Team USA returns to the World Baseball Classic semifinals on Tuesday for the first time since the 2009 tournament when they face Japan — who have advanced to the semis in all four WBC editions, and won the championship twice — in a game that will live stream from Los Angeles with each team chasing a chance to face Puerto Rico in Wednesday’s title game.
The USA baseball team, from the country that invented the game, has never won a World Baseball Classic. But the Japan team’s move from the cozy Tokyo Dome to expansive Dodger Stadium could blunt the two-time champs’ power and allow American hurler Tanner Roark to shut down what until this point has been a fearsome Japanese lineup which has powered the team to six straight wins without a loss in the 2017 WBC.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Team USA vs. Team Japan World Baseball Classic second semifinal, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, 9 p.m. Eastern, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday, March 21. In Japan, the start time will be 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22.
The 30-year-old Roark was a mainstay of the Washington Nationals starting staff in 2016, posting a 16-10 record with an impressive 2.83 ERA in 210 innings pitched. Since his Major League debut in 2013, Roark at 3.01 has posted the eighth-leading ERA among all MLB pitchers throwing at least 500 innings in that span.
However, in his previous WBC appearance, facing the Dominican Republic on March 12, Roark gave up that many runs in just 1 1/3 innings, allowing three runs while walking two and facing to record a strikeout.
Watch a preview of the USA vs. Japan WBC semifinal clash from MLB Network in the video below.
Opposing Roark for Team Japan will be Tokyo Yomiuri Giants 27-year-old righty Tomoyuki Sugano, who put up a sparkling 2.01 ERA in 183 innings for his Japanese Pro League team in 2016.
However, the real strength of Team Japan in this year’s World Baseball Classic has come from the power bats of Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh and Sho Nakata, who each blasted three home runs over Japan’s first six games. Whether their power will translate from the hitter-friendly confines of the Tokyo Dome to notoriously pitching-dominated Dodger Stadium will be a question for Roark to answer on Tuesday night.
To watch the Team USA vs. Team Japan World Baseball Classic second semifinal game live stream from 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, go to the MLB Network site at this link. The free World Baseball Classic live stream requires login credentials from a cable or satellite TV provider. However, there are two ways to watch the semifinal game even without cable login credentials — including a free, legal option.
To watch the World Baseball Classic semifinal showdown live stream for free, sign up for a seven-day free trial of the DirecTV Now online TV package, which can be found by clicking on this link. While providing credit card information will be required, canceling the package before the seven-day free trial expires will prevent any charges, allowing fans to watch the Netherlands Vs. Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic semifinal contest stream live without charges.
Fans who purchase a subscription to MLB.TV will also be able to watch Team USA vs. Team Japan, the second World Baseball Classic semifinal — as well as Wednesday’s championship game pitting Tuesday’s winner against Puerto Rico — stream live online. Go to this link to explore the MLB.TV option.
A Spanish-language live stream of the Team USA vs. Team Japan World Baseball Classic semifinal matchup is available via WatchESPN at this link, or by downloading the WatchESPN app for mobile devices.
[Featured Image by Gregory Bull/AP Images]