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Two Padres Remain in the World Baseball Classic

Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz and Luis Garcia were knocked out in pool play this week

World Baseball Classic Quarterfinals: Italy v Japan Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images

If I told you a couple of weeks ago that only two Padres players would be remaining in the World Baseball Classic by the time most fans woke up on March 16 would you have believed me? Probably not, but that’s the reality.

Team Japan knocked off Team Italy this morning 9-3 to advance to the semifinals in Miami against Cuba. Yu Darvish came into the game out of the bullpen, pitching two innings and allowing one earned run on less than 30 pitches.

Brett Sullivan was Italy’s catcher so he now will be heading back to Peoria this week—just as Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands), Ha-Seong Kim (Korea), Nabil Crimatt (Colombia), Manny Machado (Dominican Republic), Juan Soto (Dominican Republic), Nelson Cruz and Luis Garcia (Dominican Republic) have or will be doing after failing to advance out of pool play.

“I don’t think anyone through we were going to be back this early,” Bogaerts told Kevin Acee yesterday after arriving in the Padres clubhouse. Netherlands, just like Korea and the Dominican Republic, went 2-2 in their four pool play games.

Nick Martinez is the only Padre other than Darvish to still be alive in the WBC, as Team USA was able to beat Colombia 3-2 last night thanks to 3 RBI from Mike Trout. It’s unclear if or when Martinez will get the ball again in the tournament. USA’s quarterfinal game will take place in Miami vs. Venezuela on Saturday at 4 pm PT.