The 2013 World Baseball Classic is in the books with the Dominican Republic going undefeated in the tournament and taking the crown. Orioles reliever Pedro Strop was an integral part of their run, pitching 6 2/3 innings over six games without allowing a run. Here is a look at his time in the WBC:
March 7th vs. Venezuela - DR won this game easily, 9-3, but for much of the game it was a close score and it looked like it could go either way. Pedro Strop entered the game with one out and two runners on base and the DR ahead of Venezuela by two runs. Strop got a strike out and a ground out to end the inning without Venezuela scoring, then pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, ending his outing with a swinging strikeout of Miguel Cabrera.
March 9th vs. Spain - DR had this game well in hand, ahead by a score of 6-1 when Pedro Strop came in to pitch the eighth. He pitched a perfect inning with a ground out and two strikeouts.
March 12th vs. Italy - This was the game that the Dominicans came closest to losing. They were losing, in fact, from the first inning through the seventh before finally taking a lead. Strop pitched the seventh inning and gave up a two out single to Nick Punto before getting the last batter.
March 14th vs. United States - This game was tied 1-1 until the DR scored two runs in the top of the ninth to win the game, so it was very high leverage for Strop. He pitched the eighth inning and retired Ryan Bruan, Giancarlo Stanton, and Eric Hosmer. Joe Mauer did single with one out.
March 18th vs. Netherlands - Strop pitched the eighth inning and while he did give up a single to Roger Bernadina, he also induced three ground balls back to himself that he fielded cleanly and threw the runner out at first.
March 19th vs Puerto Rico - In the finale of the WBC, Strop came into the game in the seventh inning. Octavio Dotel started the inning and allowed the first two base runners to reach before being replaced by Strop. DR was ahead by a score of 3-0, so Strop was facing the tying run. He struck out the first two batters he faced and got the third to pop up. Puerto Rico did not score.
All in all, Strop pitched six games with a combined line of: 6 2/3 IP, 3 H (all singles), 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. And if you're into pitching decisions, Strop racked up three wins.
Now Strop will return to the Orioles having already won one title this season. It remains to be seen if Strop's season with the Orioles will be affected by his time in the WBC, he certainly has gotten more work in than he probably would have during Spring Training. But on the other hand, he looks ready to start the season and he has to be pumped for how well he did in the series.
So here's to Pedro Strop. May his summer be as good as his spring.