Quick thoughts from Harold down in Miami
The U.SA. mercy rule game – that game was played about as perfect as Puerto Rico could have scripted it. They wanted Vazquez to get to Figueroa and then the back of the bullpen, they did everything right. The offense executed, they went base to base and did everything they wanted to do to put the pressure on. They wanted to run and force the action and they did all that. That’s what’s gonna get lost when you look at the score, all the little things that they did.
The excitement of being down on the field after the game, it was a playoff atmosphere. These guys played it like it was a playoff game. The crowd was yelling and screaming, Beltran and Pudge were on the field celebrating and excited. It was real cool. It gave you a feeling of the importance of the WBC to so many people playing for their native countries.
Team USA is going to be fine the rest of the way. They will hang around if they have better swings, but the starting pitching is the key – Peavy in particular is just not ready, you can see it. I think there are certain pitchers you can look at on their roster that haven’t gotten to their second or third pitch yet. That’s why they have been getting hit so hard, not being able to throw that out pitch to get out of situations and jams. That stands out more than anything else.