Team USA will have to settle for silver.
USA Baseball couldn’t scratch a run across the plate in the gold-medal matchup vs. Japan, falling in the gold-medal game 2-0. They secured their first silver medal to place on the mantle, pairing with a gold and two bronze medals.
Don’t blame the pitching: Nick Martinez pitched into and out of trouble several times in the game, keeping Team USA in the game
Instead, Team USA bats stayed silent: The team went 0-4 with runners in scoring position, only one time having a runner on third base all game. Nick Allen had the team’s only extra base hit, and the team tallied just six hits in all in the game.
Japan, the host nation, wins their first gold medal in baseball, while the United States will be left searching for their next gold medal — whenever that may come.
With baseball out of the 2024 Olympics and tentatively on the schedule for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, there’s no telling when Team USA will have an opportunity to reach the pinnacle of the baseball world in global competition at the Olympics again.
Sporting News tracked highlights, updates and more from the gold-medal game below.
(All times Eastern)
USA vs. Japan baseball score
USA vs. Japan updates, highlights from 2021 Olympics
9:00 a.m. END OF GAME: Lopez grounds out to second. Japan wins gold.
8:58 a.m.: Down to the United States’ final strike, Nick Allen lines a single to right field. Jack Lopez up.
8:56 a.m.: Kolozsvary lines out to left field for the second out of the inning.
8:53 a.m.: Kuribayashi strikes out Westbrook for the first out of the ninth.
8:49 a.m. END OF EIGHTH: It’s up to the offense now after Japan plates an insurance run in the eighth. Last licks for Team USA baseball coming up. 2-0, Japan.
8:48 a.m.: Runners on second and third for Japan after a sac bunt moves the runners over. United States needs to hold Japan here.
8:43 a.m. JAPAN SCORING PLAY: Single to center field, Lopez comes up throwing home but the throw is way, way off line. Yamada scores after stopping at third on the defensive miscue, adds another run. 2-0, Japan.
8:40 a.m.: New pitcher for the United States is Scott McGough, and he lets up a lead-off single to Yamada.
8:37 a.m. END TOP EIGHTH: Filia grounds to third and that’ll end the U.S. half. They’re down to their final three outs.
8:36 a.m.: Casas strikes out and Frazier pops out for two outs. Eric Filia up with a runner at first.
8:29 a.m.: Austin gets the better of Itoh. Grounds a single through the left side. Tying run on for Triston Casas. Pitching change.
8:27 a.m.: The third full count for Tyler Austin today. He’s grinding through these at-bats as his spectacular tournament continues.
8:23 a.m. END OF SEVENTH: Ryder Ryan pitches around a lead-off double, gets a strikeout of Kai to end the home half. Getting late for the United States. 1-0, Japan.
8:22 a.m.: Murakami steals second. Second and third, two outs for Team Japan.
8:15 a.m.: Triston Casas with a great pick and a great play by Todd Frazier to throw out the runner at first.
8:12 a.m.: A lead-off double for Asamura and Eric Filia dives, and comes up injured. He’s staying in the game.
8:10 a.m.: Ryder Ryan relieves Nick Martinez.
8:07 a.m. END TOP SEVENTH: Alvarez swings at the first pitch and grounds it weakly to first to end the half inning.
8:06 a.m.: Jack Lopez moves Allen to third on a single to the right side. Tying run is 90 feet away, with Eddy Alvarez up.
8:04 a.m.: Nick Allen smashes a double in the alley. U.S. has life.
8:01 a.m.: Itoh in for Japan. U.S. has nine outs left to scratch across some runs.
7:57 a.m. END OF SIXTH: Mark Koloszvary throws out a runner trying to steal second to end the inning. Umpires called the runner safe on the field, review overturned the call. 1-0, Japan.
7:56 a.m.: Suzuki with a two-out single. Martinez still throwing for U.S. He has pitched a really great game to keep the United States in it.
