After taking the loss in the second round of the World Baseball Classic in San Diego, the United States avenged their loss to Puerto Rico, getting the 8-0 victory to capture their first World Baseball Classic championship Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Puerto Rico finished as the runner-up for the second straight tournament.
Marcus Stroman was named World Baseball Classic Most Valuable Player.
Stroman start full of emotion
It was announced early Wednesday morning that Blue Jays right hander Marcus Stroman got the start for the United States against Puerto Rico.
Back in 2013, Stroman announced that he would play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Although, Stroman changed his mind, and chose to don the uniform of the United States instead of playing for the country in which his mother was born.
The decision was not popular with some of the Puerto Rican baseball fans, so much so that they let Stroman and his mother hear it.
"I know a lot of people have been saying bad things to her, going through the process, on social media,” Stroman told Ken Rosenthal. “That’s my mother. I stand by her always. She supports me through everything. I don’t respect some of the comments that were made toward my mother.”
How would he react? Stroman carried a no hitter into the sixth inning. The no hitter was broken up after an Angel Pagan single started the bottom of the seventh. That would be the last batter he would face.
Stroman would go sixth innings, striking out three batters and walked one.
USA offense has best showing
The United States scored eight runs on 13 hits, with the United States breaking the game open in the fifth and adding insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Ian Kinsler, Andrew McCutchen, and Brandon Crawford collected six of the eight runs batted in for team USA, with McCutchen’s and Crawford’s runs coming with two outs in the inning.
In the final game, Jonathan Lucroy got the start over Buster Posey. Lucroy went 1-4, scoing a run.
Another move that was questionable was Eric Hosmer getting the start over Paul Goldschmidt. Hosmer finished the tournament with a .375 batting average, nine hits, one homerun, five RBI’s, and three doubles.
Puerto Rico silenced
Puerto Rico was maybe the hottest team in the tournament. Puerto Rico was averaging seven runs per game. Wednesday night, they were outmatched by the United States pitching.
Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Carlos Correa had no hits in a combined 11 at bats. Of the three hits that Puerto Rico came up, two came from Angel Pagan and the other from Yadier Molina.
Seth Lugo went just four innings, surrendering four runs on five hits, walked four and struck out seven. Six pitchers came into relief for Puerto Rico, giving up four hits and combining for six strike outs.
The future is very bright for Puerto Rico, with the core possibly returning for the 2021 tournament.
Though they were shut out, Puerto Rican players came onto the field and celebrated with the US after their victory.