Hanley Ramirez said before the World Baseball Classic that he would play each game as if it was his last. Turns out he really didn’t want the WBC to end.
The Dodgers shortstop, serving as the designated hitter for his native Dominican Republic, went 1 for 3 in a 4-1 win over the Netherlands in a WBC semifinal game at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Monday.
The DR got all its runs in the fifth inning off Dutch starter Diego Markwell. The Netherlands got its only run in the first inning off Edinson Volquez. Ramirez didn’t figure into the scoring, and Dodgers teammate Kenley Jansen didn’t get into the game at all after joining the Netherlands just in time for the semifinals.
Regardless of the outcome in tomorrow’s championship game, history will be made at the WBC.
The Dominican Republic will play Puerto Rico, which advanced to the championship game by beating two-time defending champion Japan 3-1 on Sunday.
The surprise hero of that game was an unheralded Dodgers minor leaguer by the name of Mario Santiago. Japan could not solve the 28-year-old right hander, whom the Dodgers signed to a minor-league contract in January. He started and pitched 4 ⅓ shutout innings, allowing two hits.
Santiago pitched a scoreless inning for the Dodgers in a Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants on Feb. 26. Otherwise, he’s been buried on the minor-league side. Santiago pitched 156 games in the minor leagues from 2005-11. He pitched in the Korea Baseball Organization last year.