Korea led from the get-go and never looked back, easily beating Venezuela, 10-2, on Saturday to advance to Monday's Classic championship game at 9 p.m. ET.
An ineffective Carlos Silva and five errors led to Venezuela's downfall Saturday, as it fell to Korea, 10-2, in the semis, ending the country's run for a Classic championship.
Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki didn't go as far as to call Japan the favorite when his country squares off against Team USA on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium. But he didn't call Japan the underdog, either.
Mark DeRosa worked out at first base on Saturday and will start at the position -- foreign to him -- at Dodger Stadium on Sunday night for Team USA in its single-elimination World Baseball Classic semifinal game against Japan.
If Jake Peavy was at all miffed by the turn of events in the World Baseball Classic, he wasn't showing any signs of it as he walked off the main field at baseball's Urban Youth Academy on Saturday.
On Saturday, when the Venezuelans square off against Korea in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic, they will do so with the weight of their country on their shoulders and the eyes of Latin America upon them.
The injury to Japanese first baseman Shuichi Murata is more serious than was first suspected on Thursday, manager Tatsunori Hara said on Friday. Murata has a torn right hamstring and was sent back to Japan on Friday as his teammates worked out in preparation for Sunday night's World Baseball Classic semifinal against Team USA.
Despite winning the gold medal in Beijing and finishing with the best record in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Korea was hardly considered a favorite for the 2009 Classic. But Korea is 5-2 in the 2009 Classic and finds itself just two wins from winning the title.
If familiarity breeds contempt, then unfamiliarity must breed respect. And that's certainly true for the Korean baseball team, which is largely unfamiliar with its Venezuelan counterpart because it has never faced the South American team's roster, which features 21 Major Leaguers.
If the team from Venezuela makes it to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on Monday, it will be a Mariners pitcher that helps gets them there.