This year's World Baseball Classic got underway in the wee hours of Monday morning with a pretty big upset -- Team Israel defeated Korea in extra innings, using an RBI single in the 10th to shock the Pool A hosts in their first-ever WBC game.
Brewers minor leaguer Cody Decker served as the DH and hit 6th for Israel but did not have a great night, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and leaving three men on base. Ike Davis pinch-hit for Decker in the 8th inning.
Israel could end up being one of the bigger stories — or at least entertaining ones — of the tournament. Aside from the fact it’s their first time qualifying, Decker and others walk around in “Jew Crew” t-shirts and the team has its own mascot: the Mensch on the Bench (think the Jewish version of “Elf on a Shelf”).
"Every team needs their Jobu," Decker told ESPN, in reference to the voodoo doll from the movie 1989 baseball comedy "Major League."
"He was ours. He had his own locker and we even gave him offerings: Manischewitz, gelt, and gefilte fish."
They'll face Chinese Taipei at 9 p.m. CST tonight with a chance to start 2-0 in pool play, which would give them pretty good odds of advancing to the elimination rounds.
Brewers in Games Tonight:
C/DH Cody Decker, Israel
LHP Wei-Chung Wang, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Other Games Tonight/Early Tuesday:
Korea vs. Netherlands, 3:30 a.m.
Cuba vs. Japan, 4 a.m.