2006 marks the inaugural year for the World Baseball Classic.
As it was hoped, it was a maginicient display of game of baseball as the world wide sports. Unfortunately to the US, the team did not win the champioship as expected, but as a result, it emphasied more of the sportsf world wide depth.
Japanese won the championship ultimately, defeating Cuba in the final; only two major leaguers in the final, both of whom were Japanese (Ichiro Suzuki and Akinori Otsuka), both of whom are featured in this game. The team was managed by legendary Sadaharu Oh (with 868 career home-runs).
This Gallery features the second round game between Japan and Mexico. Japan won easily, 6-1 to even the round-robin record to 1-1 (they lost to US the day earlier). The starter for Japan was Daisuke Matsuzaka, considered the number one pitcher in the Japanese League. He was relieved by Wada after 5 no-run innings, then to Yabu in 8th inning. Yabu lost a single run, but Ohtsuka (then, of San Diego Padres) shut Mexico out in the ninth. Satozaki hit a home run in 4th inning; Ogasawara, Tamura and Suzuki scored RBIfs.
No one expected Mexicans to bounce back and beat US two days later.