7:49 a.m. END TOP SIXTH: Westbrook pops out to the catcher in foul territory, leaves runners on. We head to the home half of the sixth. 1-0, Japan.
7:44 a.m.: Eric Filia gets nailed with a pitch and it’s two outs, two on for Jamie Westbrook.
7:42 a.m.: Todd Frazier up with Austin at first and one out. He strikes out looking.
7:37 a.m.: Tyler Austin with a great at bat, works a lead-off walk in the sixth inning.
7:29 a.m. END OF FIFTH: Martinez strikes out the side to end the frame. He lets out a war cry. U.S. down, still. 1-0, Japan.
7:28 a.m.: Martinez seems to have settled down with two quick outs in the fifth.
7:23 a.m. END TOP FIFTH: Eddy Alvarez grounds to short, thrown out at first to end the scoring threat. U.S. still looking for its first runs. 1-0, Japan.
7:18 a.m.: Jack Lopez gets plunked with an errant breaking pitch. Eddy Alvarez up with two outs in the fifth.
7:17 a.m.: Nick Allen with a two-out single to right center. Broadcast noting that Morishita’s velocity is dipping a bit.
7:14 a.m.: Masato Morishita is just cruising through this game. Effortless for the 23-year-old so far.
7:10 a.m. END OF FOURTH: Martinez gets a strikeout of Kikuchi to get out of it. Magician. 1-0, Japan.
7:09 a.m.: Martinez gets a ground ball to Frazier, who throws home for one out. Martinez one out away from escaping the bases-loaded jam.
7:04 a.m.: First walk issued by Nick Martinez. Bases loaded for Japan, one out. Trouble.
7:01 a.m.: Suzuki follows with a hard-hit ground ball single up the middle. First and second, one out for Japan.
7:00 a.m.: Yoshida with an infield single, Nick Allen does his best Derek Jeter impression from short, but can’t get the throw to first on time. Japan has a runner on with one out in the home half of the fourth.
6:55 a.m. END TOP FOURTH: Another 1-2-3 inning for Japan as the U.S. offense can’t get anything going. 1-0, Japan.
6:47 a.m. END OF THIRD: Japan takes the lead on a solo homer, the only mistake of Martinez’s day so far. 1-0, Japan.
6:43 a.m. JAPAN SCORING PLAY: Murakami takes Martinez to deep left center for a solo shot. Japan gets on the board first. 1-0, Japan.
6:40 a.m. END TOP THIRD: Tyler Austin thrown at first on a dropped Strike 3. He was locked in a good at-bat. Still tied at 0. 0-0.
6:34 a.m.: Eddy Alvarez with a two-out single in the third. USA looking for some offense.
6:27 a.m. END OF SECOND: No score through two as Nick Martinez is handling business early on. 0-0.
6:21 a.m. END TOP SECOND: Nothing going for the U.S. in the top half of the second, wasting an Eric Filia single. 0-0.
6:11 a.m. END OF FIRST: Triston Casas snares a liner and steps on first for the unassisted double play. Nothing doing after first. 0-0.
6:07 a.m.: Yamada gets it started for Team Japan with a frozen rope single to left field.
6:04 a.m. END TOP FIRST: The United States goes down in order to start the game. Japan coming up. 0-0.
6:01 a.m.: Eddy Alvarez pops out to shortstop on the second pitch, and we are underway.
USA vs. Japan start time
- Start time: 6 a.m. ET
Team USA and Japan meet in a rematch of their knockout stage game in the gold-medal game on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 6 a.m.
USA Baseball vies for their second gold medal in baseball, as Japan, the host country, looks for their first.
How to watch USA Baseball vs. Japan gold-medal game
- TV channel: NBC Sports (live); USA Network (re-air)
- Live stream: NBCOlympics.com (cable subscription required); NBC Sports app
The gold-medal game can be watched on NBC Sports.
Regardless of TV channel, you’ll also be able to live stream the game on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app (cable subscription required).