2023 World Baseball Classic live updates: USA-Japan championship game

The 2023 World Baseball Classic came to a close with a thriller on Tuesday as Japan took down Team USA 3-2 to win the title.

The final at-bat came down to two of the game’s greats: Shohei Ohtani pitching against his Angels teammate Mike Trout. After Trout loaded the count, Ohtani was able to get his teammate to strike out swinging to secure Japan its third World Baseball Classic title. 

Here are the top plays!

USA vs. Japan

Trout hustling

Mike Trout got the game’s first hit – turning a bloop hit into a double in the top of the first inning. 

Scoreless through one

Merrill Kelly had a near-spotless first inning, allowing just a walk to Shohei Ohtani before striking out Masataka Yoshida to end the first inning.

Trea does it again!

Trea Turner can’t stop hitting home runs. After hitting a big homer in each of the USA’s previous two games, he continued his magic in the title game by hitting a homer in his first at-bat to give the USA a 1-0 lead. 

Japan evens it up!

Japan took its turn to hit a home run in the bottom of the second. Munetaka Murakami crushed one to right field to make it a 1-1 ballgame.

Japan takes the lead

After Aaron Loup replaced Kelly, Japan took the lead as Lars Nootbaar grounded into a fielder’s choice that knocked in a run.

Togo tops Trea

Turner didn’t repeat his second-inning magic as Shosei Togo got him to strikeout to end the USA’s scoring threat in the third inning.

Freeland sits down Shohei and easily gets through the fourth

Kyle Freeland’s first inning of relief work was a quick one. He got Ohtani to strikeout looking and induced an inning-ending double play two hitters later to end the third.

OK, Okamoto!

Kazuma Okamoto added another run to Japan’s lead by crushing a solo shot to left center to make it a 3-1 game in the fourth.

Trout goes fishing for strike three

Trout whiffed on a pitch in the dirt in the top of the fifth, bringing joy to his teammate on the other side.

Look who’s heading to the bullpen for Japan

Japan’s got two of the best pitchers in the game at it’s dispense to pitch relief innings in the title game. Yu Darvish made his way to the bullpen in the fifth inning while Ohtani made his way to the bullpen in the sixth inning. Ohtani’s been given permission to pitching one inning in Tuesday’s game.

That’s inconvenient 

As his turn in the lineup neared, Ohtani had to jog back from the bullpen to the dugout to possibly prepare to hit in the sixth.

Japan out of the jam

After the USA got a walk and a single to start the inning, Japan found itself in trouble with Trout at the plate. But the star hitter flew out to right and Paul Goldschmidt grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.

Oh man, Ohtani!

Ohtani somehow beat out this infield grounder in the seventh inning by running from home plate to first in 4.16 seconds.

Schwarbomb makes it a one-run game

Kyle Schwarber made it a one-run game when he finally straightened out his swing, crushing Darvish’s pitch into the right field bleachers after a handful of foul balls to make it a 3-2 game in the eighth.


Ohtani took the mound at the start of the ninth inning, setting up a battle against Trout.

Major double play!

After walking Jeff McNeil, Ohtani got Mookie Betts to ground into a double play to move Japan one out away from securing the title. 

Ohtani vs. Trout heating up

Ohtani hit the century mark on his fastball, and got Trout to whiff. 

Ohtani strikes out Trout and Japan wins the WBC!

Ohtani won the legendary battle by throwing an offspeed pitch on a 3-2 count, getting Trout to strike out and secure the title for Japan.


Who’s going to win?

Fox Sports’ Ben Verlander, who’s been covering the tournament from the ground floor in Miami for the past two weeks, breaks down the keys to victory for each team.

Setting the stage

Support from teammates

As Merrill Kelly takes the bump for the USA, Zac Gallen is confident his Diamondbacks teammate can make himself a part of American history.

And support from other American teams

A few stars from the United States women’s national team also gave their support prior to first pitch.

A showdown for the ages

Angels teammates Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani will go head-to-head for the first time in Tuesday’s final. While a championship is on the line, both players had a moment to catch up pregame.

Will Ohtani pitch?

The Angels have given Ohtani permission to pitch an inning in Tuesday’s final, setting the stage for a possible Ohtani-Trout battle.

What the USA’s lineup looks like 

Team USA will trot out another star-filled lineup for the title game, with Mookie Betts leading off and Trea Turner moving up to sixth after hitting big homers in each of the last two games.

How big the moment is

Trout didn’t deny that this is the biggest game of his baseball career.

Here come the teams!

Trout and Ohtani led their respective nations onto the diamond ahead of the championship tilt.

Stay tuned for updates!

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