09/23/12 4:05 PM ET
Canada, Germany vie for spot in Classic
By David Hein / Special to MLB.com
Canada and Germany face off with the big prize of the 2013 Classic at stake, and can watch a free, live stream of the game starting at 1 p.m. ET at worldbaseballclassic.com.
Canada beat Germany, 16-7, on Saturday but did not pull away until late by scoring 12 runs in the final three innings. Pool host Germany was tied with Canada going into the seventh inning.
"Our goal coming in was to win three games," said Canada manager Ernie Whitt. "We haven't accomplished that yet."
The Team Canada skipper was impressed with Germany's performance.
"I want to give credit to Germany. They are playing the way the game is supposed to be played," said Whitt.
The former big leaguer has no worries about his offense, which has produced 27 runs in two games, including an 11-1 mercy-rule win over Great Britain on Thursday.
Whitt has some options to start the final against Germany, including lefties Andrew Albers and Mark Hardy, and veteran righty Mike Johnson, who played at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Germany meanwhile will be starting Andre Hughes, a 27-year-old lefty who pitched for Germany in front of some 30,000 spectators at the 2008 Olympic qualification tournament in Taiwan, as well as against Venezuela at the '09 World Cup in Regensburg.
"He's pitched in many big games," said German manager Greg Frady. "We're excited for him to take the mound. We are confident in him. He was the plan all along if we went to Game 4 -- that he would be the guy. That's why you haven't seen him to this point.
"You have to have a guy you can trust in Game 4. He's a strike thrower. He's been in a lot of big games. And he will give us a chance [Monday]."
Frady said his team must be ready for the game, and they must definitely perform better defensively.
"For us to be competitive [Monday], we're going to have to pitch a little bit better, clean our defense up for sure," said Frady.
Like Canada, Germany has also shown an ability to light up the scoreboard, including 16-1 win over Great Britain on Sunday.
"I'm really happy with our offense," said Frady. "We've scored 40 runs in three games. At the world stage, that's pretty good. We feel like we have a good offense going."
Germany will also have the local crowd behind it as more than 4,000 spectators are expected to show in Regensburg with a chance at the World Baseball Classic up for grabs. And Frady's team will know it can play with Canada, having held its own for seven strong innings.
Canada meanwhile will be under the pressure of having to win and return to the World Baseball Classic to consider this tournament a success.
The main question is which team can shut down the bats of the other team. The answer to that question will be the team playing at the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.