The 2017 World Baseball Classic concluded Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium with Team USA hoisting the trophy after routing Team Puerto Rico, 8-0. Puerto Rico’s loss was their first of this year’s tournament, and marked a second straight defeat in a WBC final game.
The Americans certainly earned their first WBC title, staving off elimination with wins over the Dominican Republic, Japan and Puerto Rico. Japan and Puerto Rico were both undefeated heading into their matchup with the United States.
Marcus Stroman capped off the improbable run by no-hitting Puerto Rico through six innings. Stroman was removed after allowing a leadoff double to Angel Pagan in the bottom of the seventh.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had eight players named to WBC rosters, and in the end, Kiké Hernandez was the last man standing with Puerto Rico, starting in center field and batting ninth.
Adrian Gonzalez, Sergio Romo and Alex Verdugo joined Team Mexico; Rob Segedin and Minor Leaguer Drew Maggi were with Italy; and Ike Davis and Minor Leaguer Dean Kremer represented Israel.
Julio Urias was included in Mexico’s designated pitcher pool and was a candidate to be added to the active roster had Mexico advanced beyond the first round. Kenley Jansen was in a similar position with Netherlands, and joined his countrymen during the WBC semifinal.
Former Dodgers closer and current Spring Training guest instructor Eric Gagne pitched for Canada at the ripe age of 41. Gagne had a pair of strikeouts, walked one and allowed one hit in 2.1 scoreless innings in his lone appearance. He continues to pursue and MLB comeback.
Below are the results of how each Dodger fared during the international tournament.
Ike Davis impressed in six games, collecting eight hits, including two doubles and one triple, in 17 at-bats. He finished with five runs scored, three RBI and batted .471/.571/.706.
Dean Kremer allowed one run on three hits and collected one strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. Kremer’s relief appearance against Chinese Taipei on March 6 was his only work in the WBC.
Drew Maggi had one hit, a double, and scored two runs in four at-bats in three games. However, it was his walk during Italy’s improbable, five-run ninth inning against Mexico that proved most impactful. Italy won in walk-off fashion two batters later.
Rob Segedin only managed three hits in 13 at-bats across four games. He had one double, a home run and two RBI.
Perhaps impacted by missing time at the outset of Spring Training due to inflammation in his right elbow, Adrian Gonzalez was not himself during Mexico’s brief stay in the WBC. He finished with just one hit and one RBI in 12 at-bats over three games.
Sergio Romo allowed a combined three runs on four hits, including a home run, in 1.1 innings while appearing in two games. He returned to Camelback Ranch with a stiff back, but threw a bullpen session Tuesday.
Alex Verdugo went 5-for-14 with three runs scored in as many games. He nearly made a spectacular diving catch in the right-center field gap, which may have prevented Mexico’s collapse against Italy.
Kenley Jansen could not wait to leave the relaxed atmosphere of Spring Training behind, and backed up his remarks.
The hard-throwing closer turned in one scoreless frame and struck out a pair against Puerto Rico in the ninth inning of Monday’s semifinal to send the game into extra innings. Jansen needed all of six pitches to strike out the first two batters faced.
He threw just nine pitches to retire the side, and lobbied the Dodgers for an additional inning of work. The club did not grant his plea.
Kiké Hernandez didn’t play in either of Puerto Rico’s first two pool games and ultimately appeared in six contests, making three starts. He had four hits (one triple), two RBI and three strikeouts in 15 at-bats.
Hernandez’s best game was a three-hit performance when he also collected both RBI in a win over Italy to conclude Pool D play. The Dodgers’ utility man started in center field and hit ninth against Team USA in the WBC final, going 0-for-3 with one strikeout.
World Baseball Classic participants will return to their respective Spring Training camps in Arizona and Florida during the coming days.