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DYK: Stroman caps triumphant run for U.S.

March 23, 2017

For the first time, the United States is the World Baseball Classic champion.Led by starter Marcus Stroman and an explosive offense, Team USA beat Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the WBC '17 final on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. Second baseman Ian Kinsler smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the third

For the first time, the United States is the World Baseball Classic champion.
Led by starter Marcus Stroman and an explosive offense, Team USA beat Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the WBC '17 final on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. Second baseman Ian Kinsler smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the third inning, and the U.S. never looked back as it captured the title against a previously unbeaten Puerto Rico squad.
With a memorable tournament now in the books, here is a look at some notable facts and figures from Wednesday's final and Team USA's triumphant run.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Stroman was dominant for Team USA. He threw six no-hit innings against a tough lineup before finally allowing a leadoff double to Angel Pagan in the seventh and exiting the game. Stroman's effort tied the longest no-hit bid of his MLB career -- on July 24, 2014, he no-hit the Red Sox for six innings before Shane Victorino led off the seventh with a single.
• Stroman's start Wednesday was one of three one-hit efforts since he became a Major Leaguer. He has twice thrown seven innings of one-hit ball in an MLB game, including in that contest against Boston. Stroman also accomplished that feat against the Yankees in his second-to-last start of the 2016 regular season.

• Stroman led qualified MLB pitchers with a 60.1-percent ground-ball rate last season, and he had that worm-killing ability going in this one, inducing 11 groundouts compared with just one flyout.
• Stroman was named the WBC '17 Most Valuable Player after his brilliant start in the championship game. He joins Robinson Cano, the 2013 MVP for the Dominican Republic, and two-time World Baseball Classic MVP Daisuke Matsuzaka, who took home the honor in for Japan in the 2006 and '09 Classics.

• Stroman made the All-Tournament team as one of three pitchers, along with Kodai Senga of Japan and Josh Zeid of Israel. The rest of the team included Puerto Rico catcher Yadier Molina, U.S. first baseman Eric Hosmer, Puerto Rico second baseman Javier Baez, third baseman Carlos Correa and shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielders Christian Yelich of the U.S., Gregory Polanco of the Dominican Republic and Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands, and Puerto Rico designated hitter Carlos Beltran.

• Stroman's effort lowered the ERA of the Team USA starting rotation to 1.25. U.S. starters (Stroman, Chris Archer, Danny Duffy, Drew Smyly and Tanner Roark) allowed only five earned runs on 25 hits over 36 innings, and didn't allow an earned run for their first 17 1/3 innings. They struck out 29, walked only four and didn't surrender a single home run in the tournament.
Those numbers stood in sharp contrast to previous U.S. teams, whose rotations compiled ERAs of 5.24 in 2006, 7.77 in '09 and 3.45 in '13.
• The U.S. pitching staff as a whole allowed only two earned runs over its final 26 innings, bringing its final ERA to 2.15.
• WBC '17 set the attendance record for the tournament, with a total announced attendance of 1,086,720. It was the first time in the four Classics that attendance surpassed the 1 million mark. That included a whopping 51,565 at Dodger Stadium for the final.
• Puerto Rico came up just short in the final game for a second straight World Baseball Classic. Again, the team couldn't muster any offense. Puerto Rico was also shut out by the Dominican Republic in 2013, 3-0.
• Puerto Rico was only the second team to enter a World Baseball Classic final undefeated, with a 7-0 record in this year's tournament before falling to Team USA. The 8-0 Dominican team that beat Puerto Rico in the 2013 championship is still the only one to complete its undefeated run.
• Going into the championship game, Puerto Rico led the tournament in both runs scored and ERA (2.29), outscoring opponents by a margin of 55-18.
• Beltran, who has played for Puerto Rico in all four World Baseball Classics and finished WBC '17 with a .435 batting average, ranks among the all-time tournament leaders in multiple categories. The 39-year-old is second in Classic history in hits (30), runs (17), doubles (seven) and total bases (46).

• U.S. shortstop Brandon Crawford smacked a two-run single in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to seven games, tying Jurickson Profar of the Netherlands for the longest of WBC '17. Hosmer then notched a single in the eighth, pushing his own streak to seven and making it a three-way tie. Crawford and Hosmer both finished the tournament with 10 total hits, tied for the most on the U.S. squad.
• U.S. reliever Sam Dyson struck out two in a scoreless inning in the final, closing out a dominant tournament in which he retired all 18 batters he faced.
Andrew McCutchen's pair of RBI singles on Wednesday night gave him five RBIs over Team USA's final three games.
• In his last game as a manager, Team USA's Jim Leyland walked off the field a champion. Wednesday's game came nearly 31 years after Leyland first managed a Major League game, in a 4-2 Pirates loss to the Mets on April 8, 1986. The 72-year-old finished his 22nd and final MLB season with the 2013 Tigers, racking up a total of 1,769 wins (16th all-time), three league pennants, one World Series title with the 1997 Marlins, and three Manager of the Year awards.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. David Adler is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.