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Andruw Jones scores winning run as Netherlands knocks Cuba out of WBC

Mar 11, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Toru Hanai -- Reuters Reuters

Everyone who woke up early this morning to watch MLB Network got to see a helluva game, as the Netherlands advanced to the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic and knocked Cuba out of the tournament with a 7-6 walk-off win.

Facing a 6-4 deficit in the eighth inning, 23-year-old Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons smacked a two-run homer for the Netherlands that sent the game into the ninth inning tied. From there Andruw Jones reached base on a fielding error by Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel and then scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Kalian Sams, a 26-year-old outfielder who spent last season playing at Double-A for the Mariners.

The victory was probably extra sweet for the Netherlands, because after they defeated Cuba for the first time in a 6-2 game last week Cuban manager Victor Mesa said: “I don’t think they’re a very good team, to be honest. I think we could’ve scored more. I think we should’ve scored four or five more runs.”

Not sure what that says about Mesa’s team, but either way Cuba and their micro-managing skipper are going home and the Netherlands are going to San Francisco for the semi-finals. They join Japan in the Final Four and await the top two teams from among the United States, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Italy.

  1. danglickman - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Anybody who watched that game this morning knows why the WBC is great, despite what the haters say.

    • cktai - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      It was a truly awesome game. I was sitting on the edge of my seat till the 7th inning and standing for the rest of the game. Seeing Sams hit the ball in the sky is right up there with Jonathan Schoop snatching that line-drive on third for the last out of the 2011 (amature) baseball world cup final for most awesome baseball moments.

  2. natslady - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Rooting for the Netherlands. Got two Nats players on the team, although Roger Bernadina didn’t play due to getting hit on the wrist. He said he’s ok to pinch run (and stuff) but he didn’t.

    The Dutch young ‘uns really stepped up. For Nats, fans (or other interested parties) here is how the Nats are doing in the WBC. To me it adds interest to look around and spot these guys. Go, Netherlands!

  3. oasiserfede - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Seeing Loek van Mil in there in the 9th inning almost made up for all the incessant bunting. Go Netherlands!

  4. Liam - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM


  5. bigdinla - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Simmons looks like a superstar in the making!

  6. hasbeen5 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Whatever the relative worth of the tournament is, it’s pretty cool to watch good, live baseball while getting myself and the kids ready in the morning.

  7. cktai - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Suck it Mesa, Netherlands is 5 from the last 5 now against Cuba. If we’re not good, what does that say about you?

  8. kaladin69 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Andruw Jones is from the Netherlands?????

    • cktai - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      He’s from Willemstad, Curaçao. Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      wait, that wasn’t sarcasm? A sort of: “He’s black!?!?” kind of joke?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        “He’s black!?!?”

        Does Mom know!?!?!

      • historiophiliac - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        There’s no black people in Europe, duh.


  9. Francisco (FC) - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    From there Andruw Jones reached base on a fielding error by Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel and then scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly

    And THAT, right there, is why defense counts. It adds… value.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      This is true. However, remember that it was an error that was committed here. And we all know that errors(or lack of errors) are MEANINGLESS when assessing the value of a player’s defensive skills, right?

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        Don’t play dumb Chris, you know perfectly well fielding errors are taken into account when assessing defensive skills as part of player value. It’s when you ONLY count fielding errors that you are missing a big piece of the defensive picture of the player.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        I know that FC. But the fact remains that Gurriel’s defensive value can not be ascertained by this error….true? I mean, if Michael Young makes zero errors this entire season, will it mean anything at all?

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        For a whole season? Not based on one play. However it is an example of how defense can directly impact the outcome of a game which is my point.

        Michael Young: if he makes zero errors he will become the Derek Jeter of the hot corner; able to field cleanly the balls he gets to while still costing the team runs from balls he couldn’t reach that become singles and doubles pushing runners across the plate.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        You said defense adds value. That is different than it affects the game. Sorry I misunderstood your quote. Because, sure a defensive error by anybody could affect the game. But then, when you say what you said about Young and Jeter, what you are saying is that there COULD BE no difference in the defensive effect on a game in the following two statements…

        “From there Andruw Jones reached base on a fielding error by Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel and then scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly”

        “From there Andruw Jones reached base on single to the left side, and then scored the game-winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly”

        Two statements that COULD HAVE exactly the same meaning when it comes to the value of defense. The error, in reality, is meaningless.

      • cktai - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        You have a point Chris. However, errors is a way to judge how good the glove is of a fielder, but it completely neglects the range of a fielder. They have value in the judgement of certain parts of fielding, but it is horrible as an end-all stat for fielding as some commentators and golden glove voters use it.

  10. proudlycanadian - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Several Cuban players just missed their chance to defect while in the US.

  11. Francisco (FC) - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    So the Kingdom of the Netherlands advances while Cuba gets kicked in the nether-region. Well man if you lose twice against the same team… you kind of deserve it.

  12. stlouis1baseball - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    One question:
    Should the Cuban 3rd Baseman now be in fear for his life?

  13. yankeesgameday - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Okay, seriously, I must check the tournament schedule now. I’m going to be in Amsterdam next Thursday. It would be amazing if the finals were USA and NL!

  14. chacochicken - Mar 11, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Ok, if the Netherlands wins could Queen Beatrix knight the whole team!?!? I’m not even sure they have knights like the UK…I sure hope so. Sir Andruw Jones, SIr Roger Bernadina, Sir Andrelton.

    • cktai - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      In 2011, catcher/captain Sidney de Jong, coach Brian Farley and general manager Robert Eenhoorn (former shortstop of the yankees) got knighted after winning the world cup.

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