The final day of the World Baseball Classic first round wraps up Sunday with a classic North American matchup as Canada takes on Team USA in a game that will live stream from Marlins Park in Miami, Florida — with both Canada and the USA needing a victory to have any hope of moving on to the second round of the WBC in San Diego starting on Tuesday.
— USA Baseball (@USABaseball) March 12, 2017
With its extra-inning victory over Colombia earlier on Sunday, the Dominican Republic finishes the first round undefeated, with wins over Canada and Team USA to go along with Sunday’s win. But while the Dominicans have now booked their ticket to San Diego, the second qualifying slot remains wide open — but the Canada vs. USA contest will decide who moves on and who returns to routine Spring Training baseball.
To find out how to watch the Canada vs. USA World Baseball Classic Pool C finale, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Pacific, at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, March 12.
Team USA finds itself in a do-or-die position after receiver Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians blew a two-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, surrendering a three-run blast to Seattle Mariner Nelson Cruz as the Dominican Republic completed a comeback from 5-0 down as late as the sixth inning to shock the Americans with a final score of 7-5.
Miller also coughed up a solo shot to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, giving the Dominican side an insurance run.
New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia set down Jonathan Lucroy, Brandon Crawford, and Ian Kindler in order in the ninth to seal the victory for the defending World Baseball Classic champions.
Watch highlights of the Dominican Republic victory over Team USA in the video below.
In fact, the DR won all eight of its games in 2013, meaning the team has now won 11 consecutive World Baseball Classic games.
Team USA must win its game against Canada Sunday to finish at 2-1 in the group and guarantee a place in San Diego. And they will place their faith in the left arm of 28-year-old Kansas City Royals hurler Danny Duffy, who is coming off of his best Major League season in 2016.
Duffy won 12 games while losing only three with a respectable 3.51 ERA in 179 2/3 innings for Kansas City last year. He also has a World Series ring with the Royals from the team’s 2015 championship but faces a whole new kind of pressure when he makes his World Baseball Classic debut on Sunday.
For Canada, retired Major Leaguer Ryan Dempster continues his comeback at age 39. Dempster comes back on two days rest after throwing just two innings on Thursday, when the Dominican Republic offense clobbered him for four runs on seven hits in his brief stint on the mound.
After a 16-year Major League career, Dempster finally won a World Series in 2013 in his only year with the Boston Red Sox. But when shorthanded Team Canada asked him to take the mound again, he felt he could not refuse, preparing throughout the winter until he raised his fastball velocity back into the 90 miles-per-hour range.
If Dempster and Canada manage a win over Team USA, the two teams and Colombia will be locked in a three-way tie at 1-2 for the second spot in San Diego out of Pool C. The tiebreaker results will not be known until Sunday’s action is all completed.
To watch a live stream of the Canada vs. USA World Baseball Classic Pool C finale, go to the MLB Network site at this link. The live stream requires login credentials from a cable or satellite TV provider. But there are two ways to watch the game even without cable login credentials — including a free, legal option.
To watch the World Baseball Classic game live stream for free, sign up for a seven-day free trial of the Direct TV Now online TV package, which can be found by clicking on this link. While a credit card will be required, cancelling the package before the seven-day free trial expires prevents any charges.
Fans who purchase a subscription to MLB.TV will also be able to watch Canada vs. USA and all World Baseball Classic games stream live online. Go to this link to explore the MLB.TV option.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]