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Crawford's drama punctuated by safe call

Puerto Rico holds off USA rally, advancing to final round
March 18, 2017

Trailing by three runs in the ninth inning of Friday night's 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, the United States got a two-out, two-run triple from Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crawford hit a drive that bounced off the wall in left-center field at Petco Park, and

Trailing by three runs in the ninth inning of Friday night's 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, the United States got a two-out, two-run triple from Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crawford hit a drive that bounced off the wall in left-center field at Petco Park, and the relay to third and tag by the Astros' Carlos Correa appeared to beat Crawford to the bag.
"I got him," Correa said afterward. "It was an out. Obviously, there's no replay [in the first two rounds of Classic play] and umpires aren't going to get it right all the time -- they're not perfect. But we were able to win that game. It was a great game. It got interesting in the end, but it was fun."

Replay review for WBC 2017 is available in the Championship Round, which begins on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (though there will be no manager challenges). For the first two rounds, including Friday's game, the same replay rules apply as in the 2013 Classic: Replays are used only on boundary calls -- home runs or potential home runs.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Correa, who plays shortstop for the Astros, was playing third base for a Puerto Rican team that also features Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. Correa's swipe tag of Crawford as he slid headfirst into third base appeared to get him on the waist before his hands touched the bag.
"I saw [left fielder Angel Pagan] not pick it up clean, and that's when I made my decision to try to go for third," Crawford said. "[Reliever Edwin Diaz] had thrown two wild pitches in that inning already, and if you get to third base, you have a chance of tying the game. So I thought it was worth the risk at that point."
According to Catch Probability, a new Statcast™ metric that measures the likelihood of an outfield fly ball being caught based on distance needed (83 feet in this case) and opportunity time (4.5 seconds), there was a 24 percent chance of Pagan making the catch in left field, which would have added its own element of drama. That's what would be classified as a 5-star play, the type of catch that is seldom made and the first of its kind in this World Baseball Classic. Pagan did make 4 catches in the 5-star category in 2016, so it would not be unheard for him to make that grab.
0 to 25 percent Catch Probability -- 5 Star play
26 to 50 percent -- 4 Star play
51 to 75 percent -- 3 Star play
76 to 90 percent -- 2 Star play
91 to 95 percent -- 1 Star play
Despite the call at third, Diaz closed the game out with a strikeout of Pirates infielder Josh Harrison, officially punching Puerto Rico's ticket to the Championship Round of the Classic for the second consecutive tournament.

The World Baseball Classic runs through Wednesday. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games in San Diego's Petco Park and the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB