I have to admit it, when the Dutch right fielder missed the ball in the 11th allowing the Dominicans to score against Boyd I didn’t think there was much of a chance of a comeback. Apparently the Dominicans felt the same because they not only got sloppy but the put in a Pitcher from the Chicago Cubs with playoff elimination on the line.
Apparently the curse of the Goat sticks with you as long as you stay on the roster. First a double then a single then a bad throw then an error at first. Presto 2-1 loss.
Seriously I felt bad for Aybar who was one of the people on that Dominican team who had really performed, the fact that he would make the miscue that would allow the winning run to score was a surprise.
Congratulations to the Dutch, even if they don’t win another game they have made baseball history! They left 35 opposing players in scoring position. An awful lots of walks but you know, its hard to score from 2nd on a walk.
As for the Dominicans, Lets not forget that their pitching didn’t give up any runs in the first 10 innings either. The Dominican pitchers gave up one earned run in three games. That is an incredible figure that is 4 less than the Dutch. The pitchers can generally hold their heads high. Their hitters however just couldn’t deliver with men in scoring position and their defense or lack thereof cost them both games.
The team is going to get a rough reception back home:
“Oh, God, thank God I don’t have to go back home for a while,” (David) Ortiz said. “I’m telling you right now, in the Dominican, there had to be a blackout right now.”
Felipe Alou, the Dominican manager, told Delmonico and other Netherlands players that he would be watching them and rooting for them. But Alou, 73, has been agitated with the Dominican players who did not participate in the Classic and how that impacted his roster.
The names that didn’t make it are going to hear about it back home, almost as much as the team is going to.
On the other hand, this is a bitter blow for baseball mad Dominican, which received a huge hit at the outset of the tournament when Alex Rodriguez had to pull out. They were already without another superstar, Albert Pujols, who couldn’t get insurance to cover his participation. Adrian Beltre, the logical A-Rod successor at third base, stayed in Arizona at the behest of the Mariners. Also missing: Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Aramis Ramirez.
It will be remembered that those guys weren’t there.
If I’m the Dutch manager I rest my best pitchers tomorrow and have my best ready for round 2 but as has been demonstrated he certainly doesn’t need my advice.
Update: David Pinto hits the nail on the head and has the best line of the night:
I’m stunned and happy. This game just put the World Baseball Classic on the map.
By the way, Felipe Alou joins John Thompson in the crappy international coach Hall of Fame.
It’s not quite 2004 but it’s damn close. Marvelous.