MIAMI – The Subway Series won't start for another two months. In the meantime, pick your superhero.
Is it David Wright of the New York Mets, the aptly named Captain America of the World Baseball Classic? Or do you prefer Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, the pinstriped wonder boy on loan to the Dominican Republic?
Wright is hitting .438 (7 for 16) with a grand slam and a World Baseball Classic record-tying 10 RBIs for the United States. Cano has been virtually unstoppable at the plate, batting .632 (12 for 19) with four doubles and a pair of home runs.
When the two square off tonight in Miami, the outcome will decide which team advances to the WBC semifinals, which begin Sunday in San Francisco. The other will have to fight its way out of the loser's bracket to secure the second bid from Pool 2.
If Wright typifies the quiet confidence of the Americans, Cano embodies the irresistible presence of the Dominican Republic. It's a clash of styles, of personalities and by proxy, the Mets and Yankees.
"Sometimes I don't think New York realizes how lucky they are," U.S. manager Joe Torre said. "These two guys have lived up to their advance billing."
Puerto Rico 4, Italy 3 in Miami – With two outs in the eighth, Puerto Rico's Alex Rios kept running from second on a ground ball to shortstop. He scored the go-ahead run without a play as shortstop Jack Santora's throw to first was wide, and the Puerto Ricans rallied to oust Italy.
Puerto Rico will face the winner of the U.S.-Dominican Republic matchup on Friday.