On Monday night in the desert, athletic brilliance was on display in the World Baseball Classic. And Team USA was pretty good, too.
In an otherwise American-fueled blowout where Mike Trout's three-run shot capped off a nine-run first inning, leading to an eventual Mercy Ruling, the Canadian pitching staff got an unexpected shot in the arm midway through.
His 1.2 shutout innings with a pair of powerhouse Ks might've been the only thing standing in the way of this game ending after five innings rather than seven. Once the game was very much in hand, it was nice to see Diaz do his thing, considering the Yankees have a clear and present need for upper-level pitching depth this season.
Canada pitcher (and Yankees prospect) Indigo Diaz dominates Team USA
Diaz is coming off a full season at Double-A Mississippi where he flashed plenty of potential, striking out 63 men in 49.2 innings (while, yes, walking 31, an unsightly total). That's an excellent year (3.08 ERA), but his 2021 was even better, featuring a 1.20 mark and ridiculous 83 Ks and 16 walks in 45 innings. That's an 0.82 WHIP. Good to see him record a clean sheet, control-wise, against our nation's finest last night, too.
Of course, the rest of this game didn't go so swimmingly for Diaz's teammates. The onslaught began in the bottom of the first, with Team USA exerting their full brute force to make up for a tough loss to Mexico on Monday.
Sorry, Canada. Not your fault. Just had to get it out of their system. We're still cool, right?
Diaz's Canadian team has one more game in Pool Play against Colombia on Tuesday at 3:00 PM EST, but the right-hander's Classic is more than likely over due to pitch limits imposed by the league.
...and that's good. Got to keep him fresh for his April debut in Scranton, and hopefully his June debut at Yankee Stadium. That's the first time the White Sox visit, so he can potentially blaze fastballs by Tim Anderson again the same way he did on Monday. Hey, why not? No other Yankee has shown the ability to do that yet.