World Baseball Classic final score, results: Japan wins gold as Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout to seal Samurai victory

By | March 21, 2023

The World Baseball Classic ended the only way it could: With Shohei Ohtani pitching against Mike Trout with gold on the line. 

USA vs. Japan was an absolute thriller wire to wire but for every home run as these teams traded blows, there was a question that loomed in the background: Would the Angels teammates get a chance to face each other?

Ohtani, an MLB starter, was held from pitching until the ninth inning by Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama. His first pitch was 101 mph and spiked in the dirt against Jeff McNeil. However, after walking Jeff McNeil, the player of a generation settled himself in. He induced a double play off the bat of Mookie Betts, and that set up a matchup with Trout himself.

Although Trout may not have been actively thinking in this way, he clearly understood the gravity of the moment. He took the first pitch for a strike to settle himself, and found himself in a full count against his Los Angeles teammate after swinging through two 100 mph fastball. Ohtani, however, rose to the occasion, and got Trout swinging on a tendency-breaking slider to end the game and give Japan the gold medal with a 3-2 victory.

MORE: USA’s Trea Turner, Japan’s Munetaka Murakami trade mammoth homers to electrify start of WBC final

It’s Japan’s first gold since 2009, following two third-place finishes in 2013 and 2017. Team USA was unable to defend its 2017 championship, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. The Japan bats did exactly enough to win, with Munetaka Murakami and Kazuma Okamoto homering. For the United States, two Phillies hit home runs: Trea Turner, who hit five bombs throughout the classic, and Kyle Schwarber, his first homer since the first game of the Classic against Great Britain.

The difference ended up being a groundout by Lars Nootbaar all the way back in the second inning that drove in the only run of the game to not come off a homer.

A parade of pitchers from Japan kept Team USA’s highly-touted lineup all game. Whether it was starter Shota Imanaga; middle relievers Shosei Togo, Hiroto Takahashi, Hiromi Itoh, Taisei Ota, and Yu Darvish; or closer and WBC MVP Ohtani, the staff showed why it was the most highly-regarded pitching staff heading into the WBC.

Japan finished the tournament 7-0, the second ever team to finish the WBC undefeated, joining the 2013 Dominican Republic squad. It was a storybook performance with a storybook ending, and Japan lived up to its reputation not just in this game, but in the entire tournament.

MORE: How Shohei Ohtani struck out Mike Trout to close WBC championship

The Sporting News tracked USA vs. Japan. You can see the progress of the game below.

USA vs. Japan score

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F
USA 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Japan 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 X 3

USA vs. Japan live updates, highlights from World Baseball Classic championship

(All times Eastern)


11:25 p.m. — Here’s the call in Japan.

10:43 p.m. — That fastball misses down and away, and the count is full to Trout. AND OHTANI GETS TROUT WITH THE SWEEPER. HE STRIKES OUT HIS TEAMMATE. AND JAPAN WINS GOLD 3-2. WHAT A GAME. AND WHAT A JOB BY OHTANI.

As heard on the Japanese TV call: 

10:43 p.m. — Trout swings through a fastball and takes another for 2-1. He swings through another 100 mph fastball! Ohtani continues to have the upper hand.

10:42 p.m. — Witt did come in to run for McNeil, but Betts grounds into the double play! Trout comes up with two outs against Ohtani. This is it. And Trout was taking all the way on the first pitch.

10:40 p.m. — McNeil is just a bit out in front of a lot of Ohtani’s stuff. Some good swings, and he eventually draws a walk on a fastball that missed by INCHES. What a take.

10:37 p.m. — McNeil held up on a high fastball at 100 high. Ohtani’s backdoor slider also misses outside, and it’s 3-1 for McNeil, who walked earlier. If he gets on, Bobby Witt Jr. is available to pinch run.

10:35 p.m. — Defensively, Taisei Makihara is in center and Lars Nootbaar is in left. Masataka Yoshida is out. Kondoh remains in right. McNeil jumps on a first-pitch slider and rips it foul. Next pitch is 101 in the dirt, and Ohtani overthrew it a bit.

10:34 p.m. — Ohtani is on the mound for Japan. Not a drill.

