Two weeks of some of the most thrilling baseball on the planet (or a boring, unnecessary exhibition if you ask some people) and we have a winner of the 2023 World Baseball Classic: Team Japan!
It came down to two powerhouse teams, USA versus Japan, but in the end it was Japan’s pitching and a truly awe-inspiring dual performance by Shohei Ohtani that saw the Japanese team reign supreme.
Japan was already the winningest team in WBC history with two previous titles in 2006 and 2009, and this third one is going to make them hard top in future competitions.
JAPAN HAS DONE IT— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 22, 2023
2023 WBC CHAMPIONS!! pic.twitter.com/XdnzfcG7nF
Whatever the naysayers were talking about, I think it’s hard to disagree that we just got to spend two weeks watching some riveting and compelling baseball, and it was evident the joy these players felt getting to support their home countries or the countries of their parents.
Can’t wait to see what 2026 brings.
- Speaking of 2026, Rob Manfred has confirmed the WBC will return. Story by Jessica Camerato. Camerato also shares the final moment of the series with Shohei Ohtani striking out Angels teammate Mike Trout.
- Speaking of Manfred, he would love to see more star pitchers in the next WBC. Story by Alden Gonzalez.
- A fun little stat about team Japan in this series, in which Japan bests Japan.
A new WBC record!— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 22, 2023
The 2023 Japan team has surpassed the 2009 Japan team for striking out the most hitters (75) in WBC history! pic.twitter.com/UzsAHij7lM
- Ben Clemens shares why he loves the WBC.
- Tom Verducci looks at Shohei Ohtani’s ability to carry the game into the future.
- And another truly iconic stat from the game. Shohei really is incredible.
Shohei Ohtani has never recorded a save or finished a game in either his MLB or NPB career, but he did so Tuesday night, striking out his Angels teammate Mike Trout to seal the 3-2 victory.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 22, 2023
Tuesday was also the first time the WBC Championship was decided by a single run. pic.twitter.com/CQfFYdK4S6
- Stephanie Apstein points out that it’s nice to see the two best players in baseball finally play in a game that matters.
- In non-WBC moves, Rob Manfred hints that changes may be coming to pitch timers. Story by Tom Verducci.
- Zack Meisel brings the heartfelt and difficult story of one son’s efforts to keep his father’s difficult story alive. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Which players could be poised for a bounceback season after a subpar 2022? (The Athletic subscription required.)
- You don’t get to see this every day.
This is like seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah pic.twitter.com/YhnklNzR8m— Zito (@_Zeets) March 22, 2023
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.