USA, Venezuela to meet in 'C' finale
Last Classic game in Toronto will be a rematch from Sunday
By David Singh / Special to MLB.com
The game is also a rematch of Sunday's contest, a 15-6 victory by the Americans. In that game, Team USA scored 13 runs off the Venezuelan bullpen. Four of those runs were charged to reliever Victor Zambrano, who only completed one-plus inning.
Oddly enough, Venezuelan manager Luis Sojo has named Zambrano as the starter for Wednesday's finale.
"He's got experience in the big leagues," said Sojo. "This guy's got good pitches. He's got a sinker, slider and a changeup, but if you don't locate your pitches the way you want, you are going to have problems.
"And I think that was the key for the United States in the past game. So, I think it's going to be a big game for him, and we look forward to seeing that."
One thing to remember about the Wednesday finale is that both teams are already assured of a trip to Miami for the second round of the Classic. This means that there is not much pressure to secure a victory.
"Well, we want to win," said Ted Lilly, Team USA's starting pitcher for Wednesday. "Even though we don't have to win, we want to play well. It's not a must win, but we're going to go about it as we did the other games. And I'm sure once it gets going, it's going to be competitive. It will be fun."
U.S. manager Davey Johnson said that Lilly will start the game and right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is likely to follow. Because of two consecutive off-days, the skipper has the luxury of a fresh bullpen at his disposal.
David Singh is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.