By Zach Gewelb
New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo has been named the starting pitcher for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic finals, according to USA Today.
Lugo will lead Puerto Rico into battle as the team faces off against the winner of Tuesday night’s United States-Japan semifinal showdown.
The 26-year-old righty, a candidate for the Mets’ fifth and final rotation spot, earned the start after pitching well throughout the WBC. Lugo has pitched to a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in two starts (11 innings).
Lugo’s best performance of the tournament came in a start against Venezuela, when he limited a powerful lineup to just one hit in 5 1/3 innings en route to an 11-0 victory.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he has been impressed with Lugo’s performance in the WBC, particularly with his strong showing against Venezuela.
“Against that lineup, you better believe it [matters],” Collins told reporters. “Those national teams, they’re playing for a little integrity. To shut down that lineup, that’s pretty impressive.”
Lugo follwed that performance with another a strong showing in his next start against the United States. Earning the win, he tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs while striking out two.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe