The United States survived another round in the quest to win their first World Baseball Classic championship. They defeated an undefeated Japanese team in a steady rainstorm, rare in the Los Angeles area. Team USA advances to the championship to face Puerto Rico in what could possibly be the dream matchup for Major League Baseball.
Team USA and the Puerto Rican club both have rosters filled with former and current All-Stars. This should make this game perfect for the casual American fan. For the more devoted fans, this a dream come true.
Can Marcus Stroman maintain his composure?
We’ve had the chance to see the matchup earlier in the tournament, with Puerto Rico winning 6-5. Marcus Stroman, tonight’s starter for the U.S., also started the previous head to head. Stroman was touched up for four runs in the first inning after allowing six straight singles to start the game. He managed to limit the damage after the first and throw four and two thirds before reaching his pitch limit. 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. The Puerto Rican fan base will once again be playoff loud and raucous.
Matchup: Yadier Molina vs. the Americans
As Cardinals fans, we’re well aware of the talent and charisma associated with Yadier Molina. The future Hall of Fame catcher has been the best player in the 2017 edition of the WBC. Molina has been the driving force behind the undefeated Puerto Rican run to the finals. The two time World Series winner has set his sights on the WBC trophy for his home country.
An expected sell out crowd at Dodgers Stadium will get to experience October baseball in March. A prideful Puerto Rican fan base will fill the stadium with musical instruments and Latin flare. The American fans, with the first chance to see the home team in finals, will support the club playing on the baseball world’s biggest stage.
Tonight may be your last chance to see the fantastic Puerto Rican infield. It may also be your last chance to cheer on Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, or see Eric Hosmer put on his baserunning clinic.
Sit back and enjoy the festivities, it’s been one hell of a Spring Traing ride!