The Top-Four Mariners Moments From The 2017 World Baseball Classic

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Mar 16, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Dominican Republic outfielder Nelson Cruz (23) celebrates a one run home run in the eighth inning against Venezuela during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park. The Dominican Republic won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Dominican Republic outfielder Nelson Cruz (23) celebrates a one run home run in the eighth inning against Venezuela during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park. The Dominican Republic won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last night the 2017 World Baseball Classic came to an end, and team USA hoisted the trophy.  Now, as the Mariners regain their full squad in Peoria, let’s take a look back at the best moments from Mariners players in the WBC.

The WBC is always fun to watch.

Players get thrust into a new environment with different teammates as they get the chance to represent their home country.

Although there are varying opinions about the exhibition tournament, nobody can deny the fact that there were plenty of awesome plays and memorable moments in this year’s classic.

Here are the top-four Mariners moments:

The King vs. Smyly

For Mariners fans who were keeping up with the WBC, the March 15th matchup between the US and Venezuela was a must see. M’s starters Felix Hernandez and newly acquired Drew Smyly went head-to-head in this game, and both impressed in their outings.

For the US, Smyly lasted 4.2 innings giving up an unearned run on three hits while striking out eight on 61 pitches. Felix also threw 61 pitches in his outing for Venezuela, not allowing any runs over five innings while allowing three hits and striking out three.

While the novelty in itself of watching two teammates pitch against each other gathered enough eyes, the fact that they both pitched very well was promising for Mariners fans everywhere.

Jean Segura’s Breakout Game

Segura didn’t see WBC action until the Dominican Republic’s third game against Columbia on March 12.

However, it was worth the wait and he showed the fans of his new team what he is capable of. Segura went 3-for-6 with two doubles, two runs, three RBI and a stolen base. He did strike out twice, but he will slide perfectly into the number two slot in the Mariners lineup.

Edwin Diaz’s Clutch Save

On Monday, the semi-final game between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands needed 11 innings to determine who would move on to the championship game.

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Diaz was on the mound for the last two innings of the game. It only took him 19 pitches to hold the Netherlands scoreless while striking out three to seal the victory in dramatic fashion.

In the 1tth, Diaz helped lock down the victory by intentionally walking, Yurendell Decaster, to bring up, Curt Smith, thinking he would have better success with him.

His calculations were correct. Diaz would induce a double play on a Smith grounder before his team would win the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Diaz has been lights out in the WBC. He has appeared in four of Puerto Rico’s seven games, earning a win and two saves over 5.2 innings pitched. His hyped up pitching style and velocity is absolutely still there from last year, and he will be a force to be reckoned with in the back of the Mariners bullpen in 2017.

Nelson Cruz’s Epic Home Run

Another player who is always a force to be reckoned with is the Boomstick, Nelson Cruz. While we already figure him to have an impactful season with the M’s in 2017, it was good to see him deliver big in the WBC for the Dominican Republic.

In the team’s second game on March 11th, Cruz launched a go-ahead 3-run home run off of Andrew Miller to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Down 5-3 to team USA going into the inning, the blast put the DR up 6-5, eventually winning by a score of 7-5.

Emotions were running high, and after the game, he was asked by a reporter if there is any better baseball team in the world, and Cruz replied, “Maybe the Mariners.”

Next: Mariners Vieira Sent to Minor League Camp

With a memorable WBC in the books, the focus now turns to the regular season for these Mariners players. If the energy and passion they have shown carries over into Opening Day –which is only 11 days away– then we should be in for a fun season!

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