Martin Prado's bat and glove carried Team Venezuela to a thrilling 11-10 win over Italy
Baseball is fundamentally a team sport, one with a lot of variables, and every team is dependent on those many moving parts coming together -- even a starting pitcher needs to rely on his defense behind him and some batted-ball luck. With just four or five at-bats and a handful of (mostly routine) chances in the field, it's tough for even the best players to truly swing a game.
Don't tell any of that to Martin Prado, though. With Venezuela looking to take control of Pool D against surprising Team Italy on Saturday, the Marlins third baseman decided he would just refuse to let his home country lose -- time and time and time again.
Despite a roster loaded with Major League stars from Miguel Cabrera to Jose Altuve to Carlos Gonzalez, Venezuela found itself in a 5-0 hole heading into the fifth inning. That is, until Prado ignited the comeback with a two-run double to right:
With his team clinging to an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Prado was determined to keep it that way -- even if it meant transcending the very boundaries of the diamond:
Despite Prado's efforts, the Italians came back. After tying the game at 8, the Italians scratched across two runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extras after Salvador Perez's mammoth homer in the top half seemed to have put the game away. Of course, it was all for naught, because they did not have Martin Prado on their team:
Prado's walk-off single in the 10th finally gave Venezuela the 11-10 win, moving them to 2-0 and in sole place of first in Pool D. They'll face off against Mexico on Sunday night, by which point Prado's Superman uniform will have hopefully arrived.