The Americans beat Puerto Rico to win their first ever World Baseball Classic in the history of the tournament by a score of 8-0.
The game was all USA from the beginning until the end with perhaps the pitching performance being the main difference maker. Blue Jay's ace Marcus Stroman turned in a quality start going six innings allowing one hit and one walk and striking out three batters.
The score shifted in favor of Team USA in the third inning when Ian Kinsler took Seth Lugo deep to give his team the 2-0 lead. The next six runs were scored on five singles throughout the remainder of game. Puerto Rico never truly threatened Team USA as they coasted to their first ever championship.
Despite the hardware, this is a massive win for the Stars and Stripes because of what this does for the future. Rob Manfred already stated that the WBC is here to stay. Although under heavy scrutiny the WBC is actually a massively important tournament that I talked about here a few weeks ago. The biggest problem with the WBC is the fact that the United States has had trouble recruiting their absolute best players to suit up for them for one reason or another. But that will all change soon.
Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw are a few names that come up when thinking of eligible players that turned down their offers. This championship may change a few of their minds. In fact, Mike Trout was asked about his potential future with the team prior to them winning the championship in which he responded "I mean, definitely, in the future, for sure,” Trout said. “If I get the opportunity to do it again, I’ll probably do it." This is huge news for the Americans to have arguably the best player in the MLB on your roster, a roster that is fresh off winning the entire tournament.
The scary news for other teams is the United States team that woke could have been so much better talent wise. This isn't to say that they aren't already talented, stars like Adam Jones and Christian Yelich carried the team with amazing performances down the stretch run of the tournament. Adding a Bryce Harper or a Mike Trout into the mix would automatically make the players around them better with more competition in turn making the United States team better.
It is hard to predict who will want to play in four years for the United States' this early but you have to imagine the Harpers and Trouts and Kershaws would rather be jumping up and down on the field celebrating a tournament win than watching their colleagues celebrate on TV.