The World Baseball Classic championship trophy is coming to America.
The United States defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in the tournament final Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. U.S. starter Marcus Stroman no-hit the Puerto Ricans for the first six innings. Sam Dyson, Pat Neshek and David Robertson completed the three-hit shutout.
Ian Kinsler, Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Crawford each drove in two runs for the U.S., which finished the tournament with a 6-2 record.
Sporting News provided live updates of the 2017 World Baseball Classic final between the United States and Puerto Rico.
1:27 a.m.: Stroman was the easy choice for WBC MVP. Extra hardware to pair with a WBC gold medal.
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 23, 2017
1:20a.m.: Adam Jones says the Americans had a little extra motivation coming into the contest. "Before the game we got note that some (Puerto Rico) championship shirts were made. We didn't make 'em. And a flight. That didn't sit well with us. . . . and a parade. That didn't sit well with us. So we did what we had to do," Jones said. The Orioles center fielder also had some shade for U.S. players who chose not to be part of the squad. "Everyone that wanted to play is playing."
1:17a.m.: USA manager Jim Leyland salutes the troops:
— Eric James Byrnes (@byrnes22) March 23, 2017
12:59 a.m.: The celebration is on in LA:
Team USA loves its weird eagle statue. pic.twitter.com/unvhRh4vSZ
— Jon Tayler (@JATayler) March 23, 2017
12:52 a.m.: No outs to go. David Robertson retires Carlos Correa on a ground ball to third baseman Nolan Arenado.
12:50 a.m.: Weird moment in the ninth: A ground ball got stuck in the webbing of Eric Hosmer's first baseman's mitt. He had to go the bag himself rather than flip the mitt to Robertson. One out to go.
12:43 a.m.: It's on to the bottom of the ninth with the U.S. ahead 8-0.
12:35a.m.: Three outs to go. U.S. ahead 8-0. Pat Neshek works a scoreless bottom of the eighth, finishing with a strikeout of Kennys Vargas. The last two pitches were 69 and 70 mph, respectively, and moved like knuckleballs.
12:21 a.m.: The U.S. keeps adding to its lead. Andrew McCutchen delivers an RBI infield single with two outs. It's 8-0 now. No mercy rule in the WBC final.
12:07 a.m.: Sam Dyson replaces Stroman and strands Pagan at second base. Stroman is still fired up; he's shown woofing at the PR dugout after the third out.
Stroman is out of the game but still very much into it pic.twitter.com/6QCHeGpjCa
— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) March 23, 2017
Stroman could have pitched for Puerto Rico (his mother is Puerto Rican), and his decision to pitch for the U.S. is a sore spot among fans and internet trolls, who have not been shy telling Stroman such.
Both have puerto rican parents. One actually embraces his parents culture and has never disrespected it. The other one is Stroman pic.twitter.com/9Cy45qQkdt
— Gøner (@emilyirizarry02) March 23, 2017
11:58p.m.: The no-hitter is gone. Stroman allows a clean double to Angel Pagan leading off the bottom of the seventh. Stroman departs to a standing ovation after a masterful 73-pitch performance.
11:51 p.m.: Stretch time in Chavez Ravine. Stroman and the U.S. have aseven-run lead.
11:47 p.m.: The U.S. tacks on the extra point to go up 7-0. Giancarlo Stanton singles home McCutchen.
11:45p.m.: Brandon Crawford lines a two-runsingle off J.C. Romero to give the U.S. a 6-0 lead. The biggest drama now is whether Stroman and the 'pencan complete the no-hitter. Nine outs to go.
11:37p.m.: The U.S. loads the bases in the top of the seventh after two outs. Arenado singles, ending a frustrating drought that reduced him to bunting in his previous at-bat; Eric Hosmer is hit in the elbow by a Jose Berrios fastball; and McCutchen walks. Romero is on for Berrios. Stay tuned.
11:23 p.m.: Nine outs to go for a U.S. title and no-hitter. Stroman cruises through the bottom of the sixth. He's up to 68 pitches. One more inning for him, probably. The U.S. leads 4-0.
11:17 p.m.: Berrios, on in relief for Puerto Rico, strikes out Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Lucroy and Ian Kinsler in succession in the top of the sixth. Berrios is expected to be a big part of the Twins' rotation.
