The World Baseball Classic kicked off earlier this month, showcasing the best and brightest baseball stars from 32 countries around the world (16 being qualifiers).
He told the crowd Wednesday over the public address system at Dodger Stadium that Team USA was motivated to win the game because it heard that Puerto Rico had preemptive plans for a celebration. "The thing I marveled at was how quickly they came together, and Jimmy (Leyland) deserves a lot of that credit".
"Obviously our goal was to win it; every single person showed up to practice that first day with that mentality", Stroman said.
The Puerto Rico lineup seemed plenty motivated last Friday, when Stroman started for the United States and allowed four runs in the first inning of a 6-5 loss. He used that adversity to fuel his fire and deliver a strong six innings of one hit ball.
For the tournament, Stroman allowed 12 hits and four runs in 15 1/3 innings, with a 2.35 ERA, nine strikeouts and two walks.
Stroman kept the ball low all game and kept the Puerto Rican hitters off balance all night. Puerto Rico has shown raw emotion on their way to the championship. It can be seen when Stroman kept shouting at Puerto Rico's dugout. It's ironic that the team that struggled to put runs up on the board throughout the tournament put up 8 runs in the Championship winning game. Lugo was solid with his curveball control changing the eye level of the batter, striking out seven. The Americans have to eke out a 2-1 edge against Colombia during the first game.
With Stroman dealing, that was all the Americans needed.
After Three shutout innings from USA's bullpen, Manager Jim Leyland's U.S. team finally hoisted the WBC trophy.
"I love pitching in these moments", he said.
Stroman, who has Puerto Rican roots, had his no-hit bid ended when leftfielder Angel Pagan opened the bottom of the seventh with a double. Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals) wore the very next pitch, a 95 miles per hour fastball, on his right elbow, preceding a McCutchen base on balls. They were rewarded with Crawford's two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0. Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI single of his own to provide the final score. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.
Puerto Rico third baseman Carlos Correa said civic pride, born out of the tournament, has been unifying for all of the people in Puerto Rico.
This was a huge win for the United States and the game of baseball.
Lindor, 23, followed up a World Series appearance with the Indians by hitting.370 (10-for-27) while playing a stellar shortstop in the Classic.
By comparison, Marco Estrada through 72 pitches in his five innings of work on Wednesday in Dunedin against the Tigers. When the time was done for the starters, the bullpen continued to come through.
And then Molina might have scored the best dig of all, noting that he was at a party while all the American WBC players were back at work.
And this tournament's long-term health is undeniably improved by the fact that the home team won it all for the first time.