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Game Thread: USA vs Dominican Republic, 6 pm CT, Thursday 3/14

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Ever since the World Baseball Classic started in 2006, this has been the game everyone wanted to see. For the first time, the match-up is here. The winner is guaranteed a spot in the final four in San Francisco.

Christian Petersen

Game four of the second round in Miami is tonight with David Wright and Team USA taking on Robinson Cano and the Dominican Republic. R.A. Dickey, coming off a bad first game of the tournament, is starting for the US. He's hoping the heavier air in Miami will make his knuckleball more effective. Opposing him for the DR is Twins pitcher Samuel Deduno.

Tonight's lineup for Team USA

Rollins SS, Phillips 2B, Braun LF, Mauer DH, Wright 3B, Hosmer 1B, Stanton RF, Jones CF, Arencibia C

And for Team DR

Reyes SS, Tejada 3B, Cano 2B, Encarnacion 1B, Ramirez DH, Cruz RF, Santana C, Nanita LF, De Aza CF

The winner of this game will qualify for the final round in San Francisco. The loser of this game will play Puerto Rico tomorrow for the fourth and final spot. The two qualifying teams will play again on Saturday, but that game will only determine who gets the number one seed and Sunday off.

Team USA is 3-1 in the tournament with wins against Italy, Canada and Puerto Rico and a loss to Mexico. The Dominican Republic is a perfect 4-0 with victories over Venezuela, Spain, Puerto Rico and Italy.

The game is televised on the MLB Network.

The teaser headline is a reference to President Johnson sending the Marines and Army Airborne troops into the Dominican Republic in 1965 in response to a revolution in that nation. The troops stayed for 17 months. I trust no one is going to tell me it was actually Haiti. (It actually was in Haiti, but that was a different occupation.)

Discuss among yourselves.