First pitch: 3 storylines from Team USA’s stunning World Baseball Classic defeat to Mexico

Joey Meneses hits a two-run home run against Team USA. World Baseball Classic (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

For everyone who thought that Team USA might have an easy time in the early stages of the World Baseball Classic, Mexico quickly put that idea out of play on Sunday night in Phoenix.

Joey Meneses registered hits in his first three at-bats of the night, including a pair of home runs, as Mexico flexed its muscles with a 11-5 victory over the United States at Chase Field. With the outcome, the two teams are tied in the World Baseball Classic Pool C standings at 1-1. Mexico has Monday off while Team USA will look to bounce back against Freddie Freeman-led Canada at 10 p.m. (Eastern time).

USA-Mexico World Baseball Classic storyline: Joey Meneses makes an impact

The 30-year-old first baseman, who made his MLB debut in August last season with the Washington Nationals, is savoring his first Major League camp invite this spring and will be a big part of Washington’s plans in 2023 after what has been a long journey to get to that moment. Meneses started his minor league career in 2011, but started making a name for himself in late 2022 when he finally received the call-up with Washington. In 240 plate appearances, he slashed .324/.367/.563 with 13 homers and 34 RBI.

However, it’s likely that Meneses will get even more recognition after his performance on Sunday night, which included a two-run homer in the first inning off Nick Martinez and a back-breaking three-run shot off Brady Singer in the fourth inning.

“It’s a little weird,” Meneses told said of the recognition he has garnered since last season. “I’m not used to getting attention, or being the guy that wants the attention.”

After Sunday night, Meneses and Mexico will have plenty of attention moving forward.

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