10:33 p.m. — This is something beyond playoff baseball. And viewers who watch playoff baseball know: Those base-paths look a lot shorter than 90 feet in a one-run game in the ninth. McNeil-Betts-Trout due up for Team USA. WBC gold is on the line.

Top of ninth inning: USA 2, Japan 3

10:32 p.m. — Genda slaps one to Arenado at third, and USA is out of the inning. It kind of always had to come to this right?

10:30 p.m. — Yamada steals his second base of the game with another incredible jump. Realmuto very nearly got him, but Yamada now stands on second as a huge insurance run.

10:29 p.m. — Sosuke Genda now comes up for Japan with two out, looking to add some insurance.

10:28 p.m. — Williams misses with ball four high and a bit off the plate, and Yamada draws a two-out walk.

10:28 p.m. — Yamada works the count on Williams for the second straight batter, and fouls off a fastball to stay alive.

10:24 p.m. — The count goes full on Okamoto from Williams, and Okamoto swings and misses at a darting changeup. That brings up Yamada, who goes up 2-0 on Williams.

10:23 p.m. — Murakami strikes out in three pitches against Williams, who just threw three changeups and dared Murakami to dig one out. That brings up Okamoto, who has also homered.

10:22 p.m. — Devin Williams takes the mound for the United States, as Murakami digs in.

Bottom of eighth inning: USA 2, Japan 3

10:20 p.m. — Mullins makes some decent contact there but he flies out to Nootbaar in center to end the inning. However, the United States cuts the game to one. Looking ahead to the ninth, Ohtani may be pitching against… McNeil (who may see a pinch hitter), Betts, and… Mike Trout.

10:17 p.m. — The momentum breaks here with Realmuto, as he pops out to Genda. That brings up Mullins in the eight spot with two out and a runner on first.

10:16 p.m. — Now Turner has his moment! He singles into the right-center gap, and these USA hitters seem thankful to see a pitcher whose stuff they at least recognize. Good hitting to dig in and make contact, and that brings up Realmuto in the seven spot.

10:15 p.m. — Darvish is showing Schwarber his entire arsenal, and on the 10th pitch SCHWARBER TAKES DARVISH YARD. His first home run since the first game of the WBC, and that makes it a one-run game. That was a long, patient at-bat for Schwarber, and he made it count. Big moment for him. USA has five outs to get one run, and Trea Turner comes up next.

10:13 p.m. — Schwarber is 2-2 here against Darvish, and he yanked one foul. He’s on Darvish’s pitches, but he’s out in front.

10:10 p.m. — Nolan Arenado is up for Team USA now. We’re in the position where anyone could get pinch hit for by DeRosa down the stretch. If the order stays as is, it’ll be Arenado-Schwarber-Turner. Ohtani is digging into the bullpen. Arenado flies out to center to start the inning, and Schwarber is up.

Top of eighth inning: USA 1, Japan 3

10:06 p.m. — Bednar gets Yoshida to ground into the shift and it’s a double play to get out of the inning. USA will likely see Darvish here in the eighth, and there’s a very real chance Ohtani comes up in the ninth.

10:04 p.m. — Yoshida is now up for Japan. And Bednar falls behind 1-0 before evening the count with a high fastball Yoshida was raking at. He swung his head way out of position.

10:03 p.m. — The call stands, and Ohtani is safe.

10:01 p.m. — Ohtani is just so good, everything seems amazing. He hits a grounder 114 mph off the bat, Turner makes a great stab in the shift, and Ohtani legs it out and appears to be safe. USA is challenging it, but it’s going to be a tough call to overturn.

10 p.m. — Ohtani fouls off two pitches after Bednar went down 2-0, and the count is full after a splitter misses.

9:58 p.m. — Kondoh gets jammed here and pops out to short. Darvish is throwing again in the bullpen. Ohtani digs in for Japan.

9:56 p.m. — David Bednar comes in for the United States. An outstanding closer, he’ll have to be flawless here against Kondoh-Ohtani-Yoshida.

Bottom of seventh inning: USA 1, Japan 3

9:54 p.m. — This delivery is so tough on righties, and that’s why Ota is in. It disappears and crosses the plate. Goldschmidt went down 0-2 chasing a slider, and he grounds into a 6-4-3 double play. Ota was in a tough spot and he did a great job to work out of it. Japan is six outs away.

