(Via Lynne Sladky/AP)
They did it. After blowing a 5-0 lead to the Dominican Republic (in an incredible game, by the way) the USA was thrusted into a win-or-go-home scenario vs Canada. Danny Duffy was given the ball for America, and Canada had Ryan Dempster on the mound.
Duffy began by mowing down Canada on three strikeouts to open the game. Dempster then opened by walking Ian Kinsler. After an Adam Jones flyout, Christian Yelich was able to move Kinsler to third on a single. Another walk, this one to Nolan Arenado, prompted a visit to the mound.
Dempster promptly responded with allowing a double to Eric Hosmer to drive in 2 runs. Dempster got yanked after that, and Andrew Albers got out of the inning, only allowing one more run. Another 1-2-3 inning by Duffy, and the American offense gets back to work.
Kinsler flies out to start, but then that is followed up by back-to-back singles by Jones and Yelich. Nolan Arenado mashed a home run to drive in 3 more runs. Hosmer hits another double, and he is driven in by Buster Posey. It was 7-0 after 2 innings.
The offense cooled down after that, but due to a combination of the large lead, a weak Canadian team (with the exception of Freddie Freeman of course) and Mychal Givens, Tyler Clippard, Jake McGee, and Nate Jones shutting them down, it remained a shutout.
A Buster Posey home run provided the final blow to a game that was over from the beginning, and the United States, who nearly punched their ticket to San Diego the day before, end up clinching their berth in the next round with a convincing win over (what I like to think are) their fierce rivals.