The momentum was completely in Puerto Rico’s favor. PR was 8-0 in World Baseball Classic play including a 6-5 over Team USA in round two. But as the saying goes in baseball, momentum is the next day's starting pitcher.
That pitcher for Team USA was the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman. Stroman shut down the high-powered Puerto Rico offense headlined by Astros sluggers Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran for six innings.
The United States would need just one swing of the bat for the winning run, it came in the third inning with a two-run blast from Ian Kinsler. But the US would add two more runs in the fifth, two in the seventh and a single run the eighth behind Christian Yelich, Andrew McCutchen, Brandon Crawford, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Team USA used one major advantage over Puerto Rico in the final three innings of the game by flexing their bullpen muscle. Sam Dyson, Pat Neshek, and David Robertson pitched three clean innings to close out the game.
Stroman was named the 2017 WBC MVP for his effort and Team USA took home the WBC crown for the first time in three tries.