9:52 p.m. — Trout takes an inside-out swing at a sinker and flies out to Kondoh in right for the first out of the inning. Good pitch by Ota in the moment, and that brings Goldschmidt up.

9:50 p.m. — There’s some contact from Betts! He finds the hole past Genda and rips a splitter for a single at 107.4 off the bat. Mike Trout comes up with two on and nobody out. Biggest batter of the game for Team USA by far.

9:49 p.m. — McNeil sees Ota extremely well in his at-bat, and takes a four-pitch walk. That brings the tying run to the plate with nobody out in Mookie Betts. Betts reached his last time up on a chopper that turned into an infield single.

9:48 p.m. — Taisei Ota comes out for Japan, and Mets utility man Jeff McNeil will pinch hit for Tim Anderson. Ota shows that sidewinder release with a ball outside.

Top of seventh inning: USA 1, Japan 3

9:44 p.m. — Adam gets a slider over in the 2-2 count and gets USA out of the inning on a flyout to Betts in right! A lot riding on that pitch for Adam, and he makes it count! Team USA gets out of a bases-loaded threat unscathed.

9:43 p.m. — Big moment there for Adam. He throws a first-pitch strike to Nootbaar to go 0-1, then misses high to even the count. That was two changeups. He then bends a backdoor slider in for a strike.

9:41 p.m. — Now the bases are loaded after a walk, and Pettitte comes out to talk. Kendall Graveman is warming up for the United States.

9:40 p.m. — He misses inside again to go 3-1 to Nakamura. This is dangerous territory, with Nootbaar on deck. What will DeRosa do if Nakamura gets on? No one is warming up for Team USA.

9:37 p.m. — Adam looked uncomfortable throwing to Genda. His changeups were way outside, and Nakamura comes up with two outs looking for his first hit of the night. Adam keeps missing inside to righties, outside to lefties.

9:36 p.m. — What a jump there from Yamada to steal second. Realmuto’s throw was high but he was three quarters to second before Realmuto was even able to pop.

9:34 p.m. — Really good plate discipline from Yamada, who takes two straight sliders that broke well out of the zone. He’s on with two outs, and that brings up Sosuke Genda, the shortstop.

9:33 p.m. — Yamada was up for the Rays, and Adam gets to 2-2 with yet another slider. He’s really feeling that pitch tonight.

9:29 p.m. — Adam gets Murakami swinging on a nice changeup for the first out of the inning, and that brings up Okamoto. Another slider to start the AB, and he now gets Okamoto swinging on another slider. Good start for the Rays pitcher. As a note, Darvish is up for Japan in the bullpen.

9:27 p.m. — Jason Adam of the Rays comes in now, and he’ll start out against Murakami. Immediately throws his sweeping 75-78 mph slider with that shot put delivery for a strike.

Bottom of sixth inning: USA 1, Japan 3

9:24 p.m. — Itoh gets Mullins half swinging half looking to get out of the inning clean, and that’s a 1-2-3 inning for Japan. Japan has thrown pitcher after pitcher at this USA order, and it hasn’t mattered outside of the Turner home run.

9:23 p.m. — Realmuto hits one hard to Murakami at third, who fields it clean and throws out the speedy catcher. Cedric Mullins is in the No. 8 spot here, with Anderson on deck. Two down.

9:20 p.m. — Ohtani heads down to the bullpen for Japan, and on the field Hiromi Itoh is in. He induces a flyout from Turner to Yoshida. Realmuto comes up next for Team USA.

Top of sixth inning: USA 1, Japan 3

9:16 p.m. — This has been a really good outing for Freeland outside of the Okamoto home run. He gets Yoshida to ground out back to the mound for the 1-3 putout, and that’s three innings in the books for Freeland.

9:13 p.m. — Ohtani yanks one high and in to Anderson at second for the second out of the inning, and that is going to bring up Yoshida. Freeland will stay in the game after sitting Ohtani down efficiently and with two lefties due up.

9:12 p.m. — Freeland walks Kondoh in five pitches, and that brings up Ohtani with Yoshida on deck. Ohtani is an extremely important batter. If Team USA gets three down, this Japan pitching staff can make life very difficult. And Freeland induces a wild swing from Ohtani.

