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Updated: March 13, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Netherlands wins convincingly against Israel

TOKYO (Japan) - The Netherlands Kingdom Team registered a convincing 12-2 victory in eight inning against Israel on Monday (March 13) in its second game in Pool E in the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic. The Orange squad opened this Pool on Sunday with an 8-6 loss in 11 innings against Japan.

Today was a must-win situation for the Netherlands. Wednesday is another must-win situation when it faces Cuba. Another important game is the match-up between Cuba and Japan on Tuesday. The result of that game will give more clearance regarding the situation in Pool E. It is possible that three teams end up in a tie for first place (including Netherlands) and a 3-way tie (including Netherlands, even with a loss vs. Cuba) is possible in second place. In both scenarios, a tie-breaker game will be played. Therefore, it was important that the Netherlands registered a big run-difference victory today.

In today's game, Didi Gregorius made a major contribution today. The short stop of the New York Yankees was 2-for-3 which were a double and homerun, scored three runs and batted in five runs, making him responsible for seven of the 12 runs. Wladimir Balentien also was productive. He was 3-for-4, scored three runs and also batted in three. Andrelton Simmons and Yurendell de Caster both also collected three basehits.

In the First Round, Israel surprised by winning three games, including a 4-2 win against the Netherlands. In the Secound Round, Israel opened with a 4-1 win against Cuba. But today, Israel, which participates in its first WBC, suffered its first loss.

On Wednesday, Netherlands closes Pool E against Cuba, which on Tuesday meets Japan.

The Netherlands finished in second place in the First Round in Pool A behind surprising winner Israel, which stayed unbeaten and won three games. The Orange squad opened on Tuesday with a 5-0 shutout-win against South Korea. On Wednesday, the team won 6-5 against Chinese Taipei on a walk-off walk to secure a spot in the Second Round. On Thursday, the Netherlands ended up empty-handed against Israel in its final game in Pool A and lost 4-2.

(March 13)

Complete Schedule

Related Articles:
Three teams qualify for 2nd Round; Tie-breaker Italy vs. Venezuela. (March 12)
Netherlands ends up short in extra innings vs. Japan. (March 12)
WBC-wins for Colombia, Venezuela & Dominican Republic. (March 11)
USA needs extra inning to win; Puerto Rico wins big. (March 10)
Cuba advances to Second Round WBC; Australia eliminated. (March 10)
Italy wins opener on walk-off single; Dominicans win big. (March 9)
Netherlands empty-handed vs. Israel; finishes 2nd in Pool. (March 9)
Orange in 2nd Round WBC after walk-off win; Israel also in. (March 8)
Netherlands opens WBC with shutout vs. South Korea. (March 7)
Israel upsets South Korea in WBC-opener with 10-inning win. (March 6)
Netherlands Team closes WBC-preparations with loss. (March 5)
Netherlands Team wins big in Korean exhibition game. (March 3)
Netherlands closes exhibition series in Arizona with loss. (February 25)
First game Netherlands vs. Twins ends in tie. (February 24)
Netherlands Team wins big in exhibition game vs. Geckos. (February 23)
Exhibition losses Netherlands Team in Arizona. (February 20)
Orange roster announced for World Baseball Classic. (February 8)
Netherlands Team to prepare in Arizona. (February 8)

Netherlands vs. Israel
For the Netherlands Team, there were two defensive changes in today's line-up. Shawn Zarraga made his first appearance in the tournament. Zarraga was the catcher instead of Dashenko Ricardo, who had done all the catching for the Netherlands so far. Also, Yurendell de Caster started at first base instead of Curt Smith. Zarraga was 2-for-5 and batted in two runs, while De Caster was 3-for-5 and also batted in two runs. Offensively, Manager Hensley Meulens moved Jonathan Schoop from second to third place in his batting order, while moving Xander Bogaerts from the third to second spot.

...Netherlands Team-Manager Hensley Meulens (left) and his...
...Israeli colleague Jerry Weinstein (right) with today's...
...umpiring crew: Cody Blaser (HP, USA),...
...Jens Waider (3B, Germany), Todd Tichenor (2B, USA)...
...and Felix Tejada (1B, Dominican Republic)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Orange squad opened the score in the second inning off of Corey Baker, who last season pitched in Double-A and Triple-A in the organization of the St. Louis Cardinals. The righthander then threw in 29 games (26 starts) and was 5-11 with a 5.68 ERA. In the second, Baker he gave up two runs. Baker walked lead-off hitter Wladimir Balentien, but he was forced out on a grounder by Didi Gregorius. Hereafter, Jonathan Schoop was hit by a pitch. After the two had advanced on a grounder by Shawn Zarraga, they scored on a single by Yurendell de Caster.

In the top of the third inning, the Netherlands rallied for four runs. Andrelton Simmons led off with a single and Xander Bogaerts walked. That was followed by a pitching change, as Jeremy Bleich took over. He saw the runners advance on sac-bunt by Jurickson Profar. Wladimir Balentien then delivered a 2-run single and Didi Gregorius followed with an RBI-double. With two outs, Shawn Zarraga doubled in the next run to lift the lead to 6-0.

Another 4-run rally (with two outs) followed in the top of the fourth inning to give the Netherlands a commanding lead. Danny Burawa was the new Israeli pitcher and he gave up an one-out double to Andrelton Simmons. With two outs, Jurickson Profar walked, then Wladimir Balentien and Didi Gregorius delivered again. First, Balentien drove in a run with a single. Next, Gregorius also connected well, as he drove the ball into rightfield for a 3-run homerun that made it a 10-0 score.

