A historic day when the brothers defended the victory of their homeland, Puerto Rico. At the end of the game, the younger brother shed tears at the sudden news of his older brother’s injury.
The Diaz brothers climbed the mound as the team’s fourth and eighth pitchers, respectively, in the final match against Dominica in the final group D match of the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida, USA on the 16th (Korean time).
It was Alexis Diaz, his younger brother, who stepped onto the mound first. His brother Diaz was momentarily shaken. In the bottom of the 5th inning, when the team was leading 5-1, they gave up consecutive walks to leading batters Francisco Mejia and Juan Soto, and allowed a hit to the left by Julio Rodriguez, the follow-up hitter, to face the crisis of safely loading the bases.안전놀이터
Opponent main gun Manny Machado at bat. As one of the best hitters in the major leagues, a tough match was expected. Diaz threw his ball into the crisis. On the ball count of 1-1, he threw a four-seam fastball on the third pitch, leading Machado to hit shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman. In the meantime, the runner on third base gave up a run to make it 5-2, but he pitched effectively to catch two out counts. Afterwards, he treated Rafael Devers with a floating ball to third base and did not concede an extra run.
His older brother, Edwin Diaz, was in a save situation. As the team’s last pitcher at the bottom of the ninth inning, he struck out all of the bottom batting order from 7 to 9, leading to Ketel Marte, Jean Segura, and Teosca Hernandez, to protect the team’s 5-2 victory.
Puerto Rico’s victory on this day was dramatic. Puerto Rico and Dominica had a record of 2 wins and 1 loss in the group stage before the match. Venezuela, the leader of Group D, confirmed their advancement to the 2nd round by winning all 4 matches, so the losing team could not advance to the 2nd round due to the odds. It was a guillotine match that needed to be won in order to advance to the second round.
Is it because the team is so happy to win? After the game, the players poured out onto the field and enjoyed a passionate ceremony. But that joy was short-lived. During the ceremony, his older brother Diaz, the closer, collapsed with an injury and was unable to get himself up. The situation seemed serious enough to leave the stadium in a wheelchair after being supported by a trainer. His younger brother Diaz wept over his older brother’s injury.
Diaz’s team, the New York Mets, announced the situation on social media after the game, saying, “Edwin Diaz injured his right knee after the game. He will be tested tomorrow (17th) and will update the news after the test results are out.”
Despite the dream of advancing to the second round, the atmosphere of the team was not bright. After the match, Hernández said, “(The clubhouse) is quiet. (Diaz) was one of our brothers, we grew up together. (The atmosphere) doesn’t feel like we beat Dominica to advance.”
Depending on the progress of Diaz’s injury, Puerto Rico, who is trying to win the first WBC championship, and his team, the Mets, are likely to be affected. Attention is focusing on what results Puerto Rico will achieve against Mexico in the second round, as the mood has subsided due to the absurd injury of a key player on a historic day.