Team USA was considered a favorite in every World Baseball Classic since its inception, but only made it to the semifinals once before 2017. Heading into the final game against Puerto Rico, this team looked to make history and be the first team from the United States to claim the title. Puerto Rico, who was undefeated in the tournament, had other ideas. Team USA sent Marcus Stroman to the mound and Puerto Rico countered with Seth Lugo.
Team USA Wins 2017 World Baseball Classic
Stroman Tosses a Gem
The former Duke University hurler was brilliant on Wednesday night. Stroman took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before surrendering a double to Angel Pagan. He finished the night with three strikeouts, one walk, and one hit allowed over six-plus innings.
A Sleeping Giant Awakes
The American hitters made their presence known to Lugo early. Following a Jonathan Lucroy single, Ian Kinsler blasted a two-run homer to center field to give Team USA an early 2-0 lead. They answered again in the fifth with RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.
Lugo exited during the fifth inning, finishing the day with four earned runs under his belt. Team USA, however, wasn’t done. They tacked on on three more runs in the seventh with a two-run single by Brandon Crawford and an RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton. With that, Team USA added another in the eighth on a Javier Baez throwing error. The 8-0 lead stood until the final out.
Team USA Bullpen Slams the Door
Sam Dyson relieved Stroman in the bottom of the seventh and was flawless, striking out Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran to retire the side. Pat Neshek worked around a couple of base runners in a scoreless eighth before David Robertson closed out the game in the ninth.