Team Israel continued their amazing Cinderella-run in the World Baseball Classic, as they upset Team Cuba 4-1 in what many are calling a Purim Miracle.
Following a beautiful reading of the Book of Esther to celebrate the holiday of Purim by Jordy Alter, Team Israel took the field at the Tokyo Dome in Japan to face off again Team Cuba, the runner up of Pool B.
As usual, Israel Manager Jerry Weinstein turned to Jason Marquis to make the start for the blue & white.
After a scoreless first, Marquis ran into trouble in Top of the 2nd, as Alfredo Despaigne smashed the first pitch he saw over the center field wall to go up 1-0. After allowing two more runners to reach base, Marquis got out of the jam, to minimize the damage.
In the Bottom of the 4th, Ike Davis, the former Brooklyn Cyclone, led off with a walk. After strikeouts by Nate Freiman and Zach Borenstein, Pool A MVP Ryan Lavarnway doubled to left and 3B Coach Tom Gamboa sent Davis in to score to tie it up at 1-1.
Marquis would get the first two outs in the Top of the 6th before hitting Despaigne with a pitch. He would be pulled to keep his pitch count down and Zach Thornton, who spent last season in the Mets minor leagues would close out the inning for Israel.
Ty Kelly opened the bottom half of the inning with a single to left. Cody Decker hit for Davis, but flew out to Yoelqui Cespedes, the half brother of Yoenis Cespedes. Freiman walked and a single by Borenstein allowed Kelly to score, giving Israel a 2-1 lead. Pitcher Yoennis Yera was pulled for Jose Angel Garcia, and he got Lavarnway to fly out.
Blake Gailen, smacked a double to right, score Freiman and moving Borenstein to 3rd. Livan Moinelo came in and issued an intentional walk to Tyler Krieger before getting Scott Burcham to fly out.
Thornton kept Cuba off the scoreboard through the 7th, before being pulled for Brad Goldberg in the 8th. Goldberg would allow two runners on while getting two outs, but was pulled for Josh Zeid, another former Mets farmhand.
Zeid walked Despaigne to load the bases before getting Willian Saavedra to hit the ball right to 3B Ty Kelly, who picked it up, stepped on 3rd & ended the inning.
Using the momentum from the last inning, Borenstein led off with a walk, Lavarnway singled and a quick sac bunt by Gailen scored Borenstein to make it 4-1. Krieger drew a walk, and following another pitching change by Cuba, Burcham hit into an inning ending double play.
Zeid would close the book on Cuba, giving Israel the win, and a perfect 4-0 record in the WBC.
Israel will face off against Japan next, with the game beginning at 6:00 AM EDT Monday morning.