3-9-2012 Italy vs. USA World Baseball Classic Chase Field, Phoenix, Az.
After driving from Tempe Diablo and searching for parking with half the streets around the stadium closed and not being able to get to parking lots we arrive at Chase Field. The Mexico vs. Canada game had just let out and Canada one the game. There was also a 9th inning brawl after a Mexico pitcher hit a Canadian batter after a warning for throwing inside. So we first had to wait for the stadium to empty out before they aloud entrance for this game.
When we entered they were having a batting practice Team Italy was hitting. Since I got a ball on Friday at the Mexico vs. USA game I decided to try for some autographs. We stood by the USA Teams dugout and not many players signed. Brandon Phillips signed so EB threw him his ball and when Phillips threw him his ball signed EB threw mine to him since I was in the second row. Philips missed it and kept signing for others when he was done he picked up the ball unsigned and tossed it back so I did not get an autograph. But can say Brandon Phillips touched my ball. There were a lot of people looking for autographs and not to many players signing so I ended up getting nothing signed.
Willie Randolph throwing batting practice for team USA. Randolph was a Yankee when I was a kid and was the NY Mets manager from 2005-2008. He also played for Pittsburgh, LA Dodgers, Oakland A’s, Milwaukee Brewers and the NY Mets. He also coached for the Yankees, Brewers and Orioles.
Tommy Lasorda threw out the first pitch.
Luca Panerati throws first pitch to Team USA’s Jimmy Rollins. Rollins would lead off with a single. Followed by this legged out single by Brandon Phillips.
Italy’s pitcher Panerati fielded the ball and tossed it to Anthony Rizzo as Phillips touches first. Ryan Braun would hit into a double play and Joe Mauer flew out to left for the third out in the first.
After Nick Punto lead off the bottom of the first for Italy with a single. Chris Denorfia flew out to right.
Followed up by a Alex Liddi single. Punto scored on a Ryan Vogelsong wild pitch from third. 1-0 Italy. Italy also scored a run in the 2nd Tyler La Torre scored on a Anthony Granato double. (2-0) Italy
Luca Panerati pitches to Adam Jones in the 3rd inning. Jones would ground out to start the inning Panerati would face 4 batters in the inning with only Jimmy Rollins reaching base on a single.
Jonathan Lucroy flew out to center for the second out of the 3rd inning.
Chris Denorfia makes the catch as Lorenzo Avagnina slides to avoid a collision.
Joe Mauer steps on second for a double in the 4th…
.. scoring Ryan Braun who lead off the inning with a single. (2-1) Italy
Marco Grifantini who came in to the game in the 4th inning. Was replaced by Matt Torra after walking Adam Jones and letting up a single to Jonathan Lucroy. Brandon “he touched my ball” Phillips single to score Lucroy. Joe Mauer was walked and the base would load up and David Wright came to bat with the game tied at 2.
Wright would hit a grand slam home run, bringing a 6-2 lead for The US team.
The Ball was hit to left field.
3rd base umpire signals a home run while David Wright rounds first.
He high fives Willie Randolph as he heads home.
Team USA celebrates at home plate.
Joe Torre Manager of Team USA removing Ryan Vogelsong from the game in the bottom of the 5th.
Jeremy Affeldt came in to pitch for the US team in the 5th inning. He faced 3 batters getting the next 3 batters out. The first a by striking out Nick Punto. Vogelsong did let up a lead off single to Anthony Granato he remained on base and did not score.
John Mariotti warming up in the Italy bullpen. He came into the game in the 8th inning. Italy used 9 pitchers in this game and 2 more after Mariotti was taken out in the 9th.
Joe Mauer breaks his bat and grounds out to Italy’s pitcher Pat Venditte for the second out of the 9th inning.
Team USA celebrates their 6-2 win over Italy
They would than beat Canada the following day. They and Italy advanced to the next round in Miami. Italy Lost earlier today to The Dominican Republic Team and Team USA is leading the Puerto Rico Team. David Wright did hit a bases loaded double and the USA is leading 7 to 1 as I am righting this.
That was it for me and World Baseball Classic games. It was overall a cool experience I enjoyed the more reserved game against Italy than the loud Friday night game. It was really cool to be there, but not something I may do again. It is baseball and well you never know at the right time maybe. With all these big names playing, autographs were really hard to get and they did not use WBC balls for BP just regular MLB balls.
I also did not like the lot ticket purchase they did you had to by all for games for Chase Field and I only used tix for 2 games. I had already planned not to go to the USA vs Canada. But made the last minute decision to go to Tempe Diablo. Beside the Friday night game the attendance did not seem that big. This game was 19,303 in attendance. Fridays night was 44,456 and some of the other game were less. A few were original planned for Salt River Fields so as many tickets were not sold since the game was moved to Chase because of the weather.
As far as Chase Field it is not one of the stadium I would say I would not like to return to but I may not travel out of my way to go to other games there. I did not like the inside feel for a baseball game. It was good since it was raining and it may be great not to be sitting outside when it is 110 degrees, but I like outdoor baseball so much more.
That is it for this one check back as I post more games from my spring training trip and remember I can be followed on twitter @RoxAddict.