Erick Aybar didn’t play, but the Dominican Republic advanced to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on Monday by beating The Netherlands 4-1 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Miguel Tejada played third base for the DR, which eliminated the United States on Saturday in Miami. From the Associated Press:
Late lineup addition Moises Sierra hit a tying RBI double in the fifth, Jose Reyes added a go-ahead single two batters later and the Dominican Republic reached the WBC final with a 4-1 win against the Netherlands on Monday night.
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single as the undefeated Dominicans survived a rocky start from winner Edinson Volquez, who benefited from Sierra’s catch over the left-field wall in foul territory to end a first-inning threat.
”We didn’t try to make history,” Volquez said. ”We’re just trying to keep winning.’
We might see Aybar tomorrow. Here’s another look at his game-winning hit against the U.S. from Saturday, worth another look if only for the ridiculous called strike that preceded it:
Erick Aybar (left) celebrates with Dominican Republic teammates Robinson Cano (center) and Jose Reyes (right) after beating Italy 5-4 at the World Baseball Classic.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar only had one hit Tuesday for the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic, but it was a big one.
Aybar singled and scored the game-tying run as the DR erased a 4-0 deficit and beat Italy 5-4 on Tuesday in Miami. Aybar served as the designated hitter, with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Reyes playing shortstop.
After a day off on Wednesday, the Dominican Republic returns to the field Thursday against an opponent to be determined.
Joe Torre was holding court in the Dodgers’ home dugout Tuesday afternoon in full uniform. In a way, it was like he never left — save the Team USA threads, the team of all-stars on the field, and the stakes of a World Baseball Classic exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox.
The range of topics he addressed with the media was befitting a man with one hand in Major League Baseball’s executive offices and another in the WBC. Torre is managing the United States entry in the international tournament, in uniform for the first time since he last managed the Dodgers in 2010. In the meantime, he’s worked out of MLB’s Manhattan offices as the league’s Executive Vice President, Business Operations, a job he briefly vacated to explore a purchase of the Dodgers.
The final rosters for the World Baseball Classic were announced Thursday, and only one Angel was listed: Erick Aybar.
That comes as no surprise, as Aybar was listed on the preliminary roster for the Dominican Republic last month. The Angels were counting on losing him, and no one else, when WBC games and practices begin in March. The Dominican team has pool-play games March 7, 9 and 10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their complete schedule and roster is here.
In the meantime, Aybar will be one of the Angels’ few projected opening-day starters who will see plenty of playing time early in spring training.
“Erick will play, probably not every day,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Just because he’s going to the WBC, you can’t cram him and play him every day, every game. We’ll play him, then maybe give him a day to recover, play him a couple, try to get him acclimated to velocity, try to find some kind of a rhythm. It’s not ideal for the player or the team but we’ll do what we have to do.”