Japan Defeated USA for Baseball Gold

In the gold medal baseball game at the Olympics, Japan beat the USA 2-0. Japan also beat the USA earlier in the Olympics for the softball gold medal to reign supreme in the bat and ball sports. It was a mild upset in softball; in baseball it was not.

The baseball tournament involved 6 teams—USA, Japan, Dominican Republic, (South) Korea, Israel, and Mexico. The USA went 3-1 in the preliminary round—they lost to Japan 7-6 and didn’t play Mexico. They defeated Korea in the semis to get to the gold medal game, and ultimately garnered the silver medal. The Dominican Republic won the bronze medal game over Korea.

Baseball was last played in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, was dropped for the London games in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It will also not be part of the 2024 games in Paris. It’s not yet been decided if it will return for the 2028 games in LA.

No current major leaguers played in the tournament of course. However, there were some familiar names such as Jose Bautista for the Dominican Republic and Scott Kazmir for the USA. Rays fans noted that Shane Baz and Joe Ryan, AAA pitchers in the Rays organization, made the US squad (Ryan got traded to the Twins as part of the Nelson Cruz deal, so he will be reporting to his new team once he gets home).
One other Team USA member worth mentioning is Eddy Alvarez. He’s in the Miami Marlins organization, and got a cup of coffee at the major league level last year. Before deciding to play professional baseball, however, he was a short track speed skater. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he was part of the US 5×5000 relay team that won a silver medal. In earning his way onto this year’s Olympic baseball team that also won a silver medal, he became just the sixth athlete ever to earn medals in both the summer and winter games. Very cool.

The full US roster can be found here:

https://www.usabaseball.com/team-usa/professional-team/roster

Congratulations to all of them.

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