After the Dominican Republic's 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico this afternoon at Marlins Ballpark in Miami, we can now officially set up the semifinal matchups in the 2013 World Baseball Classic that will take place at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
They are as follows.
Semifinal 1 — Puerto Rico at Japan, 9:00 p.m. ET
This will be another quick turnaround for Puerto Rico, who played on Saturday just 14 hours after eliminating Team USA from the tournament. Now they must fly across the country to San Francisco for Sunday's game with little rest and one large challenge ahead of them.
On the other side, Japan will be playing their first competitive game since Tuesday’s victory over the Netherlands, though they have spent the past two days in Arizona working out the jetlag and any rust that may have settled in. They’re the two-time defending champions coming, so they’ll rightfully be viewed as the heavy favorites to advance to the championship game.
Semifinal 2 — Netherlands at Dominican Republic, 9:00 p.m. ET
Like Puerto Rico, the Netherlands enter the final round as heavy underdogs against a loaded Dominican Republic team that improved to 6-0 in the tournament on Saturday. Will “Honkbal” have enough magic left to pull out a single elimination victory? Or will the Dominican's loaded lineup prove too much?
Championship — Semi 2 Winner @ Semi 1 Winner
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We're definitely set up to see an interesting final matchup. Either we'll get to see a pair of powerhouses in Japan and Dominican Republic, a battle of the underdogs in Netherlands and Puerto Rico, or a David vs. Goliath. Of course it would be a little bit of a letdown to see a second round rematch come to fruition, but one way or another the final game should have plenty of intrigue.
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