With its second loss in two days -- a 9-0 setback to the Dominican Republic on Sunday in Pool D play -- Panama was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic.
Mariano Rivera was proud to hold his country's flag during ceremonies for the World Baseball Classic, but he really would have loved to hold a baseball. As he continues to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the Yankees' closer had to instead settle for donning a uniform and serving as an ambassador for Panama, paying a three-day visit to the Classic in Puerto Rico.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is in the lineup for Panama a day after suffering a strained neck in a 7-0 loss to Puerto Rico.
The Dominican Republic and Panama will face each other on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in the third game of Pool D competition of the World Baseball Classic.
Team Panama dropped a 7-0 decision to the hometown Puerto Ricans on Saturday and now must face elimination against the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Carlos Lee believes that his Panamanian team has an advantage over Puerto Rico when the two teams meet in Game 2 of Pool D play Saturday, at 5 p.m. ET at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. For Lee, Panama will play with less pressure than Puerto Rico.
Starter Abraham Atencio and Arquimedes Nieto were sharp on the mound, but some shaky "D" did in Panama vs. the Astros on Thursday in a 7-5 defeat.
A six-run fifth inning that included contributions from Javier Castillo Angel Chavez and Audes De Leon provided the offense in Panama's 8-3 win over the Tigers on Wednesday.
When he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the Braves organization, Bruce Chen didn't create the same kind of buzz that surrounds Tommy Hanson every time he steps on the mound.