Team USA's worst nightmare could soon be coming to fruition in the WBC Championship Tuesday night. Japan has a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning with Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish already having headed to the bullpen, per MLB Network's Jon Morosi.
Ohtani is expected to be the man Japan will trust to close out the game if their advantage holds. A potentially bleak outlook for the reigning WBC champions. USA struck first thanks to a solo home run by red-hot shortstop Trea Turner in the second inning. It was short-lived, though, as their opponent answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom-half of the inning.
Kazuma Okamoto tacked on another for Japan in the fourth. Arizona Diamondbacks ace Merrill Kelly is currently on the hook for the loss, giving up two earned runs in one 1/3 innings. Pitching was a bit of a concern for USA going into the WBC, but the staff has largely held things together. Japan's lineup is difficult for even the best arms to navigate, though.
The dream championship matchup has been hyped up all tournament and has thus far lived up to the bill in terms of drama and electricity. The WBC as a whole has been quite the spectacle this year with many of baseball's top names participating, and doing so with the utmost pride.
Fans are salivating for the opportunity to see Angels teammates Ohtani and Mike Trout face off in an instantly legendary pitcher-batter duel. If the score holds up, there is a chance that fantasy becomes a goosebump-inducing reality.