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Canada and Mexico brawl figuratively and literally; Canada wins

Mar 9, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

Canada v Mexico - World Baseball Classic - First Round Group D Getty Images

Canada kept its second round World Baseball Classic hopes alive with an emphatic 10-3 victory over Mexico today. Coming off an eight-inning 14-4 defeat at the hands of Italy, a game that was called early due to the mercy rule, Canada bounced back with impressive hitting performances by designated hitter Justin Morneau and right fielder Michael Saunders as both logged four hits (including two doubles apiece) and three runs batted in. Third baseman Taylor Green also contributed greatly with three hits and a walk. Starter Chris Leroux was solid over three innings of work before giving way to the bullpen.

The scoring started in the top of the first when Canada tossed up a four-spot behind a Morneau RBI double, a Saunders two-run single, and an RBI single by Chris Robinson. Mexico starter Marco Estrada settled down, though, holding Canada scoreless in his other two innings while his team chipped away. Mexico scored once in the bottom of the first on an error by first baseman Joey Votto, then added two more in the bottom of the fourth on a Gil Velasquez RBI double and Eduardo Arredondo sacrifice fly. Cesar Ramos, in relief of Estrada, pitched well but began to wear down in his third inning of work. In the top of the sixth, Canada added an insurance run on a Pete Orr RBI single to right.

From there, the flood gates opened and Mexico’s bullpen was unable to keep the game close. Canada added two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Morneau drove in a run with another double, then scored later in the inning on a Jimmy Van Ostrand RBI ground out. In the eighth, Morneau singled to right, driving in his third run. Saunders then singled to right, driving in Canada’s ninth run.

Tensions began to flare in the top of the ninth. Leading off the inning, Canada’s Chris Robinson bunted for a hit with his team up by six runs. Reliever Arnold Leon, none too pleased, hit the next batter Rene Tosoni with a fastball, causing both benches to clear. ESPN’s Jim Caple said, “This was not a stand around and look tough fight. There were many punches thrown.”

A Twitter recap of the fracas:

Leon and Tosoni were ejected by home plate umpire Brian Gorman. Jose Cobos came in relief of Leon while Tim Smith replaced Tosoni at first base. During the next at-bat involving Cale Iorg, more chaos ensued:

Iorg ended the at-bat at long last with a fly ball to left field, scoring Robinson for Canada’s tenth run. Tyson Gillies and Green went down in short order to end the inning. John Axford entered the bottom-half of the ninth for the save, shutting down Mexico with a 1-2-3 inning.

Canada, now 1-1, kept their own hopes alive as well as those of the United States. The US and Italy square off at 9 PM ET. Pool D then wraps up Sunday afternoon at 4 PM ET when Canada and the US match up. Mexico will be rooting for Italy against the US, then for the US against Canada, hoping for a three-way tie in which all three teams are 1-2. In such an event, run differential would be used in the tie-breaker. Presently, the US and Canada are tied in run differential at -3 while Mexico lags at -5.

As a side note, the use of run differential in the tie-breaker means that Mexico has no “unwritten rules” ground upon which to stand after taking offense to Robinson’s ninth-inning bunt.

  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Johnson got in some serious haymakers

  2. paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. It jumped up a notch. Brick killed a guy.

    The first thing I see when I turned that game on was the umpire warning each team. The second thing was both dugout emptying after a HBP. Maybe I should give this WBC thing another chance.

    • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      I’m telling ya, you don’t know what you’re missing. These boys are playing some passionate ball.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        I haven’t seen much passionate baseball….but that brawl was certainly passionate…..and like most, totally pointless as it was started by a team that realized it was all but eliminated.

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Which games have you seen? Did you see Team Italy’s first win? They’re playing with a ton of heart, and dare I say, grit.

        Mexico still has a chance. If Team US wins tonight (likely) and Canada loses tomorrow, I believe Mexico is in. The only team right now guaranteed to move on from this group is Italy. Go figure.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        Mexico can’t advance if the US wins tonight and tomorrow….they need Italy to beat the US and the US to beat Canada so that all 3 finish 1-2, right?

        I’ve seen bits and pieces of a number of games. Just seen a lot of bad base running, bad and indifferent fielding, bad at bats. Watched quite a bit of the US game and they didn’t seem like they gave a crap at all.

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Maybe that bad baseball is passion-derived…..I guess.

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        ‘philiac is right about you. You’re just not a real baseball fan. :-p

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:12 PM


      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        paper, just don’t watch then and skip these posts. Dang. >:(

      • paperlions - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        Would you prefer that I have no basis for my opinion?

        C’mon…there has been some pretty embarrassing baseball. Quality of play should matter, and the quality has generally not been there, especially on the bases and in the field (or the infatuation of some nations with the sacrifice bunt).