11:07 p.m.: Twelve outs to go for a U.S. championship and a no-no. Stroman gets through the fifth without allowing a hit. Crawford has a lot to do with that; he makes two fine plays at shortstop, one on Carlos Beltran and the other on Javier Baez. Stroman is at 59 pitches, which is 36 away from the WBC pitch limit for this game, so he won't go all the way. But the U.S. bullpen is lurking.
11:03 p..m: Crawford keeps Stroman's no-hitter intact by throwing out Beltran from deep in the hole at shortstop. Yes, it's almost No-Hitter Watch time.
10:58p.m.: McCutchen makes it 4-0, U.S., in the top of the fifth with a two-out infield single that scores Christian Yelich.
10:51p.m.: Yelich gives the U.S. a 3-0 lead with an RBI single to right field, scoring Ian Kinsler. The hit ends Lugo's night. He leaves after four-plus innings and with two runners on base.
10:42 p.m.: Ian Kinsler leads off the top of the fifth with a single. Kinsler is 2 for 3, including a two-run homer to open the scoring in the third. Kinsler was a lightning rod before the game (see below).
10:38 p.m.: Stroman retires Puerto Rico in order in the bottom of the fourth, then chirps the PR dugout. He's only up to 46 pitches, or about halfway to the 95-pitch WBC limit for this game. He also hasn't allowed a hit.
10:30 p.m.: Lugo bounces back with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth. He's up to 69 pitches, just 26 away from the WBC pitch limit. Six innings might be his max.
10:28 p.m.: Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez tells MLB Network in a between-innings interview that Stroman "is on tonight."
10:23 p.m.: Stroman puts up a zero in a #shutdown third inning. Still 2-0, U.S. The first three frames take just over an hour to play. That's "zipping along" speed for this tournament.
10:15p.m.: Early warmup action for Puerto Rico as Lugo battles through a jam in the third. Proponents of aggressive bullpenuse would say PR should make the move before the game gets out of hand. (UPDATE: Annnnd, just like that, Lugo strikes out Andrew McCutchen to escape the jam. That's three consecutive inning-ending Ks for Lugo.)
10:05 p.m.: This is becoming the Ian Kinsler game. The USA second baseman opens the scoring with a two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the third. He celebrated with some purposeful hand slaps and back slaps. See below why the celebration matters.
10p.m.: Kinsler turns a routine double play on a ball hit by Yadier Molina. Before the game, Kinsler spoke with ESPN.com to revise comments he made about the differences between how U.S. and Latino players show emotion on the field."One is not better than the other; they are just different," Kinsler said Wednesday. He was saying something slightly different previously.
9:48 p.m.: Lugo strikes out Giancarlo Stanton to end the top of the second. Still 0-0.
9:45p.m.: First video review of the night after Francisco Lindor nearly doubles off Eric Hosmer at first base. Umpires uphold the call of Hosmer being safe, so no double play.
9:42 p.m.: No threat of rain in LA, unlike Monday's soggy semifinal between the U.S. and Japan:
9:35 p.m.: Stroman retires the side in order on three groundouts, the last a comebacker hit by Correa.
9:30 p.m.: Lugo gets out of a mini-jam in the first. After Christian Yelich doublesagainst an infield shift with two outs, Lugo strikes out Nolan Arenado with a 96 mph fastball.
9:21 p.m.: Kinsler leads off for the U.S. and grounds out to third on the first pitch. Kinsler caused a stir with his statements to The New York Times about the differences in emotion shown by his team and international teams like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. ( UPDATE: Kinsler has revised and extended his remarks; see above.)
— WBC Baseball (@WBCBaseball) March 23, 2017
9:12 p.m.: The anthems have been played (yes, Puerto Rico has a commonwealth anthem). Both were instrumental recordings. Baseball officials are not interested in interperative renditions.
9 p.m.: Not only is Lugo pitching for Puerto Rican baseball glory, he's also pitching for a job. He's behind Robert Gsellman for the No. 5 spot in the Mets' loaded rotation. His work in the WBC has kept him in the discussion for at least a long relief role. Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen noticed how well Lugo handled Venezuela's lineup in his first start in the tournament. Lugo will be able to throw the maximum 95 pitches tonight, so he could get very deep into the game if he's dealing.