Ok, well not really. But Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino did participate with David Wright of the Mets yesterday to advance Team USA to the semi-final round of the World Baseball Classic. In fact, all three Phillies that were still involved with the Classic had a hand in the victory along with Wright. JC Romero, playing for Team Puerto Rico, did not exactly get the outcome he wished for, but he did play a role in this very exciting game.
By the bottom of the 9th inning, Team USA was losing by a score of 5-3 to Puerto Rico. Enter, Shane Victorino; Victorino smacked a single down the 1st base line off his own Phillies teammate, Romero, to start the comeback. Victorino played a huge part in the entire game, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Next up, Brian Roberts singled; Victorino then tagged on a Jeter long fly ball to move to 3rd base. Enter Rollins, who was issued his 2nd walk of the night to load the bases. Romero was lifted from the game, shaking his head as he walked off the mound, having given up a hit and a walk to his own Phillies teammates.
Fernando Cabrera came in to relieve Romero, but then proceeded to walk a run in (Victorino), making the score 5-4. Wright then took over, whacking a 2 run walk-off single, on which Rollins and Roberts scored. Game over – Team USA wins, 5-6. See video of the final hit and celebration HERE.
But the most fascinating part of the win for me was seeing Wright, Rollins, Victorino, and even Mike Schmidt, not only get the job done together, but then watching them celebrate together afterwards. As heated as the Phillies – Mets rivalry has become over the past several years, you never would have known it watching these NL East opponents working together to attain a common goal. Here is a still shot from the video of the last hit and the celebration:
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? Ok, well, perhaps that is going a bit far… ;o)
Team USA will travel to the west coast after tonight’s game against Team Venezuela, which will determine the top seed. Team Korea will join them in Los Angeles as well, to prepare for the next round of the Classic. The final team has yet to be decided; Japan and Cuba will battle tonight for that remaining spot.
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