Superstars who signed super-large off-season contracts ahead of the 2023 season were unable to demonstrate their skills in international competitions. This resulted in the shocking result of a strong ‘winner’ being eliminated in the first round.
The Dominican Republic lost 2-5 to Puerto Rico in the final 메이저놀이터 Group D group stage of the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ held at Londipou Park in Miami, Florida on the 16th (Korean time). With a record of 2 wins and 2 losses in the group stage, they failed to advance to the second round.
Dominica allowed a lot of runs to the opponent in the top of the 3rd inning and was dragged away. Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto hit a solo shot by Christian Vazquez to make it 0-1. Continuing on 1st, 1st and 2nd base, Francisco Lindor and Kike Hernandez allowed 1 RBI timely hit 0-3, 1st 1st and 3rd base, MJ Melendez scored a runner on 3rd base to 0-4 The score difference widened.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Dominica went in pursuit. Leading hitter Juan Soto fired a cannon shot that went behind the center fielder to make it 1-4.
In the beginning of the 5th inning, there was a situation where the steam was somewhat drained. Lindor’s ball was missed by center fielder Julio Rodriguez. The batted ball rolled to the warning track, and in the meantime, the batter runner rushed to the home, making it 1-5. Immediately in the bottom of the 5th inning, with the bases loaded, the runner on third base stepped home and followed 2-5 when Machado hit, but he could not chase anymore and knelt down.
On this day, Dominica’s stagnation in the batting line was prominent. In particular, Manny Machado and Raphael Devers, who started as the center hitters in the 3rd and 4th times, failed to add strength to the attack with no hits in 4 at-bats. Even in the group stage as a whole, the two players were sluggish. Machado had a batting average of 0.235 (4 hits in 17 at-bats), 2 homers and 4 RBIs in 4 games, an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.925, and Devers had a batting average of 0.125 (2 hits in 16 at-bats) 0.347 OPS in 4 games. It was clearly a performance that fell short of expectations.
Off-season Machado and Devers drew attention by signing big contracts. Machado earned 350 million dollars (approximately 458.6 billion won) in 2011, and Devers earned 331 million dollars (approximately 433.7 billion won) in 2011, which was a huge sum of money for the two players alone, worth 892.3 billion won.
Many fans had high expectations that Machado and Devers’ all-time leading batting line would do their part in international competitions. However, when I opened the lid, the result was the exact opposite. The two people who should lead the attack performed sluggishly. On this day too, Machado hit a double hit at the end of the 5th inning with no bases loaded, cutting off the flow of the batting order and the opportunity to pursue. In the end, Dominica couldn’t play the game as they wanted and had to face bitter results.
Meanwhile, Dominica repeated its humiliating result 14 years after the 2009 WBC by being eliminated in the first round. The team was aiming for the second championship after the 2013 WBC, but it turned lonely with unexpected results.