The Japanese extended their title lead during the tournament while becoming the second country to win the championship undefeated.
Japan are champions of the World Baseball Classic for the third time in the five editions so far. In addition, the “Samurais” can now claim to be undefeated champions of the tournament, having achieved a record of seven wins without defeats, making them the only ones, along with the Dominican Republic (2013), to achieve this feat.
The Asians remained in control virtually throughout the game, although the United States threatened repeatedly, the Japanese pitchers completely dominated the Americans and almost immediately extinguished any threat they began to create.
The Japanese pitchers forced the American batters to leave eight runners on base and held them hitless in seven at-bats with men in scoring position.
The interesting game culminated in a spectacular way in a confrontation between the two best players in the MLB at the moment. Shohei Ohtani entered the ninth inning and made the save while facing teammate Mike Trout in a duel that all baseball lovers expected would end the game.
How did they score?
The United States opened the scoring early in the second inning. A huge home run through left field by Trea Turner brought the score to zero in favor of the Stars and Stripes, and although they threatened to put men on first and second after two outs, they were unable to do any further damage .
At the end of the episode, Japan would tie the game with a brutal home run from Munetaka Murakami off the pitches of Merrill Kelly. Japan would continue to attack the American pitcher, who was replaced by Aaron Loup after the bases were loaded.
The pitcher limited the damage to a single run and dominated Lars Nootbar with a ground ball to first base, where he scored the turnaround that gave Japan the lead, two to one, and a fly ball to center by Kensuke Kondoh.
Japan returned to the attack in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run by Kazuma Okamoto, extending the Japanese lead to three to one.
The United States staged a comeback in the top of the eighth inning, with a brutal home run by Kyle Schwarber after one out against the pitches of Yu Darvish, who came in in relief.
Besides Ichiro Suzuki, Akinori Iwamura, Munenori Kawasaki, Norichika Aoki and Daisuke Matzusaka, Darvish was the only two-time World Classics champion. The San Diego Padres ace was part of the team that won the 2009 edition.