"I'll be back in four years to defend the title."
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman put on a show in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic last night, throwing 6 innings and only allowing one hit in USA's 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico.
Last night's win at Dodgers Stadium marked the first title in USA's four WBC tournaments.
Stroman, who was named MVP, was eligible to play for team Puerto Rico since his mother is of Puerto Rican heritage but ultimately decided to pitch for USA, which created some backlash from the PR fanbase though he never wavered.
The 25-year old Long Island native says he'll be back in four years to help USA defend the title.
"I love pitching in these moments; I love the atmosphere," Stroman said. "I feel like the bigger the game, the more I'm able to get up, the more effective I am. I truly try to pride myself on being a big-game pitcher. This was probably one of the biggest if not the biggest game I've ever pitched in, and that was just a nod to coming off with a lead and giving us an opportunity to win that game."
"No, I think it's just more emphasis on just winning for America, for the United States," Stroman said, brushing aside a suggestion that beating Puerto Rico made the WBC title even better. "Obviously, this is our first win. We've had a few early exits in the past. So each and every guy came into this with one goal, and that was to win it. There was no one that kind of went about it lackadaisical. Everyone was into every single pitch."
"And we had that pride and faith in every single guy on this team, and we kind of formed a camaraderie over the last two weeks extremely quick. We grew as a unit, and it felt by the end of it that we've been playing for a while. So I love these guys. It was an unbelievable experience, and I'll be back in four years to defend the title."
Check out some of the reactions to last night's brilliant performance below.
That Stroman shimmy. pic.twitter.com/HhKka3Z28y— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) March 23, 2017
Marcus Stroman, you rule. (You’re not too bad either, Brandon Crawford.)— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 23, 2017
Stroman was above and beyond every expectation.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) March 23, 2017
I'm really proud of his work in the #WBC2017