The United States put the hurtin' on the Netherlands and ended their Cinderella run with a 9-3 win and now will play the loser of the Puerto Rico-Venezuela game on Tuesday night for the right to go to the WBC semi-finals.
Brian Roberts and Jimmy Rollins were the US hitting stars, with Rollins blasting a two-run homer and Roberts, in his first WBC game, getting three hits and coming up just a home run short of the cycle.
There was a little dustup near the end of the game when the Dutch outfielder Bryan Engelhardt hit the first Dutch home run in the WBC off former Brooklyn Cyclone Matt Lindstrom in the eighth. Lindstrom felt that Engelhardt admired the home run too much and threw behind the next hitter. That brought out the entire Dutch team and led the home plate ump to issue warnings to everyone. (I saw the replay and it didn't look like he admired it any more than some MLB hitters do.) Nothing else happened afterwards and the US went on about their business in getting the win.
One other thing I have to say about this game. I have little use for Rick Sutcliffe as an announcer, as I think he's another one who just doesn't know when to shut up. But I was ready to vomit as he seemed to genuflect at the Altar of Derek Jeter all night. He called him "the face of baseball over the last 7 or 8 years." Yep, for as long as the Yankees haven't won a championship. And Dave O'Brien, a Red Sox announcer who should know better, came out with this beauty: "Most Red Sox fans think very highly of Jeter." I'd love to bring him to Professor Thom's for a Red Sox-Yankees game, and introduce him to my buddy Jim McGuire. It might have him think twice before he says something like that. (It reminds me of that stupid ESPN commercial from a few years ago when an announcer said, "Even Red Sox fans call Jeter Captain Intangibles." Yes, we do. To mock him, and not because we admire him.)
The best news of the day was the performance of Daisuke Matsuzaka against Cuba. Japan won, 6-0, but Dice went six innings, struck out eight, walked none and allowed just two hits. He was masterful and looked in mid-season form. He was never in trouble, and kept the Cuban hitters off balance all game long. He caught the first five men he struck out looking. Dice-K is now 5-0 in five career starts in the two WBC tournaments. Japan is now one win away from the semi-finals.