United States trounces Puerto Rico to claim first WBC crown

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing 3-3 in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, good for sixth place, Team USA dropped its ERA from 3.17 to 2.15, and it increased its home run output from one to eight. Meulens' demeanor wasn't that of a manager losing a spring training game in mid-March, but one who just lost the biggest game of the season. If those are the things you want to see when you tune into a baseball game, then I kindly ask you to return to your home in George Will's bowtie drawer. And I think that I have a day of rest because (Tuesday) we're off. The Netherlands squandered its chance when Curt Smith grounded into an inning-ending double play. "Yadier Molina came to play". Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands 4-3 in 11 innings Monday. That's a lame way to end what was a fun game of baseball, but those are the rules in this tournament.

This has been a fun World Baseball Classic. But while the win over the DR featured the Americans at their highlight-playing best (a Giancarlo Stanton home run here, an Adam Jones over-the-wall catch there), the semifinal win owed as much to luck as skill. The level of play has been outstanding with comeback wins, late inning drama and underdog stories aplenty.

In order to be eligible to play in the WBC, a player either has to be a citizen of a particular country, or have significant family heritage in the country. Instead, in December of past year, he had a change of heart and decided he would ultimately represent his native country in the 2017 tournament.

But in this, the real winner-take-all championship game, Stroman had the upper hand from the outset. We do show emotion; we do show passion.

"I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays", Kinsler told The New York Times. For the more devoted fans, this a dream come true. This should make this game ideal for the casual American fan.

Prep star Vasturia helps spark Notre Dame's win over Princeton
After coaching Note Dame to 12 NCAA tournaments and consecutive Elite Eight appearances, Brey seems immune to the enormity. They have faced great points in the Big 12 - Frank Mason, Devante Morris, Juwan Evans - but they play far more uptempo.

The Washington Nationals pitcher will start for the United States against Japan in the semifinals at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. He managed to limit the damage after the first and throw four and two thirds before reaching his pitch limit. What if Japan topples the mighty Americans once again to move on to their 3rd final in 4 tournaments?

For a long time the only question about Marcus Stroman was whether the bid for the WBC's second ever no-hitter would survive the 95-pitch limit. Not necessarily, in fact not likely. "Hopefully, we'll benefit from that quite a bit down the road".

Trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the ninth off their first-round game, Italy scored five runs off Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna - without making an out.

Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colours. With baseball being unincluded from the Olympics, the WBC is the primary global baseball competition.

Stroman will be extra motivated on the mound for the backlash he and his mother have received for choosing the United States over Puerto Rico. Furthermore, he prevented Puerto Rico from attempting a comeback.

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