The United States and Puerto Rico each try for their first WBC championship
11:07 p.m. EDT — Marcus Stroman is pitching a whopper of a game, holding Puerto Rico scoreless through five innings. Keep tuned for updates!
He hasn’t allowed a hit. He’s throwing a no-hitter. Turn on your television.
Yep, just a great outing by Stroman. He’s looking to be an ace for a Blue Jays team that needs one, but he’s busy being an ace for the United States, first.
Literally no hits. This is amazing. He needs to retire 12 more batters without allowing a hit. He can do this. Shhhhhhhhhh.
In the fifth inning, Brandon Crawford fielded three straight grounders of moderate to substantial difficulty, and he made it look easy. But the important part is that Marcus Stroman is throwing a no-hitter.
End blog post, hit publish.
10:56 p.m. EDT — An infield single from Andrew McCutchen has the U.S. up 4-0 in the fifth inning, but it’s almost more important that Francisco Lindor made the play close.
It’s hard to describe without moving images, but trust me: It shouldn’t have been close. It was a diving sprawl that finished with a pop-up throw to first, and it was just about the most ridiculous play of the WBC, including Adam Jones’ catch.
10:49 p.m. EDT — The U.S. is up 3-0 now after an RBI single to right field from Christian Yelich, with Ian Kinsler beating the throw home easily.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 23, 2017
The United States is just five innings away from a WBC championship!
Is it jinxy to point out they have a Giants reliever in the bullpen? Or was the five-innings mention jinxy already? I’ll shut up now.
10:42 p.m. EDT — Apparently, Marcus Stroman is rather giffable tonight:
strikeout, look to the Puerto Rico dugout, words for the ump, Marcus Stroman is making me swoon. pic.twitter.com/JmVjXZeUzD
— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) March 23, 2017
10:35 p.m. EDT — We have a WBC proposal!
Dodger Stadium erupts as a Puerto Rican fan, with his hair dyed blonde, proposes and when she accepts, proudly waves the Puerto Rico flag.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 23, 2017
One day I hope to love anything as much as this guy must love baseball to propose at the WBC.
10:23 p.m. EDT — We have moving images of the home run!
Is Team a step closer to the #WBC2017 title?
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 23, 2017
Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman is through three extremely quiet innings, facing the minimum number of batters.
10:04 p.m. EDT — Ian Kinsler opens up the scoring, pounding a two-run homer to left-center and putting the United States up, 2-0.
And, yes, he pointed at the dugout and crowd as he rounded the bases, but it was probably to say, “Shhhh, calm yourself, friends.”
(It was a very nice swing and a gorgeous home run. There were U-S-A chants.)
9:43 p.m. EDT — Meanwhile, in HELL:
Fun crowd at Dodger Stadium tonight, it appears. pic.twitter.com/vpRzFzLW3J
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) March 23, 2017
Seriously, though, how big are those things? Match them up with yellow-wig man. I know the perspective isn’t going to be the easiest to judge, but my stars. Where do you even find masks like that?
Well, I’m out of ideas.
9:35 p.m. EDT — Marcus Stroman gets through the bottom of the first with three quick groundball outs. SB Nation’s legal team has told me to mention this one last time:
Reminder that if you root against Marcus Stroman, his dad comes to your house to talk about it. pic.twitter.com/uNGxXmtXnI
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) October 5, 2016
9:27 p.m. EDT — After a seeing-eye double from Christian Yelich, the top of the first ends on a Nolan Arenado strikeout. The sample-size goblins have attached his underwear to a flagpole, and they’re hoisting him up high.
9:21 p.m. EDT — Ian Kinsler grounded out to third on the first pitch of the ballgame. He stoically went back to the dugout, where he folded his bat into a tiny square and ate it, piece by piece, without making a single noise. Pay attention out there, kids.
9:10 p.m. EDT — I’ll let you decide which look works best:
Angel Pagan is all-in on Puerto Rico’s bleached blonde look: pic.twitter.com/2CqBAjHQ9w
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) March 23, 2017
9:00 p.m. EDT — The lineups for your 2017 World Baseball Classic final, between Team USA and Team Puerto Rico:
— WBC Baseball (@WBCBaseball) March 23, 2017
Giancarlo Stanton is hitting seventh. That’s a good sign that a) your manager is on mescaline, b) Stanton is in a slump, or c) the lineup is stacked. Or all three! We don’t know what Jim Leyland’s up to these days.