9:10 p.m. — Nootbaar faces off against Freeland, who is back out for this third inning of work. One way or another, it seems likely Ohtani will be his last batter with this being his second time through the order.

Bottom of fifth inning: USA 1, Japan 3

9:06 p.m. — Schwarber got to 3-0 and got a pitch he wanted, but he gets under it and flies out to center. USA strands two more to end the inning, and Schwarber was displeased with himself for that swing.

9:03 p.m. — Nice piece of hitting there for Arenado, as he loops one to left for a hit to keep the inning alive. That’s going to bring up Schwarber with runners on first and second. Huge batter here for the United States. Opportunities are going to be few and far between. Yu Darvish and, possibly, Shohei Ohtani lurk in the Japan bullpen.

9:01 p.m. — It’s hard to overstate how fast 97 mph comes up on you in a 2-2 count, and Goldschmidt just experienced that first hand. He was thinking splitter, and Takahashi freezes him with a fastball over the plate and at the knees. Nasty work, two down. Arenado up.

8:58 p.m. — Got Trout swinging with the splitter again! Big pitch there from Takahashi, and Trout went fishing on ball four. Clutch pitch there, with Goldschmidt coming up next.

8:57 p.m. — Betts is seemingly in Takahashi’s head a bit. He’s holding that ball a long time as Betts takes a massive lead. We’ll see if there’s action on one of these 3-2 pitches to Trout.

8:55 p.m. — If it becomes relevant, Betts stole 12 bases with the Dodgers last season and was caught stealing three times. Trout is struggling against the splitter of these Japan pitchers. 

8:53 p.m. — Hiroto Takahashi comes on for Japan against the top of the order. He’s made two appearances, one inning each. Mookie Betts leads off with a chopper to third and Murakami thought he had Betts at first. However, DeRosa challenges it, and Betts is safe. Big moment there for the United States, and Trout is up next.

Top of fifth inning: USA 1, Japan 3

8:48 p.m. — Freeland gets Genda, who has excellent plate discipline, swinging at a 3-2 slider inside in a full count. he then gets Nakamura to ground out to end the inning. Freeland adjusts after the Okamoto home run to get out of the inning.

8:46 p.m. — Yamada now flies out to Betts in right for the first out of the inning. Sosuke Genda comes up.

8:45 p.m. — Okamoto wastes no time with Freeland! Second pitch of the inning, he drives one over the wall in left. Freeland threw a slider high and over the plate, and Okamoto rewarded him a hit that was 103.1 mph off the bat. That makes it 3-1 Japan. 

Bottom of fourth inning: USA 1, Japan 2

8:42 p.m. — Anderson also goes the other way, and he flies out to Kondoh in right. That gets Togo out of the inning, and the United States goes 1-2-3.

8:41 p.m. — Good piece of hitting there from Mullins, as he takes what he’s given on the Togo splitter, but he flies out to Yoshida in left for the second out. After his first at-bat, that could be a confidence booster. Tim Anderson digs in with two down.

8:39 p.m. — Togo comes high and tight on Realmuto and he hits a jammed liner to Genda at short. One up one down, and Mullins comes up next.

8:38 p.m. — Togo is back out for another inning against the 7-8-9 USA hitters: Realmuto, Mullins, Anderson.

Top of fourth inning: USA 1, Japan 2

8:34 p.m. — Yoshida draws a four-pitch walk from Freeland, and that brings up Murakami, who grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to get the United States out of the inning. Nice job from Freeland to keep it simple.

8:33 p.m. — Revisiting Togo’s strikeout of Turner: This is some nasty work on the splitter. Shades of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s infamous gyro ball the way it ducks down and in.

8:32 p.m. — Freeland gets Ohtani looking with a great cutter that broke less than Ohtani anticipated. That brings Yoshida up with one down.

8:31 p.m. — Freeland is out there to face Ohtani for the United States. Yoshida and Murakami stand on deck and in the hole, respectively.

Bottom of third inning: USA 1, Japan 2

8:29 p.m. — Huge correction there from Togo, as he gets Turner swinging on an absolutely disgusting splitter. He gets out of the inning unscathed, and Japan holds onto the lead.

