jeff passonESPNlearn 5 mins
MIAMI – Puerto Rico knocks favorites Dominican Republic out of event The International Baseball Vintage kicked off with a 5–2 win on Wednesday night time in entrance of an enormous crowd of 36,025 at Londepot Park. However the celebratory temper proved short-lived.
Whilst Puerto Rico complicated to the quarterfinals, it’ll most likely proceed within the event with out Edwin Díaz, the New York Mets’ All-Famous person nearer, who injured his proper knee after creating a save, inflicting a noticeable jolt to the avid gamers. Must were a thrilling win.
In a struggle between two Latin American powerhouses, the signature dyed-blonde crew prevailed, escaping group-of-death Pool D and putting in place a quarterfinal showdown Saturday night time in opposition to Pool C winners Mexico. After Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic had in the past misplaced to Pool D winner Venezuela, a sport that already had large emotional ramifications took on much more which means when it comes to win-or-go-home.
With vuvuzelas tooting and flags flying and a person maintaining a banana within the waistband of his denims, a tribute Platano In a matchup between the groups the ability that led the DR to the 2013 championship, Puerto Rico took revenge. At the again of a four-run 3rd inning blowout from Puerto Rico, there was once a Dominican Republic crew whose lineup incorporated Juan Soto, Julio Rodríguez, Manny Machado and Rafael Devers, in addition to a bullpen of devastating guns that made it a favourite. to win the 5th version of the event.
By no means thoughts for Puerto Rico. Led by means of supervisor Yadier Molina, a 10-time All-Famous person who stuck catcher for the crew that misplaced the finals to the United States within the ultimate WBC in 2017, Puerto Rico hit 5 in a row to begin the 3rd and not regarded again .
Christian Vazquez led off with a house run off DR starter Johnny Cueto. Vimael Machín hit a unmarried to left, Martin Maldonado dropped a bunt unmarried, Francisco Lindor drove in Machín with a unmarried to left, and Enrique Hernández plated Maldonado with a Baltimore chop unmarried over Machado’s head. An RBI groundout by means of MJ Melendez put Puerto Rico at the run for a 4–0 merit.
Soto lower it up with a titanic shot off Jovani Moran to begin the ground of the 3rd, launching a 92 mph fastball 448 ft into lifeless heart. Puerto Rico replied when Lindor singled up the center within the 5th and Rodríguez misplayed the ball, which hit the wall and allowed Lindor to be booked across the bases and forward 5–1.
The ground of the 5th introduced what ended up being DR’s closing probability. Towards Alexis Díaz, he loaded the bases with a couple of walks and a unmarried. Without a outs and the bases loaded, Machado stepped up. One swing later, he grounded right into a double play. Even if one run was once scored, Díaz were given via the remainder of the inning with no loss, and Puerto Rico’s bullpen held company till the 9th inning.
When the bullpen door opened, Alexis’ brother, Edwin, got here the nearest he got here to baseball—with “Narco,” the doorway tune that normally accompanies him at Citi Box. Díaz struck out Ketel Marte, Jean Segura and Teoscar Hernandez.
Díaz was once quickly booed by means of teammates after the overall out; The crowd was once leaping in combination within the infield when Díaz fell to the bottom close to the pitcher’s mound, and he in an instant reached for his proper knee.
Díaz was once in tears and didn’t put any weight at the leg because the trainer and instructor helped him limp to the dugout. He was once then positioned in a wheelchair within the chaotic house, his proper knee raised. He greeted the fanatics as he left the sector.
Diaz’s brother, Alexis, who performs for the Cincinnati Reds, was once additionally crying as Edwin was once over excited. Lindor, Edwin’s teammate at the Mets, stood close by along with his hand on his head.
Mets mentioned in a commentary It was once about an hour after the sport that Díaz injured his proper knee and would go through imaging on Thursday.
Puerto Rico’s supervisor Yadier Molina mentioned that Díaz additionally examined certain on the stadium.
“I used to be within the dugout hugging my coaches. Then after we regarded up, Edwin was once at the floor,” Molina mentioned. “I did not know. I did not know the way to behave, I did not know the way — what to mention. I imply, I did not know. It took me by means of wonder.
“Like I mentioned within the dugout, it sucks, sorry, however while you see a man who performs so onerous like Edwin, I imply while you see him at the floor like that, my Method it is simply unhappy.”
Hernandez mentioned that the locker room was once quiet after Díaz’s damage.
“It is a particular level that it is larger than the sport,” Hernandez mentioned. “It is very unlucky that this took place. As excited as we have been concerning the sport and all that, he is certainly one of our brothers.”
Díaz, 28, is a two-time All-Famous person and two-time reliever of the 12 months. He transformed 32 saves for the Mets closing season with a 1.31 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 62 innings.
Díaz is being counted on as a key contributor for the Mets, who’ve International Sequence aspirations after proprietor Steve Cohen’s newest spending spree introduced the membership’s projected payroll to just about $370 million. Díaz re-signed with the Mets in November for $102 million over 5 years – the most important contract for a reliever in baseball historical past.
ESPN’s Eldon Gonzalez and The Related Press contributed to this file.