On Tuesday night, Team USA punched their ticket to the World Baseball Classic Final — as it beat Japan by a score of 2-1 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.
The World Baseball Classic first started 11 years ago. Team USA — possessing arguably more talent than any other nation — had never reached the final, and had made only one appearance in the semifinals.
While team chemistry isn’t always easy to develop with such a short amount of time, the Americans simply haven’t been able to put it all together as a cohesive unit…until 2017.
Manager Jim Leyland has been fantastic in meshing together a roster chock-full of All-Stars and promising prospects. He’s also been able to beautifully utilize the pitching staff. Multiple starters within the staff are on pitch-limits. As such, the rearranging of arms has been vital.
On Wednesday, Team USA will take on a talented (and undefeated) Puerto Rico side featuring elite talents such as Carlos Correa, Yadier Molina, Javy Baez, and Francisco Lindor.
The United States will rely on Toronto Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman as the starting pitcher in the matchup. Seth Lugo — ironically born and raised in Louisiana — will go for Team Puerto Rico.
The contest will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET. It can be seen on ESPN2.
Source: Orlando Ramirez /USA TODAY Sports