Got that? Okay, good, now, time for a little bit of a preview for the USA-Mexico game tonight. It should be a treat, with reports coming that the game is close to a sell-out, with the crowd expected to be an even split between the USA and Mexico (a common occurrence in games featuring the Mexican national teams, to the extent where the American national soccer team plays many of it’s games against Mexico in northern cities like Columbus and Seattle to ensure it’s mainly an American crowd).
For Team USA, it’s an important game in order to get the WBC off to a good start. But for Mexico, this is an all-but-must-win game, after their shocking upset by Italy yesterday. And in the center of this is R.A. Dickey. He played for Team USA in the 1996 Olympics (and Brandon Phillips was the bat-boy!), but this is his first time in the WBC. So, how have Team Mexico’s hitters done in the past against Dickey:
Jorge Cantu: 3-8, 2B, BB, SO
Luis Cruz: 0-1
Ramiro Pena: 0-3
Gil Velazquez: 2-5, SO
…And that’s it. Those are the only players on Team Mexico that have met Dickey in MLB play. Knuckleballers are so hit and miss, of course, that there is no way of possibly knowing how the game could turn out, or how the other players could fare the first time they see the knuckler.
On the flip-side, here’s how the expected lineup for Team USA has done against Yovani Gallardo, the Mexican starter (this includes postseason play, by the way):
Jimmy Rollins: 2-10, SO
Brandon Phillips: 9-37, 3 2B, HR, 5 SO, 2 BB
Ryan Braun: None, since Braun and Gallardo both have played with the Brewers their entire careers
Joe Mauer: 5-10, 2 SO, 2 BB
David Wright: 3-16, HR, 8 SO, 3 BB
Eric Hosmer: None.
Giancarlo Stanton: 3-9, 2B, 3 SO
Adam Jones: None.
J.P. Arencibia: None.
So, there you have it: the histories between Team USA and Team Mexico’s hitters and today’s starting pitchers. Enjoy the games.