8:28 p.m. — Nakamura makes a great pick behind the plate, as Togo overthrows against Turner. He snuck a fastball by him there, and it’s 1-1 on Turner.

8:24 p.m. — Rockies southpaw Kyle Freeland is up in the pen for the United States. He has one appearance in the WBC, having gone three innings against Great Britain in the very first game of the USA tournament. He gave up two runs and one hit in that game. In the present, Schwarber worked the count full and drew a walk, and Japan uses a mound visit ahead of Turner, who already has a homer.

8:21 p.m. — Arenado draws a walk to get on with two outs, and that brings up Schwarber in the five spot.

8:20 p.m. — Goldschmidt was up next, and he skies a changeup to left for the second out of the inning. That brings up Arenado with two down, and Togo goes through the first two batters in seven pitches.

8:18 p.m. — Imanaga’s night is done, and that brings up Shosei Togo against Trout-Goldschmidt-Arenado. Togo has two appearances with 3 1/3 innings, and he’s allowed two hits and one run. He gets Trout swinging for the first out of the inning, the 10th time Trout has struck out this WBC.

Top of third inning: USA 1, Japan 2

8:15 p.m. — Loup throws a curveball there on the inside part of the plate, and Kondoh skies it to center for the third out of the inning. Good job there by Loup, and something tells me these teams aren’t done scoring.

8:14 p.m. — These “show-me” fastballs are so hard on lefties. Loup is doing a great job staying inside, and he gets Kondoh down 1-2. Kondoh jumped on a sinker that caught a lot of plate and took it down the line, but it went foul.

8:12 p.m. — Loup was attacking Nootbaar inside, and down 0-2 Nootbaar has some great hitting to take a jam and fist it out to first. The only play is at first and the run scores to give Japan a 2-1 lead, bringing up Kondoh with two outs and runners on second and third. Ohtani is on-deck, so a walk is a bad scenario here.

8:10 p.m. — Despite DeRosa playing the matchup here, Loup was a bit tougher on righties than lefties last season. Lefties were .238 against Loup last season one home run in 98 appearances. Righties, meanwhile, were .233 with just three homers in 168 appearances. Huge early batter here, and Nootbaar immediately squares up and goes down 0-1.

8:07 p.m. — DeRosa does, in fact, make the call for Loup. The three-batter rule will be in play for Loup, but that’s what Team USA wants. Loup, a lefty, will see Nootbaar with Kondoh and Ohtani on deck.

8:06 p.m. — Kelly walks Nakamura on a full count cutter that stayed a bit high. Aaron Loup is up in the pen for the United States, who did pitch against Cuba. Nootbaar comes up for Japan with the bases loaded and one out.

8:04 p.m. — Not a bad pitch there from Kelly, going high and in, but Genda singles to left with an inside-out swing. That has runners on first and second with Nakamura up, who is hitting .500 in this tournament. Nootbaar looms on deck, and Kelly is 2-1 on Nakamura.

8:03 p.m. — That’s a really good full count pitch from Kelly. He throws a cutter down and away from Yamada, who chips it to Betts in right for the first out of the inning. Genda is up next for Japan.

8:02 p.m. — Kelly is forcing. He goes down 3-1 to Yamada here, who is batting .308 for the tournament. 7-8-9 is going to be a very important set of batters for Kelly. He does not want to turn the order to Nootbaar. The count goes full with Yamada taking a big swing.

7:58 p.m. — Okamoto comes up next for Japan with nobody out, and Kelly can’t reset. He caught too much plate on a 1-2 curveball, and Okamoto singles the other way. That brings up Yamada with a runner on and nobody out. Putting batters away has been an issue for Kelly in his two starts.

7:57 p.m. — Munetaka Murakami! My goodness. Merrill Kelly threw him a batting practice fastball, and Murakami ropes it for a home run. THAT is Japan’s home run king. THIS is what the hype is about.

Bottom of second inning; USA 1, Japan 0

7:53 p.m. — Imanaga gets a mound visit with two Japan pitchers up in the bullpen. Team USA seems to be sitting on early-count breaking balls from Imanaga. Trout and Anderson both have hits off early curveballs, while Arenado turned on an early slider to line out to first. Betts also jumps on a slider and put a charge in it, but he flies out to left to end the inning. Imanaga minimizes the damage. 

