Lindor still wins the World Baseball Classic

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

The World Baseball Classic had amazing games throughout the tournament with late lead changes, dramatic turns, and lots of intense fans cheering through every step. The championship game, however, had none of it as the United States won, 8-0.

Marcus Stroman started for the United States, and Puerto Rico had no answer for him. Baseball is still a game dominated by good pitching, which Stroman demonstrated as he allowed only weak contact in six innings of one-hit work. The US did not even need to use Andrew Miller in relief as they entered the bottom of the seventh with a healthy 7-0 lead. Every player on the squad reached base, and all contributed to the final score save Adam Jones (no runs or RBI).

Despite the final outcome, the all-WBC team was dominated by the Puerto Ricans, particularly in the infield. Francisco Lindor led the way as he continued to rack up great plays in the field and dominated with his bat. He slashed .435/.481/.739 for the tournament, which included two home runs.

Note: small sample size alert on all statistics courtesy of worldbaseballclassic.com

As Paul Hoynes reported, the World Baseball Classic included 11 players with ties to the Cleveland Indians. Carlos Santana batted well (.308/.333/.385) for the Dominicans before their exit in the semi-final round. Andrew Miller struggled as he surrendered one of the United States only two losses (13.5 ERA in 2.2 IP), but his slider was buckling knees again in his last outing. Joe Colon, on the other hand, did not give up a run in any of his five innings pitched for Puerto Rico.

Roberto Perez, playing behind Yadier Molina, only got into two games and struggled at the plate while demonstrating his normal exquisite defensive skills. The Columbians tried out Giovanny Urshela in the three-hole for two of their three games only to find out it was a bad idea (.143/.143/.143).

Chris Colabello, on a minor league invite with the Indians, did not do anything to convince the Tribe front office they should reconsider him for the MLB team. Nor did minor leaguers Luis Lugo (11.43 ERA) with the Italians or Tyler Krieger (.167 batting average – though a .400 OBP) with the Israelis. Ping-Hsueh Chen (20.25 ERA, two losses) would likely wish to forget his time pitching for China Taipei but Shao-Ching Chiang (2.08 ERA) had a rather nice tournament.

Finally, Bruce Chen can do some boasting when he returns as the Indians directory of cultural development as he pitched a shutout in his only start (2.2 IP, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts).

Though the United States won the tournament, the player who succeeded in announcing his presence unto the world the loudest was Francisco Lindor. He made countless breathtaking plays and exhibited his customary smile. Even when he didn’t record the out, he left the other team shaking their head.