Team USA will hand the ball over to Diamondbacks’ pitcher Merrill Kelly for the World Baseball Classic championship on Tuesday, March 21st.
On the bump for Team USA in Tuesday’s WBC championship game:
MERRILL KELLY. pic.twitter.com/ZEgxZWptTR
— PHNX Diamondbacks (@PHNX_Dbacks) March 20, 2023
Kelly will be facing the winner of the Japan vs. Mexico semifinal matchup, which takes place on Monday night.
This will be Kelly’s second appearance in the WBC, as he pitched in a pool play game against Columbia less than 5 days ago. Kelly did not have his best outing as he allowed two runs in three innings on four hits. However, due to a strong bullpen, this starting performance was just enough to help Team USA grab a 3-2 victory and claim a spot in the WBC playoffs.
If it is Japan that the USA plays on Tuesday, they will look to Yu Darvish in hopes of finishing the World Baseball Classic with a perfect 7-0 record. Darvish is coming off a strong 16-8 record in 2022, where he finished with a 3.10 ERA.
Kelly is an Arizona native, as he attended Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale before going to Arizona State University. The experience will be one never to be forgotten, as he now has the opportunity to help lead his country to a second-straight WBC title.