The Dutch team left three runners behind in the sixth.

Jair Jurrjens started for the Netherlands and had a fine outing. The righthander threw six innings and gave up only five basehits. He got a baserunner in each inning he pitched, but never ran into problems.

In the first inning, he gave up a 2-out double to Ike Davis, but he stranded on second base. In the next inning, Jurrjens again got a baserunner with two outs when Blake Gailen singled, but a strikeout ended the at bat. In the third, Scott Burcham led off with a single for Israel, but after a line-out, the inning ended with a double play.

...Didi Gregorius is welcomed after his 3-run homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Trailing 10-0, Israel scored its first run when Nate Freiman homered with one out in the bottom of the fourth.

Jurrjens returned on the mound again in the fifth. He got another baserunner, this time via an error, but again encountered no problems.

As pitchers are allowed to throw 80 pitches in the Second Round, Jurrjens also pitched the sixth inning for the Netherlands. With one out, he gave up a single to Ike Davis, but retired the next two batters, closing with a strikeout.

Juan Carlos Sulbaran took over in the bottom of the seventh inning from Jurrjens, who had thrown 74 pitches. Sulbaran was greeted with a lead-off double by Nick Rickles, then gave up a runscoring single to Blake Gailen. Tyler Krieger followed with a line drive, which was caught by centerfielder Jurickson Profar. Hereafter, Scott Burcham singled, then Sulbaran was hit hard again, as Mike Meyers lined the ball into rightfield. Wladimir Balentien caught the ball, but hereafter, Sulbaran was relieved by lefthander Jim Ploeger. He got a flyout that ended the inning.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Netherlands reached the 10-run difference off of new pitcher Jake Kalish. With one out, Jurickson Profar doubled and Wladimir Balentien singled. Profar then scored on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius. That led to another pitching change, as Troy Neiman took over. To avoid getting a 10-run deficit and to get out of the inning, Neiman walked Jonathan Schoop intentionally to set up a force play. But hereafter, Shawn Zarraga followed with a runscoring single to make it 12-2 after all.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jim Ploeger struckout pich-hitter Cody Decker, then was relieved by Orlando Yntema. He hit Nate Freiman with a pitch, but a flyout accounted for the second out. Yntema then struckout Nick Rickles to end the inning and the game.

The following players got into action:
Andrelton Simmons (SS, 3-for-5, double, 2 runs), Xander Bogaerts (3B, 1-for-3, run, 2 walks), Jurickson Profar (CF, 1-for-3, double, 2 runs, walk), Wladimir Balentien (RF, 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBI's, walk), Didi Gregorius (DH, 2-for-3, double, homerun, 3 runs, 5 RBI's, walk), Jonathan Schoop (2B, 0-for-3, run, strikeout), Shawn Zarraga (C, 2-for-5, double, RBI), Yurendell de Caster (1B, 3-for-5, 2 RBI's), Randolph Oduber (LF, 0-for-3, strikeout), Sharlon Schoop (PH-LF, 0-for-1, strikeout).

...Left: Jair Jurrjens threw six strong innings for the Netherlands...
...Right: Wladimir Balentien had 3 hits, scored 3 runs and had 3 RBI's...

...Didi Gregorius hits a 3-run homerun in the 4th inning and is greeted by Jurickson Profar...
..Gregorius hit a double & homerun, scored 3 runs and batted in 5 runs...

...Left: Andrelton Simmons dives back safely to first base...
...Right: 1B Yurendell de Caster (who had 3 hits) has a chat with Israeli 1B Coach Nate Fish...

...Left: Manager Hensley Meulens with Bench Coach Andruw Jones and Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven...
...All three are in a Hall of Fame; Blyleven in the National Major League Hall of Fame,...
...Jones in the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame and Meulens in the International League (AAA) Hall of Fame...
...Right: Juan Carlos Sulbaran took over the Orange-pitching in the seventh inning...

...Left: Jurickson Profar with 3B Coach Ben Thijssen...
...Right: Reliever Jim Ploeger smiles after striking a batter before being relieved...

Israel - Netherlands 2-12 (8 inn.)
Netherlands Kingdom Team02440002-12151
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Jair Jurrjens, W (1-0)65-511

Juan Carlos Sulbaran0.2--311

Jim Ploeger0.21----

Orlando Yntema0.21----

pitchers Israelinn.SOBBHRER
Corey Baker, L (1-1)2 (*)-2344

Jeremy Bleich11-322

Danny Burawa1-1344

Jared Lakind1112--

Alex Katz1-1---

Tyler Herron11-1--

Jake Kalish0.2--222

Troy Neiman0.1111--
(*) - Baker pitched to two batters in the third inning

Homerun: Netherlands: Didi Gregorius (1)(4th,3-run,off Burawa).
WBC Scores
WBC Schedule
HP-Cory Blaser (USA, Major League), 1B-Felix Tejada (Dominican Repulic),
2B-Todd Tichenor (USA, Major League), 3B-Jens Waider (Germany).
Starting Time-7:08 PM (local time).
Time Played-3:04 hrs.
Site-Tokyo Dome, Tokyo (Japan).

Game Notes:
Second game in history of the Netherlands against Israel.
First victory for the Netherlands against Israel.
Fifth game Netherlands Kingdom Team on World Baseball Classic 2017.

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