SEOUL, South Korea -- Manager Jerry Weinstein had a plan, and he stuck with it.Team Israel starter Jason Marquis and reliever Josh Zeid each went three scoreless innings to lift their country to a win in its World Baseball Classic debut, upsetting Pool A host nation Korea, 2-1, in 10
SEOUL, South Korea -- Manager Jerry Weinstein had a plan, and he stuck with it.
Team Israel starter Jason Marquis and reliever Josh Zeid each went three scoreless innings to lift their country to a win in its World Baseball Classic debut, upsetting Pool A host nation Korea, 2-1, in 10 innings. And what makes the victory even sweeter is that both right-handers hurled fewer than 50 pitches, meaning Marquis and Zeid can return on Wednesday, if Israel needs them.
"That was our strategy, that is what we were trying to do," Weinstein said. "We were committed to Zeid pitching till we won or lost the game, so it wasn't like we had a grand plan for Zeid. But we definitely had one for Marquis. And they attacked the strike zone aggressively, and we were fortunate to keep both those guys in a position to pitch in a couple of days against the Netherlands."
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
According to Classic rules, pitchers who throw 50 or more pitches in a game are not eligible to pitch for the next four days. By taking Marquis out when he did, Weinstein preserved the eligibility for his No. 1 starter, who threw 45 pitches (28 strikes), to potentially be used in Israel's third game of the Classic, against the Netherlands on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.
World Baseball Classic pitching rules
• Pitchers are limited to 65 pitches per game in Round 1, 80 in Round 2 and 95 per game in the Championship Round.
• Pitchers are allowed to exceed the limits to finish a batter.
• Pitchers who throw more than 50 pitches in any game cannot pitch again until a minimum of 4 days have passed.
• Pitchers who throw more than 30 pitches in any game cannot pitch again until a minimum of 1 day has passed.
• Pitchers cannot pitch 3 consecutive days.
Thanks to Scott Burcham's go-ahead single in the 10th inning off Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim, Marquis and Zeid will have a comfortable seat on the bench for Israel's second game, which will be against Chinese Taipei tonight at 10 ET (noon local time Tuesday). You can watch that game -- as well as all World Baseball Classic games -- on MLB Network and MLB.TV.
Marquis -- who won 124 games across 15 Major League seasons -- surrendered two hits, walked one and struck out three, while Zeid tossed one pitch under the limit to earn the victory after striking out four and allowing just one hit.
An extremely grateful Zeid ranked Monday's victory as his top accomplishment, both collectively and individually, in his career.
"To come out here and show the world what we're capable of, I think, this mattered to me a lot," Zeid said. "I was extremely excited when that final out was made, and as Scotty said, we got to take a deep breath, enjoy this win tonight, but tomorrow is a brand-new day, we just have to play a new day."
Korea's pitching was also stingy, extinguishing three bases-loaded jams in the second, seventh and eighth innings. But manager In-Sik Kim said his staff allowed too many walks (nine) and credited his opponent for its gritty work in keeping his hitters at bay.
"The pitchers from the Israeli team, I think they were quite good and I think they managed very well in critical moments," said Kim. "The hitters had difficulties in making contact, and in the ball count, and eventually in two-strike counts, the pitchers deceived the hitters, so the hitters were not able to make contact. Of course, we had chances, however, I think the pitchers managed the game very well."
The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be 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 at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Chris Han is an editorial producer for MLB.com.