Team USAs World Baseball Classic Championship Didnt Come Easy

3/11Round 1Dominican Republic2ndL 7-5 3/21SemisJapan1stW 2-1 Team USA finally did it. Buoyed by a tremendous pitching performance from starter Marcus Stroman — who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning — the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 in Wednesday night’s title game of the World Baseball Classic, securing America’s first-ever championship at the event.Going from mediocre (they went into 2017 with a 10-10 all-time record in the tournament) to championship worthy wasn’t easy for the U.S. Although the American roster was stacked with major leaguers, the team once again found itself facing elimination after losing to Puerto Rico last Friday. Keeping its tournament hopes alive meant beating the Dominican Republic — the second-best team in WBC history by my calculations,1I used the Simple Rating System to rank every team in WBC history. (and one that had roared back to beat the U.S. a week earlier) — in a do-or-die qualifier, then beating Japan (the greatest team in WBC history) in the semis, and then turning the tables in a rematch with Puerto Rico (who were undefeated and playing as well as any WBC team ever).Talk about a difficult path to a championship: 3/10Round 1Colombia11thW 3-2 OPPONENT But the U.S. persevered through it all, and now they are WBC champions. And who knows — perhaps the win will even persuade more marquee players to represent America at future World Baseball Classics.Now, if only they could do something about those painfully ’90s-looking uniforms. Share on Facebook DATEROUNDTEAMALL-TIME SRS RANKUSA’S RESULT 3/17Round 2Puerto Rico5thL 6-5 3/18Round 2Dominican Republic2ndW 6-3 The Simple Rating System (SRS) adjusts a team’s per-game run differential for strength of schedule. This SRS ranking uses data from all WBC matches since 2006, with extra weight applied to games in later rounds.Source: Wikipedia 3/12Round 1Canada17thW 8-0 Team USA’s path to the championship 3/22FinalPuerto Rico5thW 8-0 3/15Round 2Venezuela9thW 4-2

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