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The WBC Semifinal Was Some Bat-Flippin’, Back-Taggin’, Magic-Slidin’, Walk-Off Fun


Last night’s World Baseball Classic match-up between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico was absolutely bonkers.

In the top of first inning alone, Wladirmir Balentien’s home run celebration caught our eye:

Until Carlos Correa answered back with a deep shot of his own sparking even more celebration from Javy Baez and the rest of team Puerto Rico:

But even before both of those things occured, Yadier Molina caught a celebrating Jurickson Profar at first base literally moments after he singled. It was unbelievable:

And that was all IN THE FIRST INNING.


If you can believe it, it got weirder and more ridiculous after that.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, for example, Javy Baez (who’s known for, well just about everything), reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a magic slide into third base. The coordination, flexibility, instincts, and athleticism it takes to pull this off are truly mind-boggling.

And just a half inning after that, Angel Pagan, Javy Baez, and Yadier Molina teamed up on freakin’ crazy play at the plate to get Jonathan Schoop out at home and preserve the tie (for the time being):

And that STILL wasn’t the end of the madness.


In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Netherlands sent Loek Van Mil to the mound who is, you know, just the world’s tallest baseball player ever:

Standing at seven-feet-one-inch, Van Mil is baseball’s tallest player in recorded history. He’s an absolute giant … and was also teammates with Chris Cates (5’3″) … so that’s fun:

And although he got out of trouble in the tenth, he was the last man standing when Puerto Rico’s Eddie Rosario scored Carlos Correa on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eleventh.

But before we even get to the video of the walk-off, don’t forget how those guys got on base:

Yup. If you recall, the WBC rules state that beginning in the 11th, each extra-inning will start with runners on first and second (the runners would be the players occupying the last two spots in the batting order before the hitter leading off) so as to expedite the end of the game. Which, wow. Okay.


Expectedly, Yadier Molina led off with a sacrifice bunt, pushing Correa over to third base. The ten-foot tall oak tree on the mound then intentionally walked Javy Baez:


Setting the stage for the walk-off win (and, of course, monstrous celebration):

Puerto Rico will now move onto the Championship game this Wednesday night, where they’ll play the winner of tonight’s semi-final match up between Japan and the United States.

This tournament is completely insane. You need to be watching.


Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami writes about MLB at Baseball Is Fun. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami.