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Japan beat the United States 3-2 in the final game of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), with the consensus being that the tournament delivered two weeks of thrilling action with the kind of global appeal that baseball often has lacked.

In the final at-bat of the game, two Los Angeles Angels teammates faced off, with Shohei Ohtani pitching to Mike Trout, who could've tied the game with a single swing or at least kept it going.  Ohtani threw Trout an 88 mph slider, three straight 100 mph fastballs, and then a 102 mph fastball to get to a full count, and then threw Trout an 87 mph slider to strike him out and win the game and WBC.

Ohtani was named the series MVP, hitting .435 with 4 doubles, 1 home run and 8 RBI, and as a pitcher went 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 11 strikeouts and a save in 9.2 innings.

Opening Day for the 2023 season will be next Thursday, March 30.

Thank goodness.