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The 2017 World Baseball Classic officially came to a close Wednesday as Team USA throttled Team Puerto Rico, 8-0 in the Championship game.
Led by six strong innings from Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, the U.S did something no other team has during the tournament by shutting out the Puerto Rican offense.
The offense was led by an abundance of contributors including Pirates right fielder Andrew McCutchen who went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a walk.
Now that the event is in the books, it’s easy to realize why so many people think the WBC is so good for the game of baseball. Between teams such as the U.S, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, there were some incredible matchups and truly amazing moments.
The Puerto Rican team was representing more than themselves. They were representing an entire island of people who truly love the game of baseball, which was amazing to see.
I have been clear about my mixed emotions regarding the WBC in the past. It’s definitely a big risk playing in the event, but it does have positives behind it.
The Pirates representatives were able to compete in the event successfully with no major issues, aside from a minor injury issue for Starling Marte.
Gregory Polanco led the Dominican Republic with a .579 batting average through five games, while Marte hit .250 through three games. Both had a home run in the tournament.
For the U.S, Josh Harrison was hitless in five at-bats, but McCutchen hit .235 with three RBIs in five games.
Francisco Cervelli even had an impact in the tournament, hitting .250 with one RBI in 16 at-bats through four games for Team Italy.
The Pirates didn’t suffer from any of the concerns I had regarding the WBC. Though I would have loved for them to be participating in Spring Training with the rest of the club, they represented the organization well and seemed to have had an immense impact on an exciting and what seemed to be yet another successful World Baseball Classic.
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