While the biggest takeaway for the Astros from last night's World Baseball Classic game is undoubtedly Jose Altuve's injury, it cannot be understated how good of a baseball game was played between Team USA and Team Venezuela.
In the win-or-go-home contest, the Houston Astros had their finger prints all over the game.
Kyle Tucker had a monster showing for team USA, finishing 3-5 with a solo home run, a double and two RBI. In an ironic twist, both his double and home run came off of an Astros teammate. One thing to note--Tucker is sharing an outfield with Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. He has manned left field for Team USA throughout the WBC, which could be a development to keep an eye on as Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez continue to rehab.
Luis Garcia didn't start for Team Venezuela, but he came on in early relief after Team USA tagged Martin Perez for five hits and three runs in only 0.1 innings. Garcia threw four innings, allowing four hits and two runs to go along with three strikeouts.
Tucker hit a two-out double off of Garcia in the top of the third before taking Garcia deep to right in the top of the 5th.
While it appeared Team USA would run away with this one, they got into trouble when reliever Daniel Bard allowed four runs without getting an out. This was the sequence in which Altuve suffered the thumb injury after being hit by a pitch. Altuve left the game after starting 1-2 with a run scored.
Team USA regained the lead 9-7 on a Trae Turner grand slam in the eighth and turned the game over to Astros closer Ryan Pressly to seal the deal. Pressly needed only 12 pitches to pick up the save, sending Team USA to the semi finals, where they will take on team Cuba this evening.