Everyone just assumed last weekend's 3-2 victory by the Dutch team was a fluke, probably helped by the D.R.'s bad hotel arrangements. When they met again in last night's elimination game, surely the better team would prevail. Then Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 in the first four innings and then he got replaced by Pedro Freakin' Martinez who started mowing down batters himself and it seemed like that should have been enough. But somehow it was the 11th inning and the score was still tied at zero? Then former Oriole Gene Kingsale—one of the few Dutch players to have actually seen The Show—let a routine base hit get behind him and Jose Reyes scrambled around from first and all was right in the world.
Yet, here we are this morning and the Dominican Republic is eliminated from the WBC before it even really started. Kingsale drove in the tying run in the bottom of the inning, scrambled to third on a wild pickoff throw, then scored the winning run on an error by Willy Aybar. It's not a fluke anymore. The Netherlands is the greatest baseball country in the world. The Dominicans might as well just close up their whole island. (Yes, Haiti too.)
Seriously though, that's pretty impressive. Randall Simon? Gene Kingsale? Yurendell de Caster?
Netherlands' prayers answered [ESPN]
No excuse for Dominican performance in WBC [Fox]
Hail to the Dutch [Seattle Times]
The Netherlands is Known for Bicycles, Clogs, Windmills, Cheese, and OWNING THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC! [Vent About Sports]
Jimenez sets Classic strikeout record [MLB]
Dutch Fans Celebrate WBC Performance [Gunaxin]