If you haven’t kept up with the World Baseball Classic or stopped watching after Team USA was eliminated, you’ve really missed out — especially if you’re an Orioles fan.
Monday night, the Dominican Republic remained undefeated after a four run rally in the fifth inning led them to victory over the Netherlands. Orioles reliever Pedro Strop pitched a scoreless 8th inning, recording three assists and an infield single.
Strop has made three appearances in the World Baseball Classic (against Italy, the US and the Netherlands) and hasn’t allowed a hit. Combined he’s 2-0 through 3 innings pitched, has allowed 3 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks and 1 strikeout.
After his struggles at the end of last season, (5.12 ERA, 23/15 K/BB, .400 OBP allowed, .382 BABIP in August, September and October) it’s great to see Strop find his confidence again through his success in this tournament. If he returns to form, I would still expect him to return to the 8th inning in Buck Showalter‘s bullpen.
Unfortunately, Monday wasn’t the best night for O’s prospect Jonathan Schoop — who struck out looking for the final out and went 0-for-4. Schoop did come up big in a couple games for the Netherlands however, homering against Australia and Cuba.