Anaheim, Calif. The poor play of the United States was all too clear to Mark Teixeira.
"We could have hit better, we could have fielded better, we could have pitched better," the first baseman said. "But they just beat us."
The 7-3 loss to South Korea late Monday night left the Americans in precarious shape again at the World Baseball Classic. They routed South Africa, 17-0, to advance to Round 2.
"Another one of those sit around and figure out the scenarios. That's about all you can say," Derek Jeter said.
Japan beat Mexico, 6-1, on Tuesday in the second round, putting the U.S. in danger of being eliminated before it plays again. South Korea (2-0) can earn a berth in the semis by beating Japan (1-1). If that happens, the United States (1-1) would also make it by beating Mexico (0-2) on Thursday.
But if Japan beats South Korea, the Americans could be eliminated from contention even before playing Mexico. That would happen if Japan wins in a nine-inning game and scores seven runs or less because of the complicated tiebreaker system being employed.
The semifinals will be played Saturday and the finals Monday in San Diego.