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        Aw, it hasn’t been that bad. Which games have you watched? I’ve seen some nice plays, good pitching, and decent baserunning. The game doesn’t have to be played pristinely to be entertaining or enjoyable. C’mon, loosen up a little…

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        Sorry, I missed where you said which games you’ve seen. The US game was the dullest one I’ve seen so far. I only watched until Dickey was pulled.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        I like it better when you’re funnylions. Hmph.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        I only watched until Dickey was pulled.

        Generally speaking, once Dickey is pulled out, the affair becomes boring.

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        Truer words have never been spoken.

    • mikedenney - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      All that hockey brawling had ’em ready for the win…

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    A good old fashioned hockey brawl and the hockey players won it. There is a replay showing that the Mexican third baseman ordered their pitcher to throw at Tosoni. Both the pitcher and the third baseman should be suspended by MLB.

    • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      All morality aside (bad players! Bad! Talk your problems out), that was well fought with some decent punches thrown. There was some skill in that fighting. Mexicans are quite the brawlers themselves, but I’ll give the fight to the Canadians. The Mexicans were clearly at fault for throwing at the guy. Clearly, with the run differential, teams are trying to score as many runs as they can to advance. Even without the run differential, I don’t buy into stupid unwritten rules.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Agreed. That unwritten rule about not bunting for a hit with a big lead is pure BS. Throwing at a hitter just because the previous guy bunted is both juvenile and dangerous.

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        I should add, the run differential is used in the event a second tie-breaker is needed.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        So it was a good one — not just a bunch of chest-puffing and smack talk? Hmm, sorry I missed that then.

  4. The Goche - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Pretty sure the graphic said the run differential only counts the differential against the teams in the tie, so you’d throw out the Italy games. If that’s the case, Mexico is done. The scenario that causes a 3 way tie at 1-2 makes it impossible for Mexico to have a better differential than both US and Canada. Right?

  5. Ben - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I’m shocked that Alfredo Aceves was involved. Shocked, I tell you.

    • chacochicken - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Did he think Bobby Valentine was coaching Canada?

    • drewzducks - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      I’m not sure what’s more surprising, that Fredo was in the middle of it or that AGon wanted nothing to do with it.

    • scoocha - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Ernie Whitt remarked Aceves had “Satan in his eyes.” No wonder the Red Sox wanted him so badly a few years ago. I used to like him until he couldn’t even heal from a fake back injury in 2010. I would love to see him jumped and beaten to the point that it ends his career.
      I’m also not surprised the Mexicans lost the game or the fight. Nor that uber-pussy AGon didn’t want a part of any of it.

  6. chacochicken - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Aceves took a couple of good shots in there. Luis Cruz told the pitcher to drill Tosoni. Probably not the best idea.

  7. historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Wow, Canadia. That’s not very beaver like. You went full out porcupine there.

    • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      It’s a good thing that the ever reasonable and calm USA is a buffer between Canada and Mexico, otherwise those two countries would be constantly at war.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        I know, right? What if the US weren’t a beacon of peace and diplomacy —

        oh, shit, I can’t even finish saying that. lol

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        LMAO I know, right?

      • chacochicken - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        Cmon, We ‘Mericans haven’t invaded either since the 19th century (except to chase Pancho around) We also have flying robots of death now too, just in case the other nations of North American need a reminder.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        What is this, Wikileaks? Chaco, Operation Ally Droning is TOP SECRET…or was.

      • chacochicken - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        Skynet has no allies.

      • indaburg - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        “Skynet has no allies.”

        I, for one, welcome our computer overlords.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Burgie, first they will come for our replays…but it ends in a hellscape of baseball drones and passionless Intergalactic Baseball Championships.

  8. paul621 - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    How the heck do you break ties with run differential AND have a mercy rule? That’s just stupid.

    • jwbiii - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      It’s run differential per offensive or defensive inning. So a six inning 12-2 mercy rule win counts the same as a 18-3 nine inning win would.

  9. spudchukar - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Actually, this is all Americas fault. What do expect, from our bordering countries, when the war-mongering USA is seen daily pummeling our rivals. Here is our message, if you want to be a great country you gotta show them who is boss. They seem to be getting the message.

  10. eagles512 - Mar 9, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Just send Mexico home

  11. stairwayto7 - Mar 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM


  12. nofunleague - Mar 9, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Good thing they have numbers. 35 guys and only 4 last names.

  13. macjacmccoy - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    I really dont care about fighting it doesn’t bother me at all. Guys fight time from time it happens. But I will say the Phillies should cut Gillies immediately. The guy is a scum bag through and through. All he does is get in trouble. He has no respect for the team or the league. He’s a punk and I dont want him affiliated with the Phillies anymore.

  14. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    WOW maybe canada will win the WBC!! They certainly can’t win the one that matters, might as well settle for this nonsense that means NOTHING!! End the wbc already! No real baseball fan cares!!

  15. louhudson23 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    Since it is obvious that many baseball fans do indeed care,your post must be considered straight up trolling….have fun…

  16. jimeejohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Machismo is highly overrated. Canadians kicked some Mexican ass. Right wingers are having a fiesta.

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