Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber lifts Team USA to World Baseball Classic opener win.
The Major League Baseball regular season may still be more than two weeks away, but a trio of Philadelphia Phillies stars shined with Team USA in their World Baseball Classic opener against Great Britain on Saturday at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kyle Schwarber (designated hitter), Trea Turner (shortstop), and J.T. Realmuto (catcher) each logged a hit in the eventual 6-2 win. Realmuto doubled in the second inning off of former Phillies right-hander Vance Worley, who was eventually handed the losing decision despite being charged with two unearned runs.
But it was Schwarber's three-run, fourth-inning home run to right center field — scoring himself, Mike Trout and Paul Goldschmidt — that turned a close 2-1 lead into a comfortable 5-1 advantage and put the game out of reach for Team USA's opposition.
After the game, Schwarber told MLB Network that wearing "USA" across his chest means a lot to him and it is an honor — especially since it is one of the ways he can give thanks to those who served the country, including members of his family.
Schwarber also discussed how playing in the World Baseball Classic resembles "playoff baseball," and getting at-bats in that environment before April "can only help."
""It is a no-brainer for a position player to try to get these at-bats and win a gold medal for your country. And then you go back to your team and have those competitive juices already going.""- Kyle Schwarber after Team USA's 6-2 win.
As Jared Carrabis notes, Schwarber has now homered in the NL Wild Card Game, AL Wild Card Game, NLDS, ALDS, NLCS, ALCS, World Series — and now, the World Baseball Classic.
In the win, Schwarber also walked twice, while Turner and Realmuto walked once. Team USA will next face Mexico on Sunday at 10 p.m. EST.