Puerto Rico Downs Netherlands to Advance to WBC Final
Mar 23 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Lugo will lead Puerto Rico into battle as the team faces off against the victor of Tuesday night's United States-Japan semifinal showdown.
Diaz was then brought out for the 11th, when extra-inning rules went into effect and he had to start the inning with runners on first and second. Marcus Stroman, tonight's starter for the US, also started the previous head to head.
Tonight marks the first time that the USA has reached the WBC final after only getting as far as the semifinal round in 2009. That included consecutive wins in elimination games against the defending champions from the Dominican Republic, the two-time champions from Japan, and now Puerto Rico.
All but one Brewers player who took part in this year's World Baseball Classic has returned to camp, but it will be a couple more days before that player gets back from Los Angeles.
Puerto Rico finished with a 7-1 record as they were trying to become just the second team in tournament history to roll undefeated through the quadrennial global showcase of elite talent. Stroman, who could have chosen to pitch for Puerto Rico, gave up his only hit to the first batter he faced in the seventh inning.
"We know it's a very good team", he said, "and we certainly have the utmost respect for what they've accomplished so far". Stroman was under fire from the Puerto Rican fans after initially agreeing to play for Team Puerto Rico, his mothers birth nation, before switching to Team USA. Despite getting ahead of USA shortstop Brandon Crawford, Romero allowed a two-run single before being removed from the game.
Sam Dyson, Pat Neshek and David Robertson each threw a scoreless inning to complete the United States' three-hit shutout. After Lindor's one-out double, Correa crushed a two-run home run of his own to tie the game.
Roark said the players who did commit to play felt they have something to prove.
Once Angel Pagan doubled to break up Stroman's no-hitter in the seventh inning, the championship featured less suspense than any game played this week in Chavez Ravine.
This is the first WBC championship for the United States, and it came in the first finals appearance ever for the Americans. Puerto Rico won 4-3 and will go on to play either Japan or the United States on Wednesday. With Brandon Crawford on third and Ian Kinsler on second after both had picked up base hits, Adam Jones squibbed a ball up the third base line on the first pitch from Kodai Senga.
An expected sell out crowd at Dodgers Stadium will get to experience October baseball in March.