian Gonzalez, Sergio Romo and Alex Verdugo may soon make their return to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch.

Mexico defeated Venezuela, 11-9, in a back-and-forth affair at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco for their first victory in Pool D play. That left Italy, Mexico and Venezuela tied with a 1-2 record and sparked chaos and mass confusion.

WBC tiebreaker rules state the two teams with the fewest runs allowed per defensive inning among the teams tied play a tiebreaker game, while the other is eliminated. Mexico was of the belief they’d face Italy in a one-game playoff on Monday.

However, after discussing the matter internally, MLB issued a ruling that Venezuela (1.11 runs allowed per defensive inning) would face Italy (1.05). Mexico finished with 1.12 runs allowed.

The ruling put the spotlight back on Mexico’s collapse against Italy, when they blew a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning without recording an out.

Meanwhile, Venezuela may have actually benefitted some in their 11-0 loss to Puerto Rico. WBC has an “early termination” rule, which mandates a game is ended if a team is leading by 15 runs after the fifth inning or leading by 10 runs after the seventh inning.

It’s plausible Venezuela would have allowed more runs in the loss, which in turn would’ve impacted their runs allowed per defensive inning.

MLB’s ruling didn’t sit well with Gonzalez, who sent out a series of tweets expressing his dismay.