7:52 p.m. — Good job there by Imanaga to steady himself, and he gets Mullins looking. That brings Tim Anderson, who grounds one up the middle for another hit.

7:50 p.m. — Realmuto now singles to left, so that’s a runner on with one out for Cedric Mullins. Mullins has mostly been used off the bench to date, but he is an outstanding outfielder for the Orioles.

7:48 p.m. — J.T. Realmuto is up, but to stay with Turner for a moment: He was part of a crazy shortstop market this offseason, and signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Phillies. If this is a preview of the season, he’s going to earn all of that and more. Just an unbelievable Classic for Turner.

7:46 p.m. — TREA TURNER DOES IT AGAIN! The Team USA MVP worked a 2-1 count, and he turns on a fastball and homers to left. Absolutely textbook swing by Turner, for his FIFTH home run of the WBC. That’s more than any player in the tournament.

7:44 p.m. — Schwarber reached out and poked a slider down and away to Kondoh in right. That’s one up one down for Turner.

7:43 p.m. — The top of the second is going to bring up an exciting trio for Philadelphia fans. Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, and J.T. Realmuto will be up against Imanaga. Schwarber hit a towering home run against Great Britain, but his bat has been quiet since.

Top of second inning: USA 0, Japan 0

7:42 p.m. — That’s a great pitch to get him! Kelly quick-pitched Yoshida a bit there, and he paints a four-seam on the corner for the third out of the inning. The Ohtani walk doesn’t haunt Kelly, and he’s through the first clean.

7:41 p.m. — Kelly is pitching Yoshida with a lot of confidence. Three fastballs and a changeup, and Yoshida fought that last four-seam inside off to stay alive. Good at-bat despite it being a 1-2 count.

7:38 p.m. — Ohtani draws a five-pitch walk, as Kelly was either intentionally working around him or just forcing it with a few pitches in the dirt. This Japan lineup isn’t offering any respite, however, with Yoshida up next. Yoshida had a three-run homer against Mexico.

7:36 p.m. — Kondoh hits one up the middle into the shift, and Turner fields it behind the bag despite a weird hop off the mound. That’s two down for Ohtani, and there’s a bit of extra buzz in loanDepot Park.

7:34 p.m. — Looking at the Japan lineup, the 2-3-4 spots are all near or above .400 in this WBC. That’s a big part of what makes this team so dangerous.

7:32 p.m. — Merrill Kelly now takes the mound for Team USA, and he’ll face off against Nootbaar-Kondoh-Ohtani. Nootbaar is first-pitch swinging, and he flies out to Mullins in left.

Bottom of first inning: USA 0, Japan 0

7:30 p.m. — Big pitches there from Imanaga. He has some really good off-speed stuff, and that’s on display. Here he gets Goldschmidt swinging on a changeup, and that brings up Arenado, who grounds out to Okamoto at first. That’s the inning for Team USA.

7:28 p.m. — Trout bloops the other way for what looked like a single, and he stretches it to a double! Incredibly aggressive play there, as Kondoh’s throw was a tad high. Good job by Trout to stay on the bag. That brings up the 2022 NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt with one down and a RISP.

7:25 p.m. — Imanaga, the lefty, throws out of the stretch and paints the inside corner for a strike and we’re underway. Betts jumps on the next pitch and takes it to right center the other way, and Kondoh hauls it in for the first out. That brings up Trout with one down.

7:25 p.m. — Team USA will act as the road team in this game, so Shota Imanaga will see Betts-Trout-Goldschmidt at the top of the order. Japan’s infield is warming up.

Top of first inning: USA 0, Japan 0

7:20 p.m. — On that note, no punches will be pulled by either manager. Japan has two pitchers ineligible to pitch tonight: Roki Sasaki and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, two of Samurai Japan’s best. For the United States, Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas can’t pitch after throwing 50-plus in the semifinals. Everyone else is available.

7:10 p.m. — The biggest criticism of USA manager Mark DeRosa has been his propensity to leave pitchers in too long. Twice he’s been caught off-guard: In the Mexico game when Brady Singer got hit hard and against Venezuela when Daniel Bard couldn’t find the strike zone. Expect to see a much quicker hook for Kelly if he struggles similarly, and that goes for every USA pitcher.

