Team USA dominates in World Baseball Classic
After four tries, the United States finally pulled off the ultimate win at the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday in Los Angeles, California. The United States played the dominant team from Puerto Rico and completely shut them out with a final score of 8-0 in the championship.
This was the first time the United States had ever made it to the finals of the tournament, beating former champions Dominican Republic and Japan in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The United States proved its undeniable talent in the baseball forum. Many Major League Baseball squads were represented on the United States team — such as San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays — bringing unity to the league as a whole. The United States showed that the MLB is in good hands currently with a plethora of talent across the league. These superstars were able to put their abilities on display on an international stage and did not disappoint. With powerful starting lineups both for the United States and Puerto Rico, this was bound to be a game for the record books.
Looking at the game more closely, the United States’ starting pitcher, Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays, delivered an impressive game. Stroman perfectly rendered the batters from Puerto Rico useless as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He only allowed one hit and one walk throughout the innings he pitched against Puerto Rico. While allowing few hits and walks, his strikeouts were the domineering force that kept the United States in the lead throughout the game. Stroman will look to keep up his recent success, as the start of the MLB season is quickly approaching.
With the United States leading off to start the third inning, the moment was prime for an offensive explosion. The United States got on the board when second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a 91-mph fastball over the left-center-field wall. The United States continued to add more fuel to the fire in the fifth inning off Puerto Rico pitcher Seth Lugo, as they started to gain a massive lead. With that in mind, Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez pulled Lugo out of the game and replaced him with Joe Jimenez. Lugo was branded with the loss for Puerto Rico as he gave up four runs on five hits and four walks to the United States.
As the end of the game drew near, Stroman was relieved by another pitcher, Sam Dyson, with two innings left. With the United States in the lead 8-0, all the pressure was on Dyson to perform and keep Puerto Rico from scoring. Fortunately, Dyson preserved Stroman’s shutout with two strikeouts and a groundout for his first inning on the mound. Then for the final inning, David Robertson, the last pitcher put in, kept the game scoreless and finished the win for the United States. The United States completely dominated their opponents and showed that they can match up against any team in the world.
The United States proved that baseball is truly America’s favorite pastime as they celebrated their first ever World Baseball Classic victory. Stroman’s dominant performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors as he led his team in admirable fashion. In 2013, he tweeted his desire to play in the World Baseball Classic for his mother. With the opportunity to play four years later, he went out playing from the heart and came away with spectacular results on the field.
The amazing game, not only played by Stroman but also by the rest of the United States players, showed incredible teamwork that rightfully led the squad to victory.