Japan won the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Tuesday night at a sellout crowd of 36,098 at Loan Depot Park in Miami. Team Japan lifted the trophy to celebrate its third tournament championship (they won the first two editions, i.e., 2006 and 2009) with a 3-2 win over Team USA.
USA vs Japan was an absolute thriller, and fans wondered whether Angels teammates would get an opportunity to face each other. The game ended dramatically with Team Japan’s Shohei Ohtani striking out Mike Trout, a fellow MLB teammate, at 87.3 mph. Ohtani struck Trout with a sweeper (full count slider), sealing Japan’s victory. After his outstanding performance at WBC, Ohtani was named the tournament’s (MVP) Most Valuable Player.
It’s Japan’s gold since 2009, following two 3rd place finishes in 2013 and 2017. Japan’s baseball team was a juggernaut in the tournament, and Team USA couldn’t defend its 2017 championship. They finished the tournament with the best overall winning percentage (.789), i.e., a 30-8 record. With its 7-0 display, Team Japan became the second-ever team in World Baseball Classic to finish undefeated. The next World Baseball Classic tournament will be held in 2026, with the venue and dates TBC (to be confirmed).