7:03 p.m. — Mike Trout leads Team USA onto the field with the American flag, and Shohei Ohtani comes out with the Japanese flag. Team USA is wearing its blue jerseys, while Japan wears white with pinstripes.

7 p.m. — Don’t worry Angel fans. They’ll be back together soon.

6:55 p.m. — For anyone wondering if Trout is enjoying himself here. Well, it looks like he wants to run it back. And as a reminder, Trout is 31.

6:45 p.m. — A reminder of the stakes here. The United States is looking to become the first back-to-back WBC winner since… Japan in 2006 and 2009. Japan, meanwhile, wants to win its third WBC and become the second undefeated champion, joining the 2013 Dominican Republic.

6:30 p.m. — The burning question here is: Who will come out on top between teammates Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani? Trout is batting .318/.444/.591 in his first career WBC. He has a home run and seven RBIs. He has, however, been prone to the strike out, logging nine Ks thus far. Ohtani has been every bit the superstar he’s advertised as. He’s hitting .450/.621/.800 with a home run and eight RBIs. He’s also struck out just five times in the WBC thus far. Best player in the world is not an exaggeration.

6:10 p.m. — Munetaka Murakami was a big talking point heading into the WBC. The back to back Central League MVP in NPB, who set a Japanese-born player record last year with 56 home runs, was struggling in the Classic. He’s batting .227 with an OPS of .743 through the semifinals. But no matter what the numbers are, his WBC is a success after his walkoff double against Giovanny Gallegos to propel Japan to the championship. He has five RBIs in this Classic, and if Turner’s grand slam isn’t the biggest hit of the WBC so far, Munetaka’s double against Mexico is.

6:05 p.m. — Japan’s lineup is much the same as the game against Mexico, with Lars Nootbaar, Kensuke Kondoh, and Shohei Ohtani making up the top three. The Red Sox offseason signing Masataka Yoshida is back in the cleanup spot, with Monday’s hero Munetaka Murakami batting fifth. Kazuma Okamoto, Tetsuto Yamada, bunting extraordinaire Sosuke Genda, and the outstanding hitting catcher Yuhei Nakamura make up the rest of the order.

6 p.m. — Japan and the United States are the top two teams in the WBC by OPS so far. Japan is at .986 and USA is .969. USA also leads the WBC in home runs at 10, while Japan is tied with several teams in second at seven. Trea Turner has four home runs to this point, including one of the biggest of the Classic for any team: The eighth-inning grand slam that propelled Team USA to a win over Venezuela.

5:50 p.m. — Here are the lineups for the WBC. The United States will stick with the top of the order that has gotten it here: Mookie Betts-Mike Trout-Paul Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado is cleanup. Philly fans, get excited. 5-6-7 are Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, and J.T. Realmuto. The order is rounded out by Cedric Mullins and Tim Anderson.

5:40 p.m. — For the United States, Merrill Kelly is on the mound. Kelly, a Diamondbacks dealer, has three innings in one game in this WBC. He allowed four hits and two runs in a crucial game against Colombia. In MLB, Kelly threw 200 1/3 innings in 2022, logging a 3.37 ERA.

5:30 p.m. — Shota Imanaga is pitching for Japan. The Yokohama DeNa BayStars dealer has thrown four innings in two games, but this will be his first start of the WBC. Imanaga has allowed three hits and one run in those games. Last year in NPB, he threw 158 2/3 innings and posted a 2.04 ERA.

5:10 p.m. — Will we see these Angels teammates face off tonight? Shohei Ohtani is eligible to pitch. But he may or may not see the mound after pitching in the quarterfinals against Italy.

USA vs. Japan start time

  • Start time: 7 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT

First pitch for the United States’ clash with Japan is set for 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).

The 2023 World Baseball Classic championship game will be played at loanDepot Park in Miami, home of MLB’s Marlins.

How to watch USA vs. Japan in World Baseball Classic

  • TV channel: FS1
  • Live stream:, Fubo

The 2023 World Baseball Classic championship between Team USA and Japan will be broadcast on FS1. Fans can also stream the game live on or with Fubo, which offers a free trial.