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USA vs. Puerto Rico: World Baseball Classic's Friday elimination game features remaining Cardinals

The remaining St. Louis Cardinals will meet in Friday night's World Baseball Classic elimination game between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Al Bello

The 2013 World Baseball Classic's elimination matchup between Puerto Rico and the United States is fascinating for a lot of reasons—should American fans be pushing for emergency 51st-statehood, at this point?—and even if you're a permanent member of the WBC Hating Counsel these team should be good enough to get your attention, baseball-wise, if you have nothing better to do with your Friday night.

That the remaining members of the CardinalsYadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, and Mitchell Boggs—will all be on the field is perhaps the least-fascinating way USA vs. Puerto Rico is fascinating, but as SB Nation's Cardinals blog we're duty-bound to mention it anyway. Molina's hitting .400/.438/.400 in four games, and Beltran .222/.300/.389 in five, while Boggs has recorded four outs and allowed two baserunners but no runs. No word yet as to which of them will have their careers ruined by playing exhibition games in warm-weather stadiums in mid-March.

Ryan Vogelsong and Nelson Figueroa are slated to get the starts, but only because neither team had agreed to terms with Kyle Lohse before we went to press. Fernando Salas and Team Israel shortstop Jake Lemmerman are on the outside looking in, alas.

For more World Baseball Classic coverage, you could do worse than to stay tuned to SB Nation's World Baseball Classic hub.