USA trounces Puerto Rico to claim first WBC crown
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 10:20
Wednesday night, United States of America captured their first World Baseball Classic championship, and they do so thanks in part to second baseman Ian Kinsler. In six-plus scoreless innings, he struck out three, allowed just one hit, and walked only one batter. However, the Puerto Rican team planned to fly home and celebrate its WBC performance, win or lose.
"What I said was that American kids can watch American players play, Puerto Rican kids can watch Puerto Rican players play, Venezuelan kids can watch Venezuelan guys play, and that's who they emulate".
He allowed just three balls to leave the infield, all ending in outs, until Angel Pagan's double to left-field leading off the seventh, after which he departed to a standing ovation.
In the third inning, Ian Kinsler hit a two-run home run.
"I got a chance to manage for our country, coaches got a chance to coach for our country, the players got to play for our country", said an emotional Jim Leyland, the US manager. Sadly, we did not get an Edwin Diaz encore. Latin American players play with a ton of emotion and flair.
This is the farthest Team USA has ever been in World Baseball Classic History, the last time they made it to the Finals they were knocked out by Japan.
Like players representing other nations, though, American stars said they felt something special wearing "USA" on their uniforms. They then lost to Puerto Rico in an early preview of the what would be the Championship game. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, especially, said that Puerto Rico's plans "didn't sit well with us, so we did what we had to do".
This was also the second loss in a row in the final for the bleached-blond haired Puerto Ricans, who were beaten by the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.
Jonathan Lucroy singled to open the third inning before Kinsler hit an 0-1 fastball to left-center field for his first homer of the WBC.
Lugo, who had victories in each of the first two rounds, gave up five hits and four runs in four-plus innings.
And of course, the United States had WBC champion T-shirts and caps at the ready, too, but the difference might have been that those did not become public until after the game.
"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people", Molina added.
Stroman's mother was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so when Stroman felt the need to pitch for Team USA, she was devastated. The only blemish to his record came against Puerto Rico in pool play when he gave up four runs